Thursday, November 19, 2009

some thoughts


been struggling lately with what i want this to be, and how i can find the time to make it what i want to be. i've decided i'd rather take my time with my written articles than simply force them out there without proofreading/editing them. so for now, you get lots of pretty pictures and some rants from time to time, when i find the time! phew, teaching has been quite intense these days.

this november i've had two really splendid weekends with friends who are too far away, and as always, have been thinking lots of interesting thoughts about the intersection of politics and fashion. talking to queer friends about how femme we want to present ourselves, showing each other our favourite dresses that we haven't seen each other wear since we've seen each other once this year. talking to fat friends about shopping for clothes, and limitations. why can't anyone (i.e: retailers) understand the simple concept that fat people want to be stylish too?

the main discussion that has been stuck in my head was after hanging out with sves. trying on glasses in a few stores and thinking about what we want in a pair of frames. i have some jot notes in my moleskin later that day, "framing of the face, framing identity," and other random thoughts scrawled down. a quote in bust magazine's latest issue, "do you have a can't live without it wardrobe item? well, probably my glasses because i can't see without them!" think i could whip up a great article about the importance of a good pair of frames. experiences of gender presentation, class, ability and all sorts of other thoughts popped up even just after browsing casually on a sunny afternoon in montreal.

in other news, my good friend salima started a blog called stop self-hate. it sounds like a really great project for her and i'm excited to see how it turns out. read her first post and share your thoughts and resources!

also, my friend julia horel is guest-blogging at (a great feminist magazine based in toronto) about size acceptance, and so far the topics have been quite varied and generated interesting discussion. she's been posting some great links i hadn't read before, and i've been interested in this topic for years! for a really good size/fat acceptance 101, check out her posts here.

aaaaand just so this isn't text only, here are three photos from the first snowfall of the year (october 22nd). thankfully november has not been too bad so far (knock on wood!) but i should get used to long, brutal winters if i'm planning on living in québec city for the next little while.


brown trenchcoat: thrifted in '06, ptbo value village
mustard beret: thrifted in '09, québec city value village
scarf: gift, h&m
skirt: h&m
winter boots: free! from le vestiaire
laptop bag: christmas gift from parents, acme brand

all of those pretty leaves are gone now.


Andi B. Goode said...

It's really strange to actually see the word 'fat' being used in merely a descriptive way because it seems a word that people shy away from, when they are describing people. I have a couple of overweight friends and I get incredibly uncomfortable when they talk about themselves being fat because I'm not sure what I'm meant to say. I never know if I laugh along and agree if it will offend them but know it's ridiculous to say 'Oh, you're not fat!' when they know and accept their body size. What makes me even more uncomfortable is when they say things like 'I hate you' because I eat so much and, to their perception, don't put on weight (which isn't true because I have put on weight and some of my clothes don't fit quite as well as they used to) because I certainly can't help that. I just feel awkward then. =\
Forgive the word vomit - just some thoughts.
-Andi x

Andi B. Goode said...

Oh, and it was strange but also refreshing!

julia aka garconniere said...

andi - i think that's a good point, because i think everyone feels that way at some point. a huge part of it is the idea of reclaiming a word that has such negative connotations; think of the words queer, fag, dyke, cunt, or nigger. maybe the last two aren't the best examples since they are still highly politically charged and debated in mainstream media, but so many people within those communities (lgbtqqia folks, feminists, black people) have made serious attempts to reclaim those words for themselves.

anyway that is opening up another huge discussion, but if you're interested in reading more about it, you should read kate harding's article "why i still use the term 'fat acceptance'" which for some reason i can't link in this comment...

julia aka garconniere said...

also, in regards to the comment of wanting to tell people "oh you're not fat!" or when we engage in girl-on-girl body hate/envy:

i think a really important aspect to look at is the fact that we still live in a society that tells all women, regardless of their size, that there is something fundamentally wrong with their bodies. that they need to buy products to improve and control it. it's how the beauty system works, it's how the diet industry makes so much money, and it's also part of why so many people carry around so much shame and jealousy. whether it be they are too short, too tall, too stocky, too fat, too small, there is always something that could be improved about our bodies. that is important to acknowledge, but at the same time we must see that we live in a really fatphobic culture, too. fat bodies, disabled bodies, visibily different bodies are shamed so much more than those of us who fly under the radar because we, more often than not, fit into the "normal"/acceptable category.

so basically what i'm trying to say is that it really sucks when friends end up making each other feel shitty about their size. it's a balance i'm still trying to figure out myself... a problem i encounter a lot is the fact that i let my friends try on/borrow my clothes, and while three or four of them manage to find something that fits, it always feels shitty if there is someone who can't, and wants to, you know?

Maria Confer said...

Gorgeous photos and I love your beret and coat!!

I can't wait for our first snow.

Andi B. Goode said...

The Kate Harding article was really interesting! And easy to read, which is good for my brain, right now. I wish I had something more intelligent to say but it was my last official day of my degree today so my mind is just dead. Haha.
But, yeah, finding the balance, like you said, is difficult.

Rose said...

your photos are amazing! Not that i like cold weather, but i wish it snowed where I live!


catherine_sr. said...

Thanks for sharing the links to stop self hate and shameless mag. Size acceptance is something I've been thinking about a lot, especially since I started style blogging and posting photos of myself on the Web. I've always been an average size, but I'm Asian American and for as long as I can remember, I was told that I was too large.

This completely messed with my body image and it doesn't help to look at childhood photos now and realize that the only reason my relatives thought I was "big" was because they grew up in a country and time when nutritional standards were completely different.

Sending photos to wardrobe_remix and keeping my own style blog has helped me a lot with accepting my body. In my opinion, there's no point in putting photos of myself out there if I'm going to worry about what people think or kvetch about my weight. Before I started participating in w_r or blogging, however, I had to work myself to a point where I could accept that mantra wholeheartedly. I found it made a huge difference in my own body image.

I thought other bloggers had similar experiences, but I constantly read items on other blogs about how the poster feels like they need to lose weight or how they feel "fat" and bloated--and the odd thing is that the bloggers who complain most about their weight issues are the skinniest (I'm talking size 4 and below). I don't want to speculate on why this is... but needless to say, on a personal level it drives me insane and I've actually had to stop reading one blog because having someone size 2 call herself a "fat cow" repeatedly was affecting my own body image, no matter how much I hate admitting that.

"so basically what i'm trying to say is that it really sucks when friends end up making each other feel shitty about their size."

I wish more style bloggers would realize this, too. Granted, we're not "friends" in the traditional sense, but what we write, no matter how obscure our blog is, can potentially affect someone in a very big way.

Thanks again for the links... I've skimmed them and can't wait to take a closer look at both of them.

Julia said...

Just noticed you plugged my blogging, and I want to say thanks! :) Shameless has taken me on permanently, so there will be more.

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