Fat acceptance and breast reduction surgery

July 18, 2011 6 comments

I would like to hear from any fat acceptance advocates who have had breast reduction surgery, or anybody who has an opinion about it.

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my surgery. I had wanted this surgery for many many years due to pain and discomfort, but also for aesthetic reasons, and because of reactions from other people. Women’s bodies seem to be game for any and all public comments. I had been putting up with stares and rude comments from people since I was 11.

I had the surgery and I’ve never felt better. I don’t have any more pain in my neck and shoulders, it’s easier to do my job and to exercise.  Hell, it’s even easier to sleep and breathe. People don’t stare and make rude comments anymore. I don’t pay a fortune for bras anymore. This surgery isn’t right for everybody but I don’t regret my decision in the slightest.

Now, just bear with me while I ramble to myself. I am a full believer in fat acceptance. I believe that there is too much pressure on people, women in particular, to be thin by any means necessary. I don’t believe that all fat people are going to keel over and die by their 30th birthday (yes, I do know fat senior citizens). I believe that weight-loss dieting is often counterproductive to achieving health. And I feel that acceptance is the one of the keys to health and happiness.

But what do you do if parts of you make you genuinely uncomfortable, in a physical and/or emotional way?

Are fat acceptance and breast reduction surgery compatible? I wouldn’t dream of having surgery to reduce my stomach or my legs. But my chest just felt too big, too uncomfortable. It’s not the same as weight-loss surgery in my opinion, but it’s something, I don’t know what.

Does any of this make sense?  Does anybody have any thoughts?

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“A Lesson in Cause and Effect”

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is a good blog post from Dr. Pattie Thomas in Psychology Today.  A Lesson in Cause and Effect is a good primer for critically assessing obesity research.

The three main arguments in regards to the obesity research is much more complex than “correlation does not mean causation.” The ecological fallacy, misinterpretation of data and biased research funding call into question these correlations by suggesting that incorrect conclusions are drawn from the data, factors are often missing from the equation and data and/or its interpretation is often tainted by corrupting influences. These do not “ignore” the correlation. These assertions provide critique of the correlations.

Categories: Fat Acceptance

Shopping with mom

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I hate shopping for clothes with mom.

I ask mom to shop with me because I often need my clothes to be altered and she’s a seamstress. Usually clothes that I buy to fit around my hips are too big in the chest and waist area. I ask mom to come with me because I need to know which styles and fabrics can be altered and which can’t.

There are 2 things she always says, without fail, that just drives me bonkers. 1. That outfit is very slimming. 2. This outfit isn’t flattering on you. Gah!

First of all mom, I shop at plus-size stores for a reason. I am a big girl. No amount of clothing is going to make me look like a supermodel. Nothing will ever slim me down enough for your liking.

Also, it’s always nice to be indirectly told that you look like crap so you need clothes that make you look even the teeniest bit smaller.

And what does “flattering” even mean? Clothes that show too much leg on a fat woman aren’t flattering? We must make sure that our arms are covered? Clothes must give all women a well-defined waist? Even for thin women, clothes that make them look flat-chested are a no no? Thin women should wear those panties with the butt padding?

And let’s not get started on buying swimwear.

I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter what people wear. I’d rather not return to a time where all fat women had to wear were muumuus. But certainly a woman being comfortable in the clothes she chooses is more important than dressing to look slimmer.

So yes, mom, I’ll take the baggier pants even though you think they make me look big.

Categories: Body Image, Fat Acceptance

Best Weight

December 4, 2010 1 comment

This piece by Dr. Arya M. Sharma came across my tweet stream this morning.  In terms of health issues and weight I definitely think that this doctor is on the right track.

He writes: “A patient’s best weight is therefore whatever weight they achieve while living the healthiest lifestyle they can truly enjoy. There comes a point when a person cannot eat less or exercise more and still like their life. The weight they attain while still liking their life is thus their “best” weight, as without the addition of pharmacotherapy or a surgical intervention, no further weight loss will be possible.

It reminds me of this excellent quote by Dr. Linda Bacon: “If you exercise as “punishment” for weighing too much, how can you learn to enjoy being active? If you eat salads only as a way to change the body you hate, how will you enjoy the wonderful tastes of fresh vegetables?

Besides, if hating one’s body effectively motivated change, do you really think there would be many heavy people in the world?

Accepting yourself as you are today doesn’t mean giving up. It means learning to live in the present with the body you have. It means facing and acknowledging reality.

Categories: Fat Acceptance, HAES

Marie Claire: fatties are gross!

October 31, 2010 3 comments

So much has already been written about Marie Claire magazine’s colossal fuck-up when they decided to publish one of the most offensive blog posts I’ve ever read.  The author of the blog post, Maura Kelly, thinks that it’s perfectly ok to publicly humiliate a specific group of people.  She later offered a really bad apology, but the damage had already been done.

I have read several rebuttals to this blog post, but the best one I’ve read so far was written by Josh Shahryar on the Huffington Post.  “Dear Marie Claire and Media: Fat People Are People, Too.”  The first thing that amazed me was that it was written for the Huffington Post, not exactly a fat-friendly website.  This writer is a self-admitted “foreign policy guy,” but he wrote this article with what I felt was such sensitivity and caring for someone who usually does not write about such topics:

“The big deal isn’t one person pulling this bigoted post which will undoubtedly go down as a masterpiece in the annals of hatred. It is the audacity of a reputable international magazine for women to make thousands of women feel like their bodies are unworthy. That they are ugly. That their mere presence on our television screens is a public offense.

I know that many overweight women have image issues and they know that there are people out there that look at them and judge them by their BMI. However, at least those people are kind enough to not come up to them and say it to their faces. Because that would be mean. A reputable international magazine for women just came forward and told millions of women that its staff thinks they’re gross. It gave a bigot the platform to come out and hurt millions of people. That is a very big deal.”

And for the people who complain that this is a free speech issue: Nobody is saying that people can’t have their own opinions.  I personally don’t care whether people don’t like me for being fat, gay, black or whatever.  What I do care about is people contributing to the ill-treatment of an already marginalized group.  The freedom to hold opinions, no matter how distasteful, does not mean that you get to be free from criticism of said opinions. 

 

With friends like this…

October 19, 2010 4 comments

Me and a friend, the same friend that I had a ‘lil chat with about his questionable comments about Gabourey Sidibe a few months back, recently did a 5k charity walk together.  As there isn’t much to do while walking such a distance other than look at scenery and talk, we talked.  I felt that it might have been a tad rude to pull out my phone and start reading my Twitter stream.

Being a male that is very aware of of the presence of females, he started to comment on some of our fellow walker’s attire.  Most of them were wearing Lululemon athletic clothing.  In particular he was commenting on how the women’s behinds look in the pants.  I mentioned to him that I wrote to Lululemon to complain that their clothes only go up to size 12 and that bigger women also want nice clothing to exercise in.  He asked if I got a reply, I said no.  He said that he wasn’t surprised and that he agreed with them.  I said “So fat women don’t deserve nice clothes to exercise in?” He said “Well, you wouldn’t want them to ruin those pants.”  I politely told him that he needs to learn how to mind his own business.

I mean, how dare we all not conform to his idea of attractiveness.  How dare we?!?  Obviously the whole point of our existence is to please him sexually.  Duh!

And the next time he says that fat people should exercise, I will remind him that lack of proper clothing is one barrier, as are rude comments about our appearance.

He’s lucky I didn’t say anything about him being bald.

Categories: Fat Acceptance, Fat Hate

Fat Talk Free Week

October 18, 2010 2 comments

The ladies over at the Tri Delta sorority are once again sponsoring Fat Talk Free Week, running from October 18 – 22.  They, as am I, are alarmed at the number of people suffering from eating disorders, and would prefer to take the focus off of looks/ weight and put it on health.  Check out this video that they made:

 

I wish it was more than one week.

Categories: Body Image, Fat Hate