Tag Archives: thinking

Fat Grrrls Rule… I just wish everyone knew

18 Nov

This is Lilipop and from some of my previous posts, you may have guessed that I am really into body positivity and fat acceptance movements. I really think fat girls are amazing and the body positivity part of feminism has helped me so much. I really love most of the fat acceptance activism and awareness raising things I have seen, it is so refreshing to see differently shaped women in a “normal” frame and not being labelled disgusting, shameful and generally the worst possible thing ever. It kind of makes me realise I am quite happy being fat and the only times I am unhappy about my body is when people say nasty things about me or fatness. My body does not detract anything from my quality of life, happiness, health or even ability to do sport if I want to (I don’t). There is nothing wrong with my body, fat, cellulite, stretch marks or double chin; in fact, my body is incredible, my fat keeps me warm, my cellulite reminds me I am real, my stretch marks are a beautiful pattern on my skin and my double chin is FIERCE!

I just wished other people knew this. Although I want to love myself, accept what and who I am, but I worry all the time. What do my family think? Do my friends still love me? (Jelly speaking: YES THEY DO) Do they see me the way I see myself or do they see me how society describes me, lazy, ugly, stupid, repulsive? I don’t know and I think about it a lot. I know that random people on the street feel this way, I have seen them staring with a kind of hatred in their eyes. I like to think that anyone who is my friend would never reject me or make fun of me because of my weigh and the way I look but is that realistic?

One thing that makes it worse is I cannot see myself or positive images of myself anywhere, it is hard to think of anyone who is a positive role model in mainstream media and is fat. Scientists, actors, musicians, writers, tv presenters and even politicians it is hard to think of many fat women who are displayed positively in the media, we are all but invisible. This is all ridiculous because there are an incredible amount of inspiring, inventive, funny, outgoing, intelligent fat women in the UK and EVERYWHERE! Yet there are nowhere to be found if I open a women’s magazine or turn on the TV.

It is so hard to imagine the future me. We are taught so aggressively that fat is an evil, undesirable thing that it is expected that any aspirational future self will be thinner. We don’t see anyone happy, successful and fat in the media; when I was little I thought that I would never be able to become a scientist or a writer because everyone would be so disgusted by my fat that they would hate me on the spot. I don’t want the future me to be thin, I want the future me to be happy and to keep loving herself.

Some days I feel so disgusted with myself, for being fat, for eating anything, for taking up so much space, for having such large clothes, even for my brilliant double chin and I am absolutely terrified that I will never feel better, I will never love myself again, I will spend the rest of my life agonising about every inch of cellulite, every spoon of yogurt or centimetre on the waistband of my jeans. I don’t want to think like that again ever. I can’t help but feeling if I had more fat women to look up to and aspire to be like, I wouldn’t be so scared. Firstly because I have assurance that I will be able to succeed despite my weight as others have but also so I know that other people see my body as I see it.

I know so many fat girls that have made my life infinitely more special, they are sparkling, strong people and they are beautiful. When I am older I want to be like Kaye and Beth and Kelly and Melissa and Gloria and Megan because Fat Grrrlz Rule, I just wish everyone else knew that!

#Periodgate

2 Jun

So today I wanted to tell you about a project I am involved with called #periodgate. The name is pretty self-explanatory, you talk about getting your period and add the hashtag #periodgate on Twitter. Now you might be thinking “that’s a cool idea” or you may be thinking “why the hell would you do that, you freak?!?”

The reason I think #periodgate is amazing and the reason I take part in it is that around 50% of the population of the world will get their period at some point in their lives yet you would probably be less shocked it some (consensual) hardcore violent pornography popped up in this window right now than if a picture of a person getting their period popped up. I think this is seriously messed up, patriarchal society normalise violence and sexualisation but tells us that something as ordinary and natural as getting your period is disgusting and shameful. This is not to say that all pornography is wrong and I am not trying to kink shame but I think we should be as used to periods and menstruation and be just as open when talking about them.

I am not saying we should do moon dances in celebration to connect with your flow because menstruation (or getting your period) is not always fun. However we should be able to talk about how not fun it is! If you have really bad cramps you should be able to talk about it without feeling embarrassed or if you have run out of pads or tampons or whatever you use, you should be able to ask your friend for help. This sound so simple but many people find it embarrassing and as a result they think what is happening to them they have to bear on their own. If you are having really bad symptoms then you should be able to discuss it with other people to find out if what you are experiencing are common symptoms or if you should go to the doctors.I have had a few negative reactions to doing #periodgate on Twitter. In one particular case I can remember, another woman called me disgusting but I ask you, is getting your period any more disgusting than graphic pictures of violence against women and girls that are readily available on every social media site there is?

In my experience of #periodgate I have found it enormously helpful in terms of moral support and advice. I have been getting my period for 4 years so it is amazing to talk and share with women who have had many more years’ experience. I have learned about myself and my body, I don’t have to be ashamed of what my body does. I feel like this is another step to tackling patriarchy’s hold over me, it makes me feel free.

Things I hate: slut-shaming

28 Apr

Jelly speaking.

Something out of the many, many things that annoy me is slut-shaming.

Slut-shaming, and our society with its double standard for sex, is an idea which is pervasive, clinging, and damaging to our self-esteem and fight to be truly equal. I hate it. The idea of a lady, or of anyone really, being judged on simply how much sex they’re getting is completely irrational. There is no reason why frequency of sex should have any relation to things such as intelligence. And yet it does – according to sources as wide-spread as my little sister to the media. Despite the fact that our society reveres sex to an irrational extent, we judge those ladies who are getting a lot of it (or who look like they are getting a lot of it) in what seems like an absurd display of jealousy.

To start with, why is sex such a big deal? If it’s fully consensual, then people should be able to enjoy it, however, with whoever, as often or as little or as never as they like. Instead we have a stupid situation where girls are not allowed to have sex before they are married, and yet are supposed to be amazing at it on the pinnacle of their lives, their wedding nights. Boys are supposed to have lots both sides of  the perfect marriage, although the question arises, with who, if not the chaste and virginal girls? God forbid not other boys (although that’s another matter entirely)! Something I like that sums this up is this post. (Shamelessly linking to my tumblr there).

Surely, if sex is this great, everyone should enjoy it? Men do. A man who has lots of sex with multiple partners is called ‘lucky’, a ‘player’. The position of having lots of sex puts them in a position of respect.

Now imagine the same situation – someone getting laid a lot – but this time with a lady. A slut. That is all the commendation she would get. It doesn’t matter what she wears, how she acts, this insult is based purely on how lucky she’s getting. Her entire character would be based on her perceived sex appeal to men.

Laid out like this, it seems utterly ridiculous. And it is. People like my father can use the excuse that promiscuity has more dangers for the girl (namely getting pregnant), which is why ‘nature’ has made society look down on girls having lots of sex. This is a ridiculous argument though, because in this day and age of easy contraception and protection (although you shouldn’t get me started on places where contraception is neither free nor easy) girls, if possible, can be as safe as men. Also, ahem, STIs?

And this argument certainly doesn’t explain why frequency of sex seems to have something to do with what you’re wearing. Regardless of your actual sex life, you can still get called a slut because of what your clothes, which doesn’t even slightly make sense. If you reveal flesh, you reveal flesh. Maybe it’s a hot day, or your legs are looking particularly fine that day and you want the world to know, or you want to feel sexy and wearing a low-cut top makes you feel sexy – so be it. Maybe you do base your clothing decisions on whether you are getting laid that night or not – so be fucking it.

I hate the way that we think we can make judgements about someone else’s supposed promiscuity because of their clothes. It’s not your problem. It’s no-one’s problem except the judged, because it’s their body, and their sex life, and for some reason, boys don’t undergo this same scrutiny and hatred. I wonder why? Hmm, maybe it’s because of sexism.

In my school of anxious teenage girls, this has led to the story circulating like wildfire that someone I know gave a blowjob to her boyfriend in the park and then got the favour reciprocated. She is extremely intelligent and strong-willed. She likes her boyfriend. I know that she wouldn’t do anything that she didn’t want to do, and so why the fuck is it anyone in my school’s business? The word ‘slut’ is getting bandied around a lot in regard to her, which is even more stupid once you think that slut is equal to promiscuity, and this girl has had one partner. My dad’s argument of unsafeness and ‘biological necessity’ against lots of sex doesn’t apply. Why, why, why, is she now getting a reputation, is she looked down on, is she judged?

Why, why, why, is slut shaming an easily accepted part of this culture that even my innocent little sister knows? She calls girls sluts, chooses clothes on ‘sluttiness’ rating, and yet can’t articulate why sleeping with lots of people is such a big fucking deal. Along with everyone I know.

Please stop slut-shaming, stop using the word slut, and instead join Katharine Whitehorn in her famous 1963 article and ask yourself “Have you ever taken anything out of the dirty-clothes basket because it had become, relatively, the cleaner thing? Changed stockings in a taxi? Could you try on clothes in any shop, any time, without worrying about your underclothes? How many things are in the wrong room—cups in the study, boots in the kitchen? … [this makes] you one of us: the miserable, optimistic, misunderstood race of sluts.”

I’m scared.

20 Apr

Jelly speaking.

I’m scared out of my mind.

The last two days, the last week, the last month, I’ve been scared. I’m an almost 15 year old girl, ready, apparently, to start living in the real world in only a matter of years, and it keeps on hitting me that I have no idea what I’m doing.

Yesterday evening we had a discussion at my school about GCSEs, about Year 11, about Sixth Form, about university and getting jobs and the importance of everything we do everyday and how we need to choose carefully, and I hummed in my head to the tune of my tapping leg: ‘what is the point what is the point what is the point what is the point’.

You see, we’re going to pass all our exams and then go to university and sweat nervously through our interviews. Some of us will go to Oxbridge. Some of us will get nice jobs in advertising or insurance or become doctors and teachers, and maybe we will fall in love (or not at all because there’s 7 billion people in the world and what’s the chance that you’ll meet the Mystical One?) and it will be comfortable enough until we retire and finally die, and there you go, that’s your one shot, congratulations.

I want to be a scientist – making medicines to help combat diseases so I can save lives and going against everything my mum believes in. Maybe I should be bean astronomer, or an oncologist, or fight the pollution problem from the back of my lab. I’m a self-confessed nerd, and this personally sounds like heaven, and is probably what they mean when they say a ‘fulfilling career’. Despite my pipe dream however, I know I’m not going to leave an impact beyond perhaps a scientific paper or my maybe children. After I die, I’ll be dead and gone and in a few decades everyone I knew will be dead and that will be that. That will be the end of moi.

It’s a depressing thought. I know I’m not really destined for great things, but once upon a time I believed that when I grew up I could be happy all of the time. No school, I thought, no bullies, no people telling you what to do, no worries about money or hanging out with people you don’t like. There would be someone sitting by your bed every morning who would look you sincerely in the eyes and tell you that you’re beautiful, and life would be exactly how it should.

A theory that has been disproved by extensive analysis of every adult I’ve ever known. It turns out that there’ s many ways things can go wrong. I’m scared to grow up because I think I’ll turn out like a secondary character in a bad movie. Or like my parents. Or like everyone who knew from early on that life wasn’t easy but who kept on pushing because they didn’t know anything else and because all they knew was in a meat suit at the back of two eyes.

My tapping continues and the tune gets louder. Someone is saying something about UCAS applications and my mum is taking notes, and I am thinking what a gloriously superfluous existence I lead and what a useless life I’m planning.

The only thing that saves me from crying continuously in my room, my head in the sand until it all stops swirling, is the thought that people are people, and if you sift through the dungheap of humanity enough you can find someone to cry on in the middle of the night, and that might be the best feeling in the world.

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