Friday, September 26, 2014

Plus Size

Every year The New Yorker does a style issue. The only thing I'm less interested in is sports but I flip through to make sure there's nothing by a writer I like. This year there is a fairly good article about plus size fashion. It's very well written, includes some history of how the perception of fat bodies devolved grabbed from Fat Shame (a book I have not read). It mentions a number of fat fashion bloggers (most of whom I haven't read). And only gives a small nod to the idea that being fat is unhealthy.
"Obesity is a genuine health concern, but the connection between health and the wearing of crop tops is a murky one."
Yes. Murky.
I just hate the flatness of the genuine-health-concern thinking. However, it goes on to say that "people become plus size for all sorts of reasons, not all of which involve life style choices." So, there is some nuance and it gets even more radical by calling out the "health concern" as a way to "police the prevailing social order." 
It ends in a Lane Bryant store with a customer who will "never wear a crop top." It is a sour ending for an otherwise interesting article. It seemed to say that most fat women are going to dress in a conservative manner because ... they should.
I know that the fat revolution is fought on the fields of fashion. I get it. It feels a bit frivolous to me some times but it does matter. Wearing a fatkini is a radical act. Wearing horizontal stripes. Wearing sleeveless shirts. Wearing clothing that is fun and alive and ... pretty. If you're fat you aren't suppose to do any of those things. You're supposed to wear clothing that covers your shame.
Even the term plus size kind of makes my teeth hurt. Adding from what? Normal? And what is that?
I am not interested in fashion but I am aware that I've always worn a uniform.
A wanna be cowgirl uniform.
A hippie chick uniform.
A rock-n-roll uniform.
A lives below 14th street uniform.
A guru girl uniform.
My uniform these days is frighteningly middle aged. Most of the time I'm in simple baggy pants and a simple baggy shirt. Sometimes I wear a nicer shirt. Usually with a flowery pattern. And I will not be wearing a crop top any time soon. Much of this is about age, I suppose. It's also just about comfort and taste. I spend a lot of time in the privacy of my nest in my pajamas. I lean toward gypsy/hippie/arty stuff but ... I don't get out much. I have a hard remembering to put on earrings. It's something I actually work on because I know it matters.
I have a sense that if I were not fat my fashion life might have taken a similar trajectory. Wandering through the uniforms and landing at baggy.
The connection between wearing a crop top and having a deeply internalized sense that my fat body is a whole body with a complex history and not a pathology is murky.
Yes. Murky.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Having a Facebook page for the blog was hopefully going to encourage me to write. sort of did. A little bit. It kicked up that reflex to think of things in terms of writing. But I've been spending a lot of time under a blanket feeling crappy. I see the surgeon on Tuesday. At this point if he says he'll take the gall bladder out I'll say yes. Feeling this bad is exhausting.
So today when Facebook reminded me that I hadn't written in five days I rolled my eyes. I've created a nag. 
I was going to write about living on a highway. Oak street is also highway 30. You can drive on highway 84, which becomes (I think) highway 30 at some point and miss the downtown crowds but great big trucks are always driving past. Trucks bigger than the nest. Trucks with logs. Trucks with gravel. During the summer there is also a lot of tourist traffic. Parking becomes impossible. Because I have my door open most of the time the smell of traffic can be overwhelming and ... yucky. And noisy. First thing in the morning, before the traffic starts, I open the door, lean out and take a deep breath. Last thing at night I do the same thing. Hood River smells like forest. And it's quiet. 
I was going to write about wanting this waterproof iPod. Yet another gadget, which is not terribly expensive but costs enough to hesitate and think about if I really want it. I like having my ears open. Sometimes I talk to other swimmers. Mostly I just like the awareness of sound. I like music too and it might be fun to have music in my ears while I swim. But music can shift my mood really quickly. One overwrought romantic song and I might crash. 
I thought I might be able to wind those two things together and write about all five senses but 
I was going to write about waking up on Sunday and being very excited to play with my Sims but the game wouldn't load. There's a bug that messes up the launcher from time to time. I really like playing on Sunday because there's lots of news talk to play in the background. I got cranky for a few minutes and then ... I opened my book and began to rewrite. I worked on it all day. It was extremely fun. I want to rewrite and then self publish.
Then I started feeling bad.
David Mitchel was recently quoted on writing.

I haven't read him yet.
I've been trying not to rush to my screen. I've been trying to start the day. Eat some eggs. Drink some coffee. Truth be told, I check my phone first thing but then I really have been trying to wait before I'm in front of the endless stream. On Sunday I wrote for a while and then I cleaned and then wrote some more. It worked.
Today the pain and nausea levels are low enough. I'm starting to want my blanket but I'm good for a bit more.
The page has 40 followers. It was at 39 for a long time. I prefer round numbers. I've sent invites to people who just don't seem to see them. Ironically two of them have asked me to follow their pages. Oh but what ever. It's all a bit silly.
I joined ello.
It's very spartan. Which is fine.
And then there's the bug. There used to be a toggle at the top of the Facebook page. I could choose to post as myself or the page. If I had it set to post as the page and I used the post-as-the-page setting in Blogger my post went straight to the page. Now the toggle is in each individual post and doesn't work with Blogger. I tried once and the post appeared briefly in the feed but not on the page. I figured out how to work around it but ...sigh.
I guess the good news is that I am writing a wee bit more. Now, if I can write a wee bit better.