I tend to avoid Lady Blogs, mostly because the constant quest for disclosure seems a little disingenuous after a while. I also tend to avoid Mommy Blogs, because I am not one, and because I think that if I was they still wouldn't resonate with me. That said, I do read a lot of blogs written by ladies and moms, but mostly they are focused on design, craft, food, or the daily goings-on of small business owners I've either purchased things from or those I find particularly inspiring. Recently, I started reading the personal blog of the owner of whimsy & spice, makers of the some of the prettiest confections I've ever seen. It's a great blog because it's not fluffy or full of exclamation points. It's honest and engaging, with neat pictures and adventures mixed in. Jenna recently wrote a really profound and moving post about raising her two daughters, and the trials and tribulations inherent in the attempt to raise two girls when you were a rather mixed up and imperfect one yourself. It was all motivated by a meme that's circulated the not-quite-mommy/lady-look-at-these-pretty-things-I've-found-for-you region of blogland recently - Things I'm Afraid To Tell You. Inspired by Jess Constable from Make Under My Life, Things I'm Afraid to Tell You kind of forces to the surface the people behind the content. It encourages these seekers of All That's Beautiful to reach within instead of beyond, showing the deep cavernous places where they hide secrets that are the hypothetical antithesis of the pretty/perfection they strive to share on their blogs. Creature Comforts shared a profound post in response, and a whole bunch of other bloggers followed suit (and are linked on her blog).
Whether I write about it or not, I do think often about the Culture of Pretty Perfection perpetuated by these people. After a while I think it becomes less about quality content and more about finding a bunch of things that no one else has found, which in turn stokes the fire of creative people/makers to make the things that no one else is made. It's both fruitful and fruitless. I have tried to join in and create my own brand of pretty finds, but it's exhausting. And to be honest, I'd much rather write. So lately, that's what I've done. When I read through a few of these "revelatory" posts, I felt kind of weird. Many of the posts illuminated my suspicion that there isn't much depth beyond the pretty for these people. For others, I felt moved. What I realized, though, is that I don't have much of a choice when it comes to Things I'm Afraid To Tell You. In order to make sure I'm afforded the rights and privileges that I deserve, I can't keep secrets. Or at least, I try really hard not to. The meme solidified for me that I just need to keep on sharing, even when it hurts, because I'm good at that.
So instead of sharing deep dark secrets that I don't have, I'm going to share some things with you that I think will help you like yourself more, and be nicer to other people and possibly even to yourself. As someone who has spent the majority of her life as a fat person, I find that a lot of people have opinions. Generally unsolicited opinions, too. Thing I'm Not Afraid to Tell You - fat bodies are not up for discussion, especially when they aren't yours. Period. Forever. Sometimes I see people frame their criticism of fat people by focusing on health - not helpful, often oversimplified, and usually inaccurate. Your anecdotal experience of being a fat person who lost all that weight? Wait five years and then put yourself on a television commercial touting the effectiveness of whatever diet plan you were on. The fact is that there are fat people who are completely healthy and active, and there are thin people who are the complete opposite. So long as that is true, question what you hear from other people and instead listen to your own body. And stop talking about bodies that don't belong to you.
There have been three fabulous things added to the internet in the past week or so on this topic. Please take some time to read each of them and expand your mind and approach to human interaction. You'll find that if you stop critiquing bodies and start experiencing people on a cerebral or emotional level, your entire experience of humanity will change. You'll also be surprised at how the world opens up, and you'll find that there are so many more pretty things and people.
- Jezebel > Being Mean to Fat People is Pointless: A Good Old Fashioned Plea for Civility
- Rookie > How Not to Care What Other People Think of You
- Huffington Post > Why You Should Think Twice Before You Praise Someone For Losing Weight
the bigger the better the bigger the better the bigger the better