The Big Fat Carnival

Welcome to the second ever Big Fat Carnival!

I’ve spent the last month and a half reading over a veritable flood of amazing submissions from writers all over the, er, blogosphere, and dealing with a wide range of topics, from celebrations of gorgeous bodies to weight loss surgery. There are a lot of thoughts going on in that there world about fat, and I really enjoyed reading some of them.

For ease of browsing, I have divided the posts into rough categories. Some entries, naturally, refused to allow themselves to slot neatly into just one category, so I’ve had to make a few arbitrary choices. Reminds me of someone I know…

Oh, the things we love:

Dee of Curvaceous Dee writes a great post about something she really loves: her body. Her paean to her body is accompanied by links to other celebrations of large luscious ladies. In her words: “I’m not the only beautiful sexy fat woman out there – so have a look, admire their self-assurance, and remember that flesh is delicious when it is accompanied by esteem and love.” (Contains nudity.)

Soopermouse of I hate people ponders a turn of phrase. In her words: “I am fat. I don’t really have a problem with that. I am healthy, I am fit, and I like myself. However, I know a lot of women who cannot follow up ‘I am fat’ with the phrase ‘I like myself’.”

Yours truly of, uh right here writes about something I love: food. In my words: “Well of course I love food, right? I’m fat! Food and fatties go together like french vanilla ice cream and blackberry pie (lattice-top, if you please).”

Tina of The Big Red Chair loves comfort at any size, whether you are going to the prom or taking a theme park vacation. In her words: “A trend in some plus size online clothiers is to custom create their pieces for the individual buyer. This works better in instances where the wearer is not exactly in a specific size, or has special needs like being petite.”

Marsha Coupe of Big Fat Facts would like you to take a moment and think about notable people of size. In her words: “What impresses us about these individuals, however, is that they are larger than life, from the inside out. Here we celebrate spirits housed in wonderfully abundant bodies.”

Oh, the media:

Nellorat of Esoteric Lucubrations has been looking at the use of fat figures in popular art and comics. Here’s the second part in what I hope will be a continuing series. In her words: “Perhaps the most surprising discovery, going through the old comics in the Smithsonian collection of newspaper comics, is how wide a range of body types the strips from the 1920s etc. show–before the so-called era of ‘realism’ in comics.”

Michelle of Peggy Nature is troubled by conflicting information about nutrition, and the alarming amount of misinformation readily available to anyone who turns on a television or walks into a bookstore. In her words: “Because solid information about nutrition is hidden behind such a thick and profitable veil of quackery, it’s less a matter of what you eat than what you’re willing to swallow.”

Another entry from yours truly in response to an utterly galling “article” at AskMen. In my words: “The brilliant editorial staff over at AskMen have some awesome relationship tips for you, boys, so you’d better hop on over there. This hardhitting article has ‘six ways to tell your girl to lose some weight.'”

The lovely ladies of Body Impolitic have some additional words on the AskMen article. In their words: “The home page is bad enough, starting with a quotation (today’?s is about how getting money is more important than being honest) and a fact (today’?s is about Sheryl Crow’?s false teeth). Are you impressed yet?”

Oh, the things society does to us:

Yawning Lion of feh-muh-nist recently got an invitation to a dance event. She found it an unnerving experience, because of the societal barriers which must be hurdled when you are fat and asked to “dance like no one’s watching.” In her words: “I hate the ‘connecting’ dance. I feel monstrous and threatening as I swing my substantial self about. I am hesitant to touch, nervous it will be wrong. I move away from the touch of others, afraid they will feel how sweaty I am and be repulsed. I am afraid I stink. I am afraid I will hurt someone if I move towards them too fast. I am afraid I will fall and crush someone. I am afraid it is not safe to connect with me. I am afraid my body is dangerous.”

The lovely and curvaceous Ocean Earth of Yes, but has something she’d like to point out: 4,000 Years of Patriarchy Sucks! No doubt, sister. In her words: “How do I explain that I love myself so much and it took so long to get there that I’m not going to risk becoming someone who runs to the bathroom and pukes after dinner just so I can have a so-called easier and better life? That I don’t need to attract men in order to get them to do my bidding to feel powerful or to get what I want?”

Vegankid, who will be hosting the next Big Fat Carnival, recently encountered a stunning photograph, and she has some hard thoughts about the fat body in art. In her words: “Even when someone seemingly tries to highlight the beauty of a group of people dancing naked regardless of their size, it becomes another exercise in reminding us how much our bodies are despised when we label the photo series ‘Full Body Project’.”

Starla of Beside the Pointe has a scathing review of the advice offered by Bride’s Magazine to a soon to be married lady of size. In her words: “Or is it that the people who are so unaccepting of the fact that not all fat women feel like covering up their bodies but instead decide to show them off (god forbid!) are the ones that feel they have the right to tell a fat woman to cover up because they themselves are the ones with body issues, not the fat women?” (She also has a very cute cat, named Pinky.)

Meliana of What Fresh Hell Is This recently encountered a food-phobe at a party, and found herself thinking about food pathologies in women. In her words: “The current unrealistic standards of female beauty and their effects on women’s lives have been written about extensively by those who studied them far more closely than I, yet even as a total amateur I know their capacity to ruin.”

The ladies of Body Impolitic note a growing threat to American security, according to the prophets on high: fat ladies. In their words: “‘Hey, babe,’ he said. ‘Lonely?’ What a question! She would have had ‘lonely’ written on every line of her face, if her face had had any lines.” (Note: of course, this is based upon the assumption that fat women have low self esteem…something which I do not necessarily believe to be true.)

Oh, the things we do to ourselves:

Thinking about laproscopic gastric bypass surgery? Yoshi at Multiple Mentality has some words for you: it’s not a magic bullet. In his words: “MM Contributor Yoshi did have the surgery and did lose the weight, he still has all the same neuroses he had before the surgery. Too often, WLS is considered a cure-all, but the MSM refuses to admit that the cause of being overweight isn’t just because we eat too much. As Yoshi tells us, there’s a LOT more to it. He’s still the same person; he’s just 175 pounds lighter.”

Colleen of The Pretty Pear has a cautionary tale. In her words: “Anyway, lesson learned – if you have any kind of Chub Rub (and if you’re reading this, chances are you do) and plan on wearing a skirt, USE PROTECTION.”

Being while fat:

BigMamaDoc is a medical professional…and she’s also fat. She has some wonderful thoughts on being a fat physician, and interactions with fat patients. In her words: “Fat people sometimes want a fat doctor. It’s not as embarrassing to be naked in front of a fat doctor. A fat doctor understands the pain inflicted by the words ‘just watch what you eat’ or ‘just try to exercise more every day.'”

Christina of Babes and the Burbs has been thinking about the changes her body is going through as she gets older, spurred by the “stay home, lose weight!” ads. In her words: “What if in my thirties I have to make peace with my body the way it is now and stop trying to make it fit into the twenty-something body my mind is determined to memorialize?” (Note: site is not Firefox friendly.)

Maia of Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty (she also posts at Alas, A Blog, has been thinking about the phrase The Personal is Political. In her words: “I don’t think we can analyse the political implications of food and women’s bodies, unless we talk about what that means personally.”

Ampersand of Alas, A Blog has some firm words about the weight loss dieting industry. In his words: “Most of the time, people on weight loss diets gain back the weight they lose. But that doesn’t mean they’re back where they started, healthwise. Many studies have found that losing weight – even if the weight is regained – is associated with higher mortality rates.”

Thank you for joining us. Hopefully you’ve had your thoughts stimulated, or have been inspired by some of the work you’ve read today. If for some reason your post isn’t here (assuming it was submitted before midnight on Sunday, 3rd April via the blogcarnival form or midnight on the 4th by email), please let me know so that I may rectify the omission.

The next carnival will be hosted by vegankid on Tuesday, 6 June 2006.

Individuals interesting in hosting future editions should drop a line to barry at amptoons dot com for more information.

[Big Fat Carnival]