To say I've neglected this blog would be an understatement. I could give you a million reasons why, but the truth is I've just had nothing to say. What more can I say about being fat that hasn't all ready been said? I've asked readers on every platform for topics, but I've received nothing. I plan to start doing book reviews which I will add on this blog. I would also like to talk about music more as well. As we usher into the New Year I plan to be more active here and continue that into 2013. See you soon! :-)

From My Tumblr Ask Box: The Hot Guys Don't Like Me.

Question: Hi, my question is regarding confidence in dating as a bigger woman/plus-size girl/whatever is appropriate to call fat women (I'm fat btw). I strongly admire your confidence and understand that it comes from within, but am having a hard time getting confident with guys. How do handle dating/relationships etc? In Australia, where I live, it's difficult being young and fat, especially in the beachy place I live. As most guys prefer the blonde beach babes over the edgier, witty fat ones.... Thanks


I think there are different parts to your question so I'll answer it in parts if that's ok. 


On getting confident with guys:


You were right on the money when you said confidence comes from within; it's not really something you can teach. Before you can get confident with guys you have to get confident with yourself. My advice with that is to start by doing small things that take you out of your comfort zone at a pace you're comfortable with. Soon you'll find yourself at a place where you won't be afraid to be yourself around anybody, including guys. Once you have done that I suggest just being yourself around guys; confidence will make you even more beautiful than you already are. Regardless as to wether it's a hot guy at the beach or a nerdy guy in his room playing World of War Craft not everyone is going to be into you. Take time to feel out the situation before you jump the gun. Don't mistake kindness for romanic affections and don't get to worked up if someone you like doesn't like you back. I know a lot of times we watch movies and see pretty thin girls out with their boyfriends and imagine them turning guys down by the dozens, but that's not always the case. Rejection is apart of dating for everyone. Struggling to find someone you like is apart of dating for everyone. 


On the hot guys not liking you:


SO WHAT! I feel like a lot of people won't agree with what I'm about to say next because the answer to this problem usually goes something like, "Well, you can be fat and date who ever you like. There is somebody for everyone; don't limit yourself. That may be true for some but the reality of the situation is: the hot guy that cares about your great personality, doesn't buy into society standards for beauty, and is comfortable with walking down the street proud with you is real for few and only exist in the dreams of most. Hot guys just don't go for the witty fat girl often. It's just something we have to grow to accept until society starts to change. The fact they women are obsessed with landing the hot guy movie poster guy is a testament to the same social standards that make being fat unattractive. If you step out of that for a second you may find that there are regular attractive guys and girls at the beach, not just the hot guys and bleach blonde girls . They may not look like they started in the latest romanic comedy, but they are there and willing to date you. Just like you want people to give the edgy, witty, fat girl a chance give those other boys a chance as well. 


Everything does not have to be about dating. I prefer to find people to date in a more organic way. Every trip to a club or to the beach is not about finding a date or who didn't bother to come up and talk to me. I go to enjoy myself and if I leave with a phone number great and if not that's great to. Don't spend to much time worrying and let it happen. The more confidence and fun you have the better you'll feel and look. 


I hope this helped. 


If you have a question you can ask if . 

From My Tumblr Ask Box: Qualifying Fat


The Anonymous "Question": 

And as a big girl myself I find so unnerving you wear some of the things you do. It looks unsightly and if you're into fashion you should know the first thing you should do is dress to suit your body shape. Leggings and crop tops are not for yo

My Response:

Qualifying statements are phrases that fill out generalized statements by adding more information. For example, a statement like "Romance novels are really good if you like soap operas." As fat people we hear qualifying statements all the time. For example, "People can be fat as long as they are healthy", "You're so pretty for a fat girl" and my personal favorite, "As a big girl...(insert negative opinion about somebody fat here)." If you've ever taken a speech class you've been taught to avoid qualifying statements like, "In my opinion...", because if you're saying it it's your opinion. Adding the qualifier weakens your statement and makes you sound scared or unsure. That is my problem with statements like,"You're so pretty for a fat girl" and "As a big girl...". Adding those qualifiers doesn't make your point more valid. Being fat in our current society brings us together through shared experiences of ridicule and pain, but it does not make us all the same.

Being fat doesn't mean you have the authority to criticize every other fat person for not meeting your personal standards. The media has done a brilliant job separating fat women and grouping us together, so it's easy to feel that way - like one person that doesn't look like you is misrepresenting the whole group. For example, when fat fashion bloggers are featured in main stream media it's usually with other fat girls and almost never with straight size bloggers as an equal. So, I get it.  If I get in a magazine under those circumstances I can see how you may feel like, "What is that clown bitch doing in here?", but you're mad at the wrong person.  If main stream media created more opportunities for fat people to be featured equally with straight size people myself and a few others (there way fewer plus size fashion blogs verses straight size ones) would not be the only non-celebrities representing you.  You'd have more to choose from and one person dressed like a clown wouldn't be such a big blow to you.

Now that we've blamed somebody else lets talk about what you can do. You can recognize that phrases like express yourself no matter what are most important when we are confronted with things that look odd to us. You accept that phrase when it's applied to being fat because you are fat and you identify with that, but what about the person wearing 8 different colors? Does it apply to them or will you make fun of them?  As perviously stated you can realize that even with similar experiences and bodies we are all individuals.  Finally, you can add more then a nasty comment to the story. Express your own style and add a new layer to conversation if you don't like what you see. There is room for all expressions.



Recess (500 word short story)

As many of you know I am in college studying English. I hope to one day publish a book of non-fiction short stories. This semester I decided to get on my English major steez and take advanced composition and creative writing to learn more about writing, get unbiased feedback and write more to prepare my portfolio. I'll be graduating with an associates (that's basically a advanced high school diploma, but a milestone non the less) in December, so I need to start applying to schools for next spring.

I've decided to share some of my work because reading and writing means just as much to me as clothes, if not more. For this assignment we had to write a 500 word short story. This an completely true account and I plan to add an extremely well edited version to my portfolio for university. Tell me what you think.


The sun appeared to be tracking my every move. I felt it breathing down my neck, heating up my back so my white button-down shirt clung to me with sweat underneath my pleated navy blue jumper. My classmates stood there in the same navy blue and white uniform as I, lined up like soldiers with their arms by their side waiting quietly to break free and run for recess while I fidgeted with my shirt trying to find a breeze somewhere in the air. I heard the loud screeching of Ms. Ganon’s rusty silver whistle as everyone dispersed and ran across the black top to the field a few feet away. I stood on the black top, distracted by my shirt, while they ran around me - some throwing me back a bit by knocking my shoulder with their own. 

I creep across the black top to the field slowly and met 5 girls I knew around the entrance. The field was big enough for every click of friends to spread out, but there was always sticks and dull green leaves littering a similarly colored lawn even in the summer. Not even the 100 year old trees could shield us from the heat wave. The girls began to form a circle and I pushed hot air out of my lungs. There would be no simple “Rocking Robin” or “Down Down Baby” hand game today. We all started singing, “Gig-O- Lo Gi Gi-O-Lo”, while one girl stepped in the middle of the circle throwing her hands up while crooning,“my hands up high”, then she threw her hands down and sang, “my feet down low”, and she twirled her six year old hips in a sexy circle before saying, “and this the way I gigolo. The girls kept stepping into the middle of the circle one by one. Some kept twirling their hips while others put their hands on their knees and popped their butts in the air. 

They were chanting the song for me last. I stood in the middle and sang my part, but when it came time for me show off the sexy moves I didn’t know how to do I hesitated looking around at each face. I thought about going home and reading the huge book of fairy tales my mother got me for my birthday, I thought about playing with my barbie dolls, or chasing my sister around my house. I saw the snarls of disbelief on their faces. Nyana stepped up to me and said, “Since you so scary, get out of our circle. That’s why we never play wit yo scary ass anyway”. I stared her down along with the other girls looking for a sliver of myself, but I didn’t find it. I walked a few feet before sitting at the trunk of a tree while I watched them point in my direction laughing and snickering.  


New Year Commitments: 365 Day Projects.


As the new year creeps in and settles people are revealing their resolutions, but I have never been one to make concrete resolutions about major life changes like most people. At the end of last year I began to notice my life was too rooted in the internet and I'd stopped doing the things that I loved. One of those things is reading. I have always been a heavy reader. In fact, in high school people would call me the girl with the books because I was always carrying one. In those days I read one or two books a week. Now it's more like one book every few months. Being busy with college is a factor because it's hard for me to read books for school and personal books at the same time, but my lack of personal reading is mostly do to laziness. If I can make time for internet things there is certainly time to read.

Crystal from Project Life Size spoke about the 50 books in 365 days project a while back and since the year is starting I decided I would start this project with a clean slate, so I couldn't include books perviously read in 2011. There is a group on Facebook dedicated to this and it is a great motivation to see others post their completed list of books. I'm starting the year off with Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Cirque Du Freak (books 1 - 12) by Daren Shan
The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith:
The Awakening
The Struggle
The Fury
The Dark reunion
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Summer in the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel by Candace Bushnell
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
Shiver
Linger
Forever
The Help by Kathryn Stockett




I'm also planning on doing a 365 day photo project. I'm not sure if I will post each photo online, but I am going  to buy new Canson water color 9x11 sketch books and post each picture with the date and caption. I think this will be a great way to get a snap shot of the whole year. I'm excited. For this project I will be a using a diana F+, a Fugi Instax 210, and a Nikon D3100.



Are you starting any new projects this year?

Re: The Enabling of Self Loathing and Shame - A Brand's (Torrid's) Facebook Observation

Disclaimer: I am in a partnership with Torrid. As apart of that partnership they supply me with clothing, shoes, and accessories. However, I still honor my commitment to honesty. That partnership does not influence my opinion on any situation involving the company.

This is a response to a post on The Curvy Fashionista called the 'The Enabling of Self Loathing and Shame - A Brand's Facebook Observation' . Check it out before you read my response. Also, read the comments.

The first time Torrid posted a look of mine it was without my consent. I noticed the increased traffic to my blog and found that it was coming from their Facebook page. I was happy to  be featured on their page as it is wonderful when important figures in the industry of your chosen field (most young fat girls shop at Torrid) recognize your talent. Also, this meant more exposure for Fat Shopaholic which is never a bad thing. The problem started when I looked at the comments. Many of them crossed that fine, almost invisible, line between constructive criticism and a vicious attack. While we are here lets discuss the difference.

Constructive criticism usually points out a flaw or flaws, but offers suggestions to fix the issue. For example, if you were commenting on an outfit post you could say something like, 'I'm not a big fan of that skirt. I find that maxi skirts make most people look frumpy. I like mini skirts best'. Even if your distaste for an outfit won't allow you to be nice enough to make a suggestion you can simply say, 'I don't like this outfit' or 'I don't like this outfit because...'. That's not really constructive, but not rude either.

Vicious attacks are just what they sound like. For example, 'That skirt looks a mess. I'm fat and I would never ever wear anything like that. It's just terrible. You look like a clown'.

In addition to being vicious many comments were body shaming. For example, 'Why are your big titties hanging out of that dress?' or 'You are too fat for those shorts. No one wants to see you big thighs hanging out. Just because it's sold in your size doesn't mean you have to buy it'.

I was not hurt by the unfortunate comments made on my outfit. I have accepted three very important things.

1.) I  have a strange and unique style. My style is especially different to fat girls who are used dressing a traditionally acceptable fat girl way.

2.) Because I have accepted my weirdness so whole heartedly most negative comments about my style are not a factor in my life. They won't make me change my style or stop wearing the things I love. I don't see them and cry. I'm almost unaffected. I mean I've been told I make fat girls look bad and that I'm misrepresenting the stylish fat community on Torrid'a Facebook page, but I couldn't even think of a fuck to give.

3.) In blogging you will encounter all three kinds of comments I mentioned above. If you break down or have a full scale freakout every time some dislikes something you do blogging may be for you, but not right now.

While the personal attacks on me left me unfazed there is a bigger issue at hand. That issue is the message of self hate and bully mentality those comments perpetuate. Those comments instill hate in others and make them censor their style for fear of ridicule. They can mute potentially amazing perfectives because now blogging looks too hard. A young girl who thought she found a safe haven of love and acceptance could continue choking down Lean Cuisines because thanks to those comments she thinks she's too fat to be accepted by fat people.

Solutions to this problem:

In the past (after their first post without my consent) I have sent Torrid links to my outfits to be posted on their Facebook page because we have an on going relationship and I know the risk of it being up there. In terms of other photos I do feel like Torrid should email the blogger before using their images. In fact, many bloggers explicitly ask that permission is asked before their photos are used. This gives the blogger time to assess the risk and determine if they can handle would could happen when their look is posted.

There should have been some form of moderation on Torrid's Facebook page from the start. These days many companies employ a person who's job is solely social media. While that person is sitting at a desk all day handling blogger relations, updating twitter, and posting things to Facebook there is bound to be time in the day for moderating the comments on outfit post. There should also be comment guidelines and repeat offenders should be blocked from the page. My mother used to say, "The constitution may say you have freedom of speech, but in my house I make the rules. In here your mouth will get you fucked up". Torrid doesn't have to issue ass whoopings, but you get the point.

Finally, we need to be more conscience of the way our comments affect others. As I've said in the past you are entitled to your opinion, but you are also responsible for it. That last part is something people don't often consider when they're yelling and carrying on about their rights and freedom of speech. You're entitled to entertain yourself with your hate speech using typed words, but if someone harms themselves physically because of it why is it only then that it makes an impact? Hateful words imprison people by their emotions. I'm not going to tell my whole life, but it happened to me. It made my life harder then it had to be. Just think about what you're going to say all the way through before you say it. It may seem like a small thing, but kind words change lives; many of yours have changed mine.

Some of the comments on Marie's post suggested that Torrid was posting photos of women with bolder styles as well as women on the larger end of plus to boost participation on their Facebook page. I don't agree with this. I have seen women posted on Torrid's Facebook of different body types with a variety of styles. I think Torrid had pure intentions when posting the pictures and were really just trying to show different perspectives. The method in which they do this is what needs to be tweaked.

Shorty after Marie's post Torrid and I was delighted to see all of the comments and likes praising Torrid for finally taking action in this area. Torrid's quick response to this issues shows that they care about making money, but they also are listening to the needs of bloggers and customers. My hope is that this continues beyond a single post and brings about better moderation to make Torrid's Facebook page a safe space.

Thanks to Marie for writing the orignal post and mentioning me in it.