Monday, September 26, 2016

Hey Fatty, there’s a weight limit on leggings & skinny jeans.

May 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Fat Acceptance

There’s this super cool, Aussie chick named Natalie. She describes herself as follows;

“I am a fancy lady: a bombastic beehive of peroxide, sass and anxiety. A creative bon vivant who proudly calls Brisbane home, I draw, design and advocate for fat acceptance. I think we should be friends.”

So, there’s Natalie, just strumming along, going about her business with the type of enthusiasm that is purely contagious, and then some jack decides to hit her over the head with a huge ass, hate filled sledge hammer.  The hand on that hammer was some Facebook groupie that decided to post her picture with the hilarous quote “there’s a weight limit on leggings and skinny jeans.”

Never mind the fact that Natalie is beautiful. Or amazingly creative. Or an inspiration to all women of size. Or that she is smart as hell, just listen to her response to this attack;

No one should be harassed, mocked or attacked for wearing clothes (or NOT wearing clothes). There is absolutely no weight limit on leggings or skinny jeans. There is, however, an abundance of people who are falling into a trap of being way too invested in what other people do, and wear. Why do they care so much? Probably because it gives them a sense of being better than other people, but that is a terrible foundation to build one’s self esteem upon.s by putting other people down, therefore reinforcing arbitrary beauty standards.

I reject those arbitrary standards. I reject the imaginary line between skinny and fat, the line that’s a size 6 for some people and a size 14 for others. And if you’re friends with a fat person, they lose 4 imaginary dress sizes on the basis of that friendship

I reject the beauty ideal. I reject the idea of the “flattering outfit”. I reject the gender binary. I reject being ladylike. These standards are not nobel things to uphold – they trap us, and constrict us. They push us into target markets so we can be sold things more easily. And while I can say with 150% gusto that I reject these things, I can’t help but toe the line sometimes without even realising. Societal conditioning is that strong, it’s that pervasive.

Read Natalie’s entire post and her response to the hatred bullies on her blog here

If those words don’t inspire YOU to BE YOU, I am not sure what will. We need more Natalie’s in the world to show the rest of us what it is to have some class and to not be AFRAID, because we only go around once in this life you know? Are you being YOU or are you hiding so the bullies don’t notice you?

Time to step out and kick em’ in the ass,

Love,

mV

WATRD

Comments

16 Responses to “Hey Fatty, there’s a weight limit on leggings & skinny jeans.”
  1. Candice says:

    Wow, Natalie kicks much ass! I wish I had that much confidence to defend some of my wardrobe choices. There have been many times I played it safe for fear of inviting hateful comments (having been subject to hateful comments in the past). Good for her for knowing what she likes, wearing it, and not only NOT apologizing for it, but defending it with gusto. Love it.

  2. Lori says:

    I know for a FACT, despite the protestations in this particular facebook group, that seeing a fat person in leggings or skinny jeans will not cause injury.

    I love this. I have to admit that I tend to be the opposite and completely oblivious to what other people are wearing or what they look like–it took me three days to realize my husband had shaved off his beard–but I just do not understand the vehement outrage that people respond to certain fashion choices with. Fat people in skinny jeans and bikinis! Crocs! Saggy pants! Pajama pants at the grocery store! Thongs!

    I understand having preferences or thinking certain things don’t look good. I have preferences. But, I don’t understand getting so outraged about other people daring to wear things you don’t like. Is it really that terrible? Is it that awful if the person on line in front of you at the grocery store has on pajama pants? Are you going to be unable to check out the books you want at the library if another patron is wearing crocs? Will your day at the beach be ruined if there’s a fat woman in a bikini there?

    I get thinking, “That doesn’t look good.” What I don’t get is then getting so outraged you feel the need to continue to complain about it, to start a Facebook group about it, or to start blogging about it, rather than just letting it go and getting on with your life. Do we really think the rest of the world is required to dress the way we want them to?

    It seems to me that if people really need to get outraged, there are plenty of things in the world worthy of outrage. Channel it into outrage over human trafficking or poverty or genocide or war. But, come on, other people’s fashion choices are NOT a cause for outrage.

  3. Meems says:

    Natalie is amazing. That’s really all I have to add. 🙂

  4. Lissa says:

    LOVE this post and Natalie — what a kick-ass chick! Good for her. Eff those haters!

  5. Kate says:

    Part of me wants to kick the jerks who would post such a thing in the ass, just like you said, and part of me wants to hug them. Because also like you said, a post like this means so much more about them than it does about Natalie. My God, can you imagine going through life putting so much energy into making fun of other people? They must be terrified of being picked apart themselves. Terrified! Good for Natalie to stand up for herself, but even more than that, good for her for wearing skinny jeans and leggings, what she wants to wear, in the first place. Good for her for going about her life without the utmost regard for what other people might think, say, or heaven forbid, wear. Good for her for being a woman we can all look up to and learn from.

  6. Kat says:

    I am in love with her artwork, and i see absolutly no point why people who want to wear something shouldnt wear it. Come on, its 2010 not 1800.

  7. Lyn says:

    Natalie is AWESOME. And she rocks those clothes!

  8. Kate says:

    Such a kick ass attitude! I love it, Natalie!

  9. Susan says:

    i am so happy to have found this site. i have been so worried by what other people think of how i look i have at times in my life prefered to hide away so thankyou all you lovely people for being who you are and saying what you believe love susan

  10. Jacquline says:

    Natalie brings up a few things that are very important. One of the things she points out is that the line between fat and not fat is arbitrary as evidenced by the fact that everyone draws it between different sizes. In my mind, that line is between size 2 and size 4.

    Recently I noticed that someone living in my building has the named their wireless network “No Fat Chicks.” A sense of shame washed over me when I read that. Intellectually, I know that I’m not fat, but I feel huge because I’m no longer a size zero.

    It seems that a lot of body image blogs are written by people who are either fat or anorexic. I’ve never been either, but I feel awful about my body nonetheless. This sort of hateful behavior seems to me to be a way of enforcing conformity.

    I really like that she goes on to say: “I reject the beauty ideal. I reject the idea of the “flattering outfit”. I reject the gender binary. I reject being ladylike.”

    Furthermore, her response to her attackers was wonderful beyond what I could have conceived. Headway will only be made, I suspect, by reaching out rather than responding defensively.

    It’s important to understand that it’s not about fat or thin. It’s not about being beautiful. It’s about being made to feel shame and disgust about our bodies. Even at size zero I still felt a little too heavy. You could ask me what I weighed at any event of my life, my wedding, my graduation, my sister’s wedding, and I could tell you. There is no body size or shape in which we can hide from this feeling of shame. We must address those feelings of shame themselves.

  11. Simone says:

    Hey there,

    I am fat. I do not think fat is a bad, dirty, or insulting word. I am not personally offended by your post. I understand that we’re all entitled to our own opinions, and our own standards.

    That being said, you think that a size 4 is fat, it might be time to take a long, hard look at your attitudes.

    Why do you think that a size 4 is fat? Where did that idea come from?

    Think about the fact that “size x” can look very different on different women. When I wore a size 4, I had protruding hip bones, and visible ribs. Was I “fat” then?

    Some high-fashion models wear a size 4. Are they “fat”?

    Many women who are not medically overweight wear at least a size 4; many wear a size 10 or higher. Are they fat?

    Obviously, you have a right to your own opinions, and i respect that. But I strongly urge you to reconsider your ideas about “fat” and “thin.”

    Sincerely,
    Simone

  12. Jacqueline says:

    Put your claws back in, kitty.

    You apparently didn’t read my post. This is why discussing body image is so pointless.

    If you would take a moment to take a second to take another look at what I wrote before reveling in self-righteous offense, you might notice that I believe the the fact that I think I’m fat at size four is an example of my own lack of comfort with my body. It was an example of how the definition of fat is arbitrary. I pretty sure I said that in the first line of my post. Pardon me, it was the second line.

    Whenever I try to be honest on about body image, I always get attacked. I stand by what I said, not what you understood, but what I said.

    Women will make no progress until they stop attacking one another. Please, don’t bother with the phony respect line.

    • Simone says:

      I’m sorry to have offended you, but I think there has been a misunderstanding. Let’s take a step back here, okay? I’m not attacking anyone, and I explicitly said that I’m not personally offended by your opinion that a size-four woman is fat, since I’m perfectly fine with being a fattie. All I did was ask some questions, in a perfectly civil manner.

      If you say that the “line between fat and thin” is between a size 2 and a size 4, that sounds like you’re applying an unreasonable standard, not just to yourself, but to everyone else. There’s nothing in your post that indicated an awareness that the line you’ve drawn is unrealistic. I think it’s reasonable to ask you where those attitudes came from, and if you’re sure they’re serving you well.

  13. Jacqueline says:

    Thanks, Simone, for taking the time to respond. Your first reply struck me as patronizing and triggered an angry response.

    I’m sorry if my first post was unclear. Since I can be verbose, I often am afraid of writing a comment longer than the original post. To put what I wrote in a greater context:

    I am in my mid-forties, I like to think of myself as a thoughtful, introspective person and I’m an artist who often deals with issues of female sexuality in my work. I don’t interact with mainstream popular culture as much as other people do and have little interest in fashion or celebrities. I don’t want to go so far as to say that I’m the least likely person to be influenced by the media messages about body image, but I’m not a prime candidate either. When I was younger I was a fairly active feminist though I’ve since drifted away from that. I never rejected feminism, but I often felt alienated among feminists, like I didn’t fit in.

    About four years ago I quit smoking and started working at the computer more and found that it’s been a real struggle to keep my weight down. The loss in self-esteem has taken me by surprise. Yes, I believe it’s unhealthy, but I won’t conquer it by simply pretending to not care. As I said, I’ve never been anorexic, rarely overweight and have never binged or purged or even engaged in yo-yo dieting, yet in retrospect I was obsessed with my weight. I look at pictures from a few years ago, some in which I’m wearing a pair of pants I recall being size zero, and I remember thinking at the time that I could stand to lose a couple of pounds. My point in saying all this is that there is even more disordered thinking than disordered eating.

    Simultaneously, in recent years the objectification of women in the media seems to have reached a fevered pitch and I feel that I shouldn’t ignore these issues any longer. Yet, again, when I’ve ventured to comment on feminist blogs I’ve felt the old problem of not fitting in.

    I really like the fact that Natalie didn’t take the obvious approach and put down women who don’t look like her. Some fat acceptance people seem to just want to change the ideal body to suit themselves even if it would hurt other women. I’m not sure what it accomplishes when people say that they’re sexier or more of a woman. Am I less of a woman because I’m small? Are my feelings about my body irrelevant?

    So if you don’t mind my quoting her again: “I reject the beauty ideal. I reject the idea of the “flattering outfit”. I reject the gender binary. I reject being ladylike.”

    • Simone says:

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Thanks so much for the reply. I’m glad we seem to be on the same page now. Discussions of body image are always difficult, because it’s a personal sore spot for so many women women. Personally, I had a lot of trouble with folks calling me “fat” when I was younger, despite the fact that my BMI was practically “ideal,” because I wore about a size 6. (I still wore at least a size 4, even when I was teetering on the edge of underweight, because I have epic and glorious hips.) Hearing things like “size 4 is fat” is bit of a trigger for me, and I think that lead to me misinterpreting your original post.

      I definitely agree with your main point, though. In this incredibly f*cked-up culture, there’s no magical weight or size that makes one immune from body shame. Fat, thin, or anywhere in between, everyone is vulnerable, and we need to find a way to make it stop.

      Also, I’m with you about that quote: pure, unadulterated awesome.

      Best,
      SL

  14. Jacqueline says:

    I hope there’s no hard feelings.

    I can entirely understand what you say about your hips because even though I was within the doctor’s recommended weight, other women would tease me about having a big ass or small breasts or being short. It was usually men who told me I looked okay, which is perhaps why women putting down women is a real trigger for me.

    You’re absolutely right, everyone is vulnerable.

    Jacqueline

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