Today's discussion about Beth Ditto "doing Ugly/Gruesome" reminded me of another fat icon who does "Unpretty" and "Frumpy" as a statement: Leslie Hall. Leslie wears clothes (most notably gem sweaters and tight metallic spandex pants) that are considered unstylish and giant plastic glasses last seen at the optometrist's office in the 80's. She purposely and carefully cultivates a look that is the antithesis of Western stylishness and prettiness. In those photos of Beth, there are cues showing that she is also purposely cultivating a disheveled, unpretty look.
To me, Beth and Leslie are doing things (Beth on the side of gruesome, Leslie on the side of frumpy) that women are told specifically and implicitly to not do if they want to fit into the expected Western standard of prettiness. As fat people, there is extra pressure to conform to that standard, to bring our bodies as close to the norm as possible, to not push the boundaries of acceptability any more than we already have by virtue of having a large body. There is the unfair cultural pressure that states what one fat person does reflects on all fat people. What I see Leslie and Beth doing is trying to break out of this box and out of the pressure enforced on them by these "fat rules."
I'm curious to see other views on the culture of fat prettiness and Beth and Leslie's transgressions and subversions.