Monday, October 29, 2007

First Impressions

The most difficult part of discovering the fat acceptance movement -- and of accepting it, once it's discovered -- is letting go of the belief that you can lose weight. Of the belief that someday, if you just tried hard enough, you could be skinnier. It's never worked so far, but that must be because you've never tried hard enough, or really applied yourself, or stuck to whatever diet you were trying. You didn't want it enough, but next time, it would be different. Next time, you could end up just as pretty as your mother says you could be, if you just lost 10 lbs, or 50 lbs, or 100.
And finding out the cold, hard, facts, that diets don't work -- no, seriously, they don't work. At all. No, not even if you try really, really hard. -- can take the wind out of you just as easily as it can be a breath of fresh air.
It's hard because it takes away that hope of being normal, of fitting in, of being socially acceptable, of being
pretty. But what fat acceptance gives you to replace that hope is the idea that instead of laboring to change ourselves, we can work to change society instead, so that fat can be normal, and acceptable (that's the acceptance in "fat acceptance") and pretty. Is it about 6 billion times harder to try and change society instead of trying to change yourself? Hell yeah. But as history shows us, it is actually possible, while science has already shown us that permanent weight loss just isn't.

Friday, October 26, 2007

So much for not rambling...oops

I like knowing the person behind a blog because it gives a "face", as it were, to the voice of the blogger -- not a visual image so much as a mental image of who that person is, and why they're writing. My blogger profile kind of falls down in that regard, so I thought I'd expand more in this entry.

Of course, being asked to describe myself always makes my mind go blank from information overload. What should I include? What should I leave out? Sometimes it's hard to discern what is applicable and what would be entirely irrelevant. For instance, my antipathy toward organized religion is a very large part of my identity right now, but is a bit heavy for light conversation. It's like replying toward a "How are you?" with a "Terrified by the idea of a chaotic universe but unable to reconcile the evils of the physical world with the idea of an omnipotent God." It's just ... peculiar. Which I have no trouble admitting I am, but it bothers other, more normal people when I wield the weird too freely.

Sorry about the derailment there. . . Right. Who am I. Well, I'm a college student. I've had one year at an unaccredited, Baptist church-affiliated, private college (one of the worst ideas I let my parents talk me into doing), one year at a community college, and one year at a state college. I'm sort of a failed former Psychology major. Right now, I'm going to a culinary school for Baking & Pastry -- one affiliated with the Le Cordon Bleu program, which means it's very, very expensive, but I am very, very excited. That utter joy and certainty of knowing exactly what one wants to do and how one is going to go about doing it is an incredible feeling to have, and it took me years to find it, so it's something I most definitely treasure.

Do I worry about fulfilling all those stereotypes of the fat pastry chef getting fatter on her own wares? Well, yeah, a little, but Bronwen Weber is my hero and that's certainly not how I think of her, nor is that how I think of Marina Sousa, so I'm pretty sure that worry exists only in my own mind. (And maybe in the minds of people whose opinions I shouldn't care about anyway.) I think of them primarily as freaking awesome cake decorators whose feet I am not worthy to cover in fondant, and also as fabulously gorgeous women in their own right. Sigh ... sorry, fangirling, I'll stop now.

I'm also half-Asian, half-white. Anyone watch Gilmore Girls? Remember Mrs. Kim, Lane's mom? Entirely, completely, hilariously dead accurate portrayal of a Korean mother. Of MY mother. Add in the fact that I am half a foot taller and over a hundred pounds heavier than my mother, who considers herself inexcusably fat (for the record, she's stunningly petite and incredibly in shape for a 50+ woman. I wish I would look that good in 30 years!) and I'm still wondering how I never ended up with an eating disorder. Seriously.
She has been ragging me about my weight for ... my entire life, that I can remember. I remember her utter dismay when I had my 7th grade physical -- I was 5' 6" and 135 pounds, and she was humiliated for me. I don't have many memories of my childhood or teen years, but that one is etched into my memory.

I've been the "fat" girl my entire life. I was one of the tallest of my classmates throughout elementary school and junior high. I'm also the only fat person in my immediate family. It goes without saying I never felt attractive, until a few years ago. (Ironically, at my highest weight yet.)

I've always hated diet talk, or the whole "omigosh, my thighs are HUGE, I must eat nothing but carrot sticks all week, I'm so gross" because most of the time, out of all the girls there, I am the fattest. (Growing up in an infinitesimally small private high school where girls are valued for their beauty and submissiveness in accordance with that damned lady from Proverbs 31 really warped my perception of myself and of reality for a long time.) I never liked it, I never took part in it.
There aren't words to express the astonishment I felt at the discovery of the fat acceptance movement. And part of the joy was discovering other people who had lived the same kind of life as me, as a fat person in a world that regards you as lesser/lazy/ugly/stupid for it, and they weren't obsessed with diets, and how ugly they were, and how, by default, ugly I must seem. They were fat, and they were feminists, and they were happy.

I've already gone on for way too long, and so I think I'll continue later with my impression of the fat acceptance movement and how fucking awesome it really is.

So this is the Blogosphere

So I suppose if I'm really going to do this blog thing I should really post something. I've started many so-called-blogs on the many social network sites I've joined (only to keep up with friends, I swear! It seems the older one gets the more one's friends and acquaintances spread out, like scent molecules diffusing. With my friends, luckily it's a good scent. But I've found sites like Myspace or Facebook necessary to keep up with people I no longer see in person.) that never seem to get off the ground. If it's lucky, it'll get one post, maybe two, before I completely forget about it. And there they sit, abandoned, readerless, burnt-out shells of once promising blogs ... okay, I'm done now.
But the only place I've been able to write consistently (depending on your definition of consistent) is on my Livejournal, which I've kept up for going on five years now. However, because of the personal nature of my LJ, it's friends only (for now, and probably a little while longer) and I've been feeling the need for a more public venue. Blogger constructed the soapbox, and my recent discovery of fat activism gave me my subject.
I'll post more later on who I am and why I'm here, and why I chose this particular subject. Since I have an eye-glazing tendency to ramble on much more than is needed, I've vowed to try and stay succinct with my posts here, which is why I'm ending this post now.