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!