Apparently Our Necks Are Too Fat Now

You Forgot Your BullshitReader Ana let me know about a YouTube Channel that focuses on hairstyles and has almost 900,000 followers.  In a tutorial about “Hair Hacks Every Girl Should Know”  they suggested to those 900,000 people that they should use make-up to contour the back of their necks to make “slimmer graceful looking Updos!”

Fuck. That.

People are allowed to do whatever they want with their necks and their make-up, but if you feel like there’s no hobby or interest that isn’t safe from body shaming and fatphobia, you’re not wrong and it’s not you.  Our cultural obsession with weight means that it’s big business – not just for the people who lie to us and claim that they can make us thinner, but for all the people who leech off that obsession for profit, clicks, and attention.

That means that we run into body shaming and fat shaming everywhere we turn whether it’s knitting, styling our hair, participating in sports, fashion…people know that talking about weight loss – or just about the illusion of weight loss – will get them the attention.  Plus people are subject to the body shaming, single stereotype of beauty culture and they start to believe that maybe their neck would look “better” if they applied make-up to create the illusion of a different shape.

We do not have to participate in this. We have options:

Option 1:  Boycott/Protest

We can decide that we don’t want to give our time, money and energy to a brand/person/company that body shames us. We can choose to boycott them, we can engage in activism like writing a letter or posting on their social media etc.

Option 2:  Create Our Own

This is how the Fit Fatties Forum was born.  Jeanette and I were tired of trying to participate in fitness forums that were full of weight loss talk and anti-fat talk, so we created a forum for talking about fitness from a weight neutral perspective.  You can use sites like Facebook and or start a group in your living room, and remember that you get to make the rules for your space.

Option 3:  Deal With it

Sometimes we might choose to just deal with the body shaming because it’s a product/television show/website etc. that we like.  That’s a totally valid choice, but it can really help to have some mantras ready to deal with the body shaming, as I’ve mentioned before, my mantra is “Hey, that’s bullshit!” but feel free to use what works for you.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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


13 thoughts on “Apparently Our Necks Are Too Fat Now

  1. Talk about grasping for straws. Can’t shame us with our faces/legs/arms/whatever so let’s use the backs of our necks!! ::rolls eyes::

  2. Just two days ago I found out that last months issue of a german free magazine given to kids at pharmacies chimed in on body shaming. This magazine is meant for 5-12 year olds and usually explains medical topics in a way suitable for children. I liked it when I was that age. Now they thought it was a good idea to print a “test” in it “how happy are you with your figure?”, asking very suggestive questions shaming kids. One question was “everyone at school is wearing these skinny jeans, but they simply don’t look good on you, what do you do?” with answering options like “I don’t care, I tuck myself in” or “I have to go on a diet right now!” The publisher defended the issue by calling it “controversial” and “courageous”, and claimed they wanted to help finding out if your child might be having anorexia… so much for there’s no safe place from body shaming, not even for little kids in a magazine originally meant to help them understand health, medicine and their bodies.
    I’m just glad to hear that many pharmacists refused to give this magazine to children and one of them started an initiative asking other pharmacists to boycott this issue of the magazine and wrote an open letter to the publisher. Some media picked it up, too. Still makes me sick to my stomach that things like this even exist in the first place. Especially as I have been body shamed in my family from a very young age and I am, now 37, still recovering from this.

    1. So, in order to find out if the kids have anorexia, they ask all these triggering questions, that make the kids think “WOW! I’m fat! I need to lose weight right now!” when before, they might not have even thought about it?

      How about, in order to see if someone has anorexia, you look at their actual behavior and do some medical tests for malnourishment? Maybe?

      Good for those people who are boycotting it. I hope the magazine learns its lesson and goes back to actual reporting and education.

  3. I’m just trying to wrap my head around how they expect someone to put make-up on the back of their own neck. I mean, sure, it’s easy enough to slap on some base, but we’re talking about shading and contouring, and actual artistic application here, and that’s hard to do if you can’t see what you’re doing. Also, with mirrors, you’d need two – one in front of you and one behind, and if you’re holding the mirror with one hand, and the applicator in the other, how do you hold the make-up? Also, what about those people who just don’t have multiple mirrors, or make do with a compact?

    I suppose we’re supposed to get our friends to help us out. Hey! Let’s have a slumber party and braid each other’s hair and make-up each other’s necks! So we can look “graceful” and “slimmer” to impress… Well, each other, I suppose.

    This tip is about as practical as that thing where you’re supposed to suck on a bottle top to swell your lips. First of all, it takes a while, and if you do it wrong, you look like someone smacked you in the kisser, and you get all bruised and stuff, and then, if you do it “right” it only lasts two hours, or three at most, and you have to do it all over again, and EVERY time you do it, you risk damaging your lips, with bruising, and broken blood vessels, and possible long-term damage. Also, you might look “kissable,” but I can’t imagine wanting to kiss anyone with my lips all painfully swollen like that. But that’s just me. I almost never even wear make-up at all, so what do I know?

  4. CW: “medical” procedure details.
    When I saw the subject of this post, I thought it was going to refer to the horrific procedure I caught on television this weekend — I wish it had been a commercial, but I think it was actually part of a news broadcast, about “Cool Sculpting.” The “patient” had a device strapped to her neck that, when removed, appeared to have seared the woman’s flesh. But no, it was “freezing the fat inside her neck/chin,” and then they did the OTHER side, which again left a huge red welt. I’m glad I didn’t see it from the beginning, but the whole thing just left me a mix of angry and sad.

    1. Oh, controlled frostbite. What could possibly go wrong? 😛 A quick Google search suggests that at least it’s pretty safe, but side effects like ulceration, permanent damage to sensation, scarring, abrupt edges where the procedure was done, and a rare paradoxical reaction where the body makes extra fat in the treated area can occur. There are also lots of “before” pictures of people who look just fine, followed by “after” pictures of people who look just fine and very very slightly different.

      I definitely don’t mean to offend anyone who has had or is desiring this procedure, and of course as Ragen says people are allowed to do what they want, but I think people’s body dissatisfaction IS often due to outside forces, and the desire to be perfect (by whose standards?) by surgically altering one’s perfectly functional body strikes me as sad, rather like bariatric surgery.

      (I had plastic surgery on my jug-handle ears at age 11. I wish I hadn’t. The message I carry with me is that even my parents thought I was flawed, and my ears, which look fine, still hurt horribly if folded forward, forty-one years later. This colors my view.)

      1. Yeah. I’m all for corrective surgery after an accident, or something, to put you back the way you were. And if you seriously just can’t stand that one thing… Fix it, by all means.

        What gets me, though, is the over-whelming and pervasive PRESSURE to change practically everything about ourselves to fit the societal mold, instead of saying, “This is me. I am fine.”

        Remember Jennifer Grey? She was a big name. Then she got a nose job, and could rarely get work, anymore, because people didn’t recognize her, or believe she was who she said she was. All because some people told her that her nose was “too big.” Too big for what?

        BTW, Bing Crosby had jug-handle ears. So did Clark Gable. It didn’t stop them from being awesome.

  5. Oh sure. If I just put some make-up on the back of my neck, it will immediately look like Audrey Hepburn’s neck in the ball scene from “My Fair Lady” …. Riiiiiiight. ( And of course, that leaves out the fact that Audrey Hepburn’s neck would look supremely weird between my body and my head anyway!)

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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.