Friday, April 10, 2009

Fat vs. Self Esteem, round one - DING

Okay, it’s time to revive this blog. I’ve been neglecting it for far too long and I have plenty left to talk about. So to bring things back with a bang, I give to you a rant. Ok, let’s do this!

I pose to you this question: Why do people assume just because a person is fat that they automatically have poor self esteem?

Wake up people! Not all fat people “eat their feelings.” Is bad self image and self esteem common in fat folks? Sure. But it’s by NO means a guarantee. In fact there are just as many thin people with self esteem issues. Observe any playground and you’ll see.

We all know from our grade school days that anyone who was a little bit different or a little out of the norm was subject to ridicule from the other kids. Whether you were fat, had glasses or braces, or were just a little bit weird, it all gave your peers an opportunity to make themselves feel better by putting you down.

I was one of those kids, and while grade school was like a hell at times I don’t regret a minute of it. Hey, it made me who I am today, and I love who I am today. I’m a proud, confident, FAT girl and I make no apologies for it.

So that’s why I get a little irked when people mistake my confidence for some sort of mask that’s covering up hidden insecurities. Not to say I don’t have insecurities. Everyone has insecurities. No one is 100% confident all the time. But just because I laugh at myself, or flirt, or dance, or show off my curves doesn’t mean I’m trying to draw attention to myself in order to make up for some self esteem problem. One time a youtube commenter flat out told me that “inside I’m crying.” No, inside I’m laughing at your very rude (and very wrong) assumptions.

The question I asked in the beginning is a little rhetorical. I know why so many people think that fat people, especially fat women, have self esteem issues. It’s conditional. Like almost every fat-focused faux paus, the media plays a big part. It’s all about the image expressed to the world. How many shows do you see with fat people pouring their heart out with tears and regrets? Now, think about how many shows you see with confident and genuinely happy fat people? A little unbalanced? Yeah, I’d say so.

Think before you judge, people. That’s all I’m asking.

Aurora out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

False Advertising

I’m not asking for or expecting every clothing store to carry to plus sizes (though I admit it’d be pretty cool). However, when a store advertises with a slogan like “clothing for every girl in every size” I tend to tilt my head to the side and say “Oh really?”

I’m speaking of the chain store Maurices. Their recent commercials mention the phrase above, a few seconds after advertising that their sizes go to 24. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly glad these larger chain stores are carrying plus size clothing. What I’m ranting about are the words “every size.” It’d be more accurate to say “we have clothes for thin and fat people, unless you’re over a size 24.” The statement “every size” is false advertising, plain and simple.

In reality it’d be pretty hard to have a store that carries every size. There’s always going to be someone bigger or smaller than you are (unless you’re the biggest or smallest person on earth, of course - check Guinness). The slogan is stupid, at best. Even so, playing devil's advocate I can understand the store’s reasoning in their slogan, at least to an extent. It helps draw in consumers of larger than average sizes and makes them feel good about themselves. However it’s certainly not doing much to boost the confidence and self esteem of anyone over a size 24. I’m a size 28/30. I must be *really* fat if a store that carries every size doesn’t have mine.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Don't hate thin people!

I felt this needed to be addressed.

In any group or community of similar individuals (the ingroup) there is a tendency to make less positive attributions about members of the outgroup. This is referred to as the Ultimate Attributional Error in the study of social psychology. What does this have to do with thin and fat? I'll explain.

I've noticed some trends in the area of size acceptance and they aren't all positive ones. Sometimes us fat girls will look down upon the thin girls, often without realizing it. No longer consumed by body jealousy toward our thinner sisters, we instead put down anyone who isn't a 'big, beautiful woman' either consciously or subconsciously. That's the ingroup mentality, and I think we should be aware of it whether we're guilty of it or not.

It's wonderful that more and more big women are taking strides to portray themselves as the sexy fat girls they are, and confidence is an amazing asset everyone should be so lucky to have (oh the doors it opens!). The problem arises when that confidence and high self esteem goes that one step too far and the line defining that is fuzzy. If you find yourself looking at typical thinner women as all anorexic societal standard beauty seeking bimbos (even though we all know there certainly are some out there!), you might want to step back and examine the reasons you're feeling this way.

We're all people and we come in all shapes and sizes. Celebrate our differences and take comfort in our similarities. As my mother always told me, it takes all kinds to make the world.

Photo by Spencer Tunick


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The "F" word.

There are lots of synonyms for fat. Big, heavy, chubby, plump - but none in our society today seem to compare to the original word in zing value. I'm talking insults.

I've always been fat. Back in childhood I was teased a lot, as nearly all fat kids are. Fat was an insult. Something undesirable. Something you couldn't be if you wanted to fit in, to be popular, to be liked, and to have friends.

I say we reclaim it.

Someone coined the phrase "fat is not a four letter word" and I believe there is even a book out with this title (perhaps I'll review it some day). This is a powerful statement.

Fat is a descriptive word, just like tall, short, pretty, blue, and freckled. Because most of our society and media today emphasize that being fat is bad and undesirable, the word has become an insult. That's certainly not new news, is it? Being fat as portrayed in the media has been stereotyped heavily, and many would argue that fat equals lazy, pig-like, and stupid. It would seem the only way to overcome this stereotype is to become the fat and funny friend, because if you make people laugh then it's okay. Interesting correlations going on, anyway.

Fat Comedian Gabriel Iglesias

Don't get me wrong here, I love fat comedians. I think humor and laughing really is good medicine and I'm glad we've got fat people in entertainment and seen positively. However I don't think it's right that the only way a fat person can be allowed to show him/herself publicly is if he/she's a comedian. Great strides have been taken (and I'll be talking about many of them in later entries) but we've still got a ways to go and I think education, even through little things like a blog, can make a difference.

So back to the "F" word. Fat is bad. Fat is undesirable. Fat means you're stupid and lazy. I think we can all agree that at least the last phrase isn't true, and I'll be arguing the other two as well through this blogging experience. If you haven't noticed, I use the "F" word a lot. I'm not ashamed to say I'm fat, because it's what I am. I'm not big, I'm not heavy, I'm not pleasantly plump - I'm FAT. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, today, it's the
norm. Statistics say that over 60% of the US population is fat, and plenty of other countries are following. We are the average, and yet the minority still controls our thoughts on size and weight. This is getting ridiculous.

So to my readers, I present to you a challenge. Reclaim fat as a description, not an insult. If you're fat and someone calls you on it, throw back a retort, something like "you just noticed this now?" Even a simple "So?" will do nicely. It took me a long time to develop enough confidence to allow the insults to roll of my back, but believe me when I say that you gain so much freedom when you learn to exclude the insults and not allow them to dwell in your daily thoughts.

Fat isn't evil. Fat isn't a horrible, negative, bad thing to be in and of itself. Fat is just fat. Just fat.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


To start this blog off with a bang, here's an animated video out of France titled "Plastik."

I love this animation. The character is sassy and fun, and isn't afraid to jump out there and say big is beautiful too. Granted I think the thin models have their place too and beating up the one on the runway isn't exactly in good taste, but I still laughed. However I'm with it 100% in that sexy big women should be given the same amount of spotlight should we want it.

I give it Aurora's seal of approval!


Venturing into the wide world of blogging - hello!

I've maintained various journals in the past, both tangible and digital, but nothing I would truly call a blog. For me this is a first.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on various topics from the perspective of a confident fat girl. There are a lot of us out there, more than most people think, and we're slowly claiming the space we deserve. This is the little corner of the web where I hope to do my part.

In my daily web browsings I come across a lot of things that make me sit back and think. Now I have a place of my own to express those thoughts. I'll post some things about my personal life as well but not to the extent I would in a regular journal.

Fat people are here, and I for one refuse to stay in the shadows. Let my voice be heard, and as said by many before me - FAT is not a four letter word!