Good reading around the web

I’ve been finding some fascinating things around the web of late and with all this gloomy weather where I am (which is actually pleasant to me since it reminds me of October weather and I LOVE Autumn) I’ve been very introspective.  These things have gotten me thinking a lot about fat and self-acceptance issues, diversity and the difficulties this world seem to have in learning how to promote the idea of respecting differences.  So let’s see what has been tickling my brain juices so far this week:

Fat Acceptance: NOT a euphemism for “I give up”

That is, unless by “give up” you’re referring to “giving up” on the ideals of a society determined to crush individuality and enforce rigid conformity to an unrealistic and hurtful standard of body “normalcy”.

Spilt Milk has a wonderfully thoughtful look into the oft-repeated idea that Fat Acceptance is about “Giving Up”.  Here’s a wonderful quote just to whet your appetite and encourage you to head over and read more:

What Fat Acceptance does is for all people, not just fatties. Fat Acceptance makes all bodies acceptable, honours diversity, and calls for an end to body-shaming. That that goes for skinny bodies too, whether they are considered ‘healthy’ or not.

Believing that thinness is the sole path to good health, and that it’s an expression of some kind of virtue (restraint, perhaps), also makes it difficult to accept that Fat Acceptance is a positive and optimistic movement. Viewing Fat Acceptance as merely the opposite of weightloss-promotion, through a prism of fat=unhealthy thinking, leads to the conclusion that FA is about giving up… [break in quoted text]

Fat Acceptance is about rejecting that self-loathing and embracing a kinder relationship with ourselves and with other people. When we accept our fatness, we accept ourselves as we actually are in the world rather than waiting to attain some external validation that we are as we ‘should’ be. (Bold emphasis is mine)

Brilliant post.  The final question Spilt Milk proposes: What’s so wrong with wanting to end this habit of waiting to be Good Enough to DESERVE to live your life; is just the perfect question.  What IS wrong with laying aside the ingrained belief that bodies need to conform to some preset notion or outlier ideal in order to merit living the wonderful lives we’re ALREADY capable of living; just as we are RIGHT NOW?

An awesome new comic to follow

Spoonforkfuls just introduced me to a freaking awesome comic artist who posts “Riot Nrrd”.  Her characters exemplify the sort of normalizing of body and life diversity that makes me hopeful for a better future while also attacking head-on many fundamental issues such as “sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, ableism, fatphobia, and other phobias and -isms from their nerdery of choice.”  I’m sad that I’ve already read through the entire archive and look forward happily to the next comic!!

On the freedom of speech and religion

Sociological Images has a brilliant post regarding the much-advertised kerfuffle over the “daring” thoughts of building a mosque a few blocks away from “ground zero” in NYC. As usual their in-depth post brings to light some very intriguing reflections on just how easily people are able to forget that:

  • the freedom of speech and religion do NOT apply simply to just a select few
  • a few individuals do NOT represent the thoughts of an entire religion

A good quote to get you going:

Objection to the project is based on a false conflation of the attacks with Islam.  Bin Laden drew on Islam to mobilize support for the attack, but this in no way makes the attacks Islamic.  Many Muslims died in the attacks and Muslims around the world condemn them.  When Scott Roeder murdered George Tiller for performing abortions, we didn’t call that a Christian attack.  It is prejudicial to paint entire groups based on the actions of a few.

Body insecurities

Post Secret had a few choice postcards recently regarding personal reflections on body image.  Two are briefly analyzed over at Sociological Images for the way that they reflect two ends of a spectrum regarding self-conscious thoughts held by those having both large and small breasts.

The one that caught my eye states: “I gained 30 pounds… & sex has never been better”

What a beautiful affirmation….written on a card sporting a stereotypical mudflap-esque woman of the normative, white, blonde, blue-eyed, curvy beauty in a seductively approachable pose.  Still….a step forward?  Or a sneaky reflection upon the idea that the only “acceptable” weight gain is that which renders you curvy in the “right ways”?

So these are all the various and sundry things rattling around in my mind today.  What is your take on these issues and ideas and new things to follow?


4 thoughts on “Good reading around the web

  1. Yay, first post! Go me!

    I actually used one of these quotes as my FB status today. It really hits home. After about 28 years of hating my body and thinking, Well, when I lose some weight, my life can really begin, I’m trying, with everything I have, to halt that runaway train and realise that despite being overweight, I’ve done about 95% of the stuff I’ve always wanted to do in life. My body may wobble and flap a bit, but I can get up and walk when I wish, I have complete control over my limbs, and I’m not in chronic pain. My mind is (relatively) sound, and I don’t even need glasses. There are people who would wish for even 1/4 of that, so perhaps I’d better stop it with the whingeing…

    In spite of a lifetime’s worth of voices rattling round my head telling me how I’m ugly and unattractive (and even a curse against God, as one dipshit told me once), the only one I’m focusing on is my husband’s who tells me over and over how sexy he finds me. It’ll take a lot of time, but at least I’m trying…

  2. Speak for yourself, April…whenever anyone asks me what religion I am, I tell them “Jedi” (because people instantly understand the reference more than what I actually am, which is Unitarian Universalist)! ( C 8

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