Longread – It’s not about the plus size

So, I still have the Plus Size Tag on my reader. There are blogs and posts that are simply worth it. There are blogs or at least entries that border on whiney and display an incredible amount of insecurity about their appearance – carefully pinning it on society at all times, because god forbid we take responsibility for anything.

I’ve read rants written by fat chicks who were acting really rude on a plane and pinned the bad reaction of other passengers on her being fat – and she describe her rude behaviour as being acceptable. It’s just that, when you’re rude, you can paint it the way you like, we’ll notice you were acting rude and entitled. It’s not about the plus size.

A painful rant I recently read was of a blogger who was shamed by a serious a-hole at a restaurant for something she didn’t even say (her friend did); she was screamed at and told to shut her trap and called a fatty several times. As much as it pained me too to read something like that, because I too have crossed paths with a-holes, the point in question was: the man was an a-hole. If it weren’t for her weight, it would have been something else: her dumb face, her wannabe high-class clothes, whatever. The problem was the guy. It’s not about the plus size.

When I was about 20 and quite heavy already, I was strolling along the garden when a gipsy woman came in my direction saying “Hey miss, let me read the palm of or hand! Come here, don’t run! I’ll tell you where you’ll find the man for you!”. I dodged and went my way, fuming. When I got home, I told this to my big sis and added “that presumptuous bitch! If I were thin, she would’ve tried to goad me with money!”. As I already knew back then, it’s not about the plus size.

There is a popular blog/vlog of a couple of plus-sized women trying on plus-sized clothes and showing how bad they fit and I could just SMACK those women on their behind for their flawed, childish logic. Plenty of skinny women with larger hips, narrower hips, broad shoulders, asparagus-like shoulderlessness, etc. Because people come in all shapes and sizes and that includes the skinny women, they need to look for something that fits too. It’s not about the plus size!

Prêt-à-porter is a fancy word, not so fancy in the original french because then it simply means “ready to wear”. In order to make production accessible, they a mould for each size, and each size will have roughly the same proportions. Some women it will fit better, some it won’t fit as good. Because, just imagine, we all have different proportions and as we all know, as much as half an inch can make the whole difference. No matter the size. It’s not about the plus size.

Some plus sized bloggers bitch and moan about how some companies will make supposedly large sizes but cut them really tight, like they want us to feel bad about ourselves and I have to wonder how anyone can be that self-absorbed and not realize skinny women go through the same. A girl I worked with, a  1,75m = 5’9” slender girl once rolled her eyes and said she had T-shirts ranging from an S to an XL, and even one XXL! Sure, there really should be a standard measurement every company should by law be forced to apply, I totally agree, but: It’s not about the plus size.

My sis came on a shopping trip to Berlin and she wanted to buy a denim jacket by a very famous american company. My sis is 1,62m = 5’4” and so skinny, her BMI is on the lower border of the acceptable. She was looking for an L!! I insisted the M would be enough, as the S would already be acceptable for someone her size but she stubbornly looked for L and when she didn’t find it, she resigned to try an M which, much to my shock, was really too tight for her. Where in the world is that woman a Large person? Not even in China! It’s not about the plus size!

I’m also flabbergasted about the amount of girls complaining that they can’t go shopping together with their friends. Clothes shopping was never a social event for me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that growing up, my clothes were a mix of the cheap rags my mom bought for me (without me being able to choose) at the street market for the lowest price possible and when she occasionally after much begging and crying put 25$ in my big sister’s hands and allowed us to go to the mall where I made a point of going to the cheapest trendy store (Zara) and buy as much as I could with it (which wasn’t much anyway. A pair of jeans and 2-3 T-shirts). But my friends at school who had allowances and were allowed to go out with friends didn’t make a social event of it either. I guess those were different days, but although I like fashion, I can’t imagine a more vapid occupation than clothes shopping in group the whole day.

People complaining about only being able to buy Plus Size by catalog…. Eh… I dunno, I kind of get, but then I don’t. I like trying stuff at home, knowing the mirror I’m trying it in front of. I like being able to try right away if this top goes with THOSE jeans and shoes just like I imagined it and I guess I have the up-side of living in Germany, where most online catalogs will provide you with a stamp for a cost-free return of clothes that don’t fit.

I have to wonder about the confidence problems of people when it comes to their shape and size because I have to wonder what kind of person bases their self-worth on their looks. What kind of person finds this acceptable and what kind of person will claim to be a self-reliable, thinking human being and still not take responsibility and go around pointing fingers. But I’ve met enough skinny and vain people in my life too, so that too can’t possibly be just about the plus size.

I’m overjoyed when I see blogs of Plus Sized bloggers who do mention the plus size but don’t make it about the plus size, they make it about the fashion. The way it’s meant to be. Because liking fashion and clothes doesn’t make one automatically vain. I too like aesthetically pleasing clothes, I like to put effort in an ensemble if I go to a party or sometimes just when going out alone, just for the fun of it. But I don’t feel like making hardship on any subject about the plus size. I find it’s just not fitting.

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Dear fellows formerly known as the fat-chicks of the world…

…aka plus-sizes. I have a very high BMI and wear an US size 26 (EU54). Now let me show you something.

Here is self-loathing.

Here is adoring yourself.

Look how much friggin’ room there is inbetween! Look at it!! It might have been wider if not for the menus on the right, etc., but you get the picture. Now, having said that, here’s my take on this situation.

Some time ago, someone came up with the ridiculous notion that models aren’t coat-hangers to display clothes on a runway and that they’re supposed to be pretty. But they are not supposed to be pretty, they’re not the main focus of a runway show, the clothes are. But around the same time that teenagers started describing their teenager peers as “societey”, the ridiculous notion that models should be a role-modeld to anyone rather than a twig for one-size-fits-all-couture somehow seems to have clung to the other boogey-man: the “mass media”.

In a time where bad-parenting is a constant accusation and teachers are to blame if the kids just won’t learn anything, somehow these emaciated total strangers are made responsible for the self-esteem of the women in general (but men are tough. They’re never insecure, f*** ’em! Let’s make it all about women again. We’re the 50% minority)

And I, as a fat woman, am expected to hate these models as if they had tied me to the chair and force-fed me like a foie gras goose. Well, screw you, that’s what I have got to say that. People who say beauty comes in all shapes and sizes are usually more than happy to disregard any slender-shape as unnatractive, unhealthy garbage. I hate both that notion and the notion that, gosh darn it, you just have to be beautiful! Because f*** inner values!

No, beauty comes first! Those models were right all along, they just had the wrong size! Hmmm…. No thanks.

Those skinny teenagers making duckface and taking selfies in front of the mirror look ridiculous, but somehow, a fat adult woman making pouty faces and taking selfies in front of the mirror was just what this world was missing! Let’s make it aaaaall about appearences! Well, I’m all for being sexy and feeling ok in your skin, but this is ridiculous! Are we willing to focus on looks this much?

I’d love to dress up a bit more (spare a dime, sister?), and I truly am thankful for the few plus-sized models showing up. This means the companies are finally noticing how much money they can make off of us plus-sizes (you thought the fashion industry was changing their views about beauty? Seriously?) and that is finally ensuring that there are more and more high-quality plus-sized clothing available every day!I  do check plus-size fashion blogs, but I refuse to parade around like a vain kid, especially on the internet. Beauty is a part of my life, but it is ONE part, and not even the biggest. I’m not vain.

You can pick your “personality traits” up and stick’em where the sun don’t shine – my views on anti-ADHD

The Tag “Adult ADHD” on my reader yesteray made me notice someone who is really hurt by some stuff he or she saw on the internet. Something a friend shared approvingly with him or her. See, the person I’m thinking of has ADHD and the thing on the internet was a blog entry by some Matt Walsh (am I supposed to know who the guy is?…) explaining why he doesn’t believe that ADHD exists. I was slightly pissed at first, when he stated that he would have ADHD if it were a real thing, because most of us who live with it are used to people saying “Well, but I have trouble concentrating too” although they thrive in the private and work life. But then I couldn’t stop laughing and shaking my head. Because this guy, apparently actually has ADHD, but well, that doesn’t exist, so f*** that.

Anyway, what mostly made me roll my eyes were his arguments: links to renowed phsychiatrists that show the syndrome doesn’t exist, the fact that being distracted or socially innapropriate is just a personality trait and his bafflement at the seemingly arbitrary number of “at least 6” symptoms (which he consistently discards as such by using quotes) one must have of a list before the subject is even considered for an ADHD diagnosis. Well, this is just hillarious!

Firstly, the notion that “his” disproving renowed psychiatrists totally beat all the other renowed psychiatrists who proved it – just by his say-so, I wonder?

Secondly, that he tries to show that he is not one of these coo-coo anti-psychiatry people by saying something like “Dementia! THAT is a mental ailment”, apparently totally oblivious that first signs of dementia are a display of personality change – but ADHD “symptoms” are not symptoms, they have got to be personality traits. Who ever heard of personality traits being a symptom? Not this guy!

And third and lastly, his bafflement at the arbitraty number of symptoms required as a minimum is the cherry on top the cake. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, while innatention, irritability and blurting might be personality traits when presenting alone, but when they’re part of a bigger picture, they are most likely symptoms? Hmmmm… I wonder.

I’m not here to prove the existence of any syndrome to anyone, that is the role of the scientific-community. But when someone starts babbling shit like they have all the data and I notice they clearly don’t, I’m gonna go ahead and speak my mind too. This self-important ADHDer in denial actually tossed the typical “kids should have some sense knocked into them and be given place to use up their energy”. This fails to impress me because I am from the generation that got spankings, and I did have place to waste my extra-energy (my parents had a HUGE yard I played on constantly in those sweet technology-free 80’s). In elementary, the one thing I had trouble with was division by numbers larger than 10. My sister’s answer to this was to explain to me how it was done, write me up a block FULL of those exercices to solve, and then she tied my ankle to the dining room table and left me alone for the whole afternoon.

I trust this is medieval enough for “Mr” Walsh (yes, the Mr is ironic). But guess f***in’ what! I solved all all of those bad boys! Half of which were wrong! And despite that, even when everything else went wrong for me at college, maths and physics were the things I got down right on the first try (we didn’t have to use that type of division a single time, that’s why!). And I still have trouble focusing, and I still was diagnosed with ADHD and I still am responding to medication that levels my blood chemistry, as well as working hard at changing habits with the help of people who know that you can’t really tell us “You just gotta focus /you just gotta do it” and expect to see results.

Look, I get it that in the USA (and this is spreading everywhere), everything that is listed as a disability or sickness gets a bunch of benefits and this makes some people squint because there really are mentally disabled people who also are very shitty people (yes, I said it! Mentally disabled people are humans! The shock of it!). I get that these people will walk around saying “Well, my disabilty this and my disability that and you have to do this and that around me because I have a condition and you have to respect it!”. I get that some parents can’t handle their ADHD-free children and think ritalin is a magic pill, but ritalin will actually do nothing for you if you don’t have a chemical imabalance anyway – the joke is on these parents, even if I feel sorry for the kid. But if you have even half a brain like you claim you do, call shitty people on their bad behaviour; call people on their bad parenting; but don’t go around trying to invalidate a whole syndrome with some flawed grocery-store logic.

(Note: I did grossly overstep my self-imposed limit of 500 words, but that guy ranted so much for so long, it was hard to write this any shorter. Oh well…)

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The Mozarella induced self-expression – Blogging vs Blog reading

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Morton’s Fork.”

Well, the question was: if you could only do either one or the other, would you rather be allowed to write a blog or read other people’s blogs? To me, hands-down: I’d rather write. Let’s assume all the narcissistic reasons for it are there and dig deeper for the rest of the reasons, shall we?

  • Practical reasons: While reading blogs is a means of expanding your horizons and learning new points of view, it is by no means the single one: there are newspapers, magazines and books, to name only a few. Let’s not compare the price of books with the price of self-publishing one book, ok? And where else can you write this extensively and get such a broad public? You can only write so much on public toilets, and then you’re mostly stuck with a single gender…
  • Personal surroundings and feedback: No one ever told me I have to read more (I do, quite a lot) but more than one person insisted I should write and spread my gospel. True, most are overly-eager good friends and members of the family who can’t seem to grasp the fact that just because they love, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world will. But they’re not the type of people who will tell everyone “ZOMG! Yuo need t00 express ur-self! Life iz art! w00T!” so I still count that as a reason.
  • The right prompt: 10 years ago, learning German in a Summer course in Heidelberg (Germany), I asked my handsome literature teacher if he’d ever let me read his short-stories. He promptly agreed on the condition that I let him read my works first. “But….” I said “I don’t write. I’ve never written anything outside of school.” He was shocked and urged me to write because “you have the gift of word”. He said when I speak, people hang on my every word. Honestly, to this day I think the class only paid attention to my stories because they found it weird that a 23 year old from ANY country in Europe wouldn’t be allowed to date and they liked to hear my antics on how to fool my conservative mom while I dated and screwed around. That, and that the teacher was trying to get in my pants and not trying nearly hard enough.
  • Because Sex: Don’t ask me what it has to do with my writing, but sometimes I feel like sex is everywhere, so I’m gonna leave it here. Plus, the warm breath of that literature teacher while he obscenely wispered in my ear in front of everyone “Rosaleen, may I offer you a mozarella-tomato bagel?” still buzzes from my ear to my stomach sometimes, even after ten years. So maybe that too.