Monday, November 10, 2008

A quick question, and some small commentary.

I have a post I plan on putting up both on here and on Facebook soon enough, but until the inspiration strikes to write it, this shall have to do. First things first, I have a couple of things to announce.
1. My boyfriend is officially an admin on this blog, which means that hopefully he shall begin posting once his workload for school dies down.
2. If you don't already, follow me on Twitter!
3. Another post I plan on writing shall be about a more controversial 'issue' related to fat admirers, about feeders and feedees, dedicated to a friend of mine who has been wanting me to defend his particular niche in the community since he read my post in defense of fat admirers.
4. I shall be two decades old in 20 days. Madness I say!

Now, on to the question for all of you that I'd like to pose, first with a comment. Whenever I judge how good I look, I find that, regardless of how good I feel about my identity as a fat girl, my judgment will almost always be based off of the opinions that might be shared by everyday society... So in other words, I judge how good I look in something based on how 'flattering' it is, 'flattering' meaning how much thinner it makes me look, how much more of a shape it gives me, or how much bigger my chest looks. In essence, the socially accepted version of what is flattering and what is not. My question for you, then, is this: Do you do this as well? Do you find that you judge how good you look in an outfit based on how slimming it is? If so, do you find this to be rather disheartening, that despite all efforts to work towards the opposite, there are still ideals within ourselves that purport the socially acceptable ways to appear? Do you find this to be a feminist issue as well? Or, do you not feel that this is a problem, and that there's nothing opposing about being happy with your body, and happy with an outfit that makes you appear slimmer/more of an hourglass figure?

Thanks in advance for your input!



Kallipygia said...

For myself, I find that the Internal Fashion Snob is definitely there, making comments. However, she’s not so worried about how slim I look as much as whether I look like a sack of potatoes.

On one hand, I do find it irritating that there is a corner of myself that feels that “approval” of my appearance on any basis other than clean and hygienic is either acceptable or warranted. It feels a bit as though I’m not being true to real, full-hearted size/shape acceptance.

On the other hand, I realize that my sense of esthetics is massively influenced by the classical Greek shapes (when you are in junior high, there are only so many acceptable sources for teaching yourself to draw the human figure) and by the fact that I am personally pretty close to that classical pear shape, with a small-to-medium chest, defined waist and large rump and hips.

Actually, what offends me most is super-baggy clothing and way-too-tight clothing that tries to obliterate the form. A large part of my brain wants to see human-shaped humans. Probably from all that figure drawing. For example, I totally love that so many maternity clothes now show off the baby bump. (/micro rant) There’s just no way to camouflage the fact of an advanced pregnancy, and I always hated the frilly tents that were about all I could find back in the day. I found them de-humanizing, de-womanizing, and infantilizing. (/end micro-rant)

I’m not worried about how “slimming” an outfit is, as much as how well it fits. If it flops around my waist and creates an undifferentiated lump from chest to butt, it bugs me no end. I want my clothes to show off my shape. Of course, I also want them to be comfortable, so I have a definite love-hate relationship with sweatshirts, flannels, and most of my sweaters.

As far as social-acceptability, I occasionally get some would-be wit making a loud drive-by comment on the breadth of my beam. Those make me laugh. (Congratulations, Captain Obvious, would you like a cookie for that stunning observation?)

Actually, I generally find that when I dress to meet my personal esthetic standards, and I feel good about how I look, I walk proud and smile more. This causes people to smile back a lot. It also confuses some people because obviously a woman who looks happy and confident can’t be fat and a fat woman can’t be happy and confident. It’s fun to cause cognitive dissonance! (grin)

Please note that my desire to see human-shaped humans does not mean that I think every woman should be hour-glass or pear shaped. Two excellent examples are Lesley at Fatshionista (, and Nudiemuse at Nudemuse...daily nattering ( who always look incredible. They follow their individual personal styles instead of trying to either stuff themselves into an ill-fitting “socially acceptable” mold or hide in a shapeless bag. Their styles are different, but each looks happy and comfortable with her own appearance. That, IMHO, is what gorgeous is all about.

Janny said...

I'm hyper-critical of how I look in clothing now, mainly because I spent the bulk (ha ha) of my years hiding my figure underneath baggy clothing. That said, I don't necesarily look for stuff that makes me look "slimmer" or that plays up any part of my physique. Ok, that's a lie, because I totally look for stuff that shows off my bum.

I'm more pear/hourglass shaped (going on the previous commenters use of the body shapes), in that I'm smaller up top and huge on bottom, with a very defined waist. My plus sizedness comes in from having a large belly, arms, thighs, and hips/butt. So when I do stress about finding things to flatter my shape or that look slimming, its always about my arms or (what my boyfriend calls) my "pudgy-tumbly" and less about trying to reshape or define my body.

That said, now that I'm almost 25, and have learned to love myself and have the love of an awesome dude to boot, I don't really give a rat's patootie what clothing does for my body, as long as it's comfortable and looks good for my shape (meaning professional, put together, and that it fits correctly).

Calfy said...

I didn't follow the links, but I agree with Kallipygia's comment:

"They follow their individual personal styles instead of trying to either stuff themselves into an ill-fitting “socially acceptable” mold or hide in a shapeless bag. Their styles are different, but each looks happy and comfortable with her own appearance. That, IMHO, is what gorgeous is all about."

Male or female, being a fashion victim is unflattering. If I like something, and it fits me, I'll wear it regardless of whether it could earn me the name of kakazona or megalapygia...

I think that the pressure to conform to a social ideal of dress is not exclusive to women, but the pressure to conform to a social ideal of beauty affects women much more :-(

Spencer said...

I look forward to your future blogs as outlined with a great amount of enthusiasm. x3

Really, I'm touched that you mentioned me. n_n

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