Friday, September 19, 2008

Cheesecake Liberation

Article by Lady Becca for Fashion Sanity
This past weekend I went to an amazing social salon. Every month this group gets together and presents on topics they know, feel passionate about, or are interested in. It’s a varied group in terms of gender, economic background, sexual preferences, and lifestyles and so the topics are equally varied. During a break I ended up getting into a deep conversation with this super hot red head about the fat acceptance movement, the fashion industry, skinny models, fat hate, skinny hate, medical science and self love. I realized a few things:
1. the media half truths are more pervasive than I thought.
2. even “fat chicks” will think of anecdotal evidence that reinforces the media’s half truths
3. I really dig red heads
4. I need to do more home work on the subject.

So I did. I sat my cushy ass in front of the computer and stuffed my brain with facts and figures. The more I learned the better I felt about myself, my body and my ability to have this discussion with people. I looked at myself, and what I do and don’t eat. I knew I was ok, but now I see where I’m doing better than ok, and where I could be doing just plain better. I’ve also become more aware of people.

Last night I went to a certain big name home improvement store. No, the other one. Along the way my housemate, boyfriend and I stopped into Trader Joe’s to feed her addiction to dried mango and my addiction to chocolate…and dried mango. I bought a box of cheesecake bites, enrobed in deep dark chocolate and we wandered about the home improvement store eating chocolate covered cheesecake and dried mango while discussion devious plans for a Rube-Goldberg device. And I noticed something…I didn’t care.

A week ago, I would have bought that box, put it in the car and waited until I got home to open it and enjoy those little morsels with my boy and a few Heroes episodes. Instead, I walked proudly, defiantly, through a major chain store nibbling on cheesecake and my boy. I know, for a fact, that several of the older women manning departments and registers looked. I could see the thought as it marched passed on their faces, the thought that I could be so pretty if I would just put down the sweets and get moving.

I wanted to laugh in their 40 something plus, pursed lipped faces and ask if they had any idea how much moving I do? I wanted to lustily grope my boy right there in front of them, and show them just how hot he is for me. I wanted to rub their faces in their own self loathing and ask if they were really happy with swallowing the bullshit fed to women every day about our bodies and how they should look.

Instead, I smiled coquettishly and had another bite. The effect was better.


Michelle said...

Sadly it's so true...making women feel like shit about themselves is a multibillion dollar a year business. A woman at school just got back from having gastric bypass surgery and EVERYONE was congratulating her and acting like it was the best thing ever. It's really sad when paying a stranger thousands of dollars to mutilate your body and force it into near-starving itself is considered the norm or even a good thing.

lady_beca said...

ahhhh the joys of dieting. so we, as "fat chicks" are encouraged to use the same thinking and processes as anorexic women in order to become more acceptable. disordered eating is disordered eating whether you're 98 lbs or 398 lbs.

by the way, those cheesecake bites were fucking tasty.

Michelle said...

I wish we had a Trader Joe's around here, if we did I'd go buy some just on your recommendation ;)

It's really awful. And I think it's because of Sara getting back from surgery, but everyone at school has been on a talk-about-diets kick now...last week I walked into the lunch room to find three women talking about starving themselves because they got to a point where they were so disgusted with themselves. Totally normally, like it was no big deal. And then the next day, I made a comment about how good Vitamin Water (LOVE THAT STUFF!) is, only to get "Well, yeah, but it has like 160 calories a bottle! I'd rather drink a diet soda!" I said something about soda being much worse for you and I avoid most of it except for Jones soda because of high fructose corn syrup (I'm hypoglycemic and that stuff screws with my blood sugar hardcore) only to be met with a totally blank stare.

And ya know what I had for dinner that night? half a pizza and a bigass bottle of vitamin water! :)

I'm not a plus size chick (although according to my BMI - I'm overweight - ha), a size 6 at 5'1", but I know exactly the kind of disapproving stare you're talking about. I've got it because of my hair color (currently, green and platinum) or style (for a good six months I had a mohawk), tattoos, the way I dress, wearing a pentacle even. My grandparents, who, for the record, have another grandchild who is currently on trial for SHOOTING SOMEONE, told me I looked so much prettier with normal hair. You'd think they'd have some perspective. But my fiance thinks I look DAMN hot and, more importantly, so do I, so fuck them up their uptight asses. I'm sick of being held up to some unattainable, mainstream standard of brainless beauty that I don't give a rat's ass about and I'm sick of hearing/seeing women tear themselves down because they don't know any better and have been force-fed lies all their life. We are ALL so much better than that!

Whew, sorry, didn't mean to go all novelist there. It's just something I've been thinking about lately and I feel very passionately about (guess you couldn't tell huh...LOL). Anyways, I love Heroes! I'm waiting for the second season to come out on DVD, I've only seen the first.

Milla said...

How cool is it that dialogue has started? ;-)
I swear to God Michelle, I have been having the same problem with disapproval about the way i choose to look since I was in elementary school...
I used to wear my dad's lederhosen. I used to wear ties and men's shirts.
I shaved my head almost completely and i used to get all kinds of stuff carved on it with clippers.
In science and pharma people always treat me like a freak because not only do I care about fashion and dress creatively, but I dare do it while fat...
So I totally get where you are coming from...
I am fixing to repost a blog that Joy Nash from "Fant Rant" fame posted... It is BRILLIANT.
And Becca... you know that for years, YEARS, I could not eat in front of a guy I liked out of sheer terror he might think I was a total pig?
It took me until recently (like when I moved to Montreal) to realize that men find women who enjoy food SENSUAL and SEXY.
If you enjoy food and allow yourself pleasure, there is a big chance you may also enjoy the carnal love ;-)
That is totally hot...

lady_beca said...

boy do i know where you're comin from michell. i've had to tone down the antics with hair and make up for my corporate job, but i can get away with burgundy hair and an all black wardrobe. if they can't deal with that, they don't need my talents.

it's interesting to me the people we choose to compair ourselves with. my beloved is 6'2, and SKINNY! all legs and elbows and a curly mop top. he's a distance runner, and it's just his build. and i remeber the start of our relationship, wondering if i could date a man who weighs something like 60lbs less than i do. wondering if i could be ok with my body compaired to his. i spent three months just hanging out with him and denying myself the pleasure of his embrace because i wasn't sure i could be nude with him and not compair my soft curvy self to his lean angles. because in reality his is the body of a female model, long legs and a small ass and a tiny waist. but i've realized that i was holding back from a relationship that has been compleatly joyful so that i wouldn't feel bad about myself or my fat ass. the same fat ass he gets all kinds of lusty for. and i've come to realize too, that he was just as worried about my thoughts about his body. he still looks like a coltish 16 year old, not a mature man of nearly 25. and he gets a little self consious from time to time. thank goddess we've gotten over the bs and can enjoy eachother in many stages of dress and undress...... yummmmm

Michelle said...

Oh yeah Milla, I know the feeling...people are always shocked that someone who would "be so pretty if your hair was normal" is intelligent and that I'm not just some idiot. YES, people can be interested in clothing/hair/style and be intelligent! Or have offbeat style and be intelligent. And tattoos...oy vey the tattoos. I once had a woman comment (on a tattoo that actually, shock gasp, has intense spiritual meaning to me) "Yeah, that looks cute now, but it won't when you're 80!". Well thanks, because a. I got something put on me for life because I thought it was "cute", b. I had no idea that tattoos are kind of a permanent thing, and c. lady - NOTHING looks cute when you're 80!

Actually speaking of science, I think you mentioned something about knowing dietary science once, Milla? I've been meaning to ask if you might give me some good guidelines for a hypoglycemic far I'm just cutting out the high fructose corn syrup, trying to eat only natural sugars (fruits and such), etc. If you have any tips it'd be greatly appreciated :)

Lady Becca, do you have a myspace? I'd love to add you! One of the reason I'm currently in cosmetology school is so I can not have to worry about having a job and still have tattoos and funky hair. Although I'm going to be putting school on hold before too long because of us moving (want to be able to work full time and save some money) and I'm crossing my fingers I'll be able to find something in Austin that involves sewing or fashion - I like doing hair, but sewing is definitely my true love.

Anyways I will talk to you gals later, have a fabulous evening! (or morning, or whatever time it is where you're at!)

lady_beca said...

by all means. i'm and i'd love a friend add from you. on the subject of hypoglycemic food choices (being one myself): whole wheat over not and protien with pretty much everything. so cheese and fruit, peanut butter on toast, cream cheese on the bagel, etc. the idea, as i understand it and mila feel free to back me up or tell me i've got it backwards, is that carbs and sugars are quickly digested and quickly used but protien takes longer to digest so you have a combo of quick burn and slow burn to keep you from crashing. also take a look at the glycemic index that diabetics use. it'll show you which things have the msot impact on glucose levels in the blood. some of it is more or less than you think it would be.

Milla said...

Hey there Michelle..
Yep.. the tattoo thing really freaks people out...
I LOVE ink and tattoo art. I mean I watch LA ink and stuff because I actually love the art.
I have tons of things with tattoo art on them and tattoo art is a big source of inspiration when I design clothes and accessories. Not as blatant as Christian Audigier but I have an LA-SoCal punk bent and I always have.
But people really judge you for it... it sux. And I am dying to get another one with my daughter's name.
I just have a tiny one in a non-visible spot because in my field it's almost a no-no.
As far as the hypoglycemic food choices, Becca pretty much got it right. It is about maintaining even blood glucose levels. I am hypoglycemic too.
So it is kind of similar to the things diabetics would do.
Avoid simple (refined) carbohydrates, opt for whole wheat and complex carbohydrate foods, and eat proteins along with high quality protein sources.
If you need a snack, pick a high protein item like peanuts, a cup of greek yogurt, a chunk of cheese or stuff like that.
That prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes that make you feel like crap.
And like Becca said, learning about the glycemic index of stuff really helps to see what stuff will make you feel better.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the tips guys! I'll try to keep those in mind. It's kind of interesting how that sort of food was what I've been naturally gravitating to since I've started cutting artificial sugars out.

That sucks Milla! I have two decent sized ones(one on my hip and one on the back of my left calf), getting a third one this weekend (YES!) and plan on being pretty tatted up eventually. It just sucks how superficial people can be.