So how many of you use the Notes From the Fatosphere rss feed to keep up with all the fatty awesomeness out there? I know I do, and I know it draws me a lot of readers who stumble across my blog while reading others out there. If you’ve never noticed Notes From the Fatosphere before, you can see it on this page, it’s the list of links and opening lines on the left there at the bottom of the info I have here on my blog.
Now for the past four years it has been administered by the lovely Bri of Fat Lot of Good, and she has done a great job of doing so, but is ready to hang up her NFtF hat for awhile so that someone else can have a go of driving the mother-ship! So she has asked me to post the piece below calling for a new administrator for the service.
So if you think you can help, please contact Bri via the email address below – it would be a shame to see this fantastic tool disappear.
I have been the administrator of the Notes From The Fatosphere rss feed for around 4 years now and while continuing as a Fat Activist I feel it is time to pass the feed on to someone else.
At the moment the feed is administered via a Google account and a public Google Reader feed. However Google Reader will no longer be available after July 1 so another way of administrating the feed will need to be used.
The task of administrating the feed is fairly simple. You add blogs you believe fit with the ideology of the Notes feed (ie fat oriented) and you remove any blogs you think no longer fit the ideology. Occasionally a blog will “fall off” the feed and you need to re-add it -generally the blog’s author will email you and let you know their posts aren’t showing up in the feed.
Moving the Feed to another reader site (or the like) will involve finding a suitable place to host the feed and then subscribing to each of the blogs currently on the Google Reader feed. This will take a while but once it is done you only have to add new blogs or remove existing ones.
If anyone is interested in taking on the admin of the Notes feed please email me at scarlettheartt @ gmail.com (without the spaces) and we can chat.
I am so excited about the series of blog posts I am starting for you all tonight. I was talking to a friend recently about the amazing women that inspire me to do what I do and I had this moment where I just wanted to share them with you all. Then I realised… what’s to stop me doing just that? I put together a mini interview, sent it out to just a few of the inspiring women I’ve been lucky enough to encounter, and delightfully, every one of them has responded that they’d love to be featured here on Fat Heffalump. I intend to send the request out further and further afield as time goes on, so that I can share more and more of the inspirational women that I’ve been lucky enough to find.
So without any further ado, let us begin with our first installment in my new “Inspirational Women” series.
By way of introduction, Bri King of Fat Lot of Good was the first Australian fat activist I ever encountered. I forget who introduced me to her blog, back in my early forays into the Fatosphere, but someone linked to one of her pieces, and I remember reading through all her back posts in a couple of days, just eating up her words. I was blessed to be able to meet Bri last year at the inaugural Australian Fat Studies Conference in Sydney and she is one of the loveliest people I have ever met. I deeply admire her fire and passion, her ability to articulate complicated subjects, and her kindness.
1. Was there a defining moment for you as a person that made you decide that fat activism was for you? What was it?
I can’t recall there being a defining moment, which is kind of disappointing in way! There was no pivotal moment as such, it was more of a process. I was already into goth and rockabilly fashion and I had searched for communities on Livejournal.com that were about those topics but that focused on BBW. I found the Fatshionista LJ community. I hung out there for a while and that was where I read something that Marianne Kirby (The Rotund) wrote and I went to her blog to read more. That was where I discovered the Notes from the Fatosphere feed. After a short time I realised I had something to say about living fat and so I started my blog, Fat Lot Of Good in mid 2007. It was at that point that I began to refer to myself as a fat activist.
2. What projects or achievements are you most proud of in your fat activism?
There are three things I am most proud of. I was interviewed for an article that appeared in The Age newspaper and this led to being contacted by Today/Tonight, a daily ‘current affairs’ show that screens on Channel 7 in Australia. T/T is known for sensationalist journalism and while I was wary about appearing on the show I felt that if my appearance let one person know about Fat Acceptance who didn’t previously know about it, then it was worth any flack I might cop in the process. The interview went well and I was happy with the final outcome. The other two achievements are making my first presentation at an academic conference (being the Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue conference held at Macquarie University in Sydney in Sept ’10) and also my ‘coming out’ as a ‘failed’ WLS patient. I was really worried about how the FA community might react to the knowledge that I had WLS some years ago but I was pleasantly surprised by the support I received when I wrote about my experience on my blog.
3. Is there a song that defines you or that you particularly identify with? Will you share it with us?
Oh wow… that’s a hard one. I think Alannis Morrisette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ and Meredith Brooks ‘Bitch’ sum me up pretty well. ‘You Oughta Know’ because I am a firm believe in sharing knowledge, experience and emotions. Morrisette is singing about being betrayed by a guy. While I relate to that I also feel the song can be about betrayal in general and I feel that fat people are generally betrayed by society. There is a certain anger contained in that song and that’s ok. It is ok to be angry. Sometimes we need to be angry. It is how we deal with that anger that matters. As for ‘Bitch’, well it is a song about the contradictions we are as individuals. All the facets we each have to our character. I am a lot of things, a fat activities, a writer, a student, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a pagan, a feminist, a photographer and much more. This song reflects all that.
4. Many fat activists refer to having a “coming out as fat” moment in their lives, where they take their fab fat life to the people in their lives (friends, family, colleagues etc). Did you have one of these? How did it happen for you?
I think my appearance on national TV pretty much did that! Interestingly enough I received very little negative feedback (virtually none actually) and metric tons of encouragement and support. I still, three years later, have people mention that interview to me and tell me they thought it was very cool.
5. If you could have someone make you the ultimate outfit for your body, what would it be? Tell us that dream outfit/garment you’d love to see in plus-sizes.
I love goth and rockabilly stylings. I was actually lucky enough to have my dream outfit made for me for my hand fasting (wedding). The outfit was made up of a full ball gown skirt with petticoats and bustle, a corset and a bell sleeved bolero jacket. It was all red satin, black organza and black lace with beaded detail and was just stunning. I felt so beautiful that day. In general I would love to see more goth and rockabilly/pin up styles in plus sizes. There are a few places that go up to an XL or 2XL but they tend to run small and not go any bigger than that. I certainly wish they did!
6. Who has been your biggest “real life” support in your activism?
My husband J has been a huge support to me. He has always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and do things (like the TV interview!) that I might not have done otherwise. He also constantly links me to things he finds online that he thinks I might want to blog about. He is a fat guy himself so he gets where I am coming from with my activism.
7. Who has inspired you in your activism?
So many people… Marianne Kirby has taught me so much via her blog The Rotund. Not just about Fat Acceptance but about so many things. Regan Chastain is someone else who really inspires me. She writes some amazing stuff. And you too, Kath. You have no idea how inspiring I find your writing. You always have your finger on the pulse and seem to know exactly what to say about issues at exactly the right time. (Thank you Bri!) Other people that inspire me are my friends who I have been able to clue into the ideas of Fat Acceptance and HAES. Seeing how far they have come in their body acceptance journeys really inspires me to keep doing what I do.
8. Do you have any tattoos?
Oooh ink! One of my favourite topics! lol
I have 7 tattoos. I have a butterfly on the left of my chest; a rose on the right of my chest; a Latin phrase ‘Amor Fati’ (love your fate) on my inner left arm; a symbol that incorporates my first initial and my husband’s first initial on my outer left wrist; a symbol incorporating my two kids first initials on my outer right wrist; a pentagram in a wreath of flowers on the small of my back and then my back piece, a heart shaped locket with two roses. (have attached a pic of that one) I am planning on more ink in the near future, something on my outer upper arm this time.
9. What piece of advice would you like to share with all fatties out there?
I have a bit of a motto that I live by, that weight based self loathing causes more problems for people and society than fat in itself ever has or ever will. I really believe that. I know from personal and professional experience (as a social worker and counsellor) just how much damage self hatred at cause individuals and the wider community, it is toxic and it is something we need to move beyond. Hopefully I can contribute to that effort in some small way.
Here I sit, home from Sydney and the Australian Fat Studies conference, and there is just so much buzzing around in my head that I want to share with you all, but I’m still processing it all and dealing with some emotional stuff of my own that has been borne of thinking about all of this stuff in detail for a few days. So I’ll let a lot of it burble until it’s ready to be shared with everyone.
What I want to do tonight is thank the amazing, incredible women who enrich my lives immensely, that I was able to meet this weekend. So I’m going to thank you all individually right here. Let’s try the order that I met each of you (except one I’m going to save until last).
Bri of Fat Lot of Good – Thank you Bri for being a strong, intelligent woman with a massive heart. Thank you for standing up as a proud fat woman and speaking out against fat hate. Thank you for sharing your story with us in your conference paper, for moving us all to tears as we ached for you, and ached for ourselves with the similarities in our own stories. Thank you for welcoming me with a hug. Thank you for making me laugh, for making me think, for making me strong. You are such a beautiful person.
Dr Samantha Thomas (her blog, The Discourse) – Thank you for your empathy and your heart. Thank you for caring about the quality of life of fat people. Thank you for fighting for us in the face of so much opposition, so much aggression, so much bullshit. Thank you for feeling as deeply as you do. Thank you for your passion and energy. Thank you for bringing a voice of reason and intelligence to a field so full of bias, disrespect and dehumanisation. Thank you for envying my boobs. Thank you for treating me as an equal even though I don’t have a jot of the education you have. Thank you for your encouragement and support. Thank you for just being the delightful person you are.
Frances of Corpulent – you are pure sunshine. You are so full of joy that it radiates out of you and shines on everyone around you. Thank you for that joy. Thank you for your sweetness. Thank you for being the first person to show me that bodies that looked like mine were beautiful. Thank you for being bold and colourful and vibrant. Thank you for your humour and magnificent smile. Thank you for just being the joyous, beautiful woman you are.
Dr Cat Pausé of Massey University in New Zealand – we have only just met, but thank you for coming out as a proud, fat feminist, and giving me the courage to do the same. Thank you for your warmth this weekend, I was drawn to your company immediately.
Scarlett O Claire – another woman I have just met – thank you so much for sharing your story, it hit so many common points for me. Thank you for putting yourself out there as a beautiful performer, for bravely sharing things that still hit emotional buttons for you, and simply for being present in the world, just as you are.
Kelli Jean Drinkwater – we also just met, but thank you for being fucking amazing! Thank you for being proud of your body, the first body that looks anything remotely like mine that I have seen portrayed positively. Thank you for being visible as a fat woman. Thank you for your sense of humour, your friendliness and your fabulous style.
Charlotte Cooper (view Charlotte’s blog, Obesity Timebomb here) – I know you are deeply embarrassed by the fangirl thing Charlotte, and it’s not really like that (we’re not the FA equivalent of Bieber Fever). But what you do, your words, your art, your ideas, are so significant to me and I know many others. What you do in fat activism is so very important to me, and has changed my life in so many positive ways, that I can’t help but be thrilled to have the opportunity to meet you and hear you speak. Thank you so much for the work that you do, thank you for coming here to participate in this conference and thank you for kicking out the jams.
Finally, last but in no way least, thank you so much to the amazing, incredible, awesome Dr Sam Murray. I do not have enough words to tell you what this conference, the space you created there and the dialogues that you are creating and encouraging mean to me. I literally don’t have the words, I’m still processing! This weekend has been a life changing event for me. You did that. With your dedication, with your passion and a whole lot of damn hard work. And what a delightful soul you are. You are utterly adorable in so many ways. You have made me laugh, cry, think, and most of all, believe. The only words I can find right now for you are simply: Thank you so very, very much.
And to all who attended and participated, thank all of you too, for being part of an event that has meant so much to me. For those of you who couldn’t come, check out the companion site, Fat Dialogue