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Posts from — August 2009

“My Mom Is Fat!” – Empowering children and body image

I just received this release from “Sydney & Spencer’s Mom,” about her new book, My Mom Is Fat! I just heard a segment on NPR on the presence of social hierarchies in children, belief systems and attitudes that are established by the time they reach kindergarten. I think this book is a great way to address one of these hierarchies.

A 24 page, fully illustrated children’s book – cost of $9.95 (US) retail.  Available August 31, 2009 on the website www.mymomisfat.com and local area bookstores.

IT seems to be very topical now with more fat people featured in reality TV shows and commercials.  The problem is body image starts in the preschool stage of development.

This is a heart touching ode to Mom. Written in cognitively correct ® way; without a single negation and showing all the abilities of Mom and her wonderful body image.

All children get their body image from their parents.  If you love the way you look unconditionally, you will be able to fully support your child’s positive and health body image.

This book features [the author] and [her] children mostly, pictures are original photos taken by Stephen Mazzella [the author’s] “husband”.

“My Mom is FAT!” by Sydney & Spencer’s Mom (Bryce Conway) is a very personal book, showing both mom and child that you are both loved and loving irregaurdless of how you look.  There is even an opportunity for the child to declare what makes their mom so special.

It’s time to start a new generation of children who are exposed to a positive way of thinking about their body and how it’s all about their abilities.

August 25, 2009   No Comments

Plus-size hierarchy, or Is there a big girl caste system?

The show More To Love (which clearly I am regularly watching) has me thinking about the notion of a plus-size hierarchy, or even a caste system. The show has touched on this before, but tonight, one of the women eliminated from the show, who appears to be on the lower end of plus size,  made this comment:

I think I’m kind of prettier than some of the girls in the house. I wonder what Luke could possibly see in Mel B (one of the larger women in the house), this is, like, a total blow to my ego. I’ve never lost a guy to a girl bigger than me, or not as attractive.

[I have to interject here: now that I’ve uploaded their pictures, there doesn’t appear to be that great a size difference between them. Amanda is taller than Mel B, for sure. Just goes to show that the size difference doesn’t have to be that great.)

To me, this comment illustrates the plus size hierarchy, the Missy vs. Plus divide,  having a 1 in front of your weight vs. a 2, and ultimately, regardless of how big, the ability to say: I may be big, but at least I’m not as big as her (pointing to the biggest girl in the room).

(And really, this is a sub-genre of the overarching hierarchy of size: can you shop in a boutique (0-10), traditional retail (add 12, 14), a few traditional retailers with extended sizes (16,18), or plus size.)

So you have women who are on the lower end of plus size (I had one commenter on this blog say: it’s OK for big women to show skin as long as there aren’t rolls), the one’s who hear: “You may be big, but you’re not fat….” , then those who are squarely plus size. And if you’ve ever crossed the divide–gaining, losing weight–you know what I mean. There will be a shift in the dynamic.

In the hierarchy game, a woman walks into a room, gauges her size against the sizes of all the other women, and places herself and the others, somewhere in the size hierarchy. So, the size 14, in a room of size 2s, feels like she is low in the hierarchy. Put her in a room of women in size 2s, she now is at the top tier. In the room with the size 2s, she feels bad. In the room with the 22s, she feels great. Lose the guy to the size 2– oh, well. Lose the guy to the size 22–ego blow, and ‘what’s wrong with him?’

This kills me–the lack of solidarity among women in issues of beauty and body image. Someone on Twitter tonight said, “Don’t you just wish all the girls would bond more and go out and pick up guys together?”

Yes!

Do we need to tear down our sister to feel better about ourselves?

No!

Would love to hear your take on the plus-size hierarchy.

August 11, 2009   10 Comments

“More To Love” – Behind the scenes

Found an interesting article in the LA Times that is a “behind-the-scenes” look at the filming of the show. Everyone always talks about the involvement of producers in reality television. This article gives an interesting picture of how that happens (potential spoiler alert):

After the mini-dates, Conley is called into the interview room to discuss the elimination. He seems worn out and admits he is second-guessing whom he will send home. The producer harps on the woman whose insecurities have been revealed.

“Are you concerned that her own mother felt the need to bring this up?” a producer asks.

“I’m trying to figure out if it’s her insecurities or her mother’s insecurities for her,” Conley says.

“Doesn’t that make you rethink what you’re doing tonight?”

“I don’t want to go into a monologue. I don’t want to say too much,” Conley replies.

“You have said you want a confident woman. That doesn’t concern you?”

“I am concerned that [she] might need more attention than I originally anticipated.”

“But you’re not considering sending her home?”

“No,” Conley says emphatically. “I just wish I could have more time with these four girls.”

He can’t. The next morning, Conley is on a flight to Hawaii with the three left standing.

August 11, 2009   No Comments

Why Julia Child is Curvy Fabulous

My take on Julia Child (“Julie & Julia”) as a curvy fabulous role model.

And here’s my quote on Julia Child in the August 8, 2009, Atlanta Journal Constitution article: Enthusiastic Food Fans Hit the Theaters:

“Julia didn’t find herself until she was 50,” declared Angela Stalcup, among the gaggle of gals who ascended for lunch on the roof of French American Brasserie, then took in the foodie flick at Regal Atlantic Station.

“Sometimes we’re in such a rush to find ourselves. She was this very powerful, curvaceous woman who unapologetically loved food and loved herself. The lesson is you can be a star by being yourself.”

August 8, 2009   1 Comment

Who Really is a “Real” Woman?

You hear the use of the term “real women” a lot lately, particularly to refer to women who are bigger than a size 2. Yet, I always think: aren’t all women “real” women, regardless of size? While use of the word “real” to describe a group or category of women is probably not often meant as an insult to those not in the group being described, it really is a loaded term.

A friend of mine sent me this thought in response to a comment that large breasts are the sign of a “real woman” with the subject header, “Curves or no curves, women can’t get a break”:

So, let me be clear about this . . . If you don’t have big boobs you’re not a real woman???

Okay, so, if you’re “curvy” you’ve got body image issues (“I’m too fat”) and if you’re less endowed in the chest or the tush area you’ve got body image issues (“I need bigger boobs,”I need booty implants”)…

Obviously there are people who like big, small, curvy, slender…it’s all good.

Just don’t judge any of the others as not “real”.

I am in complete agreement with this point–large or small, voluptuous or skinny, we are all “real” women. As another friend mentioned to me last night: we need to see a diversity of sizes, shapes, colors, and backgrounds represented. Now that’s “real.”

What are your thoughts on the use of the term “real woman”?

August 5, 2009   8 Comments

New Plus-Size Store in Atlanta

Just heard from Rhadonda Daniels about her new plus-size store in Atlanta:

PLUS SIZE CUTENESS

Newly established to dress ladies sizes 14 to 24 in today’s trendy fashions.  We offer personalized designs as well.  Some fashions are on my website.  WWW.CE-BY-RHADONDA.COM

Business is located at 2975 Headland Drive Any inquiries contact Rhadonda Daniels at 404-454-9301

August 5, 2009   2 Comments

Margaret Cho and “Drop Dead Diva”

I saw a great interview Monday on Atlanta&Company with Margaret Cho talking about Drop Dead Diva and her new Showtime special, Beautiful, her take on beauty and what it takes for everyone to feel beautiful about themselves. The clip from the show is well worth a look.

I especially loved the thought from Margaret that beauty is ours to claim, and if we declare our beauty to the world, the world will recognize that beauty.

Love it!

August 5, 2009   2 Comments

More To Love — Let the crying begin

Just a few, quick comments on More To Love, Episode 2:

  • Hope they’re buying waterproof mascara by the gross–oh, the crying of it all!
  • I’m tired of hearing the absence of life experience blamed on body size. Example: “Because I’m big I’ve never been on a private jet.” Plenty of thin women have never been on a private jet, either.
  • Most of the woes of these girls come from the fact that they are in their 20s, not from their size. The thin 20-something girls of the world all feel pretty much the same way, too.
  • Given my relationship with bathing suits, gotta love the swimsuit portion of the show.
  • In fact, love all the clothes on the show–that’s why I’ll keep watching.
  • Sad to see the senior cast member voted off so soon–Arianne, you are fabulous!
  • This really is following a classic reality show script: the cryer, the catty one, the girl all the other girls hate.

If you want really intelligent discourse on size, race, and media, check out the article on  Fatshionista : Thoughts on Intersectionality, Or, Why There’s No Dark-Skinned Fat Black Women on More to Love.


August 4, 2009   4 Comments