Fatshion Friday: My Favorite Shirt

Last summer, I went to a couple of events for Full Figured Fashion Week. I went to a sample sale, and I browsed the tables and got to meet some of the designers. I happened to run by Nicole Grier’s table. She is super sweet, and she owns a line named Feminine Funk. Her designs are so cute! I had to pick up a shirt. And the one I purchased, I wear at least once a week. Either while lounging, going out for the day, running to the bodega…

And the saying on the front? Gold!

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If you got a problem with my hips, I feel bad for you son.

I got 99 problems but my curves ain’t one..

I always feel like a true badass in this shirt. I’ll be getting this one next.

What piece of clothing brings out your inner ferocity? Share them in the comments!

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Positivity Retail Therapy Shopping

Selfie Revelation

I have never really been one for pictures. I rarely smile in the ones I took when I was younger (baby/toddler/elementary school pictures excluded). In fact, for my senior pictures, I did smile in some, and everyone requested my serious pose. That’s how they knew me, my friends said, and that’s how they wanted to remember me.

As I got older, and less secure in who I was (and am), I hated pictures more. They’re for beautiful people. They’re for skinny people. They’re for folks with perfect skin. All I got going for me is smarts, but I can never be pretty. I can never be attractive. I can never be wanted.

I belong in the background. Not center stage.

Even now, despite having selfies all over my Instagram feed, I don’t always feel 100% comfortable posting them. When no one likes them, I still feel a touch of sadness, even though I only have a handful of followers that have their own busy lives to contend with. Irrational as it is, I still sometimes feel like pictures are for people not me.

The beautiful ones.

And yet, Sunday, for whatever reason, I decided to join in the #sundayselfie craze that goes on every week. Can’t explain why. Devil made me do it, perhaps.

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And there I am. No makeup, no filter (I was tempted), hair tied up in a green and blue head wrap, favorite off the shoulder tee.

And I love it.

May not mean anything to anyone else in the webisphere, but damn, that is something serious for me. I look good, and I’m not ashamed to say that.

And that scares me a little.

As a fat, black woman, daring to love who I am is a radical act. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I’ve had people tell me about I’m almost perfect except I am fat. Almost perfect except my teeth aren’t completely straight (and now you know why I rarely smile.) Almost, but not there yet.

It has taken me years to realize I am not something that needs to be fixed. I’m not broken. Society is. And I am not gonna feed the machine not one more day.

I still have my moments of “ugh, bad everything day,” but more and more I am able to push that to the side, puff my chest out, and strut anyway.

Revelations from one picture.

And more to come.

Positivity Stories

On Reclaiming the Word Fat

I had a conversation with my coworker a while back, and in the middle of the discussion, I started a sentence with “As a fat woman, I–” and my coworker stopped me short.

“No, Char! Don’t call yourself fat!”

Admittedly, I was bewildered. After all, I am fat. This can easily be seen by looking at me. So, I responded: “But, C, I am fat.”

“No! It’s just so…negative. Don’t say such a thing, because you are a good person with a good heart.”

“Thanks, doll, but really, I am fat. What you mean is that I am not all of those negative things people associate with fat. Like, stupid, ugly, and so on. But I refuse to let the word fat mean anything more than that. If someone thinks I’m stupid  and ugly, then said someone would do well to say that as opposed to hurling the word “fat” at me as though they’re telling me something I don’t know or implying I should be ashamed of that fact.”

C looked at me thoughtfully. “You know, I never thought of it like that.”

People have a habit of adding the word “fat” to whatever insult they’re hurling towards someone else. “She’s a fat, horrible, miserable person.” “He is the absolute worst, fucking fat ass.” When people do this, folks get the idea that fat=terrible. And it really isn’t.

Here’s the thing: I call myself fat because it’s how I would describe myself. I put it right in the same category as if I would say I was Black, I have an afro, I am average height, and I am fat. Typically, around others, I make it a point to use other euphemisms for fat: curvy, thick, plus sized. And I don’t have an issue with these other terms (or issues with those who prefer these other terms to the word fat.) But I figure that attitudes can’t change  unless folks see that there is another route to interpretation. So, I am a Black woman author/makeup maven with an afro, and I’m fat.

I reject the notion that fat is an indicator of my intelligence, of my beauty, of my self worth, or of my personality. I reject the notion that fat=ugly. I reject the notion that fat=unlovable.

Fat is an adjective, not an insult. Period.

Until next time, stay empowered and beautiful.

Positivity Rant