These amazing pictures of Marilyn Monroe and me were sent anonymously as a gift. I wish I knew who to give the credit to, thank you whoever you are! The pictures of me were taken as part of a photo shoot with Richard Sabel. EDIT: I thought these were a gift but it turns out that they were made by haters to try to make fun of me. And so if anyone ever asks you to define Epic Fail, you can send them here.
I. Love. These. Pictures. I love that they show two people with very different bodies enjoying similar movement. Of course, movement is not an obligation or a barometer of worthiness. and obviously I can’t speak for Ms. Monroe, but for me this picture is about my joy of embodiment.
I know that Marilyn Monroe is often used as an icon for the plus size movement, and there’s lots of controversy around what size she was and whether or not she’s really “plus size”. I don’t participate in that at all. First of all, I can’t ask her what she thinks about it. But mostly, I don’t think that we should have to justify our existence in any way. People of all sizes have the right to exist, to love our bodies, and to live without being subjected to shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression whether Marilyn Monroe was “plus-sized” or not.
I don’t need Marilyn Monroe to be plus sized to love myself. I don’t have to look, or move, or be anything like her to find both of our bodies amazing and both of us beautiful. I know that there’s also a lot of controversy around the idea of beauty and the amount of power and importance it currently holds. To me the ability to perceive beauty is a skill, so if I can’t find the beauty in someone else then I’m the problem – the issue is that I haven’t done enough work to develop my skill set, their intrinsic beauty is never be in question. In my activism I work to destroy the social construct of beauty-as-power by suggesting that everyone is beautiful and the difference is in our choice of whether or not to recognize that. Regardless beauty is something that we get to claim and own for ourselves if we want to. I get that not everyone believes that or thinks about it that way and I think that’s totally cool as well. What’s important in my life is that, when it comes to other people’s ideas of beauty or how I should look or move, in the words of Glinda the Good Witch, “you have no power here, be gone.”
Speaking of pictures with me in them, Toni Tails is creating a Body Positive Coloring Book and she asked me if she could make me a page. Of course I agreed because, hey, coloring book! You can check out the project here and if you’re feeling creative, you can click on the drawing to get a full-size version of her super cute drawing to color.
Like the blog? Consider becoming a member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.
What do member fees support? I get hundreds of requests a day (not including hatemail) from academic to deeply personal. I get paid for some of my speaking and writing (and do both on a sliding scale to keep it affordable), but a lot of the work I do isn’t paid so member support makes it possible (and let me just give a huge THANK YOU to my members, I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support!) Click here for details
Here’s more cool stuff:
Are you looking for a way to do some fun movement this summer (and get prizes for it?) Consider a Fit Fatty Virtual Summer Vacation!
My Book: Fat: The Owner’s Manual The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for detail
Dance Classes: Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details