First thing’s first:
I’m giving away a Navabi x Arched Eyebrow blouse at the end of this post! Lucky you maybe!
Last time we spoke I was in a precarious position where I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to stay in the UK. I’m happy to report that I nailed my re-do and I’ve started the second year of my Master’s. It’s already challenging (hours of lectures about swallowing! And here I thought I was already an expert. Because I’m fat. Also because I’m a slut. Thanks everybody for hanging in for this long and unfunny parenthetical joke!) but I’m excited to start work on my dissertation and to get to work with adults.
I’ll post later about my trip to Edinburgh and to the French Alps. I’ve been very lucky! I have to work hard to retrospectively deserve it.
One of the things I got to do over summer break was hang out with my Small Mom! She’d never been to the UK and I overwhelmed her with options in my favourite city. She was pretty happy to drink tea and ride the double decker buses across the city. I know where I get that from. But we ended up doing loads of stuff: the British Library, the British Museum, the zoo, a day trip to Canterbury, and up north to the Peak District to see Eyam (the plague village) and Chatsworth House. It was amazing having her here. She’s been through a hell of a lot (more than even YOUR MOM. and we all know what YOUR MOM has been through) and I hope she enjoyed having a big adventure and meeting lots of my very favourite people.
I got to wear my first Navabi Fashion piece to Chatsworth House, a gorgeous Manon Baptiste maxi dress that I won in a competition they ran on Twitter. Because I won it in a competition and it was not sent to me for review purposes, I can be honest and say that
I completely love it. I look and feel like a goddamn 70s princess.
Here’s a better photo from the first time I wore it:
Super high quality material, the dress is lined, the fit is immaculate. The little ruffle details on the shoulders make it playful but not childish. Every Navabi piece is made when you order it so it feels like time goes into making it a long lasting piece of your wardrobe.
Navabi did send me a new piece from Bethany Rutter’s Arched Eyebrow collection. I WAS sent this for review purposes, but again…
It’s pretty much perfect for me. The stretch viscose material means that it feels sturdy and high quality but it’s the holy grail of button-up blouses in that IT DOESN’T GAP. I’ve heard from people with all different boob sizes that blouses gap on them. It’s not just a problem for busty people so everyone can appreciate what a rare thing this is.
It also has super cute details, like the graphic triangle buttons and the pussybow! I love a good pussybow. I’m not saying that to be crass. It’s just accurate.
Bethany’s whole collection is full of pieces calling out for scene-stealing colour-blocking. I love to steal a scene, provided I do not already star in the scene. It’s abundantly clear it was designed by a fat person for other fat people who like how they look and don’t want to hide behind butterflies, neutrals, and cold-shoulders. FAT PEOPLE HATE TO HAVE COLD SHOULDERS, RETAILERS. STOP TRYING IT. I even have particularly nice shoulders– it’s a weird compliment multiple people have paid me– and I don’t want to wear a cold shoulder!
Back to things I do like.
I paired it with my Monki overalls to show how versatile it can be. You might not think a hot pink blouse with a bow tie has multiple purposes but for me it fits perfectly in so many places in my wardrobe. Apologies for not ironing it- I didn’t have access to one. Also I’m not really sorry.
Alright, enough chat! Do you want to win one of these made just for you in your size, if you are UK size 14-28?
Here are the rules:
The winner gets one Arched Eyebrow x Navabi Short Pussybow Blouse. The winner will be contacted via email to find out they’ve won and Navabi will ship your new piece to you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have this feeling a lot, that I am seeing more and more of situations over which I have less and less control, but that actually, more and more, the bus is crashing into things.
That’s cheery. Let’s talk about my birthday, which was nice.
On my birthday I went to Mudchute City Farm in East London with many of my most trusted acquaintances, including llamas, alpacas, and Nubian goats.
I guess my friends were there, too, and they showered me with tea, the best macarons, and home-made Swedish princess cake and Japanese cheesecake made by master patissipowersuit Pear.
You may have noticed I am wearing a very good dress.
This dress was in my ASOS saved list for ages and sold out pretty quickly, but someone returned theirs and I pounced on the opportunity. It’s a size UK 18/US 14, which is something I can squeeze into if the dress is made out of a stretchy fabric. I’m typically a UK 20/US 16 depending on the cut of the dress.
This dress is not made of a stretchy fabric. It is made out of a very thick, almost curtain-like fabric and has a sticky zipper because of the weight of the fabric it has to support. I got stuck while I tried it on and was afraid I’d die alone in the bathroom of my house and my housemates would find me with this dress constricting my boobs and with my face all red and sweaty from the effort of attempting to get it off and they’d have to roll me in a rug and throw me in the Thames, or at the very least the Ravensbourne creek that comes from the Thames.
Despite this harrowing experience, I decided I wasn’t going to send it back. This is the sort of dress that would come into the consignment shop I used to work at every so often, the type of dress that might come from Traci Reese or Moulinette Soeurs or another fancy Anthropologie brand. The type of dress meant for a trip to the Riviera or a villa in Italy. I’d enviously watch my coworkers and the fancy Bryn Mawr ladies make off with these pieces that only ever came in sizes 10 or below. I’d be happy for them, but happy in the way that an ex-boyfriend is happy for his ex-girlfriend who ends up getting married to someone who looks like he probably showers every day and doesn’t have an obsessive sexual interest in stockings. I would stalk these dresses on facebook and feel little tinges of schadenfreude when one of their seams split a little or they got into a fight with a dress they’d known since high school. Is that true happiness?
So when this dress came along I knew I wouldn’t give up so quickly, and I looked up a tailor nearby. I found The Workshop and decided to make an attempt at getting it altered. I went in knowing that it’s much harder to make a dress bigger than it is to make it smaller and that it was totally possible I’d be out of luck. When I went in, Donna greeted me kindly and asked what my ideas for the dress might be. She gently told me that there wouldn’t be enough seam allowance to let the seams out and that a shirred panel in the back wouldn’t work, but I appreciated that she did listen to my amateur musings. Instead, she thought she might be able to add some panels on the side to give me some room in the bust. She had me try on the dress and pinned it to figure out how much extra fabric I’d need. 6 days later, she had added two denim panels under the arms where no one would notice them, and the dress fit perfectly with no extra alteration needed.
I want to recommend the process of getting alterations to everyone, but I know there are so many barriers: this dress only came up to a size 18 in the first place. There aren’t any dresses in this style, or this kind of cute Anthropologie-esque style in general, that go past a size 18 and even finding any that come up to that size is rare. Another is that alteration isn’t cheap. It’s certainly worthwhile, but absolutely not accessible to everyone. It’s not something I’ll be able do all the time, but going to the Workshop for this very special dress for a very special occasion was really worth it to me and they did a spectacular job. They turned what could have been an extremely disappointing moment into a super joyous occasion. I hope by showing off how fucking cute I look in this dress that vendors are moved to start extending their sizes!
I also asked Donna to lop the sleeves off of two of my vintage dresses because crimplene and other vintage fabrics are so hot and do not breathe at all, and my arms are often the main barrier to things fitting me:
I am tempted to have the sleeves lopped off of everything I own now. If you do have something you love that doesn’t fit the way you want it to, consider getting it tailored! People come in such a wonderful variety of shapes that ready-to-wear and fast fashion do not accommodate. And if you’re in London, go to The Workshop! They’re quick, professional, and absolute miracle workers.
After my birthday I took two ridiculously difficult 3 hour exams on Management of Communication Disorders, Linguistics, and Psychology. I wrote some probable absolute nonsense about Piaget and Vygotsky’s conceptions of play and about attachment, and about Behaviourism. Invite me to be on your extremely niche pub quiz team!
To give me some respite from exam heartache, the lovely Liz brought me to the Bust Craftacular. I’m not used to actually wanting things from craft fairs but this was dangerous territory, filled with genuinely talented artisans. Within three minutes of being there I bought my friend a birthday gift from Ella Goodwin, who makes beautiful prints and jewelry like this:
One of my favorite vendors was Bryony Moss Illustration, who has a particular mardy cat design that really spoke to me:
I also got some really wonderful-smelling candles from Join, because I am what people 2-3 years ago would non-stop refer to as “basic”.
Here are a bunch of other things that caught my eye but which I didn’t buy because I guess I should save money for things like “rent” and “getting to school”:
Stag necklace from SSTUTTER
Twin Peaks badge from Wren & Wilson
Screenprinted patch from Ink & Wilderness
Melted mug from Kinska Shop
Cat pin from Ted & Kip
I really enjoyed the Craftacular but I wish they would exclude vendors like Brighton Lace, who make things in a vast range of sizes from 0 to 0. How feminist. I think it’d be nice for the Craftacular to either have a no apparel policy or that apparel companies should have to make things that fit more than 1 size if they want to vend there.
Now that I’ve wanked at length about things of a frivolous nature, I have to point out that the past week was devastating and that tomorrow is so important for those of us in the UK. As an immigrant who wants to work for the NHS and who has now had the privilege of working with some of the most vulnerable people in this country, I want to ask that any of you in the UK who can vote, please vote. I would really like if you voted Labour as I think that’s the best chance to preserve the NHS and for selfish reasons, I’ll point out that it’s probably the best chance for (sort of) skilled immigrants to be kept on after finishing school.
I love it here! I’ve come to consider it my home and I’m so anxious to see what happens tomorrow.
Here is a topical song I wrote about alterations a few years back:]]>
FIRST, we’ll say Hello. NEXT, we’ll talk about Trains. THEN, we’ll talk about Failure. THEN, we’ll talk about Fashion. LAST, we’ll say goodbye.
First, we’ll say hello. Hello. What’s new with you? I’m doing alright in some ways and not as well with others. HELLO IS FINISHED. Next, we’ll talk about Trains.
Disclaimer: This story about shame and virtue signalling involves me virtue signalling.
People who have known me all of my life will attest that I will not run, have not run, do not run (Have you known me for 5+ years? Have you ever seen me run? Write in and tell us about it, you fucking liar). But I will lightly jog if it means getting one of those nice single seats next to the stinky toilet on a Thameslink train. I lightly jogged to get my single seat after quite a long day of doing work that I am paying to be able to do, instead of the other way around, and luxuriated for 40 minutes in my seatedness in opposition to the plebeian standing character of the other train passengers. But at Peckham Rye some lovely old dears got on. I saw that goddamn no one was gonna offer them a seat, and felt a bit conflicted because, as far away as I was from them, I had two options:
Knowing that option 1) would not result in the intended decency I was attempting, I opted for 2). “Would either of you ladies like a seat?” I yelled, all American.
The ladies did. The ladies wanted a seat. Out of obligation, another man got up to offer his seat as if he was going to all along (he wasn’t! Because he hadn’t!).
“That’s what you should do!” A young man loudly affirmed. “You should give up your seat. YOU’RE A GOOD WOMAN,” the young man told me.
I didn’t like this because the other-congratulatory nature of the interaction interrupted the self-congratulation I was looking forward to. Thank god I can indulge it now in front of all 0 of you reading this.
(Yikes), I thought, but “Um, it’s basic,” I stuttered, uncharacteristically too embarrassed to be articulate.
“Yeah, it’s basic! But these muppets didn’t do it!” He gestured at the other seated passengers, who probably deeply resented me in that moment for exercising the most rudimentary act of courtesy so fucking loudly.
“You don’t get people doing that much these days,” an older man agreed to the old lady, who probably would have rather stood than endured all this pomp and circumstance about her being too old to ride a train.
I found all of this excruciating, and I prefer cash money to verbal medals and prizes.
A stop or two later another empty seat opened up. Two young gentlemen and I fought over who would not sit there, like a trio of Amazon Echos caught in the world’s most inane feedback loop. “Would you like a seat? No, that’s ok. Would you like a seat? No, that’s ok. I love you. You’re a robot. I’m the human. Would you like a seat? I love you. No, that’s ok.” We sank into the pain in our feet, eschewing comfort for the ache of pride we took in making everyone feel a little bit like an asshole for not giving up their seats.
TRAIN is finished. NEXT, we’ll talk about failure.
I failed. If you asked me last week what I’d failed, I’d say, “Everything. I’ve failed everything. And it’s because I’m stupid and incompetent and worthless and incapable. I’ve fucked up my entire life and have no one but myself to blame.”
I actually failed a piece of important coursework, and as a result, failed a module.
I walked around saying to everyone “I failed! I failed!” Well-meaning acquaintances mildly told me how much that sucked. I suppose I was hoping for some affirmation, like “You know Einstein failed his Cosmetology course 4 times? Couldn’t do a Brazilian blowout to save his life.” or “You know Ayn Rand failed her being a human who exists with other humans exam? She scored ‘0’ on empathy and ‘0’ on ‘being a cool and pleasant person to hang out with’. She got a million resits and failed all of them.”
My friends and loved ones allowed me an hour or two of self-indulgent whining, crying, lamenting, and doomsdaying, and then said, “Enough. What HELP are you going to ask for?”
Help? Nobody else needed help! Why would I be on a Masters course if I needed help? Surely, if I needed help or support, I didn’t deserve to be there anyway. Sure, I have a stress-triggered chronic illness that is so disruptive that it makes day-to-day living uncomfortable and sometimes impossible, an illness that doesn’t qualify for disability support but still insists on ruining my life. An illness for which my visit to the doctor resulted in the doctor condescendingly telling me there was “no cure” (I asked her to help me manage my symptoms. Not for a cure) and her writing me a list of over-the-counter medicines that may have been novel to me at the age of 10.
And sure, my anxiety has been through the roof. Sure, my family and boyfriend are an ocean away. Sure, it’s enough that this coursework was due right after another piece of coursework that I did VERY, VERY well on and due right before a demanding clinical placement.
But HELP IS FOR DUMMIES. If they are me.
The whole foundation of the job I am learning to do, speech therapy, is supporting people without judgment. I never for a second think of that client base as being “stupid”. It is against the very core of my being to think that way.
In fact, lots of the support I am learning to provide is support I could use myself. I really benefit from knowing exactly what I can expect from my day. I am constantly demanding to know what’s now and what’s next so I can manage my anxiety, manage my illness, and know I can get from one thing to the next.
To begin with, though, I didn’t think I needed help. It’s not like the Presidential Fitness Test, where I’d be pretty pleased if I could SEE my toes, or ENVISION a push-up. This is a topic I already had a degree in, taught by the people who wrote the book we were basing our coursework on. And I failed on every level. I got the structure, the content, the hypotheses, the interventions all wrong. One of the case studies was a young Deaf girl. My sister is Deaf. It was the topic I should have known the most about, and I sunk it the hardest I’ve ever sunk anything.
My logic was, “If you can’t do the thing you know the most about, then that’s real failure.”
Not only that, if I don’t pass the re-sit, this course is over for me. London is over for me. The place I consider my home with many of the people I love most in the world would be over for me. That’s a lot. It’s a lot and typing that is scary.
But every time I go into placement and do the real work, giving people a little help, a little tweak to the environment, a little prompt, and see them have a little more access to the world around them, I know I am capable and I know it is worth it. And there is only hope in that. not shame.
I hope by disclosing the BIG EMBARRASSING HURT I am feeling that I can assure people that even people like me, people who are of average intelligence and low work ethic, fail sometimes! That should make you feel… indifferent?
Ok, failure is…. FINISHED. Next is FASHION.
I put clothes on my body, my body which is a constant political and social battlefield, and also a strain on the NHS that I paid a surcharge to use and will hopefully become a working member of.
Yes, I do have clothes. An amount of them. But a tiny gorgeous baby said to me, “I LOVE your clothes” so I’m validated now. And when you can’t enjoy ANY food, of any kind, ever without being ill, I think you’re entitled to some pleasure in life.
I shaved my head in October to be 11 from Stranger Things. Now it is growing back. I am tempted to shave it again, all of the time, because I looked badass and felt fearless and cool. The moment my hair started coming back in I started getting a bit of the ol’ “Hey baby are you married?”.
I’ve been wearing a lot of Monki for placement because they make excellent prints in sort of professional styles. The issue with my favourites like Monki and Lazy Oaf is that they make “oversize” items but do not make plus sizes. Clearly the barrier here isn’t the cost for that amount of fabric. They make sizes S-L or S-XL that often fit fat people and manage to price it the same across the size range. So I fear the issue is that they don’t want to be known for fat people wearing their clothing. So I want to make it known: I stick my fat (but narrow and flat) ass into Monki and Lazy Oaf, and I look very good in it. Make plus sizes now. Make actual plus sizes and use fat models.
And hire me.
Fashion is FINISHED.
Last, we have goodbye.
Listen to my nicely produced pop song!
I wrote it and Graham produced it and played bass and synths. It’s a jam.
I had a really good haircut. A beautiful woman with silver scissors of legend took each strand and whispered spells into it, and coaxed that which was no longer needed into its next cycle where it could live and die again. It could have taken seconds or minutes or hours or days. Time meant nothing while this angel reconstructed my DNA with her scientific and also magical scissors. What is science, anyway, if not magic that we can observe and document? This woman had mastery over every domain, explicable and inexplicable.
I had this terrible weird grey green hair:
Did I have the grace to be ashamed of myself? The grace, maybe, yes, if by grace you mean cleavage that came from stuffing myself into a dress several sizes too small. I did not have the knowledge, though. I did have an undercut that was rapidly growing in. So I went and saw the magical woman, Carly, at Talking Headz.
Man, what a babe. It’s not incestuous to date yourself, right? Like if that picture of me were another person, I could date her. And it’d be legal and moral and actually against the law to NOT do it.
But that woman in the picture is dead. Nothing that hot can survive. All she could do was burn brightly and then suffer a horrible fire death. RIP, that woman. You didn’t even have a name, because we couldn’t have BOTH been Mary and then dated each other. THAT would be fucked up.
I would like to clarify that the fire death was a metaphor. The real life thing that happened, because fire deaths don’t happen in real life, at least not to metaphorical dateable doppelgangers, is that my hair started getting longer and I knew that my hairdresser was not available so I got impatient and went to dang ol’ Hair Cuttery. Dang ol’ Hair Cuttery must have codified rules about how you are never, ever to listen to the customer. After all, the customer is not a hair scientist.
Hair scientist or not, I knew what I wanted. “I would like to keep my bangs piecey. Please make them shorter.” I said to the lady.
“I’m not going to go shorter” were the words she used. The words her shears used were “I am going to obliterate the contrast between your bangs and the top of your head so that everything is one weird length that no product or comb will be able to change.”
Friends, you know I don’t use rhetorical or literary devices (too expensive), so please take it at absolute face value when I say that the moment this lady started brushing my hair back with a round hairbrush, the round hairbrush that has a societal if not actual label on it that says “FOR AGES 70+”. she created a monster. I will call this monster Joy.
Joy is that lady who stops at the top of an escalator. Joy cares about shit like Thank You notes and judges you for not writing them, as if your friends or anyone you know actually has refrigerator space for that. Fuck you, Joy, you’re the fucking worst. Joy comes up to you when you’re just trying to navigate the nightmare of clothes shopping and says some absolute tripe like, “You know, dear, I’m not exactly small myself. You might want to try a larger size.” Joy is also that algorithm that thinks you want to look at your ex’s facebook even though you haven’t looked at in like two years but every time you type in the letters “Z-o” the first thing that pops up is STILL THEM. Yes, I have an ex named Zoo. He is a zoo. And I don’t want to look at or hear about him.
You know a lady like Joy and she has that haircut. Young cool ladies who totally have friends, like me, that’s a description of me, do not want to be or look like that.
Of course I looked up ways to manage growing out a pixie cut. Lots of them mentioned the use of hair straighteners, to which my immediate thought was always, “IN WHAT WORLD?”
Well, it is a good world, because unlike in the real world where my neuroatypicality is a delicious mix of a lack of common sense that nears the dangerous and a sense of visuo-spatial reasoning that is too low for diagnostic tests to measure, in the world of using straighteners on inch-long hair, I am the King of Thinking. I alone am brave enough to not burn my face or scalp. Hair goos and gels and waxes were also listed, presumably for an audience that values making their short hair slightly less ugly more than they value paying their rent. $85 for Beach Extreme Hair Scuzz? Yes, sold.
My outrage at being Joy and not having $8000 for Beach Man Hair Scam manifested the way all my outrage usually does and I got some nail scissors and gave myself a bowl cut.
Look, I know the conceit about renaming myself based on the qualities I think my hair evokes was not even funny to begin with and worn really thin by the BEGINNING of that paragraph, but is this guy not fucking Chad? Or Ryan? Fuckssake Ryan we know you like Dave Matthews Band and that you’re sad that you ran out of hair gel. You should be sad. You made mixed CDs where you would put multiple songs by the same artist next to one another and you deserve a hell too merciless and evil to describe. If I were a thin person I could pull this off ironically.
If you were looking for some advice about pixie cuts or anything at all that was sort of comprehensible, I will tell you: Uhhhhh be beautiful to begin with or don’t base your self-esteem on your looks and don’t worry about it. Get a trim…regularly…with all that money you have…
I could mention that I just moved back to England but what is there even to say about it? It’s the same as always: not part of Europe, experiencing sub-tropical temperatures, and Sue and Mel are not the hosts of Great British Bake Off.
I have started my Masters of Science at a school whose name sounds fake but in some lists is the 3rd or 4th Best School At Taking Your Money And Looking Good On A CV If You Stay in England. My cohort is almost alienatingly friendly. They had me eat lunch with them and made me take free ice cream. They have not made fun of my hair in any of its stages.
Best thing I’ve eaten lately: Pear made a rose lychee jam and lemon buttercream Victoria sponge for me
Worst thing I’ve had to drink lately: Half a pint of “rum-infused beer”. Infuse me with sweet sweet death my misery to dispel.
Best story I’ve read about lesbian crocodile wives: This one for sure.
Best time I spent 3 hours trying to figure out the retractable clothesline: Who, me? No I am a genius. Look elsewhere for such folly.
Best view of London?: Pulling into London Blackfriars while trying not to cough-vomit on the 30 people standing on top of you on the Thameslink.
*I just had a conversation about this with my friend. what is the word that is like synecdoche but refers specifically to when you use a name brand in place of the larger term?? is it really just proprietary eponym or genericized trademark? well.]]>
“The Witch” is a pretty great movie about a goat. I think it might be in the 99th percentile of movies about goats, in fact.
The outfit I wore is a little bit wearing the band t-shirt to the band’s show.
I found the dress at Buffalo Exchange with its original tags still on. It’s ASOS and size 14. It definitely would not have fit me if it weren’t backless.
I can’t remember where the galaxy tights are from but I’ve heard galaxy print is over and you wouldn’t be interested anyway. Also they barely fit over my butt, which I have many times reiterated is proportionally far too small.
The harness is by cirque apparel on Etsy. They’re on a break right now and I bet you could find something similar easily elsewhere, but I do recommend them.
Watching me trying to put that harness on is hilarious, a non-believer tussling with sacred geometry . Actually it’s more like a ridiculous asshole who can’t figure out where to put her arms in the elastic holes. It takes me no less than 15 minutes typically.
The movie is seriously very good! It reminds me of other religious historical horror films like A Field in England and The Wicker Man. It’s atmospheric, unsettling, shocking, and strange. I liked that it just showed the historical tropes without trying to subvert them, honestly, because subversion itself has become old hat.
I wouldn’t say it was scary, but it avoided a lot of boring, overused devices involving religious zealotry and mass hysteria in the horror genre. The evil in it is tangible, which is refreshing.
I haven’t been able to find other people who’ve seen it to discuss it so let me know what you thought if you saw it!]]>
I realized I refuse to write about things that I don’t feel like an expert about. I’m an expert about my own anxiety so I can wax on at length about how uncomfortable I feel when anyone walks behind or in front of me. Those closest to me or who have observed me for more five seconds could confidently assess me as someone who is oblivious to her own surroundings but I have a near-debilitating awareness of how people are using the pavement around me. Trying to figure out which way people are going, why they’re walking in a completely unintuitive diagonal line, why I am the bad guy when I need to tell people to not fucking stand at the top of an escalator, these are things I ruminate on enough that I feel fine with talking about them.
SERIOUSLY, DO NOT STAND AT THE TOP OF AN ESCALATOR. I’m an expert on not doing this, and quietly yelling at people about in a panicked way even though I know I am in the right about this supposedly self-explanatory concept.
I work as a person who does music but I wouldn’t dare talk about it even though it consumes every aspect of my life because I know so many people who know so much MORE about music than I do. I have a deep passion and interest in linguistics, but I could say something wrong so readily.
I know a lot about being fat, but probably not the MOST about being fat. I leave that to anonymous internet commenters who are weirdly obsessed with the bathroom habits of fat people. Here is the premise of Fatshion February: Fat people share photos of their outfits. The rest of the months of the year I actually don’t wear clothes so it works out pretty well.
I actually pushed myself to participate in Fatshion February 2016 because I am usually too busy or I don’t get properly dressed enough to merit participating. This year, even though I have to wear some combination of t-shirt and jeans/slacks/trousers at least 4 days a week, I thought I’d make a bigger attempt because it seems a lot of people are sick of it just being a time for people with lots of blog sponsorships and a DSLR to show what kind of cool stuff they got for free and summarily needed to pretend they actually wore somewhere. There is definitely a use in that type of blogging because most people won’t shell out for really wild or big ticket pieces and it’s often the only way we get to see them worn. It’s definitely more aspirational than inspirational or relatable.
No matter how much people try to compartmentalize fashion and politics, it seems they’re inexorable. This is because of things like a correlational relationship between low income and fatness and how there is a wage gap between thin women and fat women. I think it can be kind of alienating to see outfit post after outfit post of people who don’t seem like they have restrictions due to things like work or income. It definitely makes me feel worse on days I have to wear t-shirts and jeans because of how much work I put into looking feminine to compensate for being fat.
By the way, here is a list of words so far that my spell check thinks is fake: sponsorships, commenters, aspirational, relatable, correlational. It’s sick of my millenial (also not a real word) buzzword bullshit.
Documenting my boring work outfits and not just my weird day off outfits has helped me identify a lot of issues I have with my wardrobe. I don’t dress like an adult. I probably should. I’ll turn 30 in 2 years. I do think that all my life has been leading up to me getting a job as a pre-k music teacher. I have always dressed for the job I didn’t know I wanted, and then I got it. I need more blazers, sweaters, and skirts that go past the knee. Speaking of dressing like an adult, check out the Totoro dress I wore on Valentine’s Day. I gave my boyfriend a choice between a bodycon velvet number and this, and he chose this:
We went to Chinatown and had dinner at my favorite Vietnamese place, and Martin excitedly bought a (food) steamer afterwards so it went well. We have a steamer now for the making of buns. Martin actually loves anything that produces steam, whether it reduces wrinkles in clothing or makes buns. My Totoro dress is from Hot Topic, size XL, and I never believed I would be shopping at Hot Topic again but those Hot Cash codes create absurdly good deals. From the ages of 11-15 or so I basically lived at Hot Topic. The smell of Nag Champa and plastic makes me nostalgic.
On February 15th I wore what I feel is the quintessential pre-K music teacher outfit, though it is actually kind of against dress code since I’m not supposed to wear skirts. But look at all the animals it has on it! I didn’t buy it with this job in mind. It was a weird etsy find but I definitely didn’t have many opportunities to wear it till now.
2/18. Every time I go thrifting now I keep an eye out for stuff I can wear over my work t-shirts because wearing a t-shirt bums me out. The button-up is from Charter & Banks, a clothing company for ladies in the 40-60 age range. Sounds about right. These jeggings are size 16 and by Democracy, and I don’t like their stupid fake pockets.
On the 21st my good family/friends Ann and Sigourney took me to the art museum for a wonderful lunch and so I could drag them to see Marcel Duchamp’s Etant donne like I do to everyone. My dress is one of my favorites, one that I found when visiting the adorable town of Rye in Sussex. It’s probably from the late 60s or early 70s. I love those batwing collars!
On the 22nd my very cute boyfriend took me thrifting at Philly Aids Thrift and then we had pie at Magpie, a very cute pie boutique on South St. My dress is from The White Pepper and I lobbed off the arms and made a big boob window because sometimes, in this life, you have to make room for yourself. My wonderful Pear made the felted egg beret.
I have to do laundry basically once a week at least because of my having to teach 4 days a week and only having 4 t-shirts. The laundromat I go to is excellent but it’s inconvenient to get a lot of laundry there as it’s about a half mile walk.
Laundry looks on 2/24: thrifted Deletta top in XL, Papaya Weekend skirt in size UK 20. Some ripped tights because I think right now I don’t have any unripped tights.
2/25. I love this dress! It’s probably from the 70s and I bought it at a charity shop in Sheffield. I did teach that day but I was supposed to go to a non-teaching part of my job afterwards. That didn’t pan out due to a power loss issue so I sat in my kitchen playing guitar.
That’s a Connie Converse song called “2 Tall Mountains/Talkin’ Like You”.
On 2/27 I did a concert for the little ones and wore a poodle skirt my mom made for me in 7th grade and this swan sweater I got on a Modcloth Sales group on Facebook.
2/28. The Philly Aids Thrift trip I took the weekend before was very fruitful in that I found this amazing dress, vintage size 11/12. The buttons come undone easily and I flash everyone but everyone’s seen my boobs so it’s fine. The unicorn belt is an Etsy find.
And my leap day outfit is an old Forever21+ dress, from when they were still Faith 21, with a Forever 21 cardigan with poodles on it that I got from a consignment shop:
I have Intentions to review some bathing suits and my glasses since I get asked about them all the time, but I have some Important Stuff going on and I realize I put hours and hours into blog posts that no one reads. I am an Expert at Being Boring.]]>
It just looks like a featureless grey sack. But the more I looked at it, the more it made me think that perhaps this is the closest fat people could ever get to having something Jil Sander or Helmut Lang-ish made in our size. It looked kind of like the jumpsuits from 1984. We’re sort of living in a dystopia now so why not dress for it? Also it was very very much on sale and an excuse to get my boyfriend a bunch of cardigans that he looks very handsome in.
The very beautiful Denise Bidot is modeling it in a size 1x. The website lists her measurements as 5’9″ with a 41.5″ bust and a 34″ waist. I’m 4 inches shorter than her and my bust is at least five inches bigger and my waist is also many inches bigger so I’m not really sure what compelled me to order it in an XL. It looked very baggy on her and as anyone who’s ever dated me or heard me talk for five minutes can tell you, I have perhaps a slight dysmorphia in that I believe that my breasts don’t exist. I have a realistic view of myself in acknowledging I don’t have hips or a butt. I did not expect it to be in any way bodycon.
My boobs never usually sit that high and close without lots of peer pressure and pep talks and party drugs but in this dress there’s nowhere for them to go but up.
This dress is definitely a good look if you have a fetish for looking like you have been recently vacuumed. There’s a completely extraneous invisible zipper that runs up the side.
I’m usually a size 16 but I’ve recently started wearing the correct size bra, or a more correct size bra (it is not size “no breasts found”. Apparently that’s not even a size), and also I am clearly just bigger than an XL. Next time I would probably order the 1x or even the 2x if I wanted it to fit more like the website pictures. Which I sort of don’t.
I thought I could cover up the fit issues with a fur vest and I DID. I am a SCIENTIST OF STYLE. A PRAGMATIC GENIUS. I shed feathers everywhere I went. The vest is from a consignment store I used to work at. The boots are Frye. And my lovely Instagram boyfriend did not make fun of me for posing like that.
My HDR was malfunctioning. Or maybe… I was malfunctioning?
For my makeup I did a lot of it.
The quality is not bad? It doesn’t feel like it’s going to immediately fall apart. It stood up to a night of a person who was too big for it wearing it around and waiting for the goddamn Septa bus for 45 minutes GODDAMN IT SEPTA
I don’t know what other style applications this dress might have other than “obscured by vest”. It might look cool with my space leggings, but galaxy is sooooo over. The universe is sooo over. We’re all dead.]]>
And then someone tells me I remind them of Rebel Wilson and I am like, “Oh, right. I am just a fat person. I’m just part of the fat monolith fatting upwards toward the fat sky.”
The annoying thing about that, besides the constant dehumanization, is that my fat opinion doesn’t count about the fat clothing I wear. It’s often designed without the opinion or expertise of the demographic it’s aimed at. On rare occasions it might be designed by someone who fetishizes fat women, oddly resulting in mumsy clothing ostensibly designed to highlight the bust and the face and nothing else.
That’s why I was so pleased when my friend Charlotte asked me to fit model for her MA collection. I had seen her BA collection on Tumblr and loved it– it was brave, sophisticated, retro in its inspiration but forward-facing in that I had never seen clothing for fat people designed that way. Even looking at it now I am wishing it was something that was put into production SO badly!
I traveled to Nottingham all summer while Charlotte worked on her collection, with my brave and loyal Gabby often accompanying me because I had ended a relationship with a dangerous, fucked up person whom I had been living with there. The three of us hanging out at Notts Trent having our Fat Camaraderie Time made me realize how bad it sucks to not have people in your life who can relate to the micro-aggressions you face and the assumptions people make about you. It’s not that I don’t love and appreciate and respect my friends who are thin or medium, because of course I do! But there are certain things you understand better if you go through them yourself, and feeling understood can be an important foundation for your relationships. It was a very nourishing experience.
It was also cool that Charlotte was fine with using a model who didn’t have anywhere near an hourglass figure. She had to do a lot of alterations from the mannequin and in the end everything fit me perfectly!
I knew the perfect person to turn Charlotte’s gorgeous MA collection into a gorgeous photo shoot, and of course that was the amazing Kitty Wood. Charlotte wanted a sort of vintage vacation feel to the shoot, and Kitty found us some great locations in Grimsby. Our first stop was a little railway station for children. The men who worked there were so funny and accommodating and let me pose against the steam engine before they put it away for the day.
I did my own hair and makeup and I never claim to be an expert so calm down okay
Can you believe that yellow coat? It moves beautifully. It’s such an incredible standout piece. I love the color, the pleats in the back, and it makes everything look fancy.
I never thought modeling was hard until I had to pose in heels. Then it’s IMPOSSIBLE.
So ready for my holiday in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. I’d been waiting all year! That dress fits like a dream and that print with the yellow coat is so New Look. The Dior kind, not the high street kind.
Our next stop was the beach! I had to pee so badly the entire time. Can you tell??
I felt like a Ghibli heroine!
I provided the hat. The top is an adorable striped top that flairs a bit at the waist and has a amazing shoulder feature that makes it pretty architectural. I think everyone needs a pleated knee length skirt like that one, as well!
Our last stop was the pier for the nighttime look. I look EXPENSIVE. I, a human being, can’t stop calling myself “expensive”.
My heels kept getting caught in the wood and I almost fell over. That would’ve been a good photo.
It was actually warmer in the ocean! I would’ve loved to go for a swim.
We put this all together only a few days before I left England so it was certainly a memorable way of saying goodbye to two of my favorite people. Charlotte got her MA and I’m so proud of her! You can definitely look forward to seeing big things from her in the future.
Another team that has fat designers and fat models is the Chubby Cartwheels team and I want all of their Autumn/Winter line.
This Suede Babydoll Dress is so good and the model is hot and it was clearly an endeavor put together by people who don’t believe in “hiding problem areas” or “camouflage” but actually like and respect the people they design for!
You can check out Kitty’s post about the photoshoot here! And find the rest of the photos on Charlotte’s blog here!]]>
Last night I went to a screening of one of my all-time favorite films, Hausu, one that doesn’t neatly fit into categorization but because of the copious blood spraying everywhere for 90% of it, let’s go with horror. The plot is loosely that 7 girls go to the countryside to visit Auntie and her white cat. Auntie lost her fiance in World War II and has been so lonely waiting for a visit. Auntie shows her gratitude with a series of surreal murders. The director, Nobuhiko Obayashi, was in attendance and looking very stylish and energetic for a man of 77.
Martin and I were some of the first people in line and coincidentally behind us were a very talented girl I follow on Tumblr named Tia (go see her art here. It’s nuts!) and friend of my past, Rachel. We had a good little chat in the rain, your normal Jodorowsky and Sailor Moon heart-to-hearts.
SEE I KNEW THE ONE WITH FLASH WOULD TURN OUR GREAT. LOVE, GRANDMA.
Look at you in your little rain jackets.
We got in and they were selling posters and having a meet and greet so I got in line. When it was my turn I nervously mumbled, [?????? ?????] (I like your hair) and he was like “Huh?” and I continued to mumble in Japanese, “It’s purple… It looks cool.” He just said [???] (Really?). So continues my excellent track record of meeting my idols. I wouldn’t have been any less mumbly or a dork in English.
He had a Q&A afterwards but spent the whole time very thoughtfully answering two questions in ways which really illuminated what the fuck was going on. Obayashi was born shortly before World War II in Hiroshima and this affected his whole perception of life, unsurprisingly. He got many of the ideas for this film from his daughter Chigumi, who was 11 at the time (“kodomo wa tensai”/”children are geniuses”, he said) and who is now a film director. This inspired the themes in the film of a generational gap that was impossible to bridge. Auntie’s life is irrevocably changed by the atomic bomb but the young girls in the film are born during a period of economic recovery. Their carefree happiness is juxtaposed against grotesque violence. On first watch, (and second and third!) Hausu is mostly notable for its wackiness, the extremity of its imagery, its actual joy and silliness. Like Last House on the Left, scenes of murder are often preceded or followed by cheery pop songs. A girl gets eaten by a fucking piano. It can easily be appreciated for both its ridiculousness and its surprising depth.
I found this video essay by kogonada to be a really beautiful way of explaining the themes of the movie:
Obayashi also had a touch of Tommy Wiseau about him, as he kept gesturing to his translator’s figure and appearance in order to demonstrate a point about how we perceive her in the light for her great figure and stylishness, but only in the dark can we truly know the contents of her heart, her worries, and her dreams. I did not need the lights to be out to perceive her discomfort.
Besides the movie’s theme that plays perhaps 400 times too many during the course of the film, it has a great soundtrack:
A youtube commenter actually had something insightful to say when they compared this track to maybe early Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention. It’s also Kung Fu’s theme!
Tia was clever and won a t-shirt that’s been preserved for 40 years! Also she’s the cutest.
GUESS WHAT THOUGH I lost my signed poster when Martin, Tia, and I went to David’s Mah Lai Wah for after-movie noodles.
I sort of dressed up to look like the creepy NEW MOM character that walks around obliviously posing like a movie star while murder is immediately in her vicinity.
HIIII I’m YOUR NEW MOM. What do you mean I creep you out so much that you have to write to some lady you haven’t seen in 10 years at the risk of her house eating you? I’m a jewelry designer!
The gown is a vintage XL and it’s from Philly Aids Thrift. It was covered in all sorts of sad rust stains from improper storage but my loving fella OxyCleaned the hell out of it and made it brand new. It needs a proper photo shoot, I think!]]>
By now you’ve probably already seen the amazing Vogue L’uomo spread featuring Kate Winslet shot by Peter Lindbergh. Kate looks smoldering and intense and very beautiful.
The fantastic Kitty Wood and I also did a black and white androgyny shoot back in April but somehow it didn’t end up in Vogue L’uomo or any other Vogue. Weird and unfair, viagra huh?
I actually got this fantastic suit at Target, an 18 in the blazer and a 16 in the trousers. I can’t find anything like it now and I left it back in England because I am a trash heap who left a bunch of clothes at my very kind Gabby’s house.
I also have this undercut which can read pretty severe so it all came together. It was Kitty’s idea to do this one in black and white. I like that a little bit of my belly is peeking out of the blazer. I feel like androgyny is definitely not the done thing with fat models. We seem to celebrate androgyny most with David Bowie types. That transitional, fluid, ephemeral quality seems tied in people’s minds to thinness.
Look at my clearly defined masculine chins.
I’m not great at makeup but I attempted a pretty severe contour, which thankfully read okay in black and white.
It looks like SO MUCH on my little camera phone.
But reads pretty minimal in black and white. Look at my little baby ham hands, also. I can’t stop laughing. It looks like someone put baby hands in a man’s suit.
And at the end of the day you let your hair down.
The rest of the set is on Zivity and has 0 votes! It gets the slightest bit racier.
In the mean time, if you’re looking for suits and dapper wear in plus sizes, I would check out Haute Butch.
I also like this tuxedo blazer from ASOS (for your Skullomania cosplay)
and this plaid blazer from Target (though it only goes up to an 18. Boo.)