Tag Archives: Fat Acceptance

What Do You Weigh?

16 Jan

What do you think this vintage chick is weighing?

It's In Those Shoes

Weigh What's Really Important

Weigh What’s Really Important….SELF RESPECT!!

This ad from the Body Shop isn’t a current one, but its message is timeless so I thought it deserves a blog post. And I was having a little fun with it 🙂

Weigh What’s Really Importan

“Embrace Me”, Body Confidence Project

14 Jan

This is sort of an update to my post about the Special K Challenge and the blogger who wrote a concise and enlightening post why the cereal Challenge should get lost.

The ‘I came to run’ blog has started a new project, called Embrace Me. And you are invited to participate:

It is in this spirit of acceptance that I’d like to start Embrace:Me, a project designed to encourage body confidence and treating yourself with a healthy, accepting attitude.  I feel strongly that by adopting a more positive attitude toward our own bodies, we can combat the effects of the pressure we feel from external sources, and from ourselves.  To show your support for Embrace:Me, I would love to hear your stories–stories of accomplishments, of body confidence, of anything that makes you feel good about yourself.  Maybe even a story about why you don’t have to justify your reasons for embracing the person you are to anyone else.

Please check out the complete post about the project Embrace Me on the blog ‘I came to run’.  And if you haven’t read her initial post about the Special K Challenge yet, it was sheer awesomeness and you should read it stat. She also has an update on her blog. She spoke with someone from Kellogg directly! You can get to her blog ‘I came to run” here.

Now, instead of the music I was listening to, there’s a radio ad running about a “Get Thin Today’ product, promising you a new life. But we already have a life, don’t we? What message is that sending to women, saying that your current life sucks because you aren’t thin?

Everything you plan to achieve in your future is just that, plans and goals, we all have something we want to achieve. We fail, we succeed or it’s something in-between, it’s called life. We all struggle with something.

But we are already worthy of love, happiness and acceptance right now.

I love that one blogger was able to rock Kellogg’s marketing boat. Love it. It’s an encouragement that you can really make a difference, however small, raise awareness and empower women. We only need to speak out, even if we think no one is listening.

MTV Recap: “I Used To Be Fat”, Dominick

12 Jan

This week’s “I Used To Be Fat” is about Dominick, 18. MTV shows him on the day of his high school graduation. His family is Italian. I feel myself reminded of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you know, where the Greek family is all about food and lots of it. And MTV portrays Dominick’s food-loving family as his major obstacle in his quest for weight loss. Clearly, pasta is the devil incarnate. Ah, well, since I recapped all other episodes, why stop with Dominick’s.

Image: MTV

For Dominick, his weight gain started when the kids from his basketball team called him fat.  He lost his confidence, stopped doing sports, and withdrew inwardly.

Now, at graduation, he wants to say goodbye to his old self. He worries about his mom, who is overweight. He’s sick of being the big guy. Dominick wants to lose weight, he’s 306 lb,  and his Italian mother is the ‘bad guy’ here because she shows her love with food. It’s pasta four times a week, everyone, that can’t be good.

Saran arrives, his personal trainer, and they have a sit down at the table:

Saran: “Give me your summer then I’ll give you your life back.”

Where is Dominick’s life right now… Is he dead? Is there like a place where the ‘life’ of fat people hide until they’ve slimmed down? Just wondering…

So, he has 110 days to lose weight before he starts college. Which means a weight loss of 5 lb a week during the next 16 weeks. Is that healthy goal? I don’t know.

Saran, the trainer, checks out the fridge. And she throws away the packaged pasta. Why the heck do they throw away perfectly fine food? At least donate it to a food drive or something similar, this is seriously messed up.

Saran pulls out the guilt card—admonishing Dominick that he has never been in a gym and now has to suffer for it. Seriously, you can be active and healthy without ever setting food in a gym, just saying.

During the first workout, Dominick throws up into the trash bin. Saran blames the mother that Dominick isn’t in better shape, because, clearly, look at the overweight mom, she has let herself go—nice, Saran, go ahead and insult people because they are fat. Wouldn’t a good trainer be able to assist in a workout that doesn’t result in throwing up? Just wondering…

We see them on the tennis court. Playing tennis is something Dominick would love to do. But we actually don’t see them batting a ball over the net. Instead, he runs around with Saran piggyback style on his back. After he collapses on the ground, they have this conversation:

Saran: “Did you see what just happened today?”

Dominick: “I didn’t puke. I pulled through it.”

Saran: “Is this a new Dominick?”

Dominick: “Yes, it could be the new Dominick.”

Why are they talking about him in the third person? Is he still not alive yet? Is his ‘life’ still in this mysterious place? Will Saran give Dominick his life back soon? Questions, questions…

Saran has a chat with the mom, saying that Dominick doesn’t want to “lose her.” Basically implying that if the mom doesn’t start working out, she’ll die. Thus pressured, Dominick’s mother promises to work out. (Not a bad thing of course, I just dislike the delivery, also, God knows where the life of Dominick’s mom currently is…)

Three weeks later, Dominick weighs  281 lb. Did I mention he likes to wear a shirt with a muffin icon and the word ‘stud’ above it. I let you figure that one out.

Saran is back and makes a trip into the kitchen to check out the pantry…there’s whole wheat pasta now and even green beans, so she’s happy. Dominick is cooking—good for him—he seems to really enjoy it.

Dominick wants to go to culinary college and leave home. The mother cries for two days because she doesn’t want to let him go—empty nest syndrome and all that—I guess it’s understandable, but you can’t hold your teenager back.

Saran is on his side, encouraging him to stand up to his mom and follow his goal. Then she sits on his back while he’s doing his exercise. Well, at least someone is having fun here.

Finally, it’s his last day. Dominick’s hitting the gym again—reminiscing about his first day and how he threw up.  So Saran suggest doing a ‘crazy interval’ just to see if he throws up again. He burns off a thousand calories and doesn’t throw up—it’s a success, I guess. It’s also more than a bit cruel, this challenge. Needless to say, the trainer is proud.

If you care for numbers: Dominick went from 306 lb to 219 lb in 110 days.

We see him on his first day in culinary school (it’s in Chicago) and Dominick feels confident, more than he ever felt during high school. (Is there anyone out there who ever felt truly confident during high school? Anyone?) He lives with a couple of roommates and cooks for them, which I found awesome.

A month later, he visits his mom and his family and he shows off his skinny jeans. He’s proud of finishing something most of all. (And his mom has lost 64 lb.) MTV already has an update on Dominick, you can check out his video here.

I think Dominick did great on “I Used to be Fat.” Good for him for pursuing his career goals. Before the weight loss, Dominick seemed like a really nice guy with a love for funny, graphic t-shirts. He seemed the same after the weight loss. Whatcha think?

MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Marci

6 Jan

I watched the first episode of MTV’s “I Used to be Fat”, (which was about Gabriella, recap here), so I tuned in for the second episode. This time around it was about Marci, 18, who wants to lose weight. But that’s where the similarities to Gabriella’s episode ended.

MTV I Used to be Fat, Marci

Image credit: MTV

Marci’s episode was very different from Gabriella’s. In a nutshell: Gabriella was a happy teenager and wanted to lose weight to please her pushy mother, imho. Gabriella seemed to have everything—friends, a social life, a homecoming queen tiara. I thought she looked happy and confident just the way she was.

Marci has no friends, no social life, nothing. She doesn’t look happy or confident. Marci rocks the gothic look, with dark eye makeup and black clothes. She sits in her room all day, watches TV and eats. This isn’t a great lifestyle, no matter what dress size or age. Marci was taken out of 6th grade because she was bullied for her weight. Since then she was homeschooled and sheltered.

What are her goals in life? Her first goal is first to win friends. (Well, there’s one. Heather, a pretty blonde, who has a crush on Marci’s trainer.)  Marci’s second goal is to go shopping for cute clothes. Well, cute clothes come in many sizes, but you can’t always find them in the boutique around the corner, granted. Not her fault, though.

And Marci’s third goal is to lose weight. Marci weighs 250 lbs  and has 89 days to lose 90 lbs—that is her goal. Her personal trainer is ex-military and offers her a very straightforward, boot camp style workout, lots of tough love. I did like that he inquired about Marci’s goals besides weight loss, and he seemed to listen. I liked that he hugged her, sweat or no sweat. Of course, he also used the phrase “you are so fat!” to shame her into working out harder–that’s where he lost all brownie points again.

But they did a variety of exercises, including boxing, and Marci seemed to enjoy it, which I thought was great. A way to vent your frustration.

Marci’s mother seems like a very gentle, loving mother who never denies her daughter anything, including driving her daily to fast food joints. Marci’s mom is a pushover—or so Marci’s trainer says. The family never eats together, but Marci eats her fast food alone in her room. Marci’s parents are divorced since she was four years old and ever since she was given everything her heart desires. Food became her source of comfort and love.

Marci learns how to chop onions and peppers. She never prepared her own meal before. Why her mother never involved Marci in the kitchen before I have no idea. But I thought that part was great about the show, mom and daughter together in the kitchen, cooking. They tried out something new together, which is so much more important than losing weight.

Then there’s more exercise, more sweat, and after losing 50 lbs, Marci and her mother go shopping in celebration, but the cute clothes still won’t fit. If I were Marci, I’d blame the clothes, not myself. But it was set up like a personal challenge so I fully expected that she visits the shop again after more weight loss.

And after 89 days and losing 90 lbs , Marci has achieved her goal. So she goes shopping again and lo and behold, the ‘skinny’ dress fits.

I thought what Marci needed most were friends, lots of them. She seemed like a girl starving for friendship. She wasn’t self-confident or happy at the start of the episode. In the end, it was quite fun to see her turn the tables and boss her trainer around on the lawn. We see her leaving for a Halloween party, dressed up like a dark angel with black wings. She feels gorgeous and amazing and confident.

I felt Marci gained something positive from the show, even though I don’t agree with the method it was achieved. She learnt how to cook, she had fun working out, she seemed to have a new sparkle in her eye. Marci did it for herself, not for anyone else—well, if you don’t count anyone who ever bullied her for being a “fat girl”. I thought the overall message was that you have to lose weight to have a happy social life, to find friends. Which isn’t true. But you don’t gain self-esteem by sitting in your room all day, every day, so how could Marci possibly have developed a healthy self-confidence?

I wish someone could have taken Marci by the hand and introduced her to new people, social activities, volunteering, anything really, to get her in contact with people outside her immediate family. It wasn’t about losing weight for her, she seemed lonely above anything else.

(Related post: I Used to be Fat, Dominick)

Fat “Hello Kitty” Girl vs The Millionaire Matchmaker

5 Jan

Well, that wasn’t pretty, or romantic, what happened in last night’s episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker. Robin Kassner, a plus-sized, rich publicist, is looking for love and sees herself next to a Matthew McConaughey type. Patti Stanger introduced her as a Jessica Simpson kind of girl, only fat.

(I guess this posts falls again under the “crap I watch so you don’t have to” tag.)

I’ve watched the show before and it came to no surprise that Patti Stanger was neither very gentle, nice nor diplomatic with the plus-sized Robin. Patti calls her a plumby dumpty, but, actually, Patti is verbally abusive to all her clients, so why stop with the fat chick, right? I’m cool with that.

But Patti also thinks that Robin doesn’t deserves a hotty hunk along the lines of Matthew McConaughey. Because Robin is fat. Well, I’m not cool with that statement.

But that’s just theoretically speaking. Because while I was fully prepared to like Robin–and she is adorable with her love for the color pink and ‘Hello Kitty’ stuff–she is also pretty annoying. So, being fat doesn’t guarantee that I like you, honey 🙂

Anyho, Robin picks a plumber as her date and they both have what I’d call a disaster of a first date. Even though I didn’t get the impression that Robin was enjoying herself with the guy–they went bike riding–she still offered to buy him a motorcycle and a car. And then she became a tad t0o touchy feely with him. If the roles had been reversed, the outcry would have been louder.

In the end, Patti refused to continue to work with Robin, calling her superficial… There’s a part of an interview with Robin, via Huffington Post:

They filmed me for three weeks and then they spliced and diced it to create a compelling story. It’s a reality show on Bravo so their job in the editing room is to create maximum drama.

I haven’t seen the show yet but from the previews I would say I was portrayed in a way that communicated an exciting story. The previews make me look superficial but in real life I just a simple Connecticut girl making it in a big-city world.

I’m fully prepared to take Robin’s word for it. It’s a reality show after all–heavily scripted. In any case, who’s to say what you “deserve” or don’t “deserve” in life because you’re a plus-sized chick? Surely not a show like The Millionaire Matchmaker.

Fat Pig, Broadway Debut with Julia Stiles, Dane Cook, Josh Hamilton

4 Jan

Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig is going to be a Broadway production in 2011. Julia Stiles, Dane Cook and Josh Hamilton are already on board.

 

Fat Pig, the book. Soon on Broadway.

 

 

If you’ve never seen the play, there’s also a book with the same title:

Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus sized-and then some. Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow (although shockingly funny) friends, finally he comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks.

If you’re unfamiliar with the play, Fat Pig tells us the story of story of Tom (Hamilton), an eligible bachelor who falls for the beautiful, bright and plus-sized Helen. Tom is overjoyed with his new relationship but his shallow co-workers are less enthusiastic. Tom shrugs off their objections but eventually the cruel jabs of his acerbic friend Carter (Cook) and Jeannie (Stiles), a former flame, force him to question his own values and the importance of conventional good looks. Source: Playbill.com

The role of Helen isn’t cast yet. Fat Pig will officially debut in the Belasco Theatre in midtown-Manhattan on April 26 this year.

What I like about the play is that Helen has come to terms with society’s view of her. She’s a self-confident librarian, single but content. Helen is fat without shame or apology. Tom struggles to accept his love for Helen because she falls outside of the mainstream ideal of beauty. The pressure he gets from his friends to find a “normal looking” girl is too much for him. And he suffers for Helen because of the abuse she receives for being fat.

In the play, there’s no happy end for the couple. Even though they love each other, they part ways. Tom turns out a coward, choosing public opinion over the girl he loves. And it’s Helen who stays strong, she’s the one you root for, she’s the one who ultimately leaves Tom. Helen is portrayed as a confident women, comfortable in her own skin. I think Neil LaBute’s play brilliantly analyzes society’s devotion to today’s ideals of beauty and questions our own ability to stand up to it.

Anyone read the book, seen a previous play?

Plus-sized Movies? 3 Movies I Wish that were made with Fat Chicks

3 Jan

Trying to find a Hollywood movie where a fat girl goes on adventures, saves the world and kisses a couple of guys along the way, is like trying to find the necklace you lost at the beach three days ago. I tried both with the same results.

111 Hollywood Sign

Well, there’s the famous Bridget Jones. But, come on, Renee Zellweger? Why take a tiny American actress, publicize her weight gain, and let her fake an accent? Why not take a British plus-sized actress in the first place? And if a movie features a girl bigger than a size 10, she’s never comfortable with it, like Bridget. Why does weight always need to play a such a big role?

I asked a friend of mine if she had any movie suggestions that would fit my idealistic criteria, and after some brainstorming, we came up with—nothing.

What I came up with was how cool it could have been if some of my favorite movies would have featured a plus-size chick. Let me share my list with you. It’s widely speculative, but these are my top three movies I wish that they would have been cast with a fat chick:

My first pick: The Fifth Element
Leeloo is sent to save Earth and she represents the fifth element—love. She’s naïve, feminine and a warrior. And she gets the guy in the end. I’d love to see a sci-fi flick with action, romance, spaceships and a larger-than-life plus-sized actress.

My second pick: The Pirates of the Caribbean
The scene where Elizabeth falls into the ocean and is rescued by Captain Sparrow would have made more sense if Elizabeth Swann had been a fat chick. Elizabeth wore a corset to achieve a smaller waist. She then fainted and fell into the ocean. (Sorry, but Keira Knightley’s waist is already so small, I had a hard time believing that she had problems wearing that corset.) What follows is pirates and adventure and swordfights. I’m pretty sure you could find an athletic actress that isn’t necessarily rail-thin but a bigger girl who could do an equally fantastic job.

My third pick: Pretty Woman
Just imagine the movie tag line: A rich businessman needs an escort and hires a beautiful, plus-sized hooker and they fall in love. Come on, doesn’t that sound like a blockbuster movie? No? Well, I’d go and watch that movie on a Saturday night.

Hollywood, are you listening? I think that there’s an audience for funny, upbeat and even action movies featuring women who are bigger than a size 10. The press would talk about it! People would want to see such a novelty! I understand if you don’t care for my idealism or fat acceptance, but there’s money to be made! Gosh, I’m really going for the hard sell.

Anyho, just to be clear, I like the above movies just fine as they are, and I’m not hating on Hollywood’s sample-size actresses. I’m just having a bit of fun playing what if.

So, what if you could recast a movie? Which one? Would you place a plus-sized actress in the leading role? Or do you know any movies that feature plus-sized women in a positive, upbeat way?

Jezebel Wraps up the Biggest Weight Stories of 2010

2 Jan

Jezebel recaps last year’s fattest stories, including how Whole Food discriminates against their plus-sized employees, how Kevin Smith got kicked off Southwest for being “Too Fat To Fly”, a piece about Gabourey Sidibe, how Maura Kelly was offended and disgusted by fat people ‘getting it on’ on TV, and a so called fat ballerina, among other stories. Great recap, funny as hell and definitely lots of food for thought.

You can read the entire thing here. For me, Maura Kelly’s cruel opinion piece in Marie Claire took the cake when it comes down to robbing plus-sized women of self-esteem. And Gabourey Sidibe is still a source of inspiration. Maybe, just maybe, 2011 is going to be the year where the media embraces that whatever weight you are, you can be happy and healthy and that you have the right to feel loved and accepted.

This blogger can dream, right?

VH1 Searches for Fat Single Females for Reality Show

31 Dec

VH1 is searching for young, single women who are fat–or plus-sized if you prefer that expression. In a nutshell, VH1 searches for single, fat girls for a new reality show that sounds like it wants to be a new and improved “Sex and the City.” So, big chicks don’t cry or diet, they freaking party? Works for me!

VH1 has partnered with a casting agency, check out their casting call:

You’re big and beautiful and know how to own it! You’re phat, fab and chic and have the big and bold personality to match. You’ve got the style, sex appeal and sass to get noticed without being a sample size.

Time to show the world that big girls have more fun!

VH1 in association with Doron Ofir Casting and Left Right Productions is now casting the hottest, most bodacious, voluptuous single women who are at least 21 years old and appear younger than 35 to represent the BBW’s in a brand new docu-series that will show a long-awaited glimpse into the ultra-fab world of big girls!

Check out the complete call for the show here. It seems that casting has already started, so hurry up all you fab single young fat chicks 🙂

If, or rather when, the new VH1 show airs, I’ll be sure to tune in. I happen to love documentaries, and a docu about fat chicks is sure to catch my interest. It does sound like VH1 embraces the concept of fat acceptance, but until I’ve seen the first show, the jury is out. Whatcha think?

MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Gabriella

30 Dec

Last night, I watched, “I Used to be Fat” on MTV. Oh, where do I even start? Here’s my very biased and totally opinionated take to this series that gives people yet another reason to treat fat people cruelly.

Image credit: MTV

“I Used to be Fat” opens by introducing us to Gabriella, 18. She’s some 250lb, a very pretty brunette, cute smile, has great friends and is the freaking Homecoming Queen of her high school. Does anything here sound like she has a problem? Nope.

In first grade, Gabriella was called a fatso, and all she wants to feel accepted and loved. Honestly, I had a lump in my throat. Now, Gabriella starts college after the summer and wants to lose weight and she has 111 days and a personal trainer to help her “become the three Fs: fit, fabulous and fierce.”

Then Gabriella’s mother enters the screen and it all becomes pretty clear to me why Gabriella feels she can’t be happy as she is right now.

I don’t know, this is a reality series after all, and I have no idea how much “I Used to be Fat” is scripted, but Gabriella’s mother appears to me the culprit of Gabriella’s shame, guilt and insecurities. At the very best, I’d say that Gabriella’s mother has the best, if misguided, intentions for her daughter. At the worst I’d say she’s an abusive, manipulative mother from hell.

Example? The mother tells Gabriella that she inherited the wrong (read fat) genes—she says this in a pitying tone. The mother wants her daughter to be happy—but thin! The mother leaves out food as a test, as a freaking test, if Gabriella will eat it. If Gabriella falls for the “food trap”, she is shamed and made feel guilty! Gabriella goes as far as to hide food wrapping so she can escape her mother judgment.

Gabriella says she wants to lose weight for herself, but I have the sneaking suspicion she does it so her mother will for once accept her, love her, be proud of her.

Image credit: MTV news

Now follows the usual: Enter a military drill fitness instructor. 111 days later Gabriella has tortured herself through a fitness regime that is both boring and unimaginative. Where’s the fun? Well, no fun allowed for Gabriella. And when she struggles to juggle her school, her job and working out, her mother tells her that she is not doing a good job. Can you believe that? Her mother tells her that Gabriella is doing a shitty job. Gabriella holds her own, saying that she is proud of what she has achieved so far—honestly, I wanted to give her a hug.

In the end, Gabriella lost the weight. And suddenly the mother and the rest of her family ohh and ahh over her, hug her, tell her that they are proud of her. Boy, did “I Used to be Fat” sent a great message—lose weight and you’ll be loved.

To be clear, I’m not making fun of Gabriella, she has every right to do what she wants with her life, her body. I’m not saying that it was wrong to lose weight, not at all. But in the end, I feel her real success was not getting thin, but that she had learned to stand up against her judgmental mother.

But “I Used to be Fat” left a very bad taste in my mouth for sure.

(–Related: Episode 2 recap, I Used to be Fat, Marci–)

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