Sunday, February 27, 2011


So I frequent a forum on Ravelry devoted to the work of a certain designer. (I.e., nothing to do with food, politics, dieting, fat, or various other potential minefields.) Everyone there is very nice and funny, and I love reading it--it's one of the highlights of my day.


People never ever EVER stop talking smack about their bodies. Either it's "I've lost so much weight and I'm so pleased," or it's "I'm [insert fat euphemism here] so I won't do the waist-shaping on this sweater." (And don't even get me started on how wrong that last one is.)

It gets me down. I feel judged for not constantly apologizing for weighing too much, and I feel bad for not caring about what other people consider an accomplishment (because, seriously, diet talk is just plain boring). And I feel bad for women who feel like they need to disguise their ugly, ugly fat so thoroughly that they won't even consider waist shaping in a sweater.

What does the peanut gallery think? Should I ask the mods to ask the group to axe the diet talk? On the one hand, I don't want to ruin anyone's fun. On the other, I don't want my own ruined.


Arc Obscura said...

1. "I've lost so much weight" is a positive change for most people that they are and should be proud of. Nothing is wrong with being overweight, but there are many health risks, etc. associated with it. I send kudos to those out there who have decided to make a healthier change for themselves. That being said, if the tone is more like, "I lost 60 pounds using this new food that actually attacks your fat, ninja style. Hey it hurts, and I was in the hospital for six months, but now I'm pretty." I would consider talking to the forum leaders. No one likes to be preached to.

2. As far as those who don’t do waist shaping because of their own weight issues. I think this is more of a comment/response situation. Remind them that no matter their weight or particular body image issues, nothing makes them look as good as clothing that fits and flatters. Not potato sacks in pretty colors.* Waist shaping is important. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy: I don’t like my waist, so I hide it in clothing that makes me look frumpy, old, and frankly, heavier than I actually am, so I look at my waist and I don’t like it. Just gently remind them, proper fitting clothes that are neither too small nor too large will make them look fantastic, no matter the waist measurement. Find a way to highlight the smallest part of their waist, no matter the number, and they will look curvy and wonderful, just like they are. Every woman, no matter what weight, deserves to feel and look as though she has a waist. She will look and feel much better if she does.

3. NEVER feel bad for not apologizing about your body. Not for anyone. Not ever. ‘nough said.

4. I realize that while I believe what I have said in 1 and 2, it seems as though I am saying, “suck up the skinnies talk, and preach to the fatties.” I guess, weight talk doesn’t bother me as long as it has nothing to do with me. But all too often, whether it is meant this way or not, it comes out as, “I am better than you, because I lost weight.” If it bothers you, talk to someone. However, I bet the fact they say it is not what really bothers you. It’s that they believe it. Look at it this way, you, or someone nice like you, can comment on these things and maybe make someone feel better about themselves. If they can’t write it out, they just internalize it. Hello! Self-fulfilling prophecy?

*side note: this is something that really, really irks me about project runway. Anytime they have a real sized woman’s challenge, the judges get all excited about floury potato sacks for the plus size women. It is such bull. It’s like saying, “you have hips and a tummy, you ate too much, you are ugly. Here, for the love of god, cover up!!!”

Lanafactrix said...

Yeah, I think you've gotten to the heart of it. What distresses me is that these wonderful, beautiful women genuinely think there's something wrong with their bodies. I want to give all of them big hugs.