Saturday, April 18, 2015

HAPPILY MARRYING WHILE FAT // BY SHANNON DOLTON


All too often there is the pressure (no matter your body size) to lose weight before your wedding. THESE PICTURES WILL LAST FOREVER the concerned citizens whisper; as if the body your partner fell in love with isn't good enough. I ran across this Facebook post by Shannon a few days ago and was so overjoyed to read her bad-ass response to this cultural norm (this brilliance was typed on her phone, btw) that I asked to publish it here. Feeling the wedding pressure? Allow this rad chick to release you from that ridiculous bullshit.

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I have spent the past year and a bit stumbling through and dealing with all the stress that comes with planning a wedding. As the date nears I find myself increasingly dealing with people’s views and opinions, as well as their misguided and/or misplaced tips and suggestions on what I could or should do to get my body ready for my wedding. Being faced with constant suggestions and scrutiny on my body has led me to lean even more on my hard worked for, lovingly constructed views on body, fat-positive thinking and living. I have to admit, I was not prepared for the onslaught of both outright and inadvertent body shaming that has come at me leading up to my wedding day. I want to clarify that I am not necessarily talking about friends or family, I am also talking about acquaintances and people I interact with regularly who know I am getting married.

I exist in a society that, for the most part, refuses to believe that as a fat woman getting ready to be married I am not actively trying to alter my size or shape. A common theme among these comments is the pictures taken at my wedding that I and everyone else will look at forever. The pictures they say. People will look at those pictures. The pictures they say. The pictures last forever!!!! My response is that I hope in the future when looking at my photos it is not the size of my ass or hips you are staring at, but the pure love you see in my eyes and the eyes of my future wife.

Regardless of whether anyone believes it is possible, I assure you this body I inhabit- this body that carries me through my days- is absolutely fine the way it is. I do not pretend to love this body - I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BODY. I am not wearing a shield of false body positivity to deflect an inner struggle with my size. I truly believe that every body, EVERY SINGLE BODY, should be treated as if it is perfect exactly the way it is. (Just a side note that I do not want to get into a perceived health-versus-size debate here)


I am very aware of how my body looks. I do not spend my days avoiding mirrors or my reflection; in fact, I like to catch a glimpse of myself in a store window and smile at the lovely looking lady reflected back at me. I do not need to be reminded that my wedding day is one of the biggest days of my life. Whether I stay at the size I am right now or miraculously lose half my body size, my wedding day will be one of the most important in my life – this fact is not lost on me.

Hundreds of pictures will be taken this and I look forward to seeing every single one of them. I look forward to seeing the ones that are filled with love, laughter, family and friends. I look forward to seeing the ones where the first thing I notice is the swell of my stomach under my gorgeous gold lace wedding gown. There will be pictures with my chubby arms and double chins on display and these pictures will be so filled with joy they will outshine any stretch mark or roll others’ eyes may be drawn to.

This body is the body that will carry me down the aisle on the arm of my mother, past family and friends, towards the love of my life. I can't fathom for a second wanting to change a single thing.

Monday, April 13, 2015

SO APPARENTLY THE WORLD LOVES MENSTRUAL CUPS (PLUS A GIVEAWAY FROM GLADRAGS!)


I get the feeling that menstrual cups are like Jeeps.

As in, you're gonna be one of two people: the person who is deeply immersed in the sub-culture and knows all the super secret hand gestures OR the person who's so oblivious that you don't even understand the bumperstickers.

Menstrual cups apparently have the same cult-ey following as those bad-ass vehicles but I never knew until I posted this article about them from Marie Claire on my FB page and the comment section flooded with things like "8 years strong and never going back!" "Less money, less waste, less cramping!" and "THESECUPS4LYFE!!!" This was then followed by an in depth Q and A thread between newbies and the Cup Masters. Some of these were friends that I've known nearly a decade and somehow, I'd forgotten to interrogate them about their bleeding habits- WHAT OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS ARE YOU NOT TELLING ME GUYS?!?

It's a cup thing. I wouldn't understand.

ANYHOW, this is all relevant (I promise there's a point) because Tracy from Gladrags emailed me about a giveaway on TMB my reaction was two fold: If not here, then WHERE? And: I need to know more about this period voodoo technology NOW.

Thanks to the internet we know know that the world is REALLY weird about crotch things (the ones that don't involve penises) but if you're a realist and know that shedding happens and your parts need some TLC. Well, then I like you and you should enter your info below.



Giveaways happen when someone contacts me and says: I wanna buy a specific spot on your blog so I can give free awesome shit to your readers. To which I say: does it involve heavy metal music, sunscreen, or goat cheese? (I hate those things) and when they come back and say NO, actually it's really awesome you'll definitely like it!, chances are I'll investigate and then say... OKAY! Let's do this.

This then means that I'm renting out some real estate, they're getting exposure, and you're getting presents year round. Which is amazing for everyone and I'm kinda sad I haven't done these more. Things to know: depending on who it is, they might letcha follow their social media accounts to have extra entry options. But no matter what, I always ask that there is a chance for everyone to enter at least once without having to "like" or "follow" anything. If you want to be an overachiever beyond that, it's up to y'all. Like and follow away.

AND, of course, if you think giveaways are bullshit, you're allowed to skip everything all together and just come back for my next post which will likely be about how much I never knew I liked Rochester. You're a grown ass adult and you get to make your own decisions, mmkay?


Gladrags wants you to join the cup cult try one of their fucking amazing kits that will supply you with everything it takes to rethink tampons. One of you will get to choose a group of essentials (from here) up to $150. Neato, yeah?

Enter away! Giveaways will run for one week and Tracy from Gladrags will contact you if you're the lucky bitch that fate (kfine, Rafflecopter) chooses!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WHY BANNING ULTRA-THIN MODELS IS BULLSHIT


(via)

Banning ultra-thin models ain't good, y'all.

Or, as Melissa Fabello says: "There Is a Difference Between Acknowledging That a Body Type Exists and Glorifying That Body Type as Ideal – It's the Latter That We Have a Problem With." Yep. That.

Just in case your Facebook feed hasn't been flooded with this current news: after seemingly rejecting the idea just weeks ago, France has (along with Italy, Spain and Israel) not only banned thin models from the runway, but has officially made them illegal as of Friday.

And everyone's throwing a goddamn party.

These actions have been explained as an attempt to curtail body issues like anorexia nervosa and the country has also cracked down on any website that promotes "eating restrictions for a long period of time resulting in risk of mortality or damage to health," Agencies and websites breaking these rules are subject to thousands (sometimes up to $80k) of dollars in fines in addition to time in prison.

France is NOT fucking around.

Are eating disorders (with known high mortality rates) an appropriate reason to be concerned? Absolutely. What's not appropriate is the way this concern is being handled. I think the world needs to calm it's shit, take a step back, and think about why this isn't the "win" they want so badly.


5 REASONS WHY BANNING ULTRA-THIN MODELS IS BULLSHIT:

♥ These bodies exist in real life. 
We like to pretend that any body smaller than a size 2 is a figment of Photoshop magic. The reality is that most larger bodies are digitally made smaller, and it's a problem. But in real life... even size 000 exists. Yes. That triple zero trend? SO many people came out of the wood work and said THANK GOD THEY'RE MAKING TRIPLE ZERO. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND CLOTHING THAT FITS. 
Are the majority of people model-thin? Fuck no. A minuscule percentage (less than 5%) even have a chance at the slender body we're taught to worship... but the point is: they do in fact exist. In real life. I have a friend that if a model, would most likely fit into this banned category and she doesn't starve herself to maintain this shape. She's just... herself and isn't a bad "role model" for existing. Lets stop attacking these people and slapping the "EVIL" label on them indiscriminately. They deserve to not feel shitty about their size and love their bodies too.  

♥ BMI is bogus. Yes, still.
Oh, Jes. Stop being so dramatic. BMI has it's important uses, y'know. 
Historically: "The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack." 
There is something so ridiculous about the fact that we judge complex health by using a height/weight ratio number. This tool is often used to discriminate against fat people, but here it is also being applied to "unhealthy" thin people as well. We like simplistic science; it comforts and convinces us without causing us to think critically. But it's not useful here. YET, it's the SOLE determining factor that's being used to exile models. IF France wanted to make certain bodies illegal based on health, they would first need to acquire their medical charts, investigate their lifestyle, explore their diet and more. 
We can't lump bodies that look similar into one box and call them identical. Are some of the models that are banned unhealthy? Maybe. All sizes and shapes can be. But when we become absolute about something as complicated as the health of a living, breathing body- we are bound to be incorrect at a certain point. 
Don't trust a fat persons opinion on this? (Yes, I know how this world thinks) Here's a skinny person's opinion instead.

♥ Banning bodies is NEVER the answer. 
Why do we worship the thin ideal? Lots of reasons. One of which is: we're hard pressed to see any other (non-thin) body type being presented as valuable in our media. Other bodies have been visually eliminated (or visually altered to become thin) and so the only thing we see is: THIN IS EVERYTHING AWESOME IN LIFE. We start to hate our not thin enough bodies (which is what the majority of people have) because we don't see them presented positively anywhere. This leads to the glorification of "skinny" that causes many to (understandably) spiral until they find themselves in extreme situations like: using control based eating disorders like anorexia to work towards becoming "good enough." 
Chasing thin comes from the unspoken hiding of larger/not-thin bodies and the erasure of diversity. Banning bodies is what got us into this mess in the first place. So then WHY do we think that removing another type of body going to fix this mess? 

♥ We're blaming the wrong guy. 
These models are not the real reason we have fucked up ideals. They are, if anything, victims of systemic body hatred as well. We worry about "those models" and their lifestyle habits, right? We assume they starve themselves, have a cigarette diet, and consume cotton balls every day. But even IF someone participates in these actions, it's because of the larger message (your body is never good enough) that's existed long before they were born and has landed -with a thud- in our fashion industry. Models should not be individually held responsible for decades of other people's fuck ups and self-hatred schemes. If anything, we should be serving up compassion and making sure they have access to mental health resources- should ever find themselves caught up in "disordered eating." 
You might be thinking, okay Jes. That's cool about the models. But what about those websites that are PART of this systemic issue? Read on. 

♥ It's insulting. 
The reason these bodies/websites are being banned is to eliminate any inspiration they may pass on to susceptible individuals. This assumes that said individuals are completely unable to make decisions about their own life. This is not necessarily true.  
What these people are unable to do is: find education that says all sizes exist in our world and this is okay, find documentation of how many "anti-fat" studies/statistics are funded by weight loss companies, find the history behind self-hatred and body image issues, find encouragement to practice critical thinking, and find a diversity of shapes in their feeds, films, and other media. 
We must let people make their own decisions. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they're able to make life judgment calls. If we're concerned about their health, elimination isn't the answer- the addition of information is. 
Lets teach and preach until people have the chance to make an educated choice about their life.

I had a great conversation with Fattitude's Lindsey Averill one night where we were talking about Heidi Montag and her extensive plastic surgery. We were exploring where the line of "going too far" was which could therefore make her a "bad role model" for young fans.

My thought is this: Heidi's body is Heidi's body and no one gets to tell her what she can and can't do with it. Is it her responsibility to be a role model? Not really. Is it OUR responsibility to teach our young ones (and older ones) that you don't have to subscribe to certain standards of beauty to be okay? Yeah! Lets do that one!

Now replace the word Heidi with Runway Models.

In short: the banning of any body hurts every body. It's the whole- "my oppression is your oppression, and vice versa" thing. So lets give everyone the information and empowerment to go out and make their own decisions about their life and body. This will then allow US to make decisions about our life and body.

And jesus christ, that's what we're all here fighting for- right?

Now, my opinion isn't gospel and this was written to cause conversation. I'd love to know YOUR thoughts. Leave em below! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

MAYSOON ZAYID ON REPRESENTATION, DIVERSITY, AND WHY THE OSCARS NEED TO SLOW THEIR ROLL



Maysoon Zayid has been a shero of mine since I found her Ted talk called "I've Got 99 Problems... Palsy is Just One." Thanks to The Body Is Not an Apology, I came across this video which I find so eloquent, inspiring and IMPORTANT that I feel it deserves it's own blog post- however short this may be.

Got 6 minutes?
Listen to this real talk:

THAT ONE TIME I WROTE A BOOK AND KILLED LOTS OF TREES

Guys, I killed at LEAST a dozen trees for you.

Writing a book was one of the easiest and most enjoyable things I've ever done.

Oh. Wait. I forgot it's against the rules to lie on my blog. Okay. How about this: writing a book was one of the most excruciating, exhausting, demoralizing, and seemingly endless things I've ever done.

Yeah. That's more like it.

There are so many people who work for ages on their books. Jenny Lawson spends several years on hers, and I have ridiculous respect for that. I wrote mine in 3 weeks. I wrote the entire first draft in 3 fucking weeks. I do NOT recommend this.

I was so bogged down by previous obligations and obsessing over potential (and I was convinced- inevitable) failure that most of the time beforehand was spent mentally sorting out the content and wondering if this was going to be the worst thing ever published. It still might be. No promises. Now I'm officially 9 weeks in, I had other activists look at it... and they liked it. And maybe, most notably, it made my Mom both laugh and cry. So I guess it will probably be okay.

I mean, worst comes to worst: at least people can use it to prop up a table leg. Right?

Enh. Maybe.

Before I started, I excitedly (and naively) prepared two super special work desks. I decorated them with plants, post it notes and highlighters... only to find that the only place I could work was on my bed. On my bed, hunched over my computer on a plank of wood balanced between a stool and my mattress. It was REAL classy. I also originally planned to break up a 9-5 work day into structured segments but I quickly realized that this was an idiotic idea. I ended up working until 2 or 3am and sleeping until 1pm after remembering that I've never been productive in the mornings. This unsophisticated process progressed and soon I was a living breathing hot mess, hidden away in my room for weeks at a time. I would work for 11 hours and sleep for 11, only to wake up exhausted, feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Or a bus. Or 20 baseball bats. Sure. That.

Eventually my boyfriend started cooking me well rounded dinners every night so I wasn't purely subsisting off of Trader Joes prepackaged Asian Peanut Salads. I still love them for the record, though I was infinitely grateful that out of the two of us, he was the one with the cooking skills and time. I was also grateful that the nice people of Trader Joes stopped asking me if I was having a party and started smiling at me knowingly every time I'd check out with a cart full of salad, coffee and wine. I started taking quick drives late at night blaring Blank Space to get my energy flowing again so I could come home, switch on Lost Room and type away for another 5 hours. I still haven't figured out how 60 thousand words can take up so much time.

Half way into the process I started celebrating when I shaved my legs every three weeks (it's amazing to me that rubbing a razor up and down two legs can become an insurmountable task) and I became best friends with the girl who worked the graveyard shift at FedEx; I'd crawl in there at 2 am repeatedly to pick up a printed copy for scribble editing. I also gave FedEx all my money. I typed the words fuck and fat more times in two and a half months than I have my entire life (a combined 341 times in case you're wondering) and I thanked god every day that I didn't have children because I don't know how others manage to do this when they have to take care of miniature humans.

Two weeks in. Note the very functional plank:



I finished every season of Covert Affairs, Agent Carter, Scandal, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Empire, Perception, Person of Interest and The Suits by listening to and half watching them as I wrote. It was the perfect way to convince myself that never leaving my house wasn't all that bad; this tactic does come recommended. I fretted over typing something that would offend someone and so I scoured my document countless times, only to remember towards the end that offending someone somewhere was inevitable. I kept my phone by my bed for my fallingasleepthoughts (those are the important ones) so I could record them and then make my boyfriend transcribe them; I only trusted him with my jumbled ramblings full of long awkward pauses. I took more melatonin than I care to publicly quantify.

I read and re-read, judged and re-judged the manuscript so many times that I started to forget what the book was even about. I worried that I would say something unforgivable and be excommunicated from the body activism church. I all of a sudden wanted to write a million blog posts, clearly as a distraction technique while I tried to find the ovaries to tackle the chapter that terrified me. I wrote it and it still terrifies me. I forgot to take down my Christmas tree until March. I took the printed out versions on countless plane rides, elbowing my seatmates while trying to fix the choppy sentences. I read Brittany's post on writing and let out the biggest sigh of relief when I realized that that all of this was normal. At times I wanted to laugh at how ridiculous all of this was, and other times I just wanted to cry.

I'm not saying any of this to give the false perception of humility. I felt incapable of the task so often, but there were also moments of documenting very personal stories and loving them muchly... but the doubt? Often overwhelming. I am told by other people who have done this, that it is also completely normal.

I find this to be relevant:


But, all of that being said, I'm forced to admit that it was also mentally rewarding, inspirational and clarifying. Writing this forced me to put things I've previously avoided into words. It helped me consolidate my thoughts and decide what was important. It reminded me that this message is critical- especially for me to remember. My passion was sparked when I read other brilliant people's thoughts on body love. It gave me the boost I needed to overhaul my presentations and learn to love them again. It revitalized my purpose.

I also find this to be relevant:


My editor titled the book: Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls (though it's certainly relevant for all bodies) and it's going to be out this September. I'll be sure to show you the cover and tell you whats in it when we get closer (add yourself to the email list if you don't wanna miss it). I turned in my final draft for line editing on tonight, and my part is now (mostly) done. I'm so glad it's almost over, though I know I'll want to do it all over again the second I hold it in my hands. Someone told me that in that way it's like having a baby, but it's not like I would fucking know. I'll probably cry tears of both relief and extraordinary happiness after September. I'll probably show every stranger that walks by me for weeks. I'll probably make a lot of enemies from people I don't know while doing so.

I'm beyond grateful for a life where I have a purpose. Where I'm somehow successful at and love what I do. That some publisher took on my proposal and walked me through the complicated process. I know I'm fortunate. And I'm grateful.

Fucking tired.
But grateful.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

VALIDITY AND MY BELIEF THAT ALL BODIES DESERVE PLEASURE // RACHEL DWIGHT

[Photo shows a fat, white woman with short, dark hair in a teal tank top and dark jeans sitting on a park bench holding a 
medium-sized blonde corgi-terrier mix. They are both Smiling.]

ALL Bodies Deserve Pleasure.

When I tell people what I do for a living, I often get asked: “Why?” Actually, first they usually ask me to repeat myself because the phrase “body-inclusive sex store” doesn't really make sense to people. This idea is so foreign to our culture that people need a longer explanation to wrap their heads around diverse bodies having needs different than the mainstream. That fact is also part of the answer to the first question - “Why?”

I have a number of strikes against me in the game of oppression roulette. I'm fat, queer, disabled, and female. My white, cisgendered, middle-class, education-accessible background has given me a number of advantages, but when it comes to expressing my sexuality and being a completely fulfilled sexual being, the expectations and stereotypes of being a minority have thrown up all kinds of obstacles. To get where I am now, I've worked so fucking hard to get over them.

In fourth grade, when I was nine, we did square dancing. We were arranged in a square with four heteronormative (ugh!) couples each making up one side of the square. The moves were called out over the speakers along with the music and involved lots of partner switching. My partner was cool, but the other three boys in the group refused to touch my hands. At nine years old, I was well on my way to forming the deeply-seated belief that no one would want to touch me.

The teasing and bullying that happened in grade school continued, albeit with varying degrees of intensity. The first week of college when I found a rape whistle included in my welcome pack, I thought: “I’m never gonna need this.” This thought was right at the front of my mind, even though I had previously had a significant other. On one level, I knew that I was at least ‘touchable’, but I still didn't understand that I had value. I chalked that relationship up to a combination of pity and a fluke.

Over the next few years, I was able to work on making things better. I realized - on some level, theoretically - that I was worthy of other people’s attention, attraction, and even love. This logical thought made sense to a point, as I was dating and I’d also gained a bit of self-love in that I stopped dieting and started to try to love and appreciate my body as it is at any given moment; no alterations necessary.

This was in part what lead to my graduate studies in human sexuality – I wanted to learn amazing things about the variation of people's experiences. After grad school, I got married and felt like I was a good person because I'd managed to form that kind of a relationship. Then, that relationship imploded. During that really difficult time I was able to figure out and really integrate the idea that I am completely acceptable just the way I am. The cognitive dissonance around dating as a fat and disabled person was finally starting to settle. I realized that my worthiness of respect and love is not contingent on whether or not somebody chooses to respect or love me. It's an inherent right of existing as a human being.

I began to accept and appreciate some of my unique qualities related to my size and physical ability. I was actually applying the respect I gave to other people’s individual abilities and quirks to myself. For example, pretty much all sex guides suggest some kind of multitasking. I can't count the amount of times I've seen the instruction - particularly around oral sex - to do one thing with your mouth, a different thing with one hand, and another different thing with your other hand. It's kind of ridiculous, and simply doesn't work for my body. Even if those highly coordinated maneuvers are possible for a lot of people – hell, even if they are possible for all people except me – it doesn't mean that my abilities and experiences are any less valid or fulfilling. I can't do that thing; my body won't allow it. And that's okay.

[The image above shows the Validity logo which consists of the word 'Validity' written in purple letters across a gray-outlined Victorian-style fainting couch. Between the couch legs is the phrase 'All Bodies Deserve Pleasure' with an underline of the word 'All' to add emphasis.]

It is this kind of thing that helped me form my vision for Validity. All Bodies Deserve Pleasure and people with bodies that aren’t considered ‘normal’ are often left out of conversations about sex. This could be because the topic in a mainstream conversation isn’t relevant to their body or they don’t think anyone will be able to relate to their experience. There is also fear of not getting the support they need or being teased and shamed. People with ‘othered’ bodies need information to have safer and better quality sex.

I have big dreams for Validity. I have the expertise and eagerness that is needed to guide people to sex gear that will work for them; I don’t judge people for what they enjoy. Besides matching people up with the right sex gear and relevant info, I’m working on setting up a community message board for discussing aspects of non-mainstream sex and intimacy as well as a body-inclusive vendor list. My goal is to create a resource for our communities that just doesn’t exist. Yet.

Now back to that original question I get asked so often. In my job, I get to talk to people about all different aspects of sex: ideals, positions, morality, consent, oppressions, logistics, communication, etc. I can handle questions about pegging or golden showers or zoophilia. None of that gets under my skin like that first question.

Why did I start a body-inclusive sex store?

Because we deserve better than what's out there already.

Validity exists to provide quality sex gear and advice by creating a space for people to ask questions about their own unique body needs without fear of shame. I hope you’ll connect with your own self-love and check it out.


Want to support Validity?

1. Sign up for your 10% off code here. That helps us stay in touch and lets us know that folks want our work. This is critical for us at this stage of our work!

2. Invest in your pleasure. Investing in sex gear now not only improves your sexual pleasure immediately (and who doesn’t want more pleasure?), it will also nurture the very important message that All Bodies Deserve Pleasure - including yours.

3. And please share the crap out of this blog post and sign-up for and share my Facebook group so that this message goes viral.

-------------------------

Rachel Dwight, M.Ed. and sexologist lives in the Bay area with her dog Gabby, named after the actress Gabourey Sidibe. 

She was a huge supporter of BLC 14 and we appreciate her commitment to helping all bodies have great sex- both with partners and especially solo. I'm happy to host her valuable message here. She sent me a kick ass vibrator with clit hugging extensions (a new thing for me) and I promised to let you know if I liked it. I liked it. A lot. I would highly recommend having your partner help you try it out first, but this is certainly not needed for the full effect;) Thanks Rachel for a tool that made my vagina (and I mean vagina) super happy!

Yes you heard me. I've got a happy vagina.

SHOULD WE START A BAD-ASS BABE BOOK CLUB?



I HAVE AN IDEA GUYS.

It's been difficult to put together a steady body positive book club here in town (C'MON Tucson!) but I think this actually works out for the best because: THAT MEANS WE CAN HAVE A GIANT ONLINE BOOK CLUB. One filled with all us bad-ass babes (and of course anyone who wants to join!), and I'd love to include a million books written by OTHER bad-ass babes.

Fierce woman writers.

ARE YOU INTERESTED?

If so, I'm gonna ask you to take the survey below- I wanna know what YOU want to read. I chose 17 books that interest me, but if you think of a book you'd like to suggest- enter it at the bottom! Select as many as you'd like and depending on interest... well, we just might start the coolest book club on the interwebs.





If you can't get it to load, you can also click here!
HEARTS!

Monday, March 30, 2015

16 PLUS-SIZE SUMMER DRESSES UNDER $40


If you were questioning whether or not I loved you, let this be the answer! I spent my flight home collecting my favorite fat girl dresses under $40 and I found SIXTEEN OF THEM FOR YOU.

And my 6 favorite ones are all under $25.
Told you I loved ya.

BEHOLD! YOUR DAY MAKER:


Cold Shoulder ($40) // Chiffon ($40) // Stretch Cami ($15) // Floral Flounce ($36)








Bandeau Maxi ($36) // Glitter and Lace ($37) // Stretch Skater ($20) // Floral Border ($27)






The 16 covered a lot of bases- Forever 21, H&M, Re/Dress, Old Navy, Modcloth, Charlotte Russe, Target, ASOS, Torrid etc... where else should I look for adorable sun dresses? I'm itching for something cute to sweat in this summer!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: PALM SPRINGS ROAD TRIP!


I wish I was still in Palm Springs.

YES, I love traveling for work. YES I love my bed. YES I love my cats and having everything I need in one place... but GOD DAMN IT GUYS. PALM SPRINGS WAS WONDERFUL.

The boy and I took the car for a 5 hour spin last weekend and made sure we brought lots of coffee, music, and Table Topics for the ride. We left our computers and work at home so we could laugh and talk the whole way. I blared Wilson Phillips and he forced me to like Elvis Costello. I drank too much Red Bull and we both enjoyed hot dogs in Gila Bend. We spent the mornings there on patios drinking coffee and the afternoons by the pool. We thrifted, ate the best Mexican food, watched too many episodes of Chopped and had great hotel sex.

We ditched the guide books, made up our own rules and told stress to go fuck itself. No wonder I wish I was still there.

Sigh.




Salvation Mountain was the whole reason we took the trip in the first place. I've swooned over it so many times on other's Instagram accounts that when I finally took a second to Google it and found out it was only a 4 hour drive away... I planned the trip for a week later. Of course, Slab City is NOT my kind of lodging destination, so Palm Springs was the next closest destination worth visiting.

I always love it when you build up a place in your head... and it turns out more wonderful than expected. Salvation Mountain was just that.



I promised a love letter to this suit the other day, and I will leave it here:

Dear suit,

I love your fucking guts.

Hearts and caticorns,
Me


That's all. It's that simple. 

It's suit time, and all the plus blogs are already sampling the best of the best and I'm a million years behind even though it's already 90 degrees in Tucson... but I'm going to make it up to you with this bangin' red offering. A red halter suit reminiscent of old Hollywood and comfy as fuck. Regarding sizing: I ordered an 18 even though I normally wear a 20/22 and it's tight and perfect. You can order your normal choice or size down one.. either way it's well made and fits big ol' bodies wonderfully. AND YES. THAT'S A POOL DONUT



And it was a bitch to blow up.

Luckily we're smart adults that know how to work hard AND party hard- so we filled some plastic cups with wine, brought our favorite reading materials (Yes Please is ALL KINDS OF HYSTERICAL) and sat out in the shade while we took turns inflating that motherfucker. Worth every breath.


Fuck. Isn't that man gorgeous?

We (at the suggestion of IG follower Sarah) took the 180 degree rotating cable tram all the way up the mountain. Awe inspiring technology. Beautiful surroundings. Lurchy ride. Y'know... all the good stuff. We hiked down the mountain and around the trails (me in my goddamn sandals) smelling the bark that has a vanilla aroma and reading the carvings on giant fallen trunks.



Favorite part of all: meeting Dinny the Dino and Mr. Rex. The Calbazon dinosaurs (seen in Peewee's Big Adventure!) were fucking hilarious, amazing, and worth the drive alone. Frreal.

But then again, I'm addicted to roadside attractions. I even once drove to northern Arizona JUST to see the wigwam motels. Didn't want to stay in them... just see them. And I'd do it again.


My boy is the perfect road trip partner (and perfect partner, lets be real) and so the trip really was idyllic. But fortunately, I didn't get to be sad to be back home for too long. 24 hours later I was on a plane to Missouri and I'm currently typing this while en route to Philadelphia! (P.S. I'm speaking and paneling at Arcadia on Sunday- find out more here)

I wanna know about your favorite road trip! ALSO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE IN FUTURE SWIMSUIT POSTS. Because eventually I'm gonna catch up with the rest of the world and share more options. Leave your thoughts below, bitches!

12 AWESOME BITCHES TO REMIND YOU THAT THERE'S STILL COOL SHIT ON NETFLIX


I've mostly fallen out of love with Netflix and head over heels with Amazon Prime. If that means we can't be friends anymore, I understand.

It's just that, well, Netflix lost it's game somewhere along the way. So much so that I started to love the thrill of cursing out Prime for making me pay extra for something I've already purchased more than aimlessly flipping through monotonous BBC dramas I've never heard of. Netflix bored me in bed after a while guys. It's just a fact.

HOWEVER because the internet here at Arcadia is slower than dial-up, it forced me to revisit the only streaming website that works (because how do you fall asleep without movies?): good ol' Netflix. Imagine my delight when I realized HOW MANY BAD ASS BITCHES YOU CAN WATCH RIGHT NOW. Like right now. Zero extra charges.

Here are my top 12 women ready to stream that you shouldn't wait to watch:


#1.) Kathi in The Hairdresser/Die Friseuse: The best body positive movie I've seen... maybe, ever? It's definitely the only one I've seen where a fat body doesn't exist simply to for a joke's sake and that's pretty revolutionary all on it's own. Thank you Germany for making this gem.

Fat girl Kathi wants to open up her own salon after being dumped by her husband, dealing with physical ailments and poverty. Nothing stops this bad ass bitch. NOTHING.


#2.) Kimmy Schmidt: As with all shows aimed at critical thinking white feminists, Kimmy Schmidt has a lot of dialogue happening around it in regards to how it further progresses/halts social issues- which is fair. But cultural criticism aside, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the shit. It's like Elf but with a woman who trumps the shittiest life situations with charming awkwardness and an infectious smile. I loved every minute.

It's always Kimmy Time.



#3.) Kristy from The Baby-Sitters Club: We all had our favorite BSC girl. When I was allowed to read them (Mom told me at the time that the series was literary juvenile smut. I told this to the school librarian and she wasn't impressed) in 5th grade, I was always drawn to Kristy. This show is probably better when you're stoned, but before lighting up- read about the most awkward show moments so you know what to watch for.

The ability to stream this has pretty much repaired Netflix and I's relationship on it's own.



#4.) Miss Piggy in Muppets Take Manhattan: 1984 was a really good year for Miss Piggy. Watch that year now. You'll thank me later.


#5.) Tank Girl: The ultimate Bad Ass Bitch. No it's not Lara Croft. No it's not Hermione. It's motherfucking Tank Girl. If you haven't watched this cult classic, do yourself a favor- click out of this stupid post and watch it now.


#6.) Danielle from Ever After: The resilient woman's movie. Not only do I love the ballsy Danielle but (even as a young body loathing girl) I ALWAYS loved the line where chubby Jaqueline looks her mother in the eye and says "I'm only here for the food." SNAP.

I miss Drew Barrymore.


#7.) The ladies from Advanced Style: "Personal style and a vital spirit guides the lives of seven New Yorkers as they age." I didn't choose one woman because I love them ALL. ALL SEVEN GODDAMN GORGEOUS GODDESSES.


#8.) Frida: As evidenced by a giant tattoo of her face on my right arm, I personally think Frida Kahlo was a magnificent human, artist, and warrior. I would watch this 10 more times.


#9.) Carol from In a world: In a world where men rule the voice-over careers, bitchin' Carol refuses to let her dick father tell her she's not good enough and goes for the jobs anyways. It's the quintessential quirky indie chick movie and I love it.


#10.) Xena Warrior Princess: Hilariously bad. I mean, good? I don't know... I just know it's Xena and whenever you have a chance to watch 5 seasons of Xena you should watch 5 seasons of Xena.

The end.


#11.) Amelie: This will always be the movie that changed everything for me. Back in 2005, a friend pulled up the TV in my Mormon college dorms and we watched Amelie together. I was scandalized in the best way. Thanks Hilary. You redefined strong female leads for me.


#12.) Connie Baker in Mona Lisa Smile: I've seen this movie- maybe a dozen times. Which, for someone who rarely re-watches anything... is a big deal. Julia Robert's steals my heart as a liberal art history teacher at a conservative women's college. Maggie Gyllenhaal kills me with her wonderfully flagrant and unapologetic promiscuity. But it's Ginnifer Goodwin's (comparatively) fat girl character Connie that wins this fucking movie for me every time. Every goddamn time.

There are of course, many many MANY other kick ass girl films on Netflix if you desire: Francis Ha, Girl Rising, Mean Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hunger Games, Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 13, Scandal, Funny Face, ...holy fuck this could go on forever.

Huh. Maybe Netflix doesn't suck so bad after all.

What are you currently watching that you'd  recommend while I'm here without my beloved Prime? Any thumbs up on the ones listed above? What's good on Netflix, y'all?
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