Fatshion Friday: Keep Your Bones, Target

Yesterday, I read about the newest Target designer collaboration: Lilly Pulitzer.

I was cautiously excited, because I LOVE me some Lilly Pulitzer. Bright, colorful, happy perpetual springtime lives in those designs. Cautious, because Target has a track record of not bothering to stock their designer collabs in plus sizes.

And then: glimmer of hope! They’re gonna stock these designs in plus!

*cheers happiness hooray*

And then…*sad trombone* They’ll only be stocked online. Because OF COURSE THEY ARE.

*exasperated sigh*

Here’s the thing. Look at that first article I posted up there. Did you see any mention of the plus size range? Any plus sized models in the pictures? No? You either? Ok.

So, y’all are willing to take my money, Target, but you can’t admit you like me? That other women like me have serious buying power? I see what this is.

I’m happy that Target is willing to branch out with their offerings, and give plus sizes a chance. But I can’t imagine they didn’t know that their plus sized customer was unhappy with their current offerings, what with all of the hullabaloo surrounding the disappearance of plus sizes from their stores. When people clamored for the return of the plus sized section, a paltry sign appeared where the 2 racks used to be stating “We’ll be back soon with new offerings!”

Hey, Target? My store still doesn’t have new offerings. Can y’all get on that please? Thanks kindly.

Now you tell me that there’s FINALLY a designer collab that will fit me and I can’t even go try it on? This is not ok.

Oh, I should be happy you expanded the sizes? Don’t get me wrong, I am quite excited!

But y’all just threw me a bone.

I want the whole piece of chicken.

I, like a lot of women, prefer to feel fabrics, see the colors in person, see if it stretches, try things on. I don’t have money to be purchasing more than one of the same item online in case something doesn’t work. I don’t have time to be paying for shipping to get it to me (and I think returns are free, but what if the other size is out of stock in the time it takes you to return it?)

Stop shaking that bone of “but it’s in PLUS” at me.

I want the whole piece of chicken.

I like instant gratification just like the next person. The idea of piecing the outfit together, gathering shoes and accessories all in the same place? Deliberately finding somewhere to go to show off my good taste? All of that excitement? Slightly watered down when I have to order it online.

“We gave you what you wanted!” I am not here for this bone you keep wagging at me.

Give me the whole piece of chicken!

My money is just as green. I deserve just as many options. I freely admit that if I had more access to clothing I’d probably spend more than I do on it now. I do the majority of my shopping online, as that’s where the good options are. But I wish I had more brick and mortar stores to do that in.

Target, you have stores all over the country, and you couldn’t even be bothered to put your first designer collab that comes in plus in a store? That bone you keep throwing at me just looks more and more meager.

I don’t need your bone.

I need the whole piece of chicken. And the respect and courtesy of being able to shop as the rest of your customers do.

 

Opinions Rant Shopping

Banishing the Diet-Mind

This is the year I can’t be bothered to do a “lose weight” resolution.

Normally, I don’t do resolutions in general. Can’t be bothered to try and keep them, and the moment I break them.

But every year, whether spoken or not, I always have “lose weight this year” bouncing about in the back of my head.

It’s something I fight. Because despite all of the things I’ve done in life, all the things I’ve overcome, all the things I’m working towards currently…it’s this damned resolution that rings in my ears every year.

Because if I can do it, I can be truly successful.

Let’s unpack that, shall we?

Over the last few years I have climbed the ladder at work, and won awards for doing that thing I do so well. This year I have decided to get my MFA in creative writing, and am completing applications in between my other projects. I hope to get a short story published this year. I’m branching out socially. I actually think I’m enjoying it even. I take pictures and I SMILE, for goodness’ sake!

None of that makes me successful, to my Diet-Mind. I’m still fat.

How sad, right?

Most of us fat folks have a Diet-Mind. The Diet-Mind is that voice that sits in the back of your head and speaks to you when you’re at your lowest moment. It convinces you that the problems you’re having will somehow go away if you lose weight. Typically, that isn’t how it works, but the Diet-Mind is pretty convincing. It gives us something to change, to fix, to hang on to when there’s nothing else tangible to blame. We shift it inward. And next to the deep part of your soul, in a dark cave, the Diet-Mind lurks. Waiting for the moment to strike.

Sometimes we give in to that Diet-Mind, the harpy. Polishing its delicate claws, the Diet-Mind seeks to needle its way into our delicate psyche. We can’t be happy with our myriad of accomplishments.

I finally made it into Headstand!  Diet-Mind: Doesn’t matter. Your belly hangs.

I made it to the end of the trail. I’m not even out of breath! Diet-Mind: But your thighs rub together though. Ew.

This outfit came together perfectly! I look amazing, and I feel— Diet-Mind: fat. You feel fat, hon. Because you are.

-_-

The Diet-Mind seeks to undermine our self confidence at every turn. No celebrating, because at every turn, we’re reminded that we are fat.

As if we didn’t see that in the mirror this morning.

Bit by bit, the Diet-Mind whispers into our ears about how we’d really look fabulous if we dropped about 20lbs. Think of the inversions you could make! The trails you could hike! You can’t do that now. You’re fat. You’ll embarrass yourself. Listen, how about you wait until you’re not overweight, ok? Let’s work on that first. Then you can hike, and do yoga, and dress properly. Come on, now. Be realistic.

The Diet-Mind is negativity incarnate.

I’ll pause here to say–sometimes, for some people, the Diet-Mind is a kind soul. It helps some of us get to the next level, to make a good decision for our health. For some people, the Diet-Mind is a life saver.

For others, quite a few of us, including me, the Diet-Mind seeks to destroy us from the inside. It wraps itself around our self worth, our confidence, our core well being and strangles what bit of positive thinking we have. If it isn’t our Diet-Mind being horrid, it’s someone else’s Diet-Mind telling us: hey, look, it can be done! She fixed herself. You can do it to! What’s your excuse? Or even still: I worry about you. Won’t you work on this? For me?

But…I’m not broken. I’m just fat. How can my fat bother you, exactly? I live in my body, you live in yours. Let me be happy in my body, you be happy in yours.

That’s it.

That’s all.

If I’m looking to lose anything this year, it’s the Diet-Mind. It knows when to rear its ugly head, normally when I’m at my highest stress level, and tries to convince me the way to serenity is losing 70lbs.

But being smaller won’t get my paperwork done, though. It won’t get this manuscript written or proofed. It won’t get me clients. It won’t improve my makeup skills. Won’t change my style–I’m already fierce.

What my Diet-Mind actually gets me is lower self esteem and lower confidence. It makes me think I’m not worthy of companionship, and that me being fat is why.

And absolutely none of that is true.

If I had to make a resolution this year, and call it a resolution, it would be this: to love myself more. To be kinder to myself. To accept myself in all of my flaws and failings, and to recognize that all of these come together to make this person. That makes ME. And loving myself as I am, in this body, is OK. Yes, it’s a radical act, but it’s mine to make, and I do so proudly.

Diet-Mind, you are no longer free to take up residence in my brain. Begone!

Opinions Positivity Rant

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