December 15th, 2009

sand castle

Arisia, SF Con in Boston: panel - 'Charisma is Not a Dump Stat'

at least partly based on this:

http://comixtalk.com/charisma_not_a_dump_stat

I've been assigned to the panel based on my experience with Fatshionista and things like it; my occasional frustration with people who seem to believe that appearance is irrelevant and that it's superficial to like people who are trying to look good and who pay attention to these things.

I bring this up to you, Fathsionistas, because here, unlike so many other places, we're working on completely undoing the falsity that says 'if you're fat, you have no options, so don't bother'. And we know it's hard; I mean, look at that post last week that mentioned the mother saying, 'if you'd lose weight, we could buy you something cuter.' Cuter/sexier/more attractive - the perception with some people (including fellow fats) is that these are NOT OUR OPTIONS.

Now, others will be on the panel; addressing other issues of professionalism, appearance, and generally not using the excuse that it's *entirely* what's inside that counts. But since I'm coming to it from the 'fat doesn't mean stretch to fit muumuus anymore' attitude, I'd like to get opinions and feedback to make my part of it mean more of it.

So. I want to bring up Fatshionista experiences as people who do believe that appearance is important, that we can use it to express our inner nature, and that we don't have to be what 'they' tell us we have to be (and that we can wear horizontal stripes if we rock them, regardless of 'the rules').

Tell me about your experiences; have you always been fashion forward? If not, how did your life change when you took control of that? What are your experiences with people, good and bad, when you put yourself out in a way society doesn't expect you to behave? Have well meaning friends and sales people ever tried to talk you out of something you loved in favour of something 'slimming'? How do you deal with the issues we have with over stretched clothes, breasts that seem to exist JUST to catch food, etc?

How has being a fatshionista *changed* you, inside or out? has it been important to you? Personally? Politically? What do you say to the people who want to put you back in your well-behaved fat girl closet where they won't see you?

I'm fishing for ideas here, and nothing is actually confirmed except that I will be talking about being fat, and that that doesn't mean unattractive. Uhm, and maybe the fact that to this day I can't wear navy because my mother forced me into it all of my teens because it was 'slimming'. I have strawberry blonde hair, and I discovered in my 20s that I look GREAT in navy, but I still can't wear it because to me it says 'if you dress like that, no one will notice your weight and that's what we want.' But aside from that, I have a month and I want to gather LOTS to use during the panel. Please coredump!

For those of you who will be attending Arisia (Jan 15-18, Cambridge, Massachusetts), the panel is scheduled for 5pm, Sunday afternoon. I would love to see other fatshionistas there and contributing to this panel!

OOTD

Long time lurker, first time poster! Today I come bearing an OOTD. I had to do a speech for my communications course, so I wanted to dress up a TEENIE bit! For reference, I'm 5' 2", who knows how much I weigh, and a fairly solid size 18. Here goes!

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Steve

CRISIS!

Ok guys, I am in serious need of your help here;

I just got done ordering a pair of skinny jeans and some Ashley boots for my sister from Torrid last night, for Christmas (which is 10 days away. I KNOW.). She's a 14-sometimes-16 and so I'm not at all concerned about the calf width; I want them nice and loose anyways, so she can wear all her jeans inside them if she should choose, since the skinnys I'm getting her will be her first pair (...I know, right?) Anyways, the crisis is this; she wears an 8 in shoes, and I totally completely planned on buying a size up, just in case and also for sock-wearage, but somehow, my brain and my fingers did not communicate properly, as I just noticed on the invoice that there is an 8 next to the boots instead of a 9.

So my question is this; am I going to have to return these boots? Do they run true to size, or bigger? They look loose in the foot in the picture, and obviously they're constructed a little bigger for wide width, so I'm hoping they'll be ok. Help me out fats!

The politics of vintage (and vintage inspired) fashion

They're having a very interesting conversation right now over at Jezebel on vintage fashion and I thought it would be just the thing for this community to gnaw on for a while.

For myself, I love vintage and buy it and wear it every chance I get. I also love vintage inspired looks, like Jane Bon Bon's dresses. Do I think on a daily basis about what it means when I wear those clothes? Honestly, no. I want to think, hey, it's just what looks good on me and they're cool looking clothes. I think the discussion really can go a lot further than that though.

While the main discussion on Jezebel is about things like how clothing from an oppressive time, like the fifties, can be a symbol of that oppression, my own mind went to fat issues. For instance, one defense people have been using in favor of vintage is that the silhouette is more "flattering" than modern fashion. This seems to mean mostly showing off an hourglass figure. Or the creation of the illusion of an hourglass figure. I know we've talked about shape privilege in Fatshionista before, how to some fat is a little more "acceptable" if one has an hourglass figure. I have to confess, one of the reasons I love the couple of vintage dresses I have is that they do give me that appearance of an hourglass figure. I'm probably not going to give up the dresses, but I'm going to try and be more mindful of this. And try and work on the idea that it's okay if my silhouette isn't a perfect hourglass.

Another defense of the vintage look is "they're just clothes" and "all I think when I look at fifties vintage is, oh, pretty!" I don't know about this though. I'm not sure one can really divorce clothes from meaning. My personal theory is that clothes are always a little story we tell the world about what's going on in the insides of ourselves. Sometimes its a conscious story we cultivate. Other times, it's not really conscious, but I think it's always there. I think of myself as a feminist and I now find myself wondering, do I want to be telling a story about myself that links me back to a time of oppression of all kinds. Even if I don't idealize that time myself, maybe someone might look at me and think I do.

Another fat issue with vintage is size privilege. I'm on the smaller end of the bigger fats, just a bit too big to be an in-betweenie. But I recognize that I do have some privelege in that regard. If I scour eBay and etsy, I can find a few things that fit. But for those much bigger than myself, well, it's really super hard to find stuff, especially the sought after fifties stuff in natural fibers. I'm not sure, what, if anything can be done about this privilege except recognize it. One can't change the past and make more old clothes. I suspect it's not that there weren't larger fats in the past, but that, like today, it was hard to find clothes to fit for larger fats and when they were found, they were worn again and again, until worn out.

For some further context, the source of the discussion comes from this blog-

http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2009/08/vintage-sewing-and-gender-politics.html

and this one

http://threadbared.blogspot.com/2009/12/on-politics-of-vintage-starting-with.html


so, what do people think?
pinup
  • amaena

Ottawa fats?

Any of you around? :)

I am thinking of throwing a clothing swap with my friends and if there aren't too many Ottawa fats would like to extend an invite your way :)

Let me know!