What Is She Wearing?

Biscuit doesn't care about flatteringSorry for the missed blogs and thank you so much to everyone who e-mailed to make sure that I was doing ok.  I am, in fact, great! I had the amazing opportunity to be part of an incredible staff, managing a spectacular group of volunteers at a stellar event, and it was more awesome than I could have imagined (Shout out to the Volunteer and Production Teams!!) As these things so often go, the hours were long and so I took a few days off blogging to maximize my sleep time.

I’m about to go catch up on my sleep, but I’ve missed you and so I have an oldie but goodie for you today:

My blog was mentioned in a woman’s forum where they were talking positively about my work, which was really nice.  But then these seemingly kind-hearted, at least open to the ideas of Health at Every Size and Size Acceptance, women went on an absolute rampage about how other women dress.

I see this all the time in any number of guises, from the blatant “can you believe that she’s wearing that” to the “it’s for her own good that’s just not flattering on her” Let’s look at some examples shall we?

If you’re not blueberry or chocolate chip then I don’t want to see your muffin top.

Well, I’m not blueberry or chocolate chip so go ahead and look somewhere else. (And no points for the play on words..it’s just weak game all around.)

You’ve just got to find clothes that hide your flaws.

I don’t just got to do anything and my body doesn’t have any flaws, it’s perfect the way it is (and if it gets heavier or lighter, it will be perfect then too). I am, in fact, a proud member of the Fuck Flattering Club.

I don’t even want to see thin women wearing tight clothing.

Just. Don’t. Look.

I believe in wearing very modest, figure flattering clothes.

Awesome, rock that shit!  Explain again how you think that affects anyone else’s clothing choices?

I just think that big girls should wear dark clothing.

I just think you should bite me.

I’m not hating on fat people but I don’t want to see fat bodies.

You are totally hating on fat people and a disclaimer doesn’t change that.  In the South we use “bless her heart” for this purpose and it doesn’t hold water either.

In short, if someone is looking for their beeswax, they are not going to find it in someone else’s closet.

It doesn’t matter how we do it, or what our intentions are, I would ask the we consider that this type of discussion is nothing more than thinly veiled body hate and that we are better than body snarking. So maybe people should dress in whatever way makes them happy and if other people don’t like it then there are a lot of other things to look at, and a lot of other things to talk about…what do you say?

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become 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.  Click here for details

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

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

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

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.


11 thoughts on “What Is She Wearing?

  1. I must confess, before I discovered your blog I was guilty of judging other women for their choices in the looks department. And your blog changed me. Now I know – tolerance is no one way street. If I want people not to judge me because of the way I look, I should at least stop judging myself! (Not that I am ALWAYS successful. Old habits .. like weed.)
    And I am tryin hard to convince my sister, to do the same.

  2. I used to be a very “typical” (I HATE THAT WORD, but so far haven’t a better replacement) catty gay man and loved critiquing the fashion choices of everyone I saw (grandmas, men, women, even babies!). Me and my circle of friends would get hours of entertainment sipping our margaritas while pointing out the flaws in everyone we saw…hairstyles to toenails.

    But then one day I had the stark realization that while my intentions were not evil like all the gym coaches, family members, pastors, etc.. Who fat shamed me, the end result was probably pretty similar. Sadness, shame and self doubt. I resolved that day to try my best to not be catty towards peoples clothing and fashion choices.

    Biscuit is adorable by the way!

    1. I would suggest ‘stereotypical’ is a better word than ‘typical’ in this case. It’s what society expects, but not necessarily a more common behavior among gay men than among many other segments of society.

      Getting beyond catty feels good, doesn’t it? I think most of us have some area where we need to fight that urge, and every time we manage it is a victory.

  3. Wardrobe snarking is not only body shaming, but often classist and racist as well. Those of us who can’t afford designer clothes take a lot of grief, and a lot of women who choose to celebrate their ancestry through their clothing choices or black women who wear their hair naturally or in elaborate braids get told these things are ‘inappropriate.’

    My feeling is that unless someone asks you ‘is my bra showing?’ or ‘which blouse do you like better?’ there’s no reason whatsoever to comment in a negative way on someone’s clothing choice. Even in those cases a simple ‘yes’ or ‘the green one’ will more than cover the case.

    It’s one thing to mention it when your friend is walking around without realizing her fly is undone. It’s entirely another to tell someone they would look thinner in black, so they shouldn’t wear yellow.

    And for the record, Biscuit is an adorable dinosaur!

  4. Oh, thank you! as someone who has been dressing to make myself happy since I was quite a small child (yay for having an art teacher as a mother!), I am sure my clothing choices horrify people on a regular basis. I hope they are having fun being offended, because I’m having fun dressing like this!

  5. Well said, I am working on this type of thinking. I find myself being judgemental and remind myself that it really helps no one. So I am working hard on leaving my judgments for important matters.

  6. Growing up poor I almost never had clothes that weren’t previously worn by other people and often times I had to wear clothes to school that didn’t fit properly and often with small holes or stains on them. As if I didn’t get bullied enough as a fat kid, I got it doubly so by people who enjoyed making fun of the poor, and those who make fun of people based on how they’re dressed. It’s hard finding child appropriate clothes to fit a fat girl, let alone on a budget of zero – so you take what you can get, and wear anything that will cover your body. Growing up like that, having people bully me because of my clothes (on top of the fat shaming), gave me a unique perspective on “what is she wearing” comments. Despite our society grooming people to judge and comment on other people’s appearances, I’ve not really had a problem with doing that myself, due to the way I grew up.

    I do “get it” though – our society brainwashes people to judge and comment on other people’s appearances (particularly to judge women), so though I get it when other’s do it, and realize that most people do it without real malice in their hearts, that doesn’t excuse it. And I have no tolerance for it. I will call out that bullshit whenever I hear it.

  7. I’m of the mind that judgement and getting joy from putting others down has more to do with the person doing the judging. I’m not perfect. I make a point not to judge others but when I do find myself slipping, I force myself to take a step back and examine myself and what is motivating me to be judgemental. The issue is always something with myself and judging others is a way of lashing out and making myself feel better. When people are being snarky about someone else, I always have to wonder what it is about themselves they’re so unhappy with.

  8. I’ve started taking Facebook friends to task for posting photos from the “People of Walmart” page for this very reason. One friend defended his posting of it by saying it was “all in fun” and “she’s the one that chose to go out dressed like that.”

    As someone who was bullied as a kid, I’ve heard that “all in fun” defense too many times, and it’s an incomplete statement. What it really is saying is that, “it’s all in fun for me, but not for the person we’re ridiculing.”

    And so what if “she’s the one that chose to go out dressed like that”? The last time I checked, people didn’t need public consensus permission for how they dressed, so long as they’re not violating the indecent exposure laws.

    I’ve had people complain that they didn’t like seeing me in a kilt. Too freakin’ bad. I enjoy wearing my kilts, and if someone doesn’t like the way it looks, they can look somewhere else.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.