Welcome New York Times visitors. I hope a few of you decide to subscribe or return! That picture to the left is me, this past week – the day the article came out, mentioning this blog, I was off touring caves with my friend and illustrator for a zombie story I’m writing. As you can see from the pic, my friend is a dear man and a far better illustrator than photographer.
As you can also see, I am fat. Not just kind of fat. Not just a size 12 who’s been conned into an identity crisis. I am fat. I also enjoy clothing, and found that my fat does nothing to stop my life. For those who think it should, and I know you’re out there, as I said to one guy who was clearly with a hired escort in the middle of a fancy coffee shop when he gave me the up-down body check, “It’s not my job to look like someone you want to f -.”
I conduct my comments policy accordingly, especially with the predatory attitude of certain “stylists.”
It is my job, however, to live with myself. That’s a full time, 24 hour a day project, with zero vacations. For those who feel self-righteous about their opinion of my body, you’re entitled to your opinion but I’m not obligated to care what you think. I’d rather like myself than have you like me.
This blog is about clothing, mainly commercially produced, with some appreciation for independent artists thrown in. Once in awhile I throw in some health and obesity research links. I am of the active fat person variety, so it interests me, since people as a rule don’t get fat from being lazy – they get fat from being sick or from a broad variety of conditions that stem from the body thinking it needs padding to survive; that sickness may be neurological, post-surgical, something, but it throws the body out of whack and getting back is a continuous problem in a culture where our employers want us to be skinny and therefore cheap to the health insurance – but often takes total ownership of our time, preventing us from being fully active by having us work constantly to meet the demands of shareholders that have personal trainers and surgery available. Here, fat is not a moral judgment. Fat does not signify laziness, failure or poor character. Fat just means you’re fat. How you got there, and whether you stay there, is unique to your own biochemistry and needs.
My take on fashion I think is a little bit different from industry veterans, and I try to maintain a difference from my fellow plus-size bloggers. Why read here if it says the same thing as every other plus size blog on the net?
My take is this: I keep snark to a rare minimum, and then it is only directed at clothing designers who present clothing clearly designed with contempt for the plus size women they are dressing. Refusing to design for plus size bodies signals an absence of talent; designers with courage and skill will take on any body, any time. Clothing should make you look good; you should not have to make any piece of clothing look good. You are NOT a hanger to show off clothing, especially since most women’s clothing has a much shorter lifespan than the women themselves. I’m also not dedicated to high or low end. I just like clothing. At some point, I plan to take a sewing class so I can get further with what’s possible in plus size clothing, but right now I just enjoy what other people create.
I try to mix real-world examples with the pretty things I find online: I’m not buying what “traditional” venues are selling as “beauty.” I don’t think that the traditional venues like Vogue are buying what they’re selling, either – otherwise they would not keep doing those fashion spreads where women are murdered or lying dead but “look at the clothes!” If these publications really thought women were beautiful, they wouldn’t keep shooting us like we’re infestations, and the reader is the person who is examining the exterminator’s work.
If this blog doesn’t look very bloggy lately, there’s a reason: I decided to dedicate 2010 to a usability project. The first part of that is Fat Chic catalog project, to help those of you who are overwhelmed by the extensive list of plus size clothing links. I’m breaking the literally thousands of links up into smaller chunks so that you can refer to them, as well as to pre-set searches I created on Fat Chic Clothing Search. The search is Google-powered, so here are some tips for making Google-fu work for you to find your desired clothing. After this, I intend to start work on gathering a database of clothing size charts and measurement how-tos, along with size conversions for those of you who order clothing internationally.
For the most part, this blog is a one-woman show, and it’s actually NOT my career. I started this for my own sake: I got tired of people recommending clothiers to I already knew about (one person thought I didn’t know of Lane Bryant, and I have no idea how the hell she thought that was possible) or trying to tell me that fashion “isn’t important these days.” Fashion is a language. Because it is a language, it is something far more significant than some shallow pursuit. The clothing you wear projects a message about yourself, and your body is the palate on which you arrange that message, so it’s important to have clothing that fits, drapes and serves you – if you make yourself fit the clothing, you’ve given up your power and the message you want to project with it.
So welcome to Fat Chic. I hope you find your stay edifying, and a little different.