This week Sam Smith has hit the headlines for being sexy in a music video; a thing a million people have done before. Why the outrage? Simply because they don’t fit societal ‘norms’.
In the current climate they are an easy target. A non binary, queer, plus size person happily expressing themselves was bound to push right wing buttons. Their faux outrage is expected. Waging their culture war with no regard for the actual lives their damaging. It’s disgusting, but sadly, no surprise.
The really sickening part is the crappy takes from people I’d expect better from. The same folk who usually embrace expressions of sexuality, raunchy content & playing with gender roles have no problem shitting on Sam Smith.
The reason for the different reaction is simple; fat queer people aren’t allowed to be loudly accepting of themselves. If you don’t fit neatly into a traditionally beautiful box you’re supposed to be ashamed. No joyful self love. If you’re not fading into the background, you’re pushing an agenda.
What’s more Sam has committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth. They have been honest about how ill striving to be thin made them. Also, very clear about how right it feels to have their correct gender recognised. They’ve talked about the hate they have received for simply existing as their authentic self. No one is really worried about a pop star dancing in pasties. They’re furious that someone whose body & identity they don’t deem acceptable is living their best life.
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I haven’t had a pointless rant in a while, but it’s a whole new year & there are things to bitch about! Sit back, relax & let’s see if we agree.
I know fashion is circular; wait long enough and it all comes around again. Surely there can be exceptions? Maybe we could black ball a few key pieces. For instances these illfitting, pocket laden mistakes. The only people who ever looked marginally good in them were All Saints & even they would say ‘never ever’ to their return.
I believe it originated from an alcohol awareness charity. I totally get the rationale. If you want reduce your intake or assess your relationship with alchol, great. Something about the way it’s become a joke about how much one drinks makes me uncomfortable. The memes, posts about not being able to get through a day or being shocked about how it feels not to wake up hungover give me a horrible ick. Oh & of course there’s the added diet culture bullshit. I don’t think it’s good for anyone to normalise that kind of reliance on alcohol. If a few days without a drink is actually a significant struggle you need help. I’m not sure that half the internet joking about it will give someone the impetus to move towards that.
I’ve never understood the hold these had in the noughties. I don’t need to explain my objection. It’s a no. Don’t let me catch you encouraging this nonsense.
Fat Phobic Thrifting
If you are a straight sized person, please stop buying up plus sizes & altering them to fit. There are already precious few larger items available in thrift/charity shops and a shortage of affordable, size inclusive sustainable fashion. Watching slim folk who can literally buy things everywhere grabbing them all up is infuriating. You already have a feast, why must you have our crumbs too?
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It’s been a shitty couple of weeks and my patience is stretched pretty thin. Paper thin. So, when some random man started emailing pleading with me to get to know him there was no give left.
Variations of this happen all the time. To be a woman remotely online is to be seen as fair game. Wow, am I tired of it. Contrary to popular male belief the entire internet is not in fact a dating site. Men, I beseech you, please stop it. If you see an attractive woman online you don’t have to tell her. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we didn’t post that picture to lure strange men into our dms. Women do not exist to give you an opportunity to shoot your shot. We don’t want to know what you think of our bodies or what you’d like to do them. For the love of god, don’t tell us about your kinks.
Women do not owe you anything. You are not entitled to a chance, a reply or a second of our time. Listen to me, do not send that message. Don’t call us babe. Don’t type a bunch of kiss emojis and absolutely do not send a dick pic. No one wants to see any of it. What’s actually going to happen is immediate BLOCK. I mean this sincerely, take your creepy messages & fuck off.
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Last year was tough. Long covid/Pots really did a number on my already subpar health. It was hard to keep on top of even basic daily tasks. All aspects of my life suffered. In an effort to shake that not quite enough feeling I’ve raided the brain for my 2022 highlights.
I contributed to the book Rebel Bodies by Sarah Graham. It’s an incredible piece of work about the gender gap in healthcare. Sarah covers the intersections of gender, weight, age & disability whilst deconstructing the barriers women & non binary people face when trying to access appropriate medical care. I am so proud to share my story of medical weight stigma and be part of this book.
In April we took my Mum on a birthday trip to Salzburg. She had a big birthday at the end of 2021 & we wanted to do something special. Mum loves The Sound of Music & has always talked about going to Salzburg. This year, she finally got there and it was magical. We stayed at Schloss Leopoldskron, where the movie was filmed, took a private Sound of Music tour and had a generally amazing time. Salzburg is incredibly beautiful and taking Mum on her dream holiday was wonderful.
At the very beginning of ‘22 I was a guest on the Anti Diet Club podcast. The pod creators Gillian Wilson and Tamsin Broster are dedicated to helping others divest from diet culture. I love the work they do and was honoured that they considered my voice worth hearing. It is such a pleasure to connect with others who are committed to fighting fat phobia.
This summer I got to revive a love from my youth. I thought festivals were a thing of the past for me, but thank to TRNSMT’s comprehensive accessibility accommodations I was back in the game. Watching bands, whilst sipping cider in the sun with my bestie & sister made me feel 22 again. Screaming along with The Strokes as the the sun went down was such a highlight.
This one might seem small, but felt significant to me. The Guardian journalist Martin Belam recommended me in his Friday Reads. Having a writer I respect enjoy my work enough to share it felt good. Especially in a year when my health has interfered with my creative output.
Last, but never least is of course being an Auntie. It is my biggest joy. I am so excited to watch all of my niblings grow. Last year they continued to surprise & impress. I am endlessly grateful to be part of their lives.
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That back to reality January feeling is setting in. I don’t believe in all the New Year resolution stuff, but it is hard to fight the taking stock of the year past urge. I’m trying not to give way to January blues & those nagging feelings of not having achieved quite enough. Before I get stuck into conquering 2023 I’m sharing some joyous outfits I ended last year in.
For my sister’s birthday dinner I wore this swishy number. It’s a Christmas gift from my Mum & she got it so right. I feel instantly fancy when I slip it on. It is super comfortable and makes me look glam all at once. I love it.
More relaxed, but no less me is this leopard maxi. Another Xmas gift, this time form my sister. I love the tiered skirt, the print and how I can throw it on & still look put together. I’m loving how well my people know me.
Last, but not least we have the cutest bralette ever to exist. It’s so too pretty to be only underwear. Thus, I like to show it off with a variety of low cut items and sometimes even just some high waisted knickers. I defy anyone not to get a boost from pulling a superhero pose in lovely lingerie.
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Yup, you guessed it, it’s my obligatory ‘you’re body is ok’ post. With diet ads hounding every platform & the industry hacks espousing all the usual lies & misinformation. Just in case you don’t hear it anywhere else, I want to say it loud and clear; YOU DO NOT NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT.
You don’t have to work off any festive indulgence. Your liver & kidneys do all the detoxing your body requires. You can move your body in ways that you enjoy with no reference to size reduction. You don’t need an app, course or gym bro to monitor what you eat or how you live. You are wonderful and capable. Your body is incredible.
If the yearly onslaught is inducing a wobble or you are new to body acceptance here are a few basic, but effective tips.
Stop consuming anything that makes you feel bad. No, I do not mean food. You eat whatever your body needs. What you must cut is magazines, social media, films etc that give you the idea that you’re not enough. A little trickier, but important is to include people in this step. Create boundaries around weight loss/body critical talk. Enforce them. I cannot articulate how big a difference this made to my self esteem. When you are constantly bombarded with the message that there is something wrong with your size, it sinks in.
Replace all that negative chatter with joyful body positive content. Fill your feeds with happy fat people living their lives to the max. Educate yourself on fat politics. Learning how wrong the things we’re taught about fat bodies is a revelation. As is witnessing people with bodies like yours succeeding.
Explore your body. Look at yourself. Discover how you look in different clothes, in your undies, naked. Let yourself see what you like. Question what bothers you about the parts that you don’t. Practise being kind to yourself. Appreciate the magic of all that your body allows you to do. Touch yourself. Get comfortable with your softness. You will be amazed at how many aspects of your body you already already value.
Of course unlearning a lifetime of conditioning will take time & work, but these are tried & tested first steps. You are more than enough. Go forth & love yourself.
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Christmas is a funny old time. We’re all feeling sentimental and emotions are heightened. I struggled a little this year, but still had a beautiful Christmas Day.
I got all dressed up for Christmas with family & friends. We had lots of food, presents & excited children. I feel loved & grateful for having such wonderful people in my life. Especially that I am blessed with so many niblings to adore. I’m equally thankful that I can spend the post festivity stretch ensconced in jammies & cosy socks.
I know this time of year can be hard for a multitude of reasons. Xmas is all about children and I find myself dwelling on how different my life could be. There are so many reminders of what I have lost. If these past weeks have been arduous, I hope you were able to have as merry a time as possible. If merry is a stretch, then I wish you peace & a better new year.
Last Thursday our teachers were on strike (solidarity!), so the little ones had a bonus day off. We decided to make the most of it with a wee woodlands adventure.
Unfortunately the Scottish weather did not play ball. The outdoor portion of day was cut short due to a downpour. The little ones were undaunted & Auntie ly discovered she is cute in the rain. Win, win.
I opted for layers to combat the changeable weather. Starting with my incredible leopard dungarees, adding anything cosy & topping it all off with a waterproof. I think I achieved the correct balance between practical & crazy auntie.
We rounded up the day watching the choppy sea from the cosy car & it was perfect.
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