When Fat Bodies Just Look Wrong

Mama kick line
Gratuitous use of a picture from the More Cabaret show this weekend. Scantily clad fat bodies, hell yeah!

There is a post over on This is Thin Privilege written by a girl who was told that she couldn’t wear the same shorts as a thinner student because she didn’t “present” the same way as the other student.  This highlights a particular kind of fat bigotry wherein fat bodies are judged to look “wrong” doing the same thing that thin bodies do, just because they are fat.

Wrong can take a lot of meanings in this context, one of the first is the idea that they look obscene (remember the Lane Bryant ad that showed about 25% of the skin of a Victoria’s secret ad but was controversial because it was judged look obscene  -obscene here meaning “omg big boobs!”?  Or, as in the example from above, fat bodies are seen as un-presentable, or needing to be more covered/hidden than other bodies.

And how many times have we heard the “fat girl” rules of fashion – black clothes absorb light and hide our shape (aka “slimming”), choose clothes based on their ability to make you look as much like the thin ideal as possible (aka “Flattering“) and that anything else is an affront to everyone who sees us and a moral failing on our part.

This type of situation is often about a bigot asking to be accommodated by a fat person.  The assumption being that if someone doesn’t like fat bodies, doesn’t like looking at fat bodies, doesn’t think that fat bodies should do certain things or dress in certain ways, then the people with those fat bodies have a responsibility – nay, an obligation – to “fix” the situation by doing what the fat hater wants us to do.  As if the solution might not be for them to get the hell over their bigotry, or at least practice the ancient art of looking at something else.

When the teacher told the student that the shorts were inappropriate on her fatter body but not on the thinner body, what he was actually saying was “I’m a size bigot, accommodate me.”  Our society is set up to accommodate fat bigotry in many ways, perhaps the most insidious is convincing fat people to take an active part in it by policing ourselves and other fat people for failing to follow the fat girl rules of dressing.

Fat people are allowed to make clothing choices for any reason they want – including dressing for maximum societal approval, as long as they are only choosing for themselves and not trying to tell other fat people what they should wear (hello Underpants Rule, my old friend.)  My suggestion is not that all fat people dress a certain way, but that we should considering being very conscious as to why we make the choices we make, and what that means. So if we choose to dress for societal approval we are keenly aware of why we are doing it so that we don’t get confused and think that there is anything wrong with our actual bodies – rather than realizing that there is a lot wrong with society and that our bodies are fine.

When it comes to the idea of fat bodies looking “wrong,”  the choices I make about what to wear have been less important than my ability to realize when a bigot is asking me to accommodate them, and the fact that I am under absolutely no obligation to do so. If you struggle with feeling like fat bodies (maybe even including yours) look “wrong” then a big part of the problem may be that the media doesn’t seem to be able to show us with heads and faces, let alone as positive role models.  So I suggest taking some time each day to find pictures of fat bodies and work to increase your skill at perceiving beauty.  Here are some places to start:

The Adipositivity Project (NSFW) by Substantia Jones (I’ve been an Adiposer a couple of times!) She even has an awesome Calendar (I’m Miss May!)

The Fit Fatties Forum has photo and video galleries of people of various sizes doing everything from belly dancing to sword fighting

More of Me to Love has cool things  in their fun stuff section (and they do a monthly deal for my members)

VoluptuArt has amazing pieces to look at and buy.

Jodee Rose’s artwork (NSFW) is phenomenal  Her pinup work and Her portrait work are both amazing and she did the logo for More Cabaret!

I have a gallery on this blog.

More Cabaret has a gallery

Uppity Fatty on Tumblr (NSFW)

Pink by Aerosmith is a really cool video of lots of different bodies and ages.  Possibly NSFW.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.  Go forth and admire some fatties!

Like my blog?  Here’s more of my stuff!

Become a member: For just ten bucks a month you can keep this blog ad-free, support the activism work I do, and get deals from cool businesses Click here for details

Interviews with Amazing Activists!!  Help Activists tell our movement’s history in their own words.  Support In Our Own Words:  A Fat Activist History Project!

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

If my selling things on the blog makes you uncomfortable, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

104 thoughts on “When Fat Bodies Just Look Wrong

  1. Black/dark “fat girl mandatory uniform” is such a crap and sometimes really not helpfull… people are now get used to recognize it and besides it shouts in the world “i think i am fat so i try to be invisible” … I had people guessing me 30 kilos more then i actually weight when i was dressed like that and friends asking me if am sick that i look so pale. When i decided to fuck the black and started dressing in normal looking clothers that are just made a bit bigger and suit me well (like white blouse and blue jean in exactly my size), people now guess me less (including the doctors 🙂 ) because i am dressed in such a normal way. (and i am no light fatty, i weight similarly like Ragen)

    1. PS: i am not suggesting everyone to stop wearing black, just that general color advices for bodies of all sizes worked for me muuuch better as it is then quite obvious pale girl like me will look in black or very dark things really really bad.

  2. Maybe it’s just too early in the morning, but I cannot figure out the meaning of “NSFW” — something something Fat Women?

    I know I’ll slap my forehead when someone replies, but I’m asking anyway. Perhaps someone else is also wondering?

  3. It’s often hard to find clothing that ISN’T black. I decided a few years ago to avoid buying more black clothes if possible. I sometimes go shopping with a friend and she’s always surprised when I find a piece of clothing I like and then don’t buy it or often don’t even try it on because it’s only available in black. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with black clothes, but I ALREADY HAVE 4 pairs of black pants, 3 black or mostly-black dresses, 4 black or mostly-black skirts. Give me some color!

    1. Yeah, that’s a problem I have, too. I don’t want to wear black. I don’t look horrible in it by any means, but I don’t look my best and – more importantly – I feel kind of crappy emotionally when I wear black. I feel wonderful in turquoise, indigo, bright orange, purple, lime green, cherry red, and lots of other bright, vibrant colors.

      It took me two years to find a winter coat in my size that wasn’t black, brown, charcoal, forest green, or navy. Now I wear my bright orange coat when the weather gets cold and I don’t disappear into the fog!

      Oh, and people are more likely to notice that my very dark eyes are blue when I wear the bright colors that make me smile, too.

  4. Is it just me, or is this story particularly creepy because it was a male teacher who was policing her body? Who was letting the thin girl (let’s not forget that thin = conventionally sexy) wear short, revealing clothes? What he’s reinforcing is that the female body exists to satisfy the male gaze. He’s not policing her body for her protection, but for his satisfaction. Ick.

      1. I’m sorry, but I have to butt in here. Do NOT just jump to the conclusion that the male teacher was acting on his own thoughts or his own interests here. I am a teacher and I am EXPECTED to uphold the rules for dress code to all students, male and female. If I have to address an issue with a male student who is wearing a deep cut muscle shirt and he happens to be ‘cut’ muscularly.. it is not that I am aroused or offended by his body that I remind him of the dress code.. it is part of my job. If I do not do it.. and another teacher does it later in the day.. then I am at risk of consequence. Male teachers should NOT be presumed to be ‘oogling’ the girls and wanting only the pretty ones to show skin. Chances are, this thin girl who got away with the clothing only did so becuase she was essentially ‘visual white noise’… didn’t stand out in general. Whether you agree with the different bodies look different in same styles or not.. they do. If a woman is not buxom, there is less chance she’ll draw attention with a low neckline than a very buxom girl. Same goes with shorts.. if your butt cheeks are attached lower on your legs than someone elses and hang below your shorts.. chances are in public school you will be asked to cover it up.

        More later.. I’ve got to get back to class.

        1. O.k. now to continue my opinion.. my underpants, but feel I need to share…

          I do not know if I was raised by a fat bigot.. but I know my mother was heavy and treated poorly for it. I know she tried hard to teach me about clothing and fit and how to look both socially appropriate and my best in general. For me, I have to just agree to disagree on some of Ragen’s post on this one. There’s alot of benefit to understanding how to look professional in work environments and socially. If you don’t want to do that, that is on you. Frankly, there are fabrics, colors and styles the I don’t feel comfortable with or in and it has less to do with me being brainwashed about it than my own level of comfort regarding modesty and having to constantly re-adjust my clothing to not be flashing someone.. anyone.

          I think it might be a good idea here to not jump to conclusions that just because someone is expected to conform to dress codes that they people making those dress codes are out to get fatties. Dress codes exist and sometimes that is just part of life.

          I totally get that there should not be double standards for thin or fat in regards to what it tolerated outside the dress code. And I agree. I think it is a real shame that slender, small busted girls tend to get away with short shorts and deep necklines because those clothes adequately cover their ‘parts’. In some schools, sensibly, they monitor ALL short and skirts lengths and report dress code infractions.

          As for me and my opinion of clothing on my fat body. I do not want something that accentuates my rolls. I like a smooth profile and polished presentation. I don’t wear shirts that are too short to cover my belly apron.. I don’t like it hanging below my shirts. I HATE dresses and skirts and would quit my job if I was informed I had to wear them. I don’t like short shorts because I’m unhappy with the condition of my skin on my legs.. saggy and baggy and scarred. I prefer to cover my arms to my elbows becuase I don’t like the sound my upper arms make when they slap at my underarms. This is my body and I am free to like or dislike parts of it. My underpants.. right? It really doesn’t matter as long as I don’t push my issues on you. I also do not have to LIKE the way other fat people look in clothing anymore than I have to LIKE the way slim people look in specific clothing.

          Sorry, I just really feel beaten down by reading so many people lashing out at the teacher in that situation.

          1. My problem with the teacher is what others have mentioned – he stopped the fat girl and had an issue with her shorts but not the thin one. That’s a double standard. Yes, two people with two different bodies will look different in the same outfit, but if you penalize the fat one and not the thin one, that is when it becomes fat bigotry. In the case of the young women mentioned in the post, she met the dress code. She said she’d tested the length of her shorts to make sure they met the dress code. I don’t think the dress code itself is fat bigotry, but I do think the one-sided application of it was. That’s my opinion, and as with all things, YMMV.

            For most people who work in the corporate world, there is an expected dress code. My workplace is no different – we have a dress code, and I wear what I like within that dress code. My preferred tastes are more on the Bohemian side, but what I wear is considered acceptable within the dress code where I work. If I don’t like the dress code, then I can find another job or else suck it up and wear clothing that meets the code. I’m certain there are those who would not consider me polished or professional. I also know there are others who really like what I wear and compliment me on wearing what I like. At the end of the day, I like what I wear and I enjoy what I wear. I don’t ask or expect anyone else (with the exception of my husband) to like what I wear because I know what people like is entirely subjective.

          2. I think that where this gets kind of touchy is that there are a couple different ways for a dress code to treat different body sizes differently. It’s totally reasonable to have a dress code that affects different body sizes differently based on actual amount of skin shown. Examples of that are “no visible cleavage or midriffs” or “shorts and skirts must be mid-thigh length or lower.” Obviously I’m not going to be able to wear the same skirt as someone my waist size but 5 inches shorter, because on me, it would show much more leg. That, to me, is a *non-discriminatory* way of treating different bodies differently, because the same visible end result is expected of everyone.

            When it’s *not* okay is to say that a thin girl can wear a skirt that comes X inches down from her waist, but a fat girl can’t wear a skirt that comes X inches down from her waist, because she “presents” differently. That’s making the fat girl responsible for cultural attitudes about how her body is “supposed to” look, which should not be her problem.

            I don’t think anyone is arguing that anyone should get a pass for showing body parts that are viewed as inappropriate in a work or school environment (since you mentioned butts and bellies hanging out of clothing). More that if a thin person has to cover X, Y, and Z, a fat person should not be expected to cover half the alphabet to meet the same dress code.

            1. While I was in high school, the standard for shorts (at schools where they were allowed at all) was a non-specific ‘fingertip length’. Your shorts had to be at least as long as your fingertips when your arms were at your sides.

              I was heavy throughout high school, and there were many occasions when I could be wearing the exact same shorts or skirt as another girl with a similar build to mine – but she’d get to stay at school while I would be sent home for dress code violations. Not because my butt showed, or because I was ‘hippier’, but because my arms are short.

              I never felt my school dress codes were biased against body types but I did protest being discriminated against for my short-armedness!

        2. Susan, the element that makes it creepy is that he approved of the shorts on the thin girl, but deemed it unacceptable on a fat girl. If he were just enforcing general dress code rules for all the students equally, then it wouldn’t be sexism. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s some sort of pervert getting his kicks from ogling teenage girls, but it does mean he’s reinforcing sexist, discriminatory notions of conventional female beauty, whether he realizes it or not.

          1. I’m with Susan on this one. I agree that the thin girl was probably “white noise,” so to speak. If it did have to do with the male sexual gaze (and I’m not saying it did), it’s equally possible that he focused on the one who made him more uncomfortable, sexually. What I mean is that it could easily be more turned on by the heavier girl and that made him more aware of her physicality.

            Either way, I still think it has more to do with the size of the girl than the sexuality.

        3. Yeah, but if you tell one student she can wear something and another she can’t and it’s the SAME THING, that’s pretty obviously weight bigotry and it leaves bystanders scratching their heads wondering if, hey, thin girl got away with wearing something that violates the dress code just because she looks good in it. Yeah, that’s creepy.

          1. You presume that he thinks the thin girl looked good in it. I don’t think he even noticed the thin girl. Either way, it is probably his job to bring dress code infractions to the attention fo the student.

            1. That explanation might work if the fat student had not called his attention to the thin student wearing the same thing and been told the thin student is fine because it presents differently on her. A pair of shorts that falls two inches above the knee is a pair of shorts that falls two inches above the knee, fat or thin.

  5. Ragen, thank you for this post. One of the things I’ve done, even before becoming aware of the concept of fat acceptance, is to dress for me. Since I learned about fat acceptance, I stepped it up even more. I love vibrant colors and patterns. I also love how certain styles look on my body. Not necessarily “flattering” but styles that have a certain flow and fit my personality. The end result is that I have a lot of color in my wardrobe, and I don’t fit that image of the fat woman in only dark clothes. While most of my skirts and pants are black, brown or blue, that has to do with my tendency to get smudges and stains on my pants and skirts. Dark colors hide the dirt, not my hips, thighs, and butt. I wish every person would dress for their personality and not solely based on what is deemed acceptable for their body types/sizes.

  6. Voluptuous Vixens on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/#!/Officialvvpg which you can like and get in your Facebook feed, is another great way to get used to seeing large women, like myself, in fashionable and sometimes provocative clothes. I’ve had trouble accepting myself over the years and that made me less than accepting of how other people with a similar body type dressed. Seeing more images like this, proud and beautiful, helps I think.

  7. I grew up with the rules for short women. Then I got fat and had to add in the rules for fat women.

    I tried. I really did. But for one thing, the rules contradicted one another, and for another, following either set of rules made me disappear into the wallpaper. I don’t want to live my life as wallpaper.

    Short girl rules included never wearing anything with ANY extra horizontal fabric and lots of pastels. Oh, and little bitty tiny jewelry that wouldn’t ‘overwhelm’ my petite frame. And heels. Lots of very high heels so people wouldn’t notice me being short at them.

    Fat girl rules included never wearing anything with ANY extra horizontal fabric, and endless seas of black. Oh, and keep your necklaces long to draw attention away from that hideous double chin!

    Screw that! I look and feel my best in bright, bold colors. If my jewelry is too dainty, it disappears on my personality. I love swirling, swishy skirts, extravagant sleeves, ruffles, decorative pockets (as long as they actually work, too), great big hats, and gaudy, gypsyish things. I’ve been known to fall off my heels when I wasn’t wearing any, so I don’t wear them now.

    If someone else dislikes the way I dress, they are cordially invited to take a good twirl on my middle fingers and look in some other direction.

    But you know what? When I dress the way I like to dress, I get a lot of smiles in my direction. Hell, I actually stopped traffic once! That guy was disappointed to learn I was already married.

    I’d rather follow the rules for dressing to look like me that ones that make me look ‘acceptable’ to people who will never accept who I am.

    1. You should post a picture sometime, Twistie, in your awesome, gaudy gypsy clothes!

      Back when my feet could tolerate them, I used to wear sky-high heels, which put me well over 6 feet. Back then, this was definitely a no-no for a tall girl! Now all these really tall models are wearing 8 inch heels on platforms and thinking nothing of them. In my profession I have to wear black, but that doesn’t stop me from jazzing it up with bright colors. It’s people making choices outside of the “norm” who will change that same norm, eventually. So you go, Gypsy Twistie!

  8. thanks for a thoughtful post. I think a good point to take out of all this is that we can dress for our own selves, the body. My body loves comfort. I don’t tell anyone how to dress, and I (as recently as yesterday!) asked someone to lay off me about my clothes.

    Thanks, Ragen. Timely and helpful. –Jen

  9. So, here’s a thought… kind of a side step on this discussion.

    I get that we should not have to dress just to please a specific set of societal rules that appear to be disigned to shame fat bodies.
    I also get that we should move to erase stigma and teach people to accept others differences.

    However, in the ‘NOW’ I really do feel it is in the interest of self-preservation to alert young people to the potential for abuse or undue attention towards them based on their choices and environments.

    For example, as a mother, I am simply not going to let my daughter go out the door to school in clothing that gives a message that she’s sexually easy or that is unflattering to her body enough that other people will target her with rude comments. People/kids are harsh enough on one another without giving them an obvious visual prompt. I tell my daughter that her favority yoga pants create a ‘camel toe’ and that she needs to wear something long enough to cover it, or chance pants. I explain to my daughter that if she is going to wear a deep cut shirt she needs a cami under it or be very aware of her posture so that she doesn’t offer up more displa of her body than is appropriate for high school. Similarly, I help my son find clothing that fits and makes him feel better about his wildly changing physique as he moves through adolescent growth spurts and changing size.

    I’m all about personal expression, but I’m also about undestanding the benefits of foundation garments, durable and well-fitting clothing and such. In fact, I’m kind of sad that cultually we have moved to a point where pretty foundation garments aren’t even considered part of the regular day.. they are just for cabaret and intimate expression.

    Alas… I feel I’m the dinosaur here.


    1. Sue, I realize you love your kids and want them to have good experiences, but unless you are very careful how you talk to your daughter, you are making her responsible for how other people feel about her. She’s going to get comments, period. How she looks will just change the nature of the comments. Please make sure she understands this is not her fault and she can’t fully control it.

      1. I am very careful in how I address this. I agree that women should not have to cover themselves in order not to be victimized… but I also know the world I live in isn’t ‘there’ yet and I’m not going to let my daughter accidentally be set up for mis-treatment. I also am not letting my son go out the door thinking scantily clad girls are sluts. I’m hurt that the women posting here presume I am an idiot and unaware of rape culture/victimization… they have NO IDEA what my history is and to speak out against me becuase I am more comfortable with modesty is more abuse than I have taken at the hands of men for over 12 years.

        Whatever happened to the respect on this list? Just because some fat women are comfortable in burleque clothing and dance doesn’t mean all of us have to become comfortable with it… I’m not, never will be and don’t have to be… maybe my opinions are not based on fat bias and stigma.. .but on my personal beliefs of that type of dance in general… we don’t all HAVE To like everything the same. Isn’t that the point?

    2. I agree that some articles of clothing are fine in certain contexts, inappropriate in others.
      However, I think we should stop teaching young girls that sexy or revealing clothing sends a message of sexual availability. This can encourage girls and young women to be ashamed of their sexuality, and to think of other girls as “sluts”. Provided you’re at an age where it’s appropriate, I think sexy clothing sends the message, “I am confident in and comfortable with my body, and I dress myself in whatever attire makes me feel good.”
      I think it’s good to make your daughter aware that certain clothing styles may illicit unwanted reactions from others, but I think it’s also good to point out that these reactions should not necessarily stop her from wearing the clothes she wants to. The most important thing is whether or not she’s comfortable in the clothing she wears, not if others are comfortable. If she wants to conform to certain style expectations to avoid ridicule, than that’s what she should do. But if she feels confident enough to not worry about approval from all her peers, then I think she should dress and present herself accordingly.
      Anyway, that’s just my two cents since you were open with this…
      I’m not trying to tell you what to do as a parent, just trying to show the other side of the argument.

      1. I think sexy clothing sends the message, “I am confident in and comfortable with my body, and I dress myself in whatever attire makes me feel good.”

        yes, for an adult woman, I agree. NOT for 14 years olds.. or even 16 year olds in a public school environment. They can strut their confidence in clothing that doesn’t appear to be ready to fall off.

        1. Yes, for sure. I guess I think it just becomes a difficult fine line when girls are teenagers, like how do you set appropriate standards for their age level while at the same time making it clear that feminism is really about choice… like having a choice in how you present yourself, regardless of stigma.
          I am sorry that you feel people are attacking you. I hope my post didn’t come across that way. I scrolled through and read some of the other replies, and I understand why some people got kind of angry, but I also understand why this anger hurt you.
          Of course you want to protect your daughter and arm her with the tools to make responsible decisions and protect herself from certain situations. I totally get this. And you are right, unfortunately the world isn’t where it should be in terms of gender equality and bullying, mistreatment, etc. and there’s a lot of crap out there.
          I think part of the problem with comment boards is that, when people respond to you, the only thing they have to go on is your particular comment, and not your personal history or much else. Some of your statements did come across as being part of the victim-blaming discourse that runs through society. People can be very sensitive to this if they have been exposed to such attitudes again and again, and sometimes they get sick of trying to refute those ideas politely, and just upfront say, “This is crap”. Unfortunately, that can mean giving the lecture to a person who actually doesn’t need it, such as yourself.
          Again, I am sorry you feel abused by some of the messages on this board, and I hope I was not a part of that.

        2. Well, I don’t wear “sexy” clothing but I think my clothing still sends the message “I am confident in and comfortable with my body, and I dress myself in whatever attire makes me feel good.” In fact, from my experience, “sexy” clothing is really not that comfortable anyway. Also, different clothing does send different messages. We also still seem to have extremely different standards when it comes to “sexy” for women and “sexy” for men. But alas, that’s a different topic I suppose.

          1. And yes, we are allowed to make choices of course, but we should acknowledge that those choices don’t exist in a social vacuum.

          2. Blue, this also raises the question of what is “sexy”? It’s very subjective from person to person, as well as from gender to gender, and in some cases it can be very comfortable. I’m all about function over fashion in clothing and shoes, but I also lean toward Bohemian styles myself. 🙂

            For example, my husband does not consider mainstream, typical lingerie sexy. You know, the uncomfortable stuff that shows skin and reveals naughty bits. Instead, when he purchased lingerie for me, he purchased a short sleep shirt. It had the benefit of being sexy in his eyes and comfortable & sexy in my eyes.

            When I wear what I consider sexy, it runs a gamut of what some people might consider sexy to what would make others question my idea of sexy. Sometimes it’s a maxi dress that shows off my cleavage but keeps the rest of me hidden or maybe it’s a sleeveless dress that shows off my arms. Or maybe it’s something skimpy that shows off my legs but doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m wrapped in cling wrap. But whatever I choose, I choose because I like it and don’t give a flying fig whether or not someone else considers it sexy.

            1. I completely agree, that’s why I put “sexy” in quotes – it’s completely subjective (although the media would love to tell us otherwise).

          3. Yes.

            When I’m dressed up, I like a low-heeled boots, a loose blouse or jacket and a long skirt. (Ideally, they’d be well-tailored but there’s that budget thing.) I feel my best and most desirable that way because my body can “breathe” and I can take big, comfortable strides and keep up with other people when we walk. I agree that other kinds of “womanly” clothing can look great (ie- mimi skirts and low-cut shirts), but when I wear them I feel more like I’m in costume than wearing my own clothes. So I usually don’t.

          4. Yes, I wasn’t trying to imply that people who dress more conservatively are not comfortable with their bodies. People have all manner of different preference and priorities when it comes to how they dress and present their bodies.
            Like lusciouswords said, I think it also depends somewhat on how we define “sexy”. Some of my “sexy” clothing might be considered pretty tame by some peoples’ standards. I don’t wear skirts or heels and I rarely wear dresses, though when I do wear a dress I make sure to pair it with leggings or shorts or something to ensure people aren’t getting a view they don’t need to see. For me I tend to think of “sexy” clothing as anything that flatters my body type, and that emphasises my shape. Sometimes it might be a top that offers a hint of cleavage, only a hint mind you, in part because I barely have any cleavage and there’s not much to show. I think my “sexiest” tops I ever bought were two tank tops that had padded inserts.

    3. “to alert young people to the potential for abuse or undue attention towards them based on their choices and environments.”

      That is some straight up victim-blaming bullshit masked as “concern”. Basically it’s saying if any “abuse” happens or “undue attention” then it’s the victims fault. How convenient for the rapists and other abusers. WTF.

      The only thing that all the women and girls ever raped have in common is not what they wore, where they worked, what they looked like, how much cosmetics they used, whether it was day or night, walking alone, at a bar or drunk at a party… the ONLY thing ALL these victims have in common was being targeted by a rapist. The rest is victim blaming — making the victim responsible and that is some fucked up shit.

      1. Sadly, whether you realize it or not, you are engaging in rape-apology and supporting Rape Culture. That may not be your intention, but intent isn’t magic and doesn’t disappear the reality of what you’re doing.

      2. dianeellen, I have to say I didn’t see any kind of shaming or blaming in Susan’s post. She’s doing what she feels is best for her daughter based on her principles and values in accord with the reality of the world we live in. I have no kids. I can’t imagine the stones it takes to parent a teenager, boy OR girl in this culture. There are a lot of curvy, jagged gray lines to walk in parenting. You do the best you can, you make some mistakes, and you move on because there’s not always time to second guess yourself.

        Susan, I hope that if I’d ever had kids, I’d be as caring and thoughtful a mom as you are. You have the toughest job of all and the harshest responsibility.

        1. “I didn’t see any kind of shaming or blaming in Susan’s post. She’s doing what she feels is best for her daughter based on her principles and values in accord with the reality of the world we live in.”

          More rape apoligia. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t *see* any kind of shaming or blaming— that’s Rape Culture in action and it’s a privilege to be able to not see it. Doesn’t change the reality of the world we live in, which is filled with rape apologists upholding Rape Culture. If you don’t understand it then there are many wonderful 101 type sites where you can educate yourself.

          1. Educating your children as to the (unfortunate) reality that we live in, does not automagically equate to approving of it. Giving your offspring the tools with which to deal with the world as it is is nothing more or less than good parenting. I agree that victim blaming, slut shaming and ignoring cultural cues which invalidate reports of sexual assault are things which are wrong and need to be changed as soon as possible. However not informing our children of facts which are relevant to their safety is irresponsible.

            I have kids.. I have amazing kids who do not have any prejudice against anyone, for any reason. They are however fully aware that some people do hold prejudices about all aspects of humanity and have been faced with bullying because of others’ perceptions of them.
            When they dealing with this, I intervened as much as I physically could, I co-ordinated with the schools, and I ALSO advised my children on how to avoid the bullies, how to defend themselves and so on.

            Giving people true facts about the current condition of the world is not the same as agreeing. It is possible to both aspire to improve and be aware and work within the staus quo.

            1. unfortunately wearing non-sexy clothing does NOT actually make a girl more safe from rape or even harassment. ergo, teaching a teenager to cover up does not actually give the true facts. whether it makes her safe from bullies — eh, who knows? i was bullied for dressing “too” modestly. if everyone else dresses like madonna, the amish kid really stands out. whatever makes you different will get you picked on a little extra, but many people get picked on just because somebody has an eye on them regardless of their clothing.

              i completely understand wanting to give one’s child tools to handle the world, and dressing appropriately for the occasion is a set of tools — but they work for normally socialized people, to allow one to fit in (such as following a dress code in high school or at work), not for abusers and rapists. personally i think parents would do better to teach their kids conflict avoidance and self-defense than to try and get them to dress “modestly” so they don’t draw the attention of somebody wishing them ill. it’s just not possible.

  10. Oh the endless coded language that all comes down to “no fatties allowed”.

    If it’s an audition notice it will say things like “leading” “hwp” or “fit”, but in business it’s trickier I think. The words there are “professional” “polished” “fashionable” “stylish” or even “energetic” and also the word “executive”. Meanwhile fat people can, by nature of their experience and abilities, be professional and be polished. Fat people can dress (working with what the stores give us), very fashionable and appropriate for the office—even for a so-called “executive” office. It’s all just fat-bigotry. If a thin person wears the equivalent to what a fat person is wearing–the thin person is usually deemed acceptable where the fat person needs to somehow be fixed, corrected and chastised.

    I’m sorry this young woman was subjected to such fat bigotry and sexism.

    That photo brings up something else for me. That fat performers are seen as comedy. If there is a group of thin dancers it is art, if it’s the same routine and music but with fat dancers—it’s comedy and farce. I loathe that.

    1. SO much to respond to here, but I will try to keep it to the fatty and business appropriate context, or I will go ranty.

      I have always been fat, and never had a problem expressing myself through dress, but I can sew, create and am pretty thrifty. I am also pretty confident and have an outsized personality, so that goes with the territory. I dress in all manner of vintage, colorful, weird fun stuff when I can.

      I too was raised by a fat mother who told me all the things fats shouldn’t wear (and still does). She is not really physically active or expressive, and her personal style is pretty basic (no makeup, same bowl haircut for 60+ years, favorite color is navy, etc.) so this likely doesn’t hinder her in expressing herself much. This can be very annoying, but I do appreciate that I know how to find/create things that fit, how to wear foundation garments when wanted/appropriate, etc. This actually came in handy for the many years I worked selling clothing to all sizes and ages of women. They were amazed I could quickly find pants that fit them the way they wanted.

      I know the difference between business appropriate and fun and funky wear for other times. I do dress executive and look sharp when I do. It ain’t easy putting together a wardrobe of good looking suits when you are a 3 x. I am careful about what might be perceived as ‘too sexy’ or even just distracting. For instance, I will refrain from wearing a skirt tomorrow, as I have a small but dramatic wound on my leg that would call attention away from the talk I am giving. I’m totally cool with that-It’s my job to sell an idea (and some software) not talk about my icky leg.

      My last employer wanted to get rid of me for whistleblowing on some unethical stuff going on. I knew I was in trouble when they started messing with my metrics, but I knew we were in the final stretch when my supervisor at the time called me out on dressing inappropriately. She ( a very petite lady in her mid 60’s) made a big point of identifying herself as busty (she’s not) before telling me she had issues with an outfit I had worn at a conference where I was on the dais. It was fairly conservative, and modest, just not basic black and button up. Interestingly, I had a number of genuine compliments (I can tell the difference!) that day, especially from clients. I know she was hoping that trying to humiliate me on my personal appearance would be the thing that would make me quit. ha!

      The sad fact is, policing what fat women (and less so men) can wear is another way of taking us down. I work in a competitive industry where some folks get on by taking others down, and have more than once seen colleagues or supervisors try to get the edge on me by using fat prejudice to their advantage.

      What happened to this young woman was more of the same. There is no excuse for not articulating a dress code that works for all body types. Anything less is a clear example of discrimination.

      Ooops/End rant………..

  11. A little while ago, a friend of mine commented (after noticing I was posting a lot of fat-positive stuff on facebook) that she always thought I was beautiful but felt like I didn’t dress like I thought I was beautiful.

    To be fair, I dress to be comfortable, which usually means jeans and t-shirt. Also, as I pointed out to her, finding clothes that fit properly is a hassle (I have large breasts, and anything that fits them looks baggy elsewhere) and I can’t justify spending money on clothing I only feel so-so about.

    Her body issues revolve around her being quite skinny, yet she has a much easier time finding clothes she likes, so she can dress to please herself. I went shopping with her once and she found three tops she liked and bought that same day. I can spend three days and not find something I like or that fits.

    Right now I am nervously working on sewing a simple skirt. I like the fabric and the pattern I chose, but I haven’t sewn in forever and I tend to drag my feet. If it turns out well, I’ll post a pic.

    1. “but felt like I didn’t dress like I thought I was beautiful.”

      How you dress does not need to be filtered through her acceptability prism of what is and isn’t beautiful to her. That’s some unchecked privilege on her part going on there.

      1. Agreed. Although, now that I have been thinking about it, I do prefer not to draw the male sexual gaze (my own issues) and I wish I could feel like my body was entirely my own.

  12. Seeking out and viewing bodies in all shapes and sizes has gone a long way towards my acceptance of my own body. This is a very important point you make to look for images of fat bodies. Should also go for people of color and all different ages. If we only see one version of human put forth in the media, we will (whether consciously or unconsciously) begin to assume that anything outside of that is incorrect or undesirable. It really takes vigilance to buck the system. Keep up the great work!

    1. I do love the images of fat bodies, but there are still enough ‘hourglass’ shapes out there that I still end up feeling self-conscious with my narrow hips and big belly. Heck, I went on a specific search for jeans that fit me properly and ALL still had a large difference between waist and hips with the hips being larger.

      Just pointing out that it is still more acceptable to be fat if you have the right build than if you don’t.

      *body issues today, this is not aimed at anyone*

      1. Looking at my art, most of my figures are hourglass shaped, because that is the shape of my body, and most of them are drawn from imagination, so they end up being pseudo self-portraits. I am totally interested in drawing other types of bodies, but very few people actually commission me who aren’t also hourglass shaped, which is a total bummer!

      2. From time to time, I’ve bought jean shorts in the Men’s department of a thrift shop because I too have a lot of weight in my belly and not much in my hips. Haven’t tried that with pants yet, but maybe I should.

  13. thanks to you who were polite to me and allowed me to voice my opinion, even if it was different from yours.

    no thanks to those of you who basically called me a bigot and piece of shit for continuing rape culture. I’d like to say some things to you, but I can’t bring myself to be as mean to you as you were to me.

    I owned my opinion in my post and did NOT ask anyone to critique my parenting.

    I’m going to be trying very hard to erase your hate from my heart and not leave this blog. Just because I don’t agree 100% with Ragen’s post and opinion doesn’t mean I’m a peice of shit you make me out to be.

    1. Hi, Susan. I don’t comment a lot here, but as a mom of three (1 girl, two boys), I will say that I absolutely agree with you that while I fight for a better world, and try to teach my boys about how to grow into good men, I also know that my daughter has to live in the world as it is, not how I dream it. It SUCKS, and I hate the compromise, but I will teach her the same things you mentioned above.

      I will absolutely sacrifice myself on the altar of my ideals, but I’m not going to send my daughter out not understanding reality to play feminist martyr without knowing the way the world actually is, either.

      1. I am a parent of 12 year old twin boys, and have to say that I am sometimes grateful that I am not the parent of a girl. I am often dismayed when trying to find nice clothes as gifts for friends’ daughters that there is a glut of ‘sexy’ clothing for girls as young as 1 year!
        Trying to thread your way through encouraging self confidence and self expression and allowing your children a chance at innocence is a nightmare.
        A friend told me several years ago that she spent 4 days trying to find shoes for her 6 year old without heals… 4 days to find a pair of shoes that wouldn’t potentially cause developmental harm to the girl’s feet and ankles. There is a lot of pressure on children of every age to conform to the perceived ideal of beauty.

        As to those commenting that attempting to steer your daughter away from overly sexualised clothing at a vulnerable age is being a ‘rape apologist’.. well I disagree. Teaching that there is a generalised perception of certain actions and choices is not the same thing as agreeing with or promoting those ideas. It is not a ‘rape apology’ to inform a child that some people will see them and form an incorrect idea about them. It is good parenting to give your child factual information about the world in which we live. Teach them that they can work towards making meaningful change to the world, depending on their ideals and priorities, and then to let themselves make a decision about what to wear, where to go and what to do based on those lessons.

        It is always true that the victim of any crime is not to blame for being the victim, that education should concentrate on teaching people to value and respect each other and not victimise people for any reason. However, I would consider it very irresponsible not to also teach ways of spotting potential trouble, how to avoid it, how to get away.

        While the victim is not to blame, giving everyone the means to avoid becoming a victim is an important part of reducing victimisation. I would love to live in an ideal world where this wasn’t an issue, but it is unlikely that there will ever be a time where there are no sociopathic people. Learning to spot them, and avoid them is often the best and only defense.

        As to the main point of the post

        I choose clothing with certain priorities. For everyday wear my order of priorities is
        1) Physical Comfort
        2) Colour
        3) Price

        3000) Anybodies opinion

        I do however have clothes in my wardrobe that were chosen for specific circumstances (interviews, jobs, funerals etc) where societal expectation is a much higher priority.

        There are times when I consider it important to prioritise other’s opinions and feelings over my own. Mostly this comes down to ‘When I am attending an event which has more to do with them than it does with me’
        This can include business events, funerals, weddings etc. Blowing my own trumpet at those times feels inappropriate.

        1. Promoting rape culture happens when you police how a girl/woman dresses WITHOUT the facts behind it. Saying ‘don’t wear a mini-skirt or everyone will think you are a slut’ is different from saying ‘some people believe that anyone who wears a mini-skirt is a slut, they are wrong, but you should be prepared for those people’.

          I see over and over again the ‘advice’ given to girls about how to dress so they don’t get harassed and it is flat bullshit. I’ve been harassed in perfectly boring clothes. That is rapist culture.

          Helping a girl understand that certain clothes will attract more of a certain kind of attention and that certain clothes are inappropriate for her age is good parenting since it involves teaching and thinking, not blindly following rules.

          Making sure a girl understands any harassment is NOT her fault is critical and gets ignored too much of the time.

          Teaching boys what might be funny to them can be harassment to others is also critical and seems to happen far to rarely.

          I remember one time when my older brother and his friends were bored and made up signs to give Olympic style scores to girls passing by. They gave one of their friends a low score as a joke and she seemed to take it in the good spirit I think it was intended.

          Now I think back to that and I wonder if any of the girls were bothered by this. I pretty sure my brother and his friends were goofing around and not thinking about how their behavior affected anyone and it was a one-time thing for them.

          Unfortunately, girls/women go through this all the time and men just don’t. Heck, if girls did this to boys, some of the boys would take this as an invitation to hit on the girls.

          Okay, now I am rambling. I should go do something else now.

    2. Susan I understand where you’re coming from. Looking at pop culture, teenage girls are encouraged to dress in certain ways that teenage boys almost never are. We need to teach young women to value themselves as human beings, not seek constant validation through male attention which is more easily gained with provocative dress. It’s hard work and you’re up against a lot. I don’t envy you. But best of luck!

    3. Susan, I hope nothing I said gave you the idea that I thought you were continuing rape culture. I definitely did not see your responses in that light and understood that you are doing your best to rear a teen-aged girl in a society that encourages girls from an early age to attract male attention by dressing provocatively. What I perceived you saying is that you are teaching your daughter to dress age-appropriate, as well as teach her about the sad fact that how you dress can encourage other people to treat her in inappropriate manners.

      I will say this in your defense, as well. As long as your daughter lives in your house, she should abide by your rules. And those rules may include a dress code. I lived with my parents until I was 26, and even after I turned 18, I was expected to abide by their rules. As far as I saw it (and they saw it), it was their house, their rules. If I wanted to live by different rules, then I could move out to my own place. And when I moved out, I did change some of the rules – but then it was my house, my rules.

      I hope you continue reading the blog and commenting. 🙂

      1. Well said! This reminds me of when, in my teenage years, I wanted a tongue ring. I was living at home and my mother said, “No way! Not as long as you live here!” I didn’t move out over it, and I got over the urge to pierce my tongue. It all worked out.

    4. Susan, since I’m the only one who spoke of your unintentional participation in what is called rape-apology, which is a big part of Rape Culture, I will answer — I don’t’ know who else “those” you mentioned are, I can only speak for myself.

      I am sorry your feelings were hurt. Being made aware that our behaviors, which come from a good and loving place can non-the-less be part of systemic systems of oppression used against the very people you’re trying to help, can be devastating. I understand your defensiveness. Although please know at no time did I call you a “bigot” or a “piece of shit”. I did not say anything “in hate of you”, I said them in hate of Rape Culture. You were engaging, whether it was your intention or not, in rape apology and I called you out on that. Again I never called you a “bigot” or a “piece of shit”, I said you were engaging in victim-blaming. That your response to “me” is to dismiss what I said and accuse me of saying things about you that I never did, lets me know there is nothing more to say. There are many wonderful 101-type sites where you can learn about rape-apology and Rape Culture if you ever decide to do so.

      1. I’d give anything to know whether these parents are as vigilant in shaping their sons’ understanding of appropriate behavior as they are in shaping their daughters’ understanding of dress.

        I can’t help but wonder: If I told my (hypothetical) daughter not to wear such-and-such because men will get “the wrong idea” about her, where does that leave my (hypothetical) son? Can I then legitimately turn around and tell him, “What women wear is none of your business and it’s never under any circumstance a stand-alone statement that her body is yours to do as you please with”?

        1. I would say that to both children you say. ‘While it is none of their business, some people like to make assumptions about a person based on what they wear, how they talk, where they go and who they hang out with. (Insert list of general assumptions) Take these facts and make your own choices based on the best information I can give you. Also since you are now aware that this happens, try to think through what effect the assumptions you make about people would have on them’

        2. Yes, it is amazing how many schools and programs offer “self defense” courses to girls making them repsonsible for stopping their rape, and yet there are practically no programs teaching boys not to rape. Hmm… Rape Culture anyone?

          And there is a lot of conflating two separate things here. There is a very big difference between telling children about dressing “appropriately” for social situations and adults bemoaning the clothes of young people today, and telling girls (and it’s always the girls), about how if they don’t want to be assaulted and/or raped they have to do [insert list of victim-blaming bullshit here], which teaches them that if they adhere to thost rules of dressing and behaving “good” then they won’t be raped. The unspoken but larger threat is that if something does happen—it’s their own fault. That takes the blame off the rapist. Thats Rape Culture in action.

          1. A part of why it is always girls who are educated on how to avoid attacks is that rape of males is largely ignored in society. Rape by females is also largely ignored. Males are also assumed, rightly or wrongly to be automatically capable of defending themselves.

            Explaining all violence and negative talk against women in terms of a misogynistic, ‘rape culture’ ignores other societal issues which contribute to violence. In a lot of cases resolving underlying social issues and inequalities would result in a drastic reduction in violent crime.

            Religious Intolerance
            Size Discrimination

            Framing the problem in terms of only one of these ignores a lot of crossover in terms of the reasons people do what they do.
            I have days where seeing the whole picture hurts, where I wish there was a single thing wrong with the world that could be fixed. Sadly, I can’t ignore the myriad things that are wrong with the world and concentrate on just one aspect.

            Now, I fully expect to be called an apologist, if that is how you intend to respond, then read the other posts I have made on this topic.

            1. You’re being disengenuous. Noone said those things you mentioned were not important — Interesectionality anyone? — But that is not what prompted my post. Another tactic of rape-apologia — someone always comes in minimizing the violence done to women and girls and tries to turn the conversation to “what about the menz”.. contemptible.

              1. I am being contemptible for not so narrowly focusing my attention on one set of problems the world faces that I forget about the victims of other violence?
                I am being contemptible for considering that misogyny is not the only cause of violence against women, in the hope of finding out the complete underlying causes and attempting to resolve them?
                I am being contemptible because I don’t agree that violence against women is any more contemptible than violence against men?
                I am being contemptible for thinking that the way to work on ending violence is to combine efforts with other group which experience violence?
                I am being contemptible for thinking that shouting ‘Rape Culture’ every time there is violence committed against women is alienating a lot of people who otherwise would be very supportive of your goals?

      2. What bothered me was the phrase “sexually easy.” I understood what you were trying to say, that it doesn’t matter how one dresses, one may be the target of sexual violence. For the people who may have trouble comprehending this, how was the 80-year-old woman who was raped dressed? How was the baby dressed? I think men and women should dress appropriately for school or work if they want to be taken seriously, but that has nothing to do with avoiding sexual assault. You can tell your children that if they want to be seen as serious, they need to dress in serious clothes — jeans and T-shirt qualifying here, as well as suits — but please don’t tell them they will be viewed as sexually easy if they wear a short skirt. I find that a very disturbing thing to be telling a young girl.

  14. I have never forgotten when I was 15 – I participated in a big group hike, doing the full circuit of White Rock Lake (20 mi)… A wizened little old man took exception to my (tight) gym shorts & complained loudly to our chaperones (teachers): A girl dressed like THAT is just begging to get raped!
    I wanted to crawl under any barricade, even as my friends clustered around me protectively, a teacher coming over to pat my arm & tell me to ignore the old coot…

  15. All over the web I see fat-pos sites, tumblrs, etc. celebrating fat bodies nude, in lingerie, in swimsuits, etc. all of which is fantastic. What I DON’T see, however, is a fat photo project celebrating fat folks wearing say, business attire, or formal dresses, or jeans and T-shirts. I’d love to have something that didn’t involve the notion that fat is only acceptable when it’s connected to sexuality.

    We need fat kids to see that they’re not alone, too, but many of the fat-pos sites are NSFW or not family-friendly. I’d like to see us do more of that.

    I know fat professionals who are told they don’t look professional when they are wearing professional attire. I know fat athletes who are told they don’t look like athletes, despite being caught working out. I see fat parents being called bad parents because they’re seen as unhealthy. Collectively, we are being passed over all because we don’t fit the societally-approved model for “professional” or “athlete” or “parent.”

    I think we need pictures of fat professionals, fat athletes, fat parents, fat kids, fat WHATEVER just existing in this world. And I think I’m gonna make that site. Fat EVERYTHING.

    Go, me!

    If you have photos to submit, please email me through my name here. Thanks!

      1. Yes, I know about that, but it’s primarily known (and marketed) only to those in commercial enterprises in the fatosphere. I just want random awesome photos, not necessarily posed or professional shots of people just being fat. 🙂

  16. I Love black, I look good in black and more importantly I FEEEEEL good in black! I LOVE colour….. I sometimes wear bright colours…. but only when it feels right for me.

    I have knee cheeks….. for the uninitiated, knees which have rolls of fat which hang over….. noone that I know make clothes which look good on me with my knee cheeks….. ! Anyone else have this issue? Here in the UK one of the few big girl stores – EVANS – has a way of categorising us as busty, pear, hourglass and apple ….. you’d think the fact that pear and hourglass have lovely round bottom cheeks that these people would wake up and realise SOME of us have, yes….. fuller strong, rich legs plus – knee cheeks!

    I have NEVER been one to follow fashion because I am me …and me is u.n.i.q.u.e…… just like you are. We owe it to ourselves!

    I don’t feel attractive when my knee cheeks protrude when wearing trousers but…. that said, my wonderful man and I have such fun seeing ourselves the way we really are: imperfect perfect human beings with gorgeousness which shines through and beyond knee cheeks and fibromyalgic limpings……

    Come on baby light my fire….. I just set the world on fire……. !

    1. Ahh Felicity! We have the same problem. My knee cheeks actually give my bottom cheeks a run for their money. How refreshing to see someone take themselves lightheartedly rather than with this grave nature everyone seems to bestow upon themselves and each other. I don’t understand why when I refer to my self as fat people look at me like I have two heads or like I offended them. There are restrictions I allow myself, for instance when I am around people that are more fluffy than I am, I wait to find out how they refer to themselves before saying anything. But my issue arises when I am at Wal-mart and I ask the 90lb dripping wet sales clerk “where have they moved the fat people section to?” (side bar: don’t you love it when Wal-mart remodels?) and she looks at me ike I’m crazy and shes super offended by the word fat. Even though we all know in the back of her head as she saw me rolling along in my electric store buggy (thanks to my back and brain condition, and not my rather large posterior) the first thing she thought when she set eyes on me was probably along the lines of… “you know, if she walked the store instead of being lazy and going on the cart because she cant be bothered to walk she wouldn’t be so fat”. Of course we all know the only thing that causes people to be fat is laziness right? LOL I wish… Anyway… My point is, I refuse to take my weight seriously anymore. What needs to be taken seriously is all the surgeries I have to have to normal again.
      So hats off to you Felicity!

  17. I’m not caught up reading yet after vacation. I read all the comments because they’re so helpful too. I caught this picture in the e-mail and actually went to a real computer to see it. This SO made my day! It’s freaking awesome! I have fibro and I’m inspired to stretch more (like I should be doing anyway) just because this picture looked so awesome. Not sure if this makes sense. I’ve been medicated for the night. But thank you for posting it and I’ll be checking out the other links eventually.

  18. My issue with anything from the Rudd Center is that they are very pro weight loss & anti-fat & I have a hard time seeing how anyone how wants to love & accept her body, be fat positive, & see others like herself can get anything positive from what they post. They may agree that we should not be abused & stigmatized, but they definitely believe that fat is bad & that we should always be working not to be fat.

    As for dressing, I dress for ME, which for me is jeans & tees, augmented by hoodies when the weather cools & some cargo shorts for hot days, & walking sneakers or waterproof hikers. It is what I like, it fits my lifestyle, & since I have cerebral palsy & arthritis, motor skill & balance issues, walk with a pronounced limp, & now use a rollator walker to help keep me from falling, glamour could not be a high priority for me even I wanted it to be, which I definitely do not. I love comfort & ease, I don’t carry a purse so I prefer pants with functioning pockets (my only real complaint about jeggings), I collect t-shirts with pictures &/or sayings I like, especially fantasy themed or of cartoon characters I love, because I also love animation. I keep my hair very short because I am unable to fuss with it, I do not wear makeup or dye my hair, & that is all my choice. And, as long as I am not indecently exposing myself in public, it is my business. I do not go out alone at night because I am afraid to do so…also, I am a morning person, usually in bed by 9 & up before 6. However, we DO need to concentrate on changing the culture, not convincing women that, if they are assaulted, it is their fault. I was first sexually molested when I was 5 years old & I was NOT being a ‘temptress’. Boys & men also get raped at times, & females from infants to women in their 90’s also get raped. Rape is NOT about sex, about someone being driven insane by your desirability & unable to control himself. Rape is an act of violence, a violation, it is about hatred & resentment & the need to feel powerful & make someone else feel powerless. You can be clothed in a full-length granny nightgown with a nightcap or in footie pajamas & be assaulted.

    We all have a right to love & respect ourselves & our bodies, see & celebrate our own beauty & worth, & dress as we damn well please. We owe no explanations or apologies to anyone. And, Twistie, I also love bright colors…deep purple, turquoise blue, hot pink, bright red, etc.

  19. The entire discussion about what is appropriate for children to wear to school leaves me chuckling. Clothing rules have dramatically changed over my lifetime. When I went to grade school and high school in the late 50’s, early 60’s, girls could not wear pants to school – only dresses or skirts and blouses. No, we did not have uniforms. It was a public school, and it was an exceedingly cold climate. We could wear pants under our dresses (for warmth as we waited for our school bus), but we had to remove them before we attended class. Even then, having those pants under dresses was considered very uncool, and so we froze our legs instead. Skirt length was to be below the knees. We wore girdles and nylons (no jiggling alowed) Boys could not wear jeans. There were many, many rules.

    When I attended college, I was still required to wear a dress to work – in the dorm cafeteria, but we were wearing cutoffs and sweat shirts to class. I had to change clothes before I went to work. Skirt length got shorter and shorter. When I was teaching elementary school, teachers did not wear pants until about my second or third year of teaching, and then it was pants suits only. We did wear the short skirt length, which made teaching a real challenge for us chubbies as we tried not to expose our panties.

    Thus, after I left teaching and went to work in the 70’s, women never wore dresses or skirts and blouses to work or in social situations. We turned the rules upside down. Nonetheless, I am astounded at what kids wear to school these days. I am glad I have never had children or had to provide care for kids today. I am certainly for freedom of expression. Internally, I still have some of those old rules – varying dress by what I feel is appropriate for the situation.

    By the way, I have also seen an evolution in what fat women in the fat acceptance movement wear. In the late 80’s, when I first got involved, we wore very sexy clothes to events. Many of us got into black bras and leather jackets. We put on everything that society had told us we could not wear. As time has gone by, the extreme nakedness has lessened, and we see a more measured manner of approach. Or perhaps some of us decided to go for comfort.

  20. When I was in the 7th grade, I wanted an orange bomber jacket. I instead got a navy-blue old lady down coat. My petite mother told me that “navy blue is a nice sensible color for big girls”. I haven’t worn it since, on principle. I refuse to be sensible. Does my body offend you? Very well, it is sad to be you.

        1. Love it…..
          It’s so funny that now I can wear what I want, I don’t care what Mom wears.
          It’s common that at discount stores, I’ll be pawing through the plus sizes to hear folks hold up something cute and say :”Sheesh! Who would wear THAT??” just as I am saying “Are you going to try that on, or can I try it?”.
          At the same time, I find the blah navy thing my mom would like and find appropriate.
          Sometimes, I’ve bought both in one trip!

          Different strokes………..

  21. I have encountered this type of discrimination my entire life! I remember in high school a teacher literally used to chase me down the hall way to tell me my shorts were too short . .. even though they were the same shorts all the skinny girls wore. Back then I was probably like 20 lbs overweight. It makes me sick!

    1. Not permanently! Substantia just needs a bit of help because her ISP closed and the computer where the photos live rolled craps. *sigh* When she gets a replacement (click to the website to donate!) she will be able to get working on the new site.

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