Monthly Archives: November 2007

First Fat Faux Pas

I remember the day that I learned it was not okay to hate your body.

I was new to the women’s center. It was probably before I got hired on, when I was a volunteer intern. I said something negative about my body in front of everyone there. It seemed so run-of-the-mill to put myself down that I never even paused to think about what I was saying.

So, I was shocked when I was first called out for it.

“Put a quarter in the jar,” K demanded.

I must have looked utterly dumbfounded. “Why?”

“In here, we don’t talk poorly about ourselves because of how it makes others feel,” K replied.

Who was this person to think that she could tell me what I could and could not say. Hadn’t she ever heard of free speech?

I have a right to criticize myself, don’t I? Sure. A right. But what about common courtesy? What I didn’t know then, but I know now, is that in American society, courtesy about our bodies was tossed out the window a long time ago.

My friend K showed me that for every wrinkle, every curve on my body that didn’t meet society’s expectations, there was someone in the room with more wrinkles, bigger curves or a funnier looking nose.

This memory came up while reading a recent Shapely Prose article in which Kate is dealing with a post that has garnered comments of the “I love my body, but…” variety. She has put succinctly why it is NOT okay to put yourself down or talk about your ‘diet’ in front of others. And I quote:

  • There is someone fatter than you. (Okay, technically, one person actually does have to be the official fattest Shapeling, but since we don’t know who that is, just go ahead and assume it’s not you.)
  • There is someone whose shape is less conventionally attractive than yours.
  • There is someone who has all the same problems as you but is also a member of other oppressed groups.
  • There is someone with one or more disabilities.
  • There is someone recovering from an eating disorder.
  • There is someone currently struggling with a full-blown eating disorder.
  • There are a couple thousand someones who are here because they’ve struggled with low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, and/or disordered eating patterns over the course of their lives.

So when you say, “But MY body is disgusting because of X” or “I still need to diet because of Y,” what you are saying is that X and Y are disgusting and unacceptable characteristics, full stop — and the problem is, you can bet someone here shares those characteristics, or is worse off than you are, by your standards.

This is the standard of self-love that Kate sets for her community. I have a confession to make. I have utterly failed to encourage the same self-loving, healthy environment for my friends and family that the Women’s Center offered me.

Around me, people constantly talk about how much weight they need to lose and how much dieting has helped them feel better about themselves. And it breaks my heart everyday. Not just because of what they are saying about their own self-image but what that translates into when they look at me. It pisses me off that the diet, medical and media industries have influenced others to look down on me. Because I’m way better than that.

Wake up people. What you say does matter to the people around you. Stop vocalizing your self-hatred. Its time to dump the calorie counting, ditch the diet books and stand naked in front of the mirror with glee. Its time to embrace every butt dimple, to love every chin we have and to exhault the joys of back fat at the top of our lungs. Its time to shake what God gave us and love ourselves because we are healthy, happy, smart, independent, fuckable, sassy, proud women.

Anybody who’s selling you something called “health” that doesn’t involve loving yourself and your body first, is a charlatan.

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Filed under Feminism, Health, Self Image, Size Acceptance

Cat-astrophe!

You know, I love my babies. I really do.

But right now I want to kill them.

Last night I finally finished knitting my ‘draft stopper.’ It looked great. It was twice as wide and about as long as a standard scarf. Even though it is to be felted, I decided that blocking it would help me seam it without too much hassle. It’s stockinette stitch so it rolls something awful. Finding the edges to seam them would be a huge challenge.

So I set a towel out on my sewing machine, wet the piece and begin the painstaking process of pinning it down. When I was finished, I went off to play on the computer for a few minutes.

When I returned, the piece was hanging off the edge of the dryer, pins all willy nilly. That was bad enough. Oh no, apparently one of my cats decided to take a stitch or two with him. There was a huge pull and resulting hole in the work.

And even though, I know that I’m felting the piece and it’ll never be noticeable, it still broke my heart. I had worked for weeks on this project and was so proud of it.

Cats and knitting are two things that always seem to go together, even though they never should. *sigh*

I should finish the seaming tonight and will felt it this weekend. Completion post will follow. Until then, I will get my revenge on my cats by cuddling them when they don’t want to be cuddled.

I know, living with me is rough!

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Filed under Felting, Knitting, Projects

Big Damn Heroes

I wouldn’t call it the reason I started knitting, but it was definitely high on the list of projects to complete once I became a knitter.

Its the perfect juxtaposition of a tough guy who loves his mother. I’m pleased to offer the Jayne Hat by Liz:

The pattern is from Carissa Knits but I did make some changes.

Since this is a gift for a comic book nerd, being canon was essential. Going for total veracity, I used dingy 70s acrylic yarn to bring out the true Jayneness of the hat.

I also checked the DVD episode “Message” where Jayne receives the hat and nixed the red. The brighter orange isn’t even really quite right but I thought the earflaps needed some variety.

Finally, I made the earflaps two stitches wider and about 5 rows longer. I went ahead and decreased two stitches (k2tog), one at each end, for the last three rows before binding off to give it a rounded, rather than a square look. So the last three  rows would be as follows:

Row 1: S1, k2tog, k to end, k2 together

Row 2: S1, p2tog, p to end, p2 together

Row 3: Repeat 1st row

BO

This hat will be gifted in a wooden box with straw, cookies and a ‘letter from Mom.’ 🙂

And I’ve already been requested to make another!

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Filed under Knitting, Projects

Thanksgiving for Fatties

Thanksgiving ain’t my thang. Probably not for the reasons you think.

  1. I didn’t really grow up with any family around so it was always just me and my mom.
  2. Historically, I’m not keen on celebrating the day we led the native people to believe we wouldn’t rape and steal their land.
  3. I’m thankful for my blessings EVERY day.
  4. My dad died thirteen years ago today.
  5. And I could take or leave the food. I mean, that nasty cranberry goo that’s shaped like an aluminum can? Ew. And there are not nearly enough dishes at Thanksgiving that involve cheese.

But for many people, dreading Thanksgiving is about something different. Talk about a snake pit. If you’re fat and you have family, getting together for a holiday surrounding food is about the worst thing I could possibly imagine. In America (and elsewhere?), it is common place–hell its practically a Constitutional right–to comment about people’s weight and eating habits. Its okay to walk up to a person and tell them that they are too skinny and need a sandwich. And its okay to look down on someone for how much they pile their plate at Thanksgiving. And I think a lot of people out there will be facing that reality tomorrow.

Although, I may not have any horrid aunts telling me I really don’t need that extra scoop of dressing, I understand.

I remember in junior high, the greatest source of terror for me was watching educational nature videos. Sound weird? It was. But I would sink down into my seat every time I saw a hippo, an elephant or a rhino in school. Because inevitably someone would look at me and make a nasty comment. And that anticipation was far more torture than the teasing itself. Even today, I have a hard time watching these shows.

So yes, tomorrow many of us will face that same dread when ponying up to the buffet line. Anticipation of those comments that will make us feel completely worthless, make us want to hide, make us think that even our family cannot love us for who we are.

But folks, that’s bullshit. Don’t let it happen. Your family does love you, they’ve just been systematically trained by the media and health care industry to believe that being fat is wrong. In fact, it should be them who feel ashamed of their ignorance and insensitivity. And I challenge you to call them on it tomorrow.

“Aunt Betty, I love my body and you do not have a right to shame me for it.”

“Grandma, I eat healthy and exercise. My fat thighs are actually your fault for passing them down to me.”

“Mom, I’m going to have another helping of stuffing and I’m not pouring any guilt over it.”

And don’t just bring the smart ass comments. Bring your ammo, too. Go re-read Kate Harding’s Don’t You Realize Fat is Unhealthy. Remind your family that:

And when all else fails, check out Shapely Prose’s Thanksgiving Vent Session.

Stuff your face, beauties and be thankful that your life is so bountiful and blessed. Its just a day. This is life and you’ll be that much healthier for living it.

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Filed under Feminism, Health, Media Literacy, Size Acceptance

Xmas Knits

 

I didn’t think I’d have time to knit much in the way of xmas presents since I really just picked it back up early this fall. But I did commit to making my mom a few dishtowels and wash cloths to go with her recently remodeled kitchen.

Since those knit up in literally one night, I started to think that maybe I could get a few things done. So I started this project, which will be a Draft Stopper for my mom’s drafty back door.  It will be felted, seamed and filled with kitty litter.

I’ve also decided to tackle a Jayne Cobb hat for my friend David.

From there I might be able to crank out the extra 5 washcloths I’d need to add to my co-workers’ gift bags.

And yes, I’m a brat. I can’t wait to get all that crap finished, so I can knit my own damn self something from this beautiful Alpaca!

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Filed under Felting, Knitting, Projects, Stash

Casting On

Here it is, the debut of Femmeknitzi!

I’m thrilled to have a venue for talking about the things that matter to me most.  I’ve been blogging for about 7 years and yet, this is a new start and completely new adventure.

I’m looking forward to it! Knit on, sisters!

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Filed under Feminism, Housekeeping, Knitting