All posts in the art category

Falsely Filling in the Story

Published January 19, 2013 by Fat Heffalump

Firstly I want to share the amazing work of Rachele aka The Nearsighted Owl with you.  Rachele has been doing a series of “shame loss” artworks, which I think are absolutely brilliant.  You can check them out on her blog, or you can find them on her Tumblr.  I want you to go and look at them on her sites, so I’m only going to share the one with you all now, because I want to talk about it.  It is this take on the crappy Special K ad:

Image courtesy of Rachele of The Nearsighted Owl

Image courtesy of Rachele of The Nearsighted Owl

Isn’t it fabulous?  I am loving that Rachele is creating lots of intersectional images of fat folk – people of colour, people with disibility, across gender and of varying shapes and sizes.  Some of them are naked, some are clothed, the variety so far has been great and I look forward to the others she comes up with – I really do hope she comes up with more!

The reason I’m singling out this piece is because of the horrific healthism and ableism that has come out of people responding to the artwork.  Most predominantly, that this fat woman “did it to herself” because she must have diabetes and has had a leg amputated because of it.  I know, can you believe just how fucked in the head the thinking is around the image of a fat woman with a prosthetic leg that they’ve invented a whole fucking scenario for her… from a drawing!

Let’s ignore the logic of the whole thing that she’s clearly a young woman and people who suffer amputation due to diabetes are almost always elderly and it takes many years of suffering from vascular issues before things get as drastic as amputation.  Not to mention that it’s a drawing, not a fucking photograph of an actual person.  Logic clearly doesn’t come into play with these people.

Let’s focus on the bullshit attitude that somehow because she is a fat woman she “did it to herself”.

Let’s imagine that the image is exactly the same, only she is thin. What scenario do you think these people would dream up for her prosthetic leg then?

Car accident?  Well let’s ask if the car accident was her fault?  Did she “do it to herself” then?

How about through some kind of extreme sport/thrill accident?  An accident base- jumping?  Mountain climbing?  Snowboarding?  Surfing in shark infested waters?  Would that come under “did it to herself”?

How about some of the cancers that are caused by lifestyle?  Did she sunbathe?  Smoke cigarettes?  Live somewhere near radioactive material?  Does that come under “did it to herself”?

I could go on.  But what I’m really getting at is that if this was a picture of a thin woman with a prosthetic leg, there would be no question of “she did it to herself” and the image would not be met with the disgust and dreamed-up diabetes amputation scenario that came with it as it is above.  There still would have no doubt been ableism, but the “fat chick did it to herself” people would have asked how a thin woman came to have a prosthetic leg, or assumed it was congenital, or some “tragic” circumstance

Only fat people get accused of “doing it to themselves” when it comes to disability or illness.  Fat people are never allowed to have tragic circumstances, accidents, congenital illnesses or any other reason for their disabilities, no, it’s assumed that we must be unhealthy and have “done it to ourselves”.  Even with NO information other than the person in the picture is fat and has a prosthetic leg, fat haters invent their own story for the person laying the “blame” on them.  As Amanda at Fat Body Politics says on her post Speaking Hypothetically:

Attacking a drawing, that doesn’t depict a real person, gives people who are blinded by their own prejudice an ability to try and remove their own responsibility that is connected to the harm their words cause. The issue really isn’t that they are reading a drawing of a person that was meant to be positive, but that they are trying to negate the reality that their words have been said about real people, with real bodies that live in reality. Their lives and body should never be used as a hypothetical situation.

But what REALLY pisses me is that regardless of body shape or size, what if it was a picture of someone who had an amputation because of diabetes? (Since thin people get diabetes too – ie, my paternal uncles)  It is disgustingly healthist and ableist to suggest that they “deserve” to be treated poorly.  Every single human being, regardless of level of health, physical ability, size or general quality of life, deserves to live their lives in peace and dignity, without being vilified and bullied because of their bodies.

I don’t care if someone is the fattest person on the planet and they cut their own leg off for kicks, they still deserve to live their lives in peace and dignity, and to see themselves represented and accommodated in society – fat, with a disability and any other identifying features – as valid human beings.

Introducing Aerodynamic by Katy Russell

Published January 12, 2013 by Fat Heffalump

Remember in my goals for 2013 I said I wanted to share more awesome fat positive stuff?  Well recently I was contacted by a lovely young woman named Katy Russell who had some stickers she wanted to send me.  I duly gave her my PO box and a bit later, these gorgeous beauties arrived!

Fab Fatties

Fab Fatties

Aren’t they brilliant?  Katy is a local artist who has decided to create this awesome range of fat positive artworks which she is selling on Redbubble and will have some products on Zazzle too.

What do I love about these?  I love that she has a variety of body shapes and sizes (the blonde one in the spotty swimsuit is most like my shape!) and she has represented women of colour as well.  I love the bright colours, the cute fatshion and the positive representations of fat women.  Best of all I love the name, Aerodynamic, which is a play on the idea that aerodynamic must equal thin, when it really equals rounded, smooth surfaces.

I’ve seen some of Katy’s artworks crop up on Tumblur (particularly the one on the top right there) but I really do hope to see her work shared far and wide.  Prints, stickers and cards are ultra affordable on Redbubble, so I think I’ll have to expand my collection.  I particularly want to introduce more fat positive art into my home this year, and I love Katy’s work.

So go support Katy’s work huh?  I think I might have to chat to her about commissioning some artwork for me!



Quick Hit Video – Rafael Casal Def Poetry

Published May 5, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Another quickie tonight.  Over on Fierce, Freethinking Fatties Roxy posted this post containing one of the most fantastic pieces of poetry I’ve ever encountered.

I’m not really a fan of def poetry as a style, but the content of this one is so brilliant I just had to share it with you here.  The poets name is Rafael Casal, and he delivers a fantastic piece with this one.  So thanks to the Fierce, Freethinking Fatties for bringing it to my attention, now I’ll share it with you folk.


Portrait of a Blogger

Published April 8, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Just a quick post tonight, it’s been a nutty week and while I have a lot of things I want to talk about, time is at a premium just now.

But I wanted to share this photograph with you all:


Isn’t it fabulous?

This is a portrait of me, done by 6 year old Tatiana.  It is also one of the greatest compliments I have ever received.  You will note the bright, colourful outfit, the big smile on my face and the small fuzzy chicken attached to my hand.  The small, fuzzy chicken I am told represents my owl handbag, which I know Tatiana loves.

See – owl handbag:


The drawing is part of a beautiful Easter card Tat and her big sister Ellie (aged 8, sorry, ALMOST 9) made for me.  I was very honoured to receive it.  Tatiana and Ellie are stylish girls, and I believe they have excellent taste.  So I’m thrilled that they think I’m pretty cool.  Ellie announced to me a few weeks ago that she loves my tattoos.

It’s really good for the self esteem to have young girls think of me as awesome and cool, even though I don’t fit the mold of what is usually role models for young girls.  Even though I’m a Super Fatty, I have weird coloured hair and tattoos, dress in loud clothes and love outlandish accessories, two little girls, the daughters of good friends, think I’m cool.

It gives me hope that kids do have a chance in the future of getting past all the negative body image and anti-women bullshit in the world, and forming positive, female friendly attitudes about themselves.

Beautifully Fat Art

Published October 1, 2009 by Fat Heffalump
In my general readings of blogs in the fatosphere this morning, I came across a this post at the Fat Girls Guide to Living, an interview with Elizabeth Patch, from More to Love. I’d not seen Elizabeth’s work before, and I’m thrilled to discover it now. Her artwork is bright, fun, whimsical, and most importantly, positive representations of fat women.

Click image for link to purchase Elizabeth’s book.

It’s rare that we see fat women (or fat men for that matter) portrayed in art in a positive light. Usually we see the gluttinous fat person, the lazy fat person, the greedy fat person. It is starting to change with photographic art, with fantastic projects like The Adipositivity Project and Leonard Nimoy’s Full Body Project. To see these changes coming through to artists of other media, such as painters, digital illustrators, sculptors etc is wonderful.

I’d like to see more fat acceptance in art. Do you know of any artists that are fat positive in their work? Please share them in their comments, so I and any readers can have a look. If I particularly like them, I’ll blog them up here at a later date.