big girl's guide to life
January 15, 2004 11:56 AM

Maybe I've devolved into some sort of humorless drone, but I have to say I'm not as keen on this Big Girl's Guide to Life book as I might have guessed I'd be. The DTMWSIMB list sent out an article/interview with the author today. And, um, ew.

I think it absolutely rocks when people take independent routes to get something done, so I applaud the woman for getting her book published. But the things it laughs about are so sad. On one hand, it's funny and a smidge empowering, but on the other hand, it's not making things any better.

It's like the dumb-ass anti-feminists joke thing - laughing it off is sometimes okay, but it's ultimately complicit in the suckiness of The How Things Are.

Par example, selections from the "Ultimate Big Girl List of Fashion No-Nos", which snarkily but quite clearly reminds us that big folk need to be covered up:

  1. Anything featuring horizontal stripes. Double Wides R Us. Not.

  2. Red sequined hot pants with black fishnet hose. Steer clear of this wardrobe selection, please. Keywords to avoid are ‘hot’ and ‘fishnet.’

  3. Belly shirts. Big Girl bare navels are not the wildly exciting stimulus you believe them to be, ok?

Funny, okay. And there's some really absurd, hilarious diet advice. But we're so used to hearing this kind of shit as insults. Is voluntarily reading and writing jokes about your sub-class role in society useful? It is subversive, in a way - if you do something with that subversion.

Maybe my frustration is just, as the author says, that she "doesn't promote fat power"; she's all about finding ways to survive The How Things Are by laughing them off, not by changing things. What little I've seen of the book doesn't promote power or anger at all, but it seems to deal exclusively in things we ought to be really, really angry about. And, well, that's weird.

Then again, maybe there's more to it. I'll have to check it out at a bookstore some time soon.

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your wicked thoughts

Yeah, I'd like to know what's wrong with a larger person wearing fishnets or something "hot"? Could she scream FAT PEOPLE ARE NOT SEXY any louder? Yuck.

these are the thoughts of house9 on January 15, 2004 12:49 PM

And you know, I love that attitude. It's the "everyone dresses themselves solely to suit my personal tastes and preferences. And so anything they wear that I find unappealing becomes not only unappealing but offensive and objectionable" kind of thing.

Wear whatever makes you feel good. There's an inherent karmic justice in that people who hate that you do suffer an amount determined exactly by their own selfish attitudes.

these are the thoughts of Apathetic Crusader on January 21, 2004 05:53 PM

There's an inherent karmic justice in that people who hate that you do suffer an amount determined exactly by their own selfish attitudes.

That is so true, and yet strangely something I'd never really thought about. It's a much more elegant approach to those folk than the usual mental/verbal "fuck you".

these are the thoughts of april on January 22, 2004 10:32 AM

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