All posts in the Brisbane category

Fat Stories: An Exhibition

Published October 19, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Last night was the official launch of Fat Stories at the Brisbane Powerhouse – an exhibition of photographs by Isaac Brown, documenting the lives of six Australian fat activists, including yours truly.  These are photographs taken as part of the Stocky Bodies project, an image library of photographs of fat people going about our everyday lives.

Isaac asked me to give a bit of an introduction to the exhibition and project as one of the participants, so I thought it an excellent opportunity to frock up for the evening.  I wore a navy and white spotted dress I got from Best & Less yonks ago, my Domino Dollhouse peach crinoline, peach and white polka dot shoes from Target and a big peach statement necklace from Lovisa.  I guess you want a look right?

Always fun to get an opportunity to frock up!

I was thrilled to have my dear friend Kerri and my tattooist, the lovely Victoria R Lundberg, there as my guests.  And I was also tickled to see an old friend, Franca, come along to the exhibit too, as I hadn’t seen her in many years.

Well this time, I actually wrote down my introduction speech, so I thought I’d share it with you here.  Because this was a different audience of people than usually hear about fat activism and fat liberation, I wanted something that snuck up and hit people in the kidneys a little bit, and made them think about the systematic dehumanisation of fat people.  So here’s what I came up with:

Several years ago, I was watching the news on TV, when a story about the “obesity epidemic” came on.  It was the usual rhetoric, fat people are all lazy and gluttonous, and they’re all going to die, we’d better prevent them, cure them, eradicate them.  As I watched this news story wringing it’s hands about how fat is the scourge of society, it happened.  I saw myself, right there on the TV screen, with my head cut off.  A piece of footage that had clearly been filmed outside my office building without my knowledge or consent.  It was me – in the very outfit I was still wearing as I sat there watching the news after I’d got home from work.

I cannot tell you how devastated I was.  What was left of my self esteem was instantly crushed, and I was mortified.  I was embarrassed, ashamed and deeply hurt.  Here this news story was, calling for the eradication of of fat, and it was illustrated with a picture of me, completely dehumanised, as though I was nothing but a big belly.

This is how the media represents fat people.  This is not only how the world are shown fat, but how we fat people see ourselves represented.

But this is not the reality of our lives.  We are not amorphous blobs of fat to be eradicated.  We are people.  People who have lives, loves, families, friends, careers, hobbies and most importantly, feelings.

This project gives us back our personhood.  These photographs represent our lives as they are, not as the media and marketing like to portray us.  But most importantly, they show other fat people that they are valuable human beings, who can live their lives to the full, despite the constant suggestion that they are worth less than people who are not fat.  These photographs have already inspired people around the world to take up dancing, to buy a bicycle, to get tattoos, to go swimming, to spend time enjoying the company of their loved ones, to shop for fashion, to wear what they like… and the most important thing – believe in themselves and their own worth.

So yeah, there you have it.  For those of you in or around Brisbane, or who can get to Brisbane over the next three weeks, I do urge you to head to the Brisbane Powerhouse at New Farm to have a look at the exhibition (it’s free!)  Here’s the flyer, featuring a favourite photo of mine from the collection, of Victoria and I, proving once and for all that you can have a photograph of fat people that withholds their identity without it being a stigmatising “headless fatty” shot.

Or you can find out more information at Fat Stories – Brisbane Powerhouse.

Chub Republic Brisbane Presents – Wardrobe Revamp: Fab Fatty Clothing Swap!

Published February 27, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

I promised you I’d be back with more information on our fab fatty clothing swap for Brisbane peeps.  Check out our super cute flyer:

Here is a downloadable version (pdf) if you want to put one up somewhere that you know other fab Brisbane fatties will see it.  Spread the word my lovelies!

I really hope that we can get lots of you there – the more folks we have, the more variety of clothes we’ll have to swap.  I know I’m bringing some clothes to swap that are brand new (some with the tags still on them), from Torrid, Autograph, Asos Curve, Yours, Evans, Lane Bryant… that are just longing for a fab fatty to love them.  Some of them I wish I didn’t have to part with, they just don’t fit me.

If you can come along, here is the Facebook event for it, or email us at the email address on the flyer above.  Please RSVP so that we can get a good headcount of all of you for organisational purposes.

Also, we’ve started a Brisbane chapter of Chub Republic (founding chapter is in Melbourne).  We have a Twitter, a Tumblr, and a Facebook.

I’m so excited to be part of all of this, I think it’s going to be AWESOME!

Brisbane Fab Fatty Clothing Swap!

Published February 18, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Ok fab Brisbane fatties – I’m so excited, I’m in the thick of co-planning a plus-size clothing swap!  We have booked a date and a venue, and are just in the final stages of planning the logistics and organising the final details, which I should be able to share with you within a few days.

I can tell you the basics though:

Date: Saturday, 10th March, 2012

Time: 12pm – 3pm

Place: Graduate Centre Function Room (Queensland

College of Art [QCA] Griffith Uni, 226 Grey St, South Bank)

So if you’re in or near Brisbane, now is the time to be going through your wardrobe and pulling out all those garments that don’t fit you, or that you don’t feel comfortable in, and getting them ready to bring along to swap for some that are perfect for you.

Make your wardrobe work for you, not you work for it!

The more items you bring, the more items you can swap them for.  I already have a big box full of clothes, some new with tags still on them to bring along.

This is a great way to revamp your wardrobe, and it will also be a fat positive event where you can meet lots of other local fab fatties.  We will have change rooms and mirrors set up so that you can try things on, and I expect it to be a fun, body positive event of fatties sharing fashion tips and socialising.

And personally, I am hoping that it will be enough of a success that we can hold more fatshion swaps and other fab fatty events in Brisbane.

More details to come soon, but it’s only 3 weeks away, so put the date in your calendars now.  It’s going to be an awesome event.

So start sorting your wardrobes now, and getting those unloved garments ready to be swapped for some that you will love, and so they can be adopted by other fab fatties.


Why I Will Be Participating in SlutWalk

Published May 14, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

So you may have seen some buzz around lately in the media about an event called SlutWalk.  What SlutWalk is, is a rally/march in protest of the cultural attitude that a woman may “deserve” to be raped/sexually assaulted, based on measures of what she wears, whether or not she is consuming drugs or alcohol, or her sexual activity, amongst other things.

SlutWalk began in Toronto, Canada after a police officer giving a talk at a college campus safety information session stated that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”.  Quite understandably so, the people of Toronto were angry at this and a protest event sprang up very quickly, the inaugural SlutWalk.  As the word spread around the world, allies all around the world have been organising their own local event to send the message that slut-shaming victims of rape/sexual assault is not acceptable.

Just a couple of days ago, I read this amazing speech given at Boston SlutWalk by Jaclyn Friedman.  Jaclyn really expresses most of my own thoughts (and a whole lot more) in her piece.  Don’t miss it – whether you watch the video or read the transcript.

A lot of women really have a problem with the term “slut” and some have refused to take part in the events because of the name.  Many feel that it is a derogatory term that shouldn’t be used to describe women, and feel that “reclaiming” the word encourages people to use the word to shame women who are sexually active, who enjoy sex or who dress in a manner that is considered “sexy”.

To be honest, I am inclined to agree.  It is a word that is used to shame and bully women, to control them by socially policing them into shame for having any form of sexuality and sexual expression.  It’s not a word I want to hear used to describe women and/or girls.

But that said, I am still going to participate in SlutWalk.

Why?  Because I feel it is of the highest importance that we, as a society, stand up and speak out against the rape culture that implies that women “asked for” or somehow deserved rape in any way, shape or form.  We need to speak out against a culture that tries to control women by dictating what they wear, what they do with their own bodies and how they conduct their sex lives.

Because I believe there is nothing that anyone can do or say that makes them deserve rape.  Ever.

But most importantly, as a sexual assault survivor myself, a rape survivor myself (I still have issues using that word in reference to my own experience) who has been doubted, questioned and denied the right to name what happened to me, I need to speak out against a culture that puts the onus of preventing rape on the victim, instead of where it should be, on the perpetrator.

The very reason I never reported my own rape (and other sexual assaults) was because I was led to believe that it was somehow my fault that I was raped.  I was shamed for being a victim of a horrible, violent act that someone else perpetrated against me.

So on the 28th of May, I will be joining the Brisbane SlutWalk, not to reclaim the word slut or proclaim myself a proud slut, but to stand up and stay that nobody deserves rape for any reason.

I urge you to become involved in the SlutWalk in your local area.  Don’t let the shame pushed at women hold you back from speaking out against the injustice of rape apologism and victim blaming.

An Un-Post

Published January 20, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I have little to no blogging inspiration at the moment.  I’m tired, the whole flood thing across my whole country now, but very much here at home in my very back yard is weighing heavy on my mind, and I am so, so behind in reading Fatosphere blogs that I feel really cut off from everything that is going on out there.

But I want to give you all an update on Operation Baldy.  In the few days since I posted the last update, about $300 has come in for the Flood Relief fund, with pledges for about $200 more and another $50 for the Cancer Council of Australia.  Bringing the total raised so far at about the $2000 mark (give or take for the exchange rates).  I am absolutely gobsmacked at the generosity of people, both near and far.  You are all amazing people, every one of you that has donated.  Whether it’s $5 or $500, every dollar makes a difference, and every one of you are generous, kind hearted souls.

Just a quick aside, if you’re in Brisbane, there is a canned food drive starting tomorrow in the Brisbane City Council libraries (running for a month).  This food all goes to Foodbank, and all canned food is accepted, even canned pet food.  If you’re near a library, how about popping in with a can or two.  And tell them Kath said hello and that they’re doing an amazing job despite all the fallout from the floods.

So I’m less than a week away from The Big Shave.  I oscillate between wanting to just get rid of my hair now, and seeing my pink locks and thinking “NOOOOOOOOOO!!”  Of course Murphy’s Law states that the week before I shave my head completely bald, my hair is looking the cutest it has in ages.  Ugh!  I’m getting nervous that I’ll look really, really stupid with a bald head.  But I’m trying to compensate by thinking of all the enormous earrings I will be able to show off.

Of course I’m still taking donations, and will be for some time yet.  If you can help, click here for the details on how to donate.

In other news, I have booked in for another tattoo on the Friday after The Big Shave.  I had some inspiration (and some holiday leave loading!) and found something so awesome to get tattooed on me, that I couldn’t wait another second.  I showed my tattoo artist, Victoria from Wild at Heart the reference material and by her reaction I knew she was the one to do it.  The piece is a sekrit (but for a few trusted people) but let’s just say it’s a beautiful fat positive piece that represents my learning to love my body and accept myself as I am.  I can’t wait to share it all with you when it’s done.

While I’ve got you, it’s a new year, so may I ask you what kinds of topics you’d like to hear about on Fat Acceptance blogs?  What things are first and foremost in your mind at the moment when it comes to Fat Acceptance?  What gaps do you think we have when it comes to topics and discussions?  Perhaps I’ll glean some inspiration and get back into the swing of things if we start a conversation here.

You’re The One For Me, Fatty

Published October 5, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

For about three weeks, I’ve had the Morrissey song, You’re the One for Me, Fatty stuck in my head.  Some of you are going to not like this, but I’ve always hated Morrissey.  Firstly I am a Cure fan (and you know the two rarely mix) and secondly I just can’t stand the whiny pratt.  But that song popped into my head a few weeks ago and I can’t get it out.

Last week I was walking back to work with a friend who I’d just had lunch with, when I spotted some scrawled graffiti on the Treasury building here in Brisbane (which now houses a casino) and I just knew I had to get a photo of myself taken with it.

I got my friend Nadia (check out her blog, she’s very crafty and creative) to take a pic of me as an OOTD shot with the fab graffiti:

You're The One For Me


Ok, outfit details:

Headband: Rubi Shoes
Earrings: Diva
Dress: Big W
Tights: We Love Colors
Boots: Novo (I also have them in bottle green!)
Ring: Diva (its a big swan decorated with garish pink crystals, I’m so subtle!)