No Mani for You Fatty

Decorate your body, or don't, at any size!  It's your choice!
Decorate your body, or don’t.  It’s your choice.

Update:  Thanks to feedback from readers on this blog, they’ve taken down this highly offensive piece, and made an apology on Facebook.  Way to go y’all!

Reader Thea sent me an article that expresses a sentiment that I’m disturbed to say I’ve been seeing more of.  In the article, titled “Don’t Hate Me” a woman, who obviously knows that her actions are hateful, waxes on about a *gasp* fat women who dares to go to the same nail salon and…wait for it…gets a manicure.  She wonders why someone who is so far outside the beauty ideal would bother having her nails done.   She says: (trigger warning for general and specific fat hating jackassery and conflation of weight and health)

My point again? Hasn’t something gone wrong when pretty pink nails make someone feel better about their high blood pressure? When a serum helps someone ignore the cell mutations taking place in their body? When a good foundation helps someone smile through their insulin shot?  I adore beauty products and they are truly there for all of us, no matter what our short comings. But priorities! Please.

First of all, how dare she make health assumptions about someone she doesn’t know and then seek to deny them happiness on the basis of her rectal pull guesses when even if she had all of their medical records in front of her this would be wildly inappropriate?  How dare she call fat bodies – amazing fat bodies that breathe and blink and live – shortcomings.  And how dare she suggest that someone who uses insulin (or any other medicine) doesn’t deserve beauty products. What the actual fuck!?  Something has “gone wrong” here but it’s not with any of the people in her examples.

Even if we ignore the fact that body size and health are two different things, neither body size nor health should be considered a litmus test for whether or not we can dress, adorn, and  decorate our bodies.  Just like I have no obligation to comport myself so that men want to have sex with me, I have no obligation to take a pass on beauty products because my body doesn’t meet some artificial stereotype of beauty.

The idea that there is some sort of health hurdle that we have to jump to “deserve” a manicure or good foundation is ridiculous beyond all reason.  I kind of wish I could ask her – how far does it go? If being fat means that, in her estimation, I shouldn’t get a manicure or wear foundation, should I just stop brushing my teeth as well?  Should I run gravel through my hair instead of Herbal Essences?  Screw that.

And let’s not forget that there are tremendous social benefits to meeting the arbitrary standard of beauty, including being passed over in hiring and promotions, based on the stereotype that we lack discipline and ambition and are lazy and unkempt.  One of the ways to mitigate that prejudice (which we absolutely should not have to do) is through clothes (though well fitting appropriate clothes are not always accessible to us), and grooming.  So what this woman is actually saying is that fat people should not have options for attempting to get social standing through traditional means.

Tragically this woman is a mother with two daughters and runs a health center. Talking about her feelings toward her body in one piece she says “And I’m female so I’m never happy!” though according to her bio “it’s safe to say she understands health, beauty and well being from the inside out.”  I beg to differ based on a preponderance of the evidence.  It is a good reminder that so much of the health and beauty advice we get is delivered by people who are supremely damaged by our effed up society, and by identifying and disregarding it we can help to stop the cycle.

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150 thoughts on “No Mani for You Fatty

  1. You know, I bet she supports the fantastic programs that help women with cancer to access wigs and beauty/makeup services in the “Look better, Feel better” type programs that are available as part of many cancer hospitals. And that’s how you can tell that the sentiments are bigotry, not actually related to “health” as she is trying to imply.

    It seems that her implication is that if you’re fat then 100% of your life and energy (emotional and other) should be dedicated to getting thin until you either get thin or die. What a very very sad and scary way to live 😦

    1. I was going to leave a very similar comment as I have had cancer and my hair is still only 1cm long at most. Would I have been expected to just grin and bear all the aesthetic unpleasantness of having no eyebrows etc to get my priorities right (no manicures for me as the chemo has destroyed my nails)?

      Feeling good about oneself is a VERY large part of health – this silly woman really needs to wake up.

  2. Guess what? I’m deathfat. I’m also a nail polish blogger.

    Suck on that, hateful lady!

  3. I have but two words for the lady of the “Don’t Hate Me” article, and they are brought to her by the letters “F” and “U”.

  4. Hey, thanks for posting this. I’ve got a couple of hours to kill and I was using them to read the internet, but now I’m going to use some of the time to tell this woman where to get off.

    When I was undergoing chemotherapy, my eyebrow pencil – used to draw fake eyebrows – became really important to me. Fuck her if she thinks that sick people shouldn’t have little pleasures.

    She obviously hasn’t heard the one about sales of lipsticks going up in recessionary times, because little pleasures are what get people through big shit.

    1. Just wanted to add that, of course, I realise she’s not really talking about sick people. What she’s REALLY saying is that fat people should become shut-ins at home, where nobody else can see them.

    2. In my last year of graduate school, I’ve been mildly obsessed with painting my nails. During this pretty stressful time, I get to smile every time I see my nails (currently water marbled green and brown). And the process of painting my nails while watching Supernatural reruns is basically the most calming thing ever.

    1. I’d just like her to see that there is all of us on this side of the internet. And we’d like her to join us….but she better be sincere!

  5. Wow. I am just floored by this woman. Who does she think she is, to judge who may and who may not have their nails done?!
    I certainly hope her fat clients (and also the this ones who find her opinions offensive) start spending their mani money at another salon.

    1. I would. The gals who do my nails and my hair are both *le gasp* fat like me. If either them said something like this woman has I would have no problem going else where.

  6. Wow… Just, wow.
    I made the mistake of hunting down this article so I could read the whole thing. Didn’t make it halfway through before jumping to the comments. Idiot thing to do, I know; never read the comments! (Except here, of course!) That woman really is clueless, and it looks like all of her followers are, too! Even when presented with a very reasonable argument, she continues to spew the same bull.

    She talks about feeling better from the inside out… How is it possible for a woman to feel good inside, no matter whether she’s doing all this crap they say will make you thin or not, if she’s being torn apart in articles like this? This hate and judgement they heap on women who don’t fit into their little girls’ club isn’t helping – if anything it may just be doing the things they claim obesity does to a person!

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel pretty, no matter your size or health level. There IS something wrong with assuming you know someone’s health level based on whether they fit into your definition of pretty or not. And there’s nothing beautiful about this woman’s attitude.

    I just hope that this woman talked about in the article, whoever she is, finds your blog long before she finds this other woman’s. Because of your blog, and others like it, I can look at this article and think, “Wow, what a @#$%&” instead of taking her words to heart. If I listened to her, I would never feel beautiful or deserving of even basic care, because I’ll never be thin, so I’ll (according to her) never be healthy or accepted. Instead, I can look in the mirror and know that I’m beautiful.

    On the other hand, no amount of nail polish can make up for the ugly inside that writes articles like that.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel pretty

      I beg to differ. This is the root of the problem. The desire to look “pretty” is based on Lookism. If somebody is “pretty”, then somebody else has to be “ugly”. That’s how it works. A certain physical attribute is deemed desirable by mainstream society, then anything that deviates from that “norm” is viewed as unattractive. And no, everyone can’t be beautiful. In order to define what is “beautiful”, what is “unattractive” has to be established. This means some group of women, somewhere, will always be on the bottom.

      Freedom starts when Lookism ends. Let’s get over this beauty crap and judge ourselves and each other by the content of our character, as if should be.

  7. GAH RAGEN. I just left a pissy comment on her article. I never do stuff like that because I hate confrontation like a burning thing. As always you call things like they are. I wish I could be less afraid to speak out on these issues.

  8. I found the blog, sent a reply. Now I have to force myself to not go back to look for responses. (Must…not…read…comments…)

    What I wrote:

    “I hope this lady reads your article and comes back to your salon every single week with five more fat friends. There are so many, many people who spew so much shame, so much bigotry, and so much judgement about what size someone ought to be, before being “allowed” to live his/her life as he/she chooses. Maybe this lady knows exactly how prejudiced you are, and chooses to continue to live her life in the face of your (and others’) bigotry, as one small act of revolution.

    She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. She doesn’t need to wear her health numbers stapled to her forehead in order to “pass”. She knows perfectly well what size her butt is, and whose butt it is and is not. ”

    “There is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which might be well worth trying…we might all try minding our own business.” ——C.S. Lewis

    1. I wonder where this piece of garbage works. Maybe it has a Yelp listing where potential clients can be warned about such unprofessionalism.

  9. Ragen-Thank you once again for providing a filter for this nonsense. As another commenter said, before I found your blog I would have taken this women’s statements to heart and could have allowed it to trigger a lot of self hate. Now I am able to see if for the bs that it is. Thanks for all that you do!

  10. Forehead to desk. What makes me really sad: that she can write something like this and still get clients of any size. Bigotry is bigotry, not matter where it’s focused.

  11. Thank you so much for posting this! I am appalled and saddened and so angry that this woman would shame someone who just came in to give herself a nail treatment. I mean WTF? Another issue is: why do women shame and humiliate, their fellow womankind? The fanatical quest for being perceived as only beautiful if a woman is thin is ludicrous beyond belief so why do so many women buy into it? I am so happy to read your posts which provided sanity for us to navigate through insane situations. More power to the woman getting her nails done- you are beautiful!

    1. why do women shame and humiliate, their fellow womankind?

      Because that’s what the Patriarchy teaches us to do.

  12. Wow…that’s a WHOLE new level of..I don’t even know what!
    How can this woman say she loves her body “inside and out” and also say that because she is a Female “of course she’s unhappy!”
    I know people of MANY sizes AND Genders that are happy with their bodies, or unhappy. It’s across the scale (pun intended)
    And the nail thing?
    What the Ever Loving Fuck….
    My Fiance and I got a couple’s massage the other day. SUPER nice spa. We were even offered complimentary Campaign and chocolate dipped Strawberries with our nice hour long Massage.
    They do Nails there as well, and have the Biggest, most luxurious and ACCOMMODATING chairs I have ever seen.
    When I arrived at my lovely 265lbs they didn’t say “Oh we gotta get out the big table for this one!” Or on the tour of their facility they did not ONCE say that these services are only available for smaller people. Heck they had this like giant body wrap simulator that should have come with it’s own Avatar, and my fiance was fascinated with it, but they didn’t say it had a weight limit. NOTHING did!
    When we walked in to the couple’s massage suite and our male and female masseuses were standing at attention waiting for us respectively, They didn’t think “eww a fat person!” they were nice! And VERY good at their jobs. Heck the female masseuse that worked on my fiance was of a larger size, and she was wonderful. He didn’t feel any less indulged because a larger woman was giving him a massage, he was just happy to be pampered. And the man that was massaging me was not shunned or disgusted bu my folds or fat, he massaged it expertly and made me feel what I PAID to go there and feel which was pampered.

    I may go and get my nails AND toes done in pure protest of this woman’s stupidity.

    Last I checked getting ANY beauty treatment whether it be the mundane of buying make up, to a full spa day, I have never seen a sign, nor a refusal of service based on a person’s size.
    Perhaps this woman needs to be informed of this.
    Or better yet, maybe SHE shouldn’t be allowed to get HER nails done anymore for incomparable Stupidity…

  13. I was tempted to go find her blog and post a response, but I do not need to see that kind of hatred and bigotry today. Suffice it to say, I don’t care if she thinks I am worthy of having a manicure or using good foundation. If I want to paint my nails or put on makeup, I’m going to do it. If I want to wear something colorful, I’m going to wear it. She can spend her time being hateful while I’m out enjoying life. That’s how I can negate her impact on the world – live happily in my own body just as it is.

      1. ❤ back at you! 🙂 I'm having a bit of an off day at work, so I don't need to add anything to it. I do think I'll go home tonight and paint my nails. 🙂

    1. I’d be at the first of the line to boycott her. Business owners like this need to get their heads out of their asshats and learn how to respect all people.

  14. Some days, you can’t win. First, you hear all these things about how you SHOULD be wearing nice clothes and doing your makeup so people will not mistake fat for slovenly, then you’re told that until you’ve shucked off 100 pounds, you don’t deserve to look as though you have social standing. Maybe the fat lady just lost 3 pounds at her Weight Watchers meeting and was rewarding herself with something besides food! I mean, I KNOW that’s beside the point, but I’m pointing out how this, in addition to its pure bigotry, undermines the thing she pretends she’s trying to encourage. So also hypocrisy. And lack of compassion. Closing in on evil.

  15. TRIGGER WARNING. DEPRESSION AHEAD. But with a happy ending.

    Eight years ago, I was not the fierce, fabulous fatty you know and love today. In point of fact, I was profoundly depressed, completely broke, and utterly lost. A long string of disasters had left me in a complete mental mess. Both Mr. Twistie and I were unemployed, too. I was bingeing when I could get enough food to do so. I wasn’t moving from my computer chair. Walking to the end of the block left me breathless and gasping for air. I had lost lifelong friends because I couldn’t make myself pick up the phone and call them. I was headed down the proverbial toilet at breakneck speed and I saw no way out.

    You know what turned it around? Well, one day a friend got me a ticket to the Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. It’s like a Renaissance Faire, only set in Victorian London. But you know the drill: costumed performers, craft booths, etc.

    One of those booths was for a clothing designer called Steven Overstreet. His clothes are just my particular speed. They’re made of sumptuous velvets and silks, cut in ways that would make Stevie Nicks drool, and trimmed with lavish braids, beads, feathers, and spectacular buttons. The fabrics are all hand dyed, and Steven is a master dyer.

    I couldn’t resist walking in and looking at these gorgeous clothes. Oh, I knew I couldn’t wear them, of course. Things like this never come in my size, and what’s more even if I could have afforded them and even if they came in my size, what the hell business did I have thinking I was worth it? Yes, that’s how depressed I was.

    As I admired a gorgeous velvet cloak with an amazing part faux fur/part feather edging, a very pretty (and thin) salesclerk came up and asked me if I wanted to try it on. I said no, but she kept hanging around the edges of me occasionally coaxing me to give it a try. It took a while, but she wore down my resistance and I let her help me on with the cloak.

    I broke out in a huge grin, and at the same time I just about burst into tears. For the first time in a couple years, I saw the old me. I suddenly saw someone who deserved nice things, who could be pretty, who dared to be outrageous just to see how people would react. I saw that I was – right then, at that weight, unemployed and everything – still a person who could matter.

    I spent the rest of the day trying on clothes. They all fit!! I didn’t care if a style ‘flattered’ me or not. I didn’t care if it was something I would actually wear walking down the street or not. I just needed to know these clothes could be mine if I could someday get some money together. April (the girl who coaxed me into the cloak) and the other salesclerks had a blast helping me put outfits together. I was like the booth mascot.

    The single best moment of the entire day was when Steven himself got a huge grin on his face and said: “You know who you remind me of in that? Kate Hepburn in The Lion in Winter.”

    The next day, the bingeing stopped. I started going on daily walks. I got better at communicating with friends. The next season, I worked Steven’s booth and earned enough money to buy a spectacular velvet gown that I pull out and wear any time I start feeling down about myself. It reminds me that I’m worthy, that I deserve nice things, and that I’m pretty damn fabulous. It’s taken a long time and a lot of work to be the person you all know and love, and every single fucking day I thank April and Steven for nudging me onto the path that brought me where I am today.

    Reading about this sorry excuse for a human being, all I can think is that if I’d run into her before I met April and Steven, today I would probably be a fading stain on a sidewalk somewhere instead of a fierce, fabulous, fat acceptance activist.

    Little things can make that big a difference.

    1. DOOD, you rule. 😀 And now I kinda wanna try Steven’s clothes. (And Dark Garden’s corsets, but I’ve lusted over their stuff since ’96.) Why, oh, why do I have to be in the most boring metro area ever?

      Also, why are spectacular velvet gowns not acceptable fuck-you-I’m-going-shopping wear?

      1. Honey, I have worn my spectacular velvet gown as a fuck-you-I’m-going-shopping dress. I don’t do it often, but there are times when things Simply Need To Be Done.

        1. I adore anything Victorian and have often said, “Why can’t I go shopping dressed in Victorian clothing,” as I look at my son who dresses up as Darth Vader, Spider Man and sometimes even a Rocket Ship just to go to the store. My husband’s response is always, “Who says you can’t?” 🙂

          1. This site belongs to Jillian Venters:

            She dresses in Victorian Goth styles EVERY DAY. She decided a long time ago to be herself and not worry about what other people think.

            Please check out her blog for discussions of self-acceptance and dealing with jerks. You don’t have to be a goth to appreciate her advice and sympathy.

          2. Oh AmeliaJade, who says you can’t, indeed! That’s precisely why I adopted the habit of wearing fabulous hats everywhere I go. I’ve also been known to pull a Sebastian Flyte and carry a teddy bear with me just because. The expressions on the faces of the people I pass are quite illuminating. Some of them grin happily at having seen something fun, some glare and clearly consider me some sort of danger to the Proper Order of Things, but the thing I seem to see more than anything else is a kind of wistful envy. I think quite a few people would like to have the guts to just dress as they please.

            Your husband is right; you should give it a try sometime. If you need a sister in crime, I’m right here.

      1. All I could think when I read Regan’s post was ‘what would have happened to me if I’d met this woman instead of April?’ People need to understand that small gestures can have huge consequences, both for good and for ill.

    2. Twistie, I love you so much! You are spectacular! I am so happy you found Steven and April. You are an inspiration!

      I’ve been avoiding the Ren Fest just down the road from my house because I wish to vend there but can’t afford it (I make chainmaille jewelry). I have just been inspired to go this year and to work on a way to (at least) “Guest Vend” for a weekend next year!

    3. Twistie, my dear lady, I love you, heart and soul. I am so glad you are around. You made me cry happy tears for you. Thank you for being here to be an inspiration to me – to ALL of us. *hugs* You are, without exception, amazing.

      1. (Hugs you back… and you front)

        The really amazing one was April. Somehow she knew what I needed in that moment and had both the delicacy and tenacity to keep at it until I got what I needed to start living again. When we run into one another at Fair, to this day there are hugs and all kinds of love.

    4. Ok, so I totally wasn’t expecting to have to seek out the tissues. This is a fantastic story and completely drives home the point we’re all trying to make. Thanks for sharing!

    5. Beautiful story of recovery and self acceptance. I’m going to have to look this designer up. Nothing like some outrageously fun clothes to shake you out of a funk.

      1. His web site has been down for a couple years, but if you do Renaissance Faires and their ilk in the Western US, you might just run across him.

    6. I love what you said. I have actually found a very cool and pretty reasonable Canadian website that sells fabulous clothes. I love the Ren Faire look and these clothes totally rock that look. They are mostly in sizes that run up to 5x. I have been buying these clothes and love the way I look. It is fun to live your fantasy. The website has an odd name- Holy Clothing- I do not know why it is called that- their is no religious or spiritual aspect to these clothes, just capes, flowing dresses, corset type tops and very cool stuff! They also have a FB page. Anyway, these clothes made me feel good about myself again and they have sizes to fit all of us. Just thought I would share this! I did not mean to get off topic.

      1. I don’t think it’s so off topic. Little things like finding pretty clothes and getting our nails done can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves. Finding designers and hairdressers and massage therapists and manicurists who don’t judge and who make their services inclusive are fantastic.

        Sort of like the ones who make it their mission in life to exclude us need to be brought to light so we can do our best to avoid them… and help our friends avoid them, too.

        Also? Holy Clothing makes some freaking awesome clothes!

  16. Wait a second, perhaps she’s on to something. Maybe our doctors could start checking our polish instead of our BMI. Certainly less invasive. And probably says as much about our health, if not more! I think I might submit a paper on this to the Lancet.

    1. Even that would get twisted. If we don’t polish our nails, obviously we’re fat because we are overeating due to depression and need counseling. If we do polish our nails, then we’re in denial about our weight and need counseling.

  17. This reminds me of the reception my mother and I got when we attempted to go with my sister to her gym. (I was home visiting them.) I’m a woman of size, hit my gym regularly and feel comfortable with all the machines and equipment. My mom wanted to ride an exercise bike while my sister did her workout.

    The absolute disdain and incredulity that the owner of the gym (who was working the front desk) had towards both of us was insulting and offensive. She just couldn’t seem to believe that maybe people in her preferred demographic a) wanted to work out in her gym and b) felt comfortable *using* a gym. I was so taken aback, I didn’t have words to respond to her attitude, sadly. My sister was embarrassed that she acted that way and is probably going to switch gyms now…

    We’re fat, people. And a lot of times, we do things just like everyone else. Get over it!!

  18. I love nail polish. I collect it, I do nail art, I happily paint friends’ and family members’ nails on request. In fact, I just got done adding holographic purple roses to my pastel purple nails. It’s fun and relaxing and makes me feel pretty when the constant bombardment of “You’re ugly and worthless, fatty” gets to me. Screw the bigots who think I should magically turn invisible so as not to offend their delicate sensibilities- I may not be able to afford fabulous clothes, but I can rock fabulous nails that draw “Oh my god, where did you get those done?” comments!

    Toes are a different matter, giving yourself an awesome pedicure is hard. The ladies at the salon down the street don’t seem to mind fat business at all though, and the chairs are plenty big enough for my ample behind. Definitely going back there and telling my friends about it.

  19. My mother, who is not fat and who eats minimal junk food and maximal fruits and vegetables, has had serious high blood pressure for her entire adult life. (She currently juggles five different blood pressure medicines to keep it within an acceptable range.) What does that do to Ms. Don’t-Hate-Me’s health paradigm?

  20. My MIL takes her 95 year old stepmom to get a perm every six months. Can you believe the nerve? I mean, she’s far too old to be beautiful. How can she think of getting a perm when she’s so frail? Talk about messed up priorities. /sarcasm.

    I was thinking of having a fat pedicure to help me relax, but it’s difficult to justify when my cholesterol is so high. You know a pedicure will raise my cholesterol. Oh, wait…no, it has nothing to do with my cholesterol. It must be the rage making me incoherent.

  21. Wow, what a bitch! Let’s get past her fake concern-trolling about these women’s health, because let’s face it, this person and others like her do NOT care about the health and well-being of fat people. She is using the “health” angle to express her disgust and hatred. As a person who struggles with ED thinking and tendencies, it bothers me that so many of these people justify their hatred for larger people by expressing a phony concern for “health.” Worse yet, so many people jump on the bandwagon and now we live in a world where people are concern-trolling fat pets! To clarify, in my ED-inclined mind, I interpret the concern-trolling as “Turn into a skeleton, you are ugly” or something like that. I’ve never been the kind of girl who liked doing my nails or makeup, but man, that woman is every bad stereotype of a vain, shallow person.
    P.S. My dad, who is thin/average, has high blood pressure and cholesterol, and he had a stroke at 45 because of a genetic problem. These things are not exclusive to fat people, so again, people should stop the fake “health” bullshit.

  22. People like this person truely make me ill. 😦 I find it very sad that there are such judgemental and ignorant people out there who really dont have a clue about basic human needs and rights. Everyone of us is an individual. Not a single person on this planet is an absolute perfect carbon copy of another, not even twins are exact copies of each other. So how can you expect all people to fit some unrealistic ( and often unhealthy) concept of beauty? Differant strokes for differant folks…. Whats good for one is not always good for another.

    It upsets me that such a basic concept is so often unknown or just plain ignored by the majority of the populous. It should be taught, maintained, and enforced in our school systems and our homes instead of the “shame and humiliate” techniques so often employed by teachers as well as parents and peers. If there is to be any hope for the mental and emotional health of the next generation (and ours) its a lesson that needs to be lived as well as taught to others. The fact that acceptance is a basic human right and not a privledge should be the first lesson every individual should learn.

  23. Wow, difficult to believe someone in a health profession can manage to judge so harshly. Would you mind including the link to her article when you mention it in your post?

    I think the most compelling point of this blog post comes right at the end:

    “Tragically this woman is a mother with two daughters and runs a health center. Talking about her feelings toward her body in one piece she says “And I’m female so I’m never happy!” though according to her bio “it’s safe to say she understands health, beauty and well being from the inside out.” I beg to differ based on a preponderance of the evidence. It is a good reminder that so much of the health and beauty advice we get is delivered by people who are supremely damaged by our effed up society, and by identifying and disregarding it we can help to stop the cycle.”

    I’d love to read more of your thoughts on this, and I think you could make an entire blog post based on this subject alone: taking a second look at those who deal judgement, and realizing that they too are both victims and proponents of a generational mindset passed down to them from their mothers, who inherited it from their mothers before them. Our goal should be to end that cycle in our generation, and to tell our daughters that being “strong” and “beautiful” is important, and that those words have absolutely nothing to do with what you can see from the outside.

    This is something every woman, no matter what size, needs to hear and pass on: have compassion on those who look down on you, for they too are “supremely damaged.” Invest in a mindset of healing and love towards all women, and towards men as well. Because, just as this judgmental woman has no idea of the medical history of those she sees in a nail salon, we likewise have no way to know what emotional damage has gone on in the life of this “medical professional” to shape her this way.

  24. What the actual fuck?! You’re too fat to get your nails done…what the hell is wrong with that woman? NOTHING is size dependent, least of all getting a freaking manicure.

    I’m 30 weeks pregnant, my gallbladder is so fucked up they had to place a drainage tube (let me tell you how wonderful and beautiful that thing makes me feel) for the remainder of my pregnancy, I’m in near constant pain, and generally feel like crap. Last week, I took my fat, pregnant, sick self and got a pedicure, in public, I know how horrible of me. According to this woman since I’m not only fat but also sick I have no right at all to even consider doing something to make myself feel better. Screw her and everyone who thinks like her.

  25. Gee I have no idea what to do now but eat! Lol aren’t we fatties ways being told to take a bubble bath or get our nails done instead of reaching for that cookie?

    Hell I can understand not getting a pedicure because I can’t see past my own belly to admire it (wink)! But really, no mani?

    She sounds really hungry!

  26. As a fat person who lives with auto-immune disease, this pisses me off. It really is the little things that make all the difference. I know what makes me happy and helps me get through those times that I am either feeling low because of self-esteem or low because of chronic pain.

    Sometimes it is an iced coffee, sometimes it is yoga, sometimes it is watching a funny show with my kids, sometimes it is sitting in my garden with a book, sometimes it is buying something that makes me feel pretty, getting my hair colored or getting my nails done.

    Now here is some asshat saying I don’t deserve those things? I swear, some people will not be happy until we curl up and just die.

    I love how people think fat people are lazy slobs but when you head out to exercise in public they make fun of you or imply you don’t have a right to be in their gym or even running down their sidewalk. Fat people are supposedly sloppy and unkept but now we can’t even try to look nice if we don’t meet the prerequisite of being skinny? WTF?

    1. We are definitely given the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” signals, aren’t we? How about they stay out of our underwear and let us live our lives? If they don’t like how we look, then look away. Meanwhile, we can smile at each other and appreciate one another.

    2. Fuck ’em. Haters gonna hate, and we’re gonna be in pain whether we like it or not. (Fibro, RA/SLE, and chronic migraines here, with some other, occasionally life-threatening non-pain stuff thrown in for shits and giggles.) One thing I’ve found that’s fun is when people start getting nasty or won’t stop staring, I’ll take out my Oxycodone, grin, and start popping pills. Of course, it may or may not be an Oxycodone bottle full of mini Altoids or something similar, but who are they to know that? Usually shuts people up pretty quick.

      Yes, the number of fucks I give is indeed a negative. I quit caring about the time I looked back on my life and went, “Huh. That didn’t work out very well.” (Things have been going much better since!)

      1. This is exactly why I recently posted my resolution to not give a flying rat’s ass about other people’s opinions of me. In the short period since I publicly posted that and actually started practicing it, life has gotten so much better. More power to us!

        1. As someone who just a year ago ended up in the hospital for overdosing on my blood pressure meds, I can tell you that is a Very Bad Idea. >< I was using an old prescription bottle for my daily meds and on my way out the door I grabbed the wrong one. Downed the whole bottle in one shot and just as they were headed down my throat, I thought – wow; that does not feel right. Looked at the label, and BAM. Took myself straight to the ER. Thank God for activated charcoal. I never thought I'd be the one to make that mistake. NEVER use a prescription bottle for anything but the prescription it's labeled for. The potential accidents are just too horrendous to contemplate.

          1. Wow- that must have been terrifying. Good quick thinking on your part! I agree that we all have to be super careful about what containers we use for our meds! Glad you are ok.

            1. Thanks. I will say I was stupid to have driven myself to the hospital because I really had no idea how quickly that number of pills could have affected me. I could have passed out and had a serious accident on the way there. God was watching out for me!

              1. We all do the Stupid sometimes with that sort of thing. The adrenaline takes over. I once drove myself to the ER while I was having a serious laryngospasm which made it feel like I was trying to breathe through a cocktail straw.

                1. And Mr. Twistie drove himself to the ER when he had appendicitis. In fact he actually turned down the ride his best bud offered him!

                  I would have insisted on taking the wheel except for that pesky bit about my not having a driver’s license, what with my utter inability to not be a menace to all life on the road. Seriously, everyone was better off with the guy whose appendix was about to burst doing the driving. But he could have just freaking accepted a ride from our friend.

                  1. I once drove myself to and from work with a severe concussion. All I knew was that I’d whanged my head the day before, and I didn’t feel right, and suddenly I was home and my car was there. In retrospect, I have vague memories of navigating the busiest street in town while my vision swam in and out. Thank Elvis I left work at the deadest time of day.

          2. Yeah, you have to be careful and a wee bit reckless to do it. That’s one reason I like using mini Altoids. The scent is so strong that I know immediately which bottle I’ve got, and the flavor is unmistakable. I also pop them one at a time, so I know straight off if I’ve got a delicious mouthful of mint, or a delicious mouthful of opiate.

            Yipe, I’m glad you got to the ER in time! OD’ing is so, so scary, and I’ve accidentally done it more than I care to admit, and on various substances for a bizarre array of reasons. I use a weekly pill box for my daily meds now, but at one time, I had a tendency to take them twice about once a month. Finally started using the box when I went on a weekly med that, if taken daily, would kill me. (No maybe there. WOULD. KILL. ME.) It’s helped SO much. And no more wondering what I’ve taken, and hoping I’m not going to have another meltdown because I’ve taken three times my dosage of something again.

          3. Wow, I’m glad you got there in time. That’s definitely scary. I always take a good long look at my meds before they go in my mouth, that way I can make sure I’m taking the right thing. I’m on so many ‘take as needed’ meds I have to make sure I’m taking the correct one.

            1. Oh, I felt SO stupid. I’m blessed I was close to a hospital. You should have seen me trying to explain to the staff that this was NOT a suicide attempt, just a stupid, STOOPID move. Thankfully they got it or I might have gotten a 72-hour hold.

              1. Good thing they listened to you! I probably won’t be putting Altoids in my oxycodone bottle until after I no longer need the oxycodone, which should only be a few more weeks…I hope.

  27. Sounds like this c… osmetologist is projecting some of her unhappiness with her own femininity on fat clients who–oh, no!–dare to buck social law and feel comfortable in their own skins. In her rage, I sense some, “Well, I have to be miserable, so they should, too!” Which makes no fucking sense. But, then, I suppose that kind of thing is never rational.

    I wonder how much jealousy is involved in fat hatred with regards to well-dressed, well-groomed fat people, especially women, who openly buck social pressure and choose to make an effort to love themselves. While we *are* usually treated better, more like people than inconvenient ghosts, when we’re dressed up, I’ve still felt an air of resentment from some people at my fancy-yet-badass self. (You should see the looks I’ve gotten from other customers when I order a drink in a nice restaurant–and actually know what I’m ordering! How the hell should a FAT girl know anything but a chocotini??? Which is NOT a martini, DAMN IT! If anything, it should be a dessert cocktail.) I suspect that some of the resentment stems from jealousy at our ability to break some of the unwritten social laws that are supposed to keep people, especially women from getting “uppity.”

    Oh, and Ragen, that pic of you is SMOKING hot. 😀 Just had to say that!

    1. Yeah, people do seem to take it personally when we dare go out in public and do things, anything. I do some of my grocery shopping at a healthy food store and my goodness, people seem to get offended at my very presence. I never knew buying tomatoes was something so controversial. And if I go in there even remotely dressed up people act like I just broke the law. I find their attitudes really silly.

  28. I really wish you’d name her business…..

    She would have loved me about 3 years ago. I was (still am) fat and bald, going through chemo. No eyebrows. No eyelashes. AND NO FREAKING WIG…..but I DID get my nails done. It made me feel pretty and that’s a hard thing to feel when chemo has wiped your identity away.

  29. Holy trolling, Batman! At least, I hope to God she’s trolling. Excuse me, gonna go paint my nails bright aqua-blue with a pearl top coat.

  30. Now that I am fully able to comment after being gobsmacked by the toxic stupid that that article has spilled all through the internet, I can now ask “Cell mutations? What the hell does that have to do with manicures? What the hell does that have to do with anything?” Actually, that can be expanded to “What the hell does having high blood pressure or being diabetic have to do with getting a goddamn manicure?”, but… I’m still stuck on the “cell mutations” part. What the hell does that even mean? Is that like the “fat people are pushed down by gravity” meme, where it doesn’t make any sense but got repeated enough times that people think it does?

    Even the part of the article that you quoted is absolutely vile. And as for that “I’m a female, so I’m never happy” quote? Simply facepalm-worthy, but no longer surprising.

    1. Does “cell mutations” refer to that nonscientific crap about obesity causing cancer? I can’t see the “I’m never happy” bit having anything to do with being female, but it sure has a lot to do with being this woman!

    2. In order to be “all-inclusive” the author not only focuses on large women but also smokers and “sugar addicts” (though I’m not sure who qualifies as one of those).

      The quote goes “Then there are the skinny 20 somethings who SMOKE! Why do they spend hard earned bucks on skin care, then smoke? They may as well put a match to the dollar notes and smoke them.”

      The real meaning of the article, when you get down to it, is that the author doesn’t think we should prioritize beauty if we aren’t taking care of our health. She just chose to say it in an offensive, shaming sort of way. It’s pretty ironic if you think about it, seeing as how she starts out her article using the kind of comments that have driven people to wreck their bodies in the pursuit of being thin. It’s actually kind of sad.

      But I digress. Anyway, the cell mutations comment was a nod at the smokers.

      1. Thanks for clarifying. I will also point out that she is suggesting, incorrectly, that the size of a person’s body can be all the evidence that you need to know whether or not they are not prioritizing their health.


        1. Exactly! Which is why, regardless of the point she was trying to make, the post was still BS. The author seemed to think I was angry because I didn’t fully understand what her point was so she responded to me in a “but I’m only saying these things for your own good” kind of way. But I understood what she was saying. Loud and clear.

          I hope she realizes that the backlash she experienced wasn’t because she was “harsh” or not politically correct. But because of the erroneous assumptions she used to try and support her claims. The sizism was blatant no matter how much she pointed to her “healthy habits are the best beauty enhancers” message.

          I just think that the real tragedy here is if she doesn’t take this as an opportunity to grow and learn about a group of people she previously dismissed. It would be sad if she walks away from this thinking she was victimized by people who just didn’t get her (I know it’s more likely but still…).

          Don’t get me wrong. I’m still glad the post is down and now the website itself can go back to articles about nontoxic cosmetics and environmentally conscious small businesses and food. And I really want to say how awesome everyone is who commented here and spoke up on the article. Even the people who didn’t say anything but still sent good vibes our way. Thank you! It’s a small victory in the grand scheme of things I know. But it really meant a lot to me since that post invaded a place I go to to read positive things. So really, thank you

          But I think the real victory would be if the next time she sees that woman getting a manicure, she starts to see her in a different way. As a complex person deserving of respect rather than a weight statistic or as proof of the need for perpetuating her misguided ideals. Just a real person who likes pretty nails. Because that is all you can know about her without speaking to her. If Melina Harrison could start to realize that, I think that would be pretty awesome. But in the end, it’s up to her.

          I’m just happy to have found the support I’ve been missing for a long time 🙂

  31. Her pomposity is not well-served by her obvious lack of grammar knowledge (if I may be snarky).

  32. “And I’m female so I’m never happy!” No, I don’t hate her, I pity her. I really do pity her. I pity anyone who feels that way, and I’m a bit angry that she would teach this idea to other women. I hope she has no daughters.

  33. It’s tricky… Not all sources that might mention weight loss are ultimately bad. I’m reading this book about eating to support the endocrine system and it barely mentions weight loss as a potential side effect but it still bugs me. The idea is that when everything is “working right” that one will be thinner which doesn’t sit right with me. But the science behind the functioning of the endocrine system is sound. So I am picking through those parts and honestly hoping I don’t loose weight because I like my body the way it is. This author redeems herself for the fact that she empowers women to use their bodies as tools to master their environment instead of endless projects to work on. From a gloria stienam quote I believe.

    And yes, this idea that being a woman is all about punishing yourself for not being an impossible ideal is colossally damaging and sad. It’s a radical, revolutionary act these days to love ones self as a woman.

  34. There are some females out there, whom I dubbed Useless Females at 16 and have seen nothing in my world travels to convince me otherwise, who only thrive off the low self-esteem of others. My HS was loaded with them which is why I was such a wreck in my teens. They’re like the opposite of Dementors because first they verbally tear you down until you’re producing only black waves of sadness and self-hatred, then they go in for the kill by saying, “I’m only telling you for your own good, just so you know what everyone else really thinks.” And they hang around until you’re just a smoking wreck of ex-possibility, telling you in a martyred way, “I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you.”

    That blogger ^^ is one of them. And I choose to ignore her because I will probably never meet her or interact with her and because it’s clear she would add nothing to my life.

    Still, when I read her little laughable quote, I thought, “Wow, I bet you’re the sort who thinks charities who make headscarves for women who lose hair from chemo are wasting their time too because hey, why hide that you’re bald? EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS…”

    1. A very accurate description of a particular type of sadistic person. They pretend to be martyrs, but they enjoy feeding off other people’s pain. They are quite the emotional vampires.

    2. I almost think I’d rather deal with a flat-out hateful douchebag than a for your own gooder. The ones who are doing it for your own good are horrible on a more insidious level.

  35. Just another example of how the DWF (no, wait, that looks like Divorced White Female or Demented Walrus Fangirl), I mean Dances With Fat blog commenters are collectively the most awesome group of commenters in all the interwebs. Keep on being strong and funny and awesome.

  36. Holy Hell, this has to be the most STUPIDEST bunch of fat-shaming comments I’ve ever read. I thought I heard it all until now. I really hope Melina Harrison loses some clients thanks to her hateful piece of shit. We should be able to live our lives and do mundane things too without others always having to constantly judge us. There are a lot more things to worry about than the size of my behind and what I put in my stomach!

  37. Honestly? If you want to put a not too fine point on it, there are any number of issues (strip mining, woman bashing, global warming, student debt, etc., etc., etc.) that are more important than this woman and her salon. I think she should comport herself accordingly and close and never be heard from or especially seen again for ever pampering anyone including herself. /sarcasm

  38. She sounds like she has a hate fetish for fat people. These are the people who spend all day thinking of creative ways they can discriminate, and hurt fat people. Yet, not realizing that all the time they’re fetishizing about what is wrong with fat people, they might as well be having a obsession about them. Like someone with a crush. It’s really fun to point out to these people that they think about fat people so much, they might as well be a fat fetishist, if only to have them panic in the realization that they’ve revolved their little lives around fat people. Thinking all day what is wrong with fat people, if someone really hated fat people, they wouldn’t want to think about their existence.

    This is a perverted form of thought regarding fat people. Whether you’re talking about a fat person’s body being sexy, or going over how their cells must be mutating, you’re still thinking about fat people all the time. I don’t know what causes this, but it’s really interesting. Spending all their time trying to convince themselves fat people are so horrible. I see this on Tumblr too. It sounds like they’re jealous that fat people have so much confidence in themselves, and want to drag them down, to bring themselves up. The common motive of the bully.

    I’m not sure if this has to do with an eating disordered pattern of thinking, I hear thin people cry that they can’t help hating fat people, their eating disorder makes them do it on Tumblr all the time. No offense to people with eating disorders, but using your disorder as a justification of hate, that’s wrong. Even if you can’t control those thoughts, you should be able not to say hurtful things. It’s another way bullies like this woman can justify their hatred.

    I think the best way to treat these people is to ignore them, then just walk out smiling with a proud stance. As if to say, “I know you’re just jealous that I am strong enough to be confident in this body, and you’re not as strong as I am.”

    1. It looks like she is just gone from the whole site, none of her posts are there and she is not on the list of Sophie’s Experts anymore (Sophie owns the site). 24 “experts” Sophie has invited and endorsed, but there were 25 yesterday. Sophie has tossed over Melina Harrison, or MH left on her own, but, either way, she is nonexistent on the site.

      And I hope she has learned something from the comments, but, seriously, if she got to her age with this proud contempt, it will be easy for her to rationalize her hate.

  39. How are dare we fat ppl take time off our 24/7 war against fat to *gasp* pretend we are just like everyone else?

  40. The blog owner is saying that she allowed the post was “The reason I decided to post the article (and I took a big breath before doing so,) was because I felt that it would be interesting to get a discussion started about priorities – I knew it would be a controversial discussion, and I wanted people to disagree or agree, as they saw fit. It was interesting to me that the issue of young girls smoking and buying beauty products never came up in the discussion.”

    I call bull on that. It smacks of insincerity to me.

    1. They’re seeking hits and engagement. The site owner posted this entry knowing it would stir up emotions and get the site lots of clicks and comments. Pot-stirring for fun and profit.

  41. I’m sorry but, in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing. Men (yes, MEN) are the puppetmasters of this crap. It seems everyone is very eager to attack this woman who is as much a victim of BS beauty standards as we are. She is simply repeating what she has been taught, just as many of you are, in turn, attacking her because it’s what you’ve been taught. I’d say there are much BIGGER fish to fry, like the man who blogged about how fat women should be sent to prison:

    1. That entire site is vomitous and full of men deliberately doing their best to foster rape culture and views of women as objects. Never going back to that filthy, putrid den of hate. May they fester in their own bile.

    2. You’re right. That article is much worse. I don’t want to say men are the problem because I know a lot of men who don’t think like they do on that site. But that mentality they are exhibiting is definitely horrendous. And Helena Handbasket, I also wish there was a like button on here. Your response was spot on.

    3. Hi CJ,

      Thank you for commenting, I absolutely support any choice you make about whether or not to participate in activism. The issue that I have with your comment is that, instead of simply opting out of this work and providing another opportunity for activism – which I’m all for – you chose to devalue the work that we’ve done here, stating your opinion about its importance as fact, and those things are not ok in this space.

      I also have a different opinion about the sentiment that you expressed.

      I think the idea that someone’s behavior should not be questioned because it’s “just what they’ve been taught” is derailing and has been used as a way to halt the progress of many civil rights activists, I saw it all the time when I lived in the South to justify all kinds of bigotry “That’s just how he was raised…”. There are many opportunities to learn that your behavior is bigoted and hurtful and putting something like the piece she wrote out in the world and then getting feedback is one of them.

      As I see it, the problem with suggesting that we shouldn’t work on one issue because there is another that is a “bigger fish” is that there will always be someone who feels that they see something that is “worse” than the issue that we are taking action on, by which logic in order to be doing activism “right” we have to find the single most important thing and then everyone has to work on it..

      While I acknowledged in the piece that this woman has been affected by our culture, I do not choose to see women as men’s puppets. I believe that she should still be held accountable – especially since she used her amplified voice as a blogger to write something that she felt the need to title “Don’t Hate Me” that started with the phrase “Maybe I’m a total cow for saying this…”, clearly having an understanding that her piece would be offensive to some. I think that the educational opportunity she received from this situation matched the intensity of her transgression and that this is a learning opportunity for her.

      I believe that there are plenty of opportunities for activism and spending valuable time criticizing the activism that others do as “not important enough”, instead of just doing the activism we believe in, stunts our progress as a movement by wasting resources and discouraging people from participating in activism that is meaningful to them.


      1. Hi Regan!

        I believe I need to clarify a few things.

        1. I wasn’t suggesting that she should be ignored and/or released from accountability. What I was trying to say is that the root of the problem needs to be addressed too. She says “Don’t hate me”, but it’s very clear that she hates herself. Now, why would that be so?

        2. It was not my intent to devalue your work. I was merely making an observation. That observation is this: the anger is misplaced. Not unjustifiable, mind you, but just misplaced. I believe there is, understandably, a deep-seated fear amongst women to confront the source of our oppression. It’s far easier to attack one another; there are no consequences (and a even a few rewards) for that type of thing (obviously, the author of that awful article is a prime example of this. she will likely receive many cookies from the doods she serves).

        3. I have experienced a great deal of bigotry in my life, so I’m not making the “That’s just the way they were raised” excuse. I’m making the “Minorities shouldn’t be judged as harshly for their behavior, due to their position on the totem pole” argument. I’m not sure how racism in the south plays into this because, where I’m from, being denied a “mani” would be filed under “white people problems”.

        3. I love your blog, and consider myself an activist, though I’ve never really used that label to describe myself. I’m more covert. 😀

  42. I started having pedicures because I can no longer bend my left hip enough to cut the toenails on that side. Once I was in the chair, why not add some green glitter? I like it when my feet sparkle and don’t snag on things. Even here in thin-centric Korea, not a single manicurist has given me guff about my size (or lousy Korean).

    1. Is the culture there conducive to better manners among locals? I am considering teaching ESL in Korea, so it’s interesting to hear about others in Korea.

      1. Mmm.. depends on the person. There are rude people here as there are anywhere else. Older people do not think it’s rude to point out that someone is fat or wearing (in their opinion) inappropriate clothing. Younger people are less likely to do that. Children– as anywhere– say whatever pops into their heads. (Oooh, look! A foreigner!)

        1. Yeah, I agree with this. I got very few comments on my weight though, only one person who really made a what I kind of saw as harmless but kind of embarrassing comment. You will notice that it’s not easy to find things in plus sizes (though I have had luck in the foreigner areas though expect to pay a lot, that’s the biggest thing to get used to, sticker shock). I have heard of some bias against heavier teachers but there’s bias over there period. This is a country that isn’t real big on having people outside their VERY narrow standard over there. If you’re married, do NOT get pregnant over there as that is the reason why I returned to the US to have my second child. South Korea’s maternity care for plus sized women leave a lot to be desired.

          But really, sadly, the person who got the most attention was my 3-4 year old daughter. Where we lived, they absolutely were not at all used to seeing American children and the way they reacted to her bordered on downright rude sometimes. Didn’t help that she had blue eyes and light brown hair. It would probably be even worse if we went back with my younger daughter. Her hair is curly!

      2. Er… Koreans are both kind and blunt. Be prepared for strangers to offer you food, call you fat (whatever your size), and ask questions about your age/marital status/religion/salary.

  43. You know, it’s kind of ironic that this came out the day I went and got myself a pedicure for Mother’s Day. The only reason I did not get a manicure was because my nails are still getting over the last one I got (my sister talked me into getting acrylics three months ago and I’m STILL growing out the thinned out nail). But I got a full pedicure complete with chair massage (that my over 300 lb behind did fit into, thank you very much!), callus removal (seriously, I can get some nasty looking feet due to those), and foot and calf massage on top of it. No issues from anyone. I had no issues when I had my acrylics done. In Korea, had a mani and pedi, no issues. I even went and got my feet nibbled on by fish! Not a word (and believe me, if someone was going to say anything, it would be over there as I outweighed most people in that country.

    Another thing to note, I bought, for the first time in um…hmm…close to ten years, a dress. I don’t buy dresses. I usually do not like to wear them. I bought a wedding dress and I bought another dress that I never wore. Wasn’t always this way about dresses but the more I weighed, the less I liked buying them. And for the past several years, I had the convenient excuse of nursing. Walmart (of all places but I’m running out of plus sized options here in my hometown now that Fashion Bug closed) had some really nice loosely flowing dresses and they had one in my size in black. I tried it on, liked how it looked (which is amazing in and of itself as I tend to be a grab and buy without trying on kind of girl–except for bras–because I hate how the mirrors make me look) and took it home. As much as I liked how it looked on me, my husband liked it even more! And that definitely made me feel good!

    I will NEVER understand why women can be so into hurting others instead of building each other up. It’s not just with things like that, I’ve see it all over, doesn’t matter what size. If someone can find something to judge another person about, she will and I think that’s very sad.

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