Nike enlisted as allies to the glory of obesity, or: Fat People Are Entitled To Clothes Too

I’m back! After a couple of weeks of being locked out of my WordPress due to an update issue a couple of dear friends have helped to get me back in. Aside from having to deal with a hacked blog post, I’m back.

With that in mind I do have a couple of posts lined up that I’ve had ready following on from LondonEdge but I’ve not had a chance to since having my issues. But I wanted to write this out first as it’s kinda current and I just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.

You may be aware the recently Nike brought out a plus size range, enlisting bloggers Danielle Vanier and Grace Victory to model. Look at these amazing babes:

Source: Cosmopolitan UK

The response to Nike’s plus size range was completely predictable.

As with anything fat people do it’s all for the glory of promoting obesity, apparently, and that is not limited to wearing and using athletic clothing.

Thin people want fat people to stop being fat because “health!11!1” but make it difficult, if not impossible, to access the means to engage in things like exercise. When they aren’t attacking fat people for using a bike , they humiliate people at the gym like that piece of shit body builder Diana Andrews and model Dani Mathers, or when exercising in general. They don’t care about the process, they just want the end result.

See, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Thin people don’t actually care about our health. They don’t like fatness because we’ve all been conditioned to hate it but need to put a palatable face on their hatred that doesn’t make them look like a bad person, because how can a person who’s advocating for your well-being be a bad person?!

There’s also lots of gross assumptions that this clothing range should be embraced because it enables fat people to stop being fat (an actual thing I saw on Twitter). It should be embraced because fat people should have the same choice and opportunities as thin people.

Not all fat people exercise to lose weight.

Exercise should be a decision you make based on what is good for you and your well being and not because you have to meet some fucked up standard thin people think you should be trying to reach.

“At least they’re trying!” GAG.

Exercise can be a source of pleasure, strength, a means of socialising, and well-being. When I was trying to learn roller derby (and failing miserably) I felt amazing. I loved it. It made me feel good, I made friends in a strange new town, and having a hobby was fun.

It just highlights that no matter what you do as a fat person it’s never going to be good enough so do what pleases you and fuck those miserable arseholes.

 

 

 

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New Year, same shit.

recite-17w2mmr

There’s been a trend among brands in recent months that, honestly, is pissing me off.

Christmas and New Year is always a rough time for anyone battling with body issues as it’s rife with jokes about feeling fat/eating everything/feeling gross and associating it with fatness. The usual rude associations with fatness. But what I find most galling with this is it’s a lot of plus size brands doing this. It’s bad enough that we have limited clothing options as it is without further narrowing our parameters to not include brands that are literally insulting their demographic.

new-year-new-you-bullshit

Fat people experience a lot of bigotry, they are more likely to receive inadequate health care due to biases levelled at them, if they even  drum up the courage to go because they are anxious about the fat shaming they know they will experience anyway, fat people see the incessant message that thinness is the ideal in every source of media they consume and now they are being shamed by brands that are allegedly catering for them?

Is there anywhere we can go where we aren’t being shamed?

This need to be relatable with brands often comes across as really corny anyway, but it’s harmless jokes about hating Mondays so whatever, but with then insipid slew of “New year, new you” bullshit is this sewer of fat shaming from brands who should damn well know better.

Here’s an concept: how about you focus on selling quality clothes for fat people and stop insulting us? Put as much effort into your twee and relatable social media as you do taking the time to learn about how clothing works for fat bodies, how to not charge us ridiculous premiums, and make clothes that are on trend and fun to wear? How about that,hmm?

 

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There isn’t enough room for all this bullshit

HelloGiggle.com recently shared this photograph from selling website/app Wish, that were advertising a pair of plus size shorts:

Charming, huh?
As noted in the HG article this is an incredibly cruel way to advertise clothing. Naturally there’s been some uproar over social media. Christina, of Interrobang art, who makes and sells clothing up to a 34, posted this fantastic response on her Instagram account

But this isn’t the first time this sort of cruel marketing has been used. AliExpress were under scrutiny back in 2015 for using this image to sell plus size leggings

The Big Bloomers Company, a site dedicated to plus size underwear use this to advertise their plus size tights

Aye, you keep smiling it up Sally Small.
I don’t doubt there are many more, these are just the ones I was able to find first. So what’s the issue? 
In laymans terms it’s disrespectful as fuck to use this sort of strategy to advertise plus size clothing. 
The photos are utterly ridiculous, verging on comical and circus-esque. “Look how HUGE this product is! You can fit a whole other person with room to spare!”
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We don’t see fat people as real people but rather bodies that can’t be comprehended without using “normal” bodies for scale. You want to advertise plus size clothing, and demonstrate how big your products are? USE ACTUAL FAT PEOPLE. Use a diverse range of sizes to demonstrate the variety of sizing you offer. “Here’s a body wearing a size 12, and here’s the same product in a 32.” It’s NOT HARD. 

There are so many fat people out there who would offer their services. Look at how plus size brands have tapped into using bloggers to model for them. The sizes are out there: you just won’t use them.
Frankly I am sick of companies humiliating fat people and in the next breath taking our money. If they aren’t using micro-aggresive language like “flattering”, “slimming” and other such crap to suggest our fat can, and should, be magically hidden then they are outright removing us from their brick and mortar stores. 
What is even the logic in this? Do they not think fat people are going to take one look at this and close the fucking tab? Bullying people does not a profit make. Too long have companies tapped into a person’s low self esteem to sell you a product you don’t need, for an imaginary issue you don’t even have. But people need clothes. What we don’t need is being made out to be circus freaks. 

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Title schmitle.

Outing yourself as a feminist on social media often erupts a tsunami or eye-rolling from Facebook friends who hit the unfollow button faster than a speeding bullet. Coming into your own, politically speaking, can be a real eye-opening experience.
Facebook is a beast of its own and is quite unique in that, for some, there is a real sense of obligation to have people you can barely stand on your friends list, lest you look like some sort of mean bitch; the loathsome, boring co-worker, the cringe worthy family member, the old schoolmate who you barely spoke to back then and for some bizarre reason wants to add you some 10 years later. Luckily Facebook has a wonderful tool whereby you can hide these people from your feed and for some time you forget they actually exist until one fateful day they pop up on a status touting their less than desirable opinion on a controversial topic you have decided to share.

I’ve reached a point now, after a few online skirmishes and the words “man-hating feminazi” being thrown at me from former acquaintances that I’ve made a decision to cultivate my online spaces to incorporate only people I can actually be bothered to speak to. It’s not so much a question of people agreeing with me, far from it. I am always open to changing my opinion and I appreciate anyone who can present their argument in a thought-out way that gives me a new perspective. But I am loathed to deal with people who argue just for the sake of arguing.
So it’s always particularly jarring when I engage with friends on Facebook and their friends turn on you. It’s difficult because you want to tell them to go jump but you have to be respectful to your friend who, for some reason, keeps these people around.

I suppose the reason for this post is more for a show of solidarity to those who, for their own reasons, aren’t as ruthless as me when navigating their social media spaces. (I have dramatically culled family members when they have been less than thoughtful, no one is safe.) It’s difficult to be taken seriously when you are politically minded, and a strong minded woman at that. It’s difficult to express yourself politically without someone trying to undermine YOU, not your argument, because half the time they don’t actually get what you’re saying just that you have the audacity to say it. It’s difficult to not apologise for speaking out because we tend to start out sentences with “sorry but..”

The best thing I ever did was decided that I wasn’t going to let anybody undermine me. I wasn’t going to let anyone mock me. Bully me. Silence me.
I want you to challenge me. Support me. Inspire me. Enlighten me.

But you will never bring me down.
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