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06 April
fat girl store
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And this Salon article about Torrid (whether it 'promotes obesity', I kid you not - someone actually went to the trouble of writing about this topic) was going so well. It was tracking nicely towards the conclusion that its own premise was absurd - which, well, it is.

Until the last page.

On the other hand, there's only so much that cool plus-size clothing can do. After all, it's not as if a teen who scores a killer corset is going to forget -- or not care -- that she's fat. "It's very painful to be an overweight teen, and clothes do not change that," says Janet R. Laubgross, a clinical psychologist in Fairfax, Va., who specializes in weight management. To some degree, no matter what they're wearing -- and no matter what "I'm big and beautiful!" banners they're waving -- they're still suffering. "I think they're trying to convince themselves," Laubgross says of some teens who say they feel 150 percent fine about how they look. "I'm glad they're being acknowledged as real people who deserve to dress nicely, that they're feeling like they do matter. And it's great that they can say, 'Well, this looks nice.' But it's still 'nice' from the fat-girl store."

Once, just once, I would have liked the article to mention that it's entirely possible that fat people are hot. Even hotter than not-fat people. Particularly when you consider that Torrid's line starts with average-ish women's sizes [12 aka "0" - reimagining the world into a place where 0 is the baseline and everything above or below is counted forward or back from average, I guess], and average-ish women, their fat and thin counterparts are all getting some. Clearly actual human beings think actual human beings of a wide range of sizes are hot.

I mean. This is not the cause of fat activism. The cause of fat activism is, among other things, that you have to go to a Fat Girl Store in the first place (although, if every store had a specific size range, that might uncomplicate things nicely). This is simple reality talking. Beauty standards are bollocks when you look at what real people are attracted to, and it is not - I repeat NOT - inherently less-good to be fat.

Honestly, given some recent LJ conversations, I think it may be more-good to be fat [I don't know why I'm suddenly all 1984 with my adjectives here.], as fat people sometimes seem to have a better or at least more visceral grasp on the gaping chasm between "beauty standard" and reality.

Of course, the woman in that quote is a "weight management" expert, who counsels people into feeling like shit and losing weight. In other words, she makes a living on the false promise that it is in fact ungood to be fat, no matter what. And hey, it might work for the people who come to her. Maybe their lives are better after losing weight, or maybe their lives would have been just fine if they'd seen a plain old therapist. I don't know.

But.

I'd just like it mentioned ONCE. I'd like such articles to accept the possibility for even a milisecond that fat teenage girls might have no worse self-image than teenage girls who aren't fat. It could even be dismissed, if it were just said. Even said really apologetically, like the "being fat might not be unhealthy" comment the author snuck in:

To be sure, weight itself is not universally toxic; many plus sizers are quite healthy -- possibly more so, in fact, than the skinnies who live on Whoppers "because they can." But being overweight has been linked to all manner of serious problems...

I'd like a media outlet to briefly stop delegitimizing girls' [and women's and everyone's] experiences in general, honestly. It drives me insane that media coverage of such things never gets the reality or breadthof people's experience. Cause the more we saw that some folks' experience of being [insert "other"-branded trait here], the more that would spread. It would just take an effing sentence.

 

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