Woman on woman crime.

I’ve been seeing this meme springing up over social media for the last few days and I’ve got a few opinions.

woman on woman hbc
I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!
I’m mad because women are posting pictures like this, smart women, educated women, women who are educators!

All with caption like “She’s more beautiful anyway!” Wrongo! They are all beautiful in different ways. We as women wouldn’t want to be ranked by beauty so why do we think it’s ok to rank women we’ve never met?

Captions like “Yeah! She’s way smarter!” Wrong again buddy! Again people are smart in their own ways, and for a family to gain fame out of literally nothing (save a dead famousish dad) they must be pretty smart. They have more business acumen than a lot of other people.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Helena Bonham Carter as much as the next person, and I’m not a Kardashian krazy. I’m not this guy.

woman on woman leave britney

I’m also not affected by the Kardashians in my every day life so I’m not going to tear them down for no reason. They are just like us, women trying their best in this crazy fucked up world. So yeah actually, leave the Kardashians alone.

In the infamous words of Sharon Norbury (Tina Fey by way of Mean Girls) “You all have to stop calling each other sluts and whores, it just makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.” The documentary Mean Girls is 12 years old! For 12 years this message has been in our public discourse. If Mean Girls had a baby that child would be discovering the harsh truths of high school themselves by now.

Sharon Norbury

 

Workout Wear Morning.

Even though it goes against everything I stand for as a human I have joined a gym.

Under the advice of my physiotherapist I have been going to the gym for around 4 weeks now, gym on Monday and Thursday and pool then Aquafit on Wednesday, (I have to be rigid in routine when it comes to something I don’t want to do or I definitely wont do it) and despite myself I’m actually sort of starting to enjoy it…a bit.

Until I stepped in for my induction I had never entered a commercial fitness centre before, it was one of my last remaining insecurities about my body. First you have to put on skin tight lycra then you have to get all sweaty and gross in a room of thin fabulous people, I have always felt like if I joined a gym people would be watching me, laughing, calling me fat. I know a lot of fat people that have felt that way before.

It’s one of our society’s biggest contradictions. You can’t be fat, you have to work, if you come to my gym and I see you working out I will laugh at you because you are fat. There is no way to win in that situation.

I have joined a gym for my physical health, I have joined a gym because I have knees that don’t want to stay where they are supposed to, I have joined a gym as a proactive way to keep my knees where they are supposed to be. I deserve that right as a human being without worrying about what part of my body is jiggling too much while I’m on a cross trainer or if people are laughing that I’m out of breath on the bikes. So I listen to my very best “fuck you” songs  and get on with my workout plan that my physiotherapist devised with me.

I’m being brave, I’m making people uncomfortable by being fat in a gym…deal with me world! I have to say on the whole I have found that my biggest fears are not realised, sure I have had the occasional glance but it is from men on the weight machines and I’m pretty sure they are checking me out… I listen to this gem while I’m on the cross trainer and noticing a glance.

This brings me to Today’s Fat Outfit:

Workout Wear
Look at that side eye I’m giving myself. “Bitch why you making me do this at 8am on a bank holiday?”

I’m wearing one of the two pairs of Workout Leggins I own (I did say I only go twice a week) from New Look. I’m also wearing my Sea Witch Don’t Kill My Vibe tee from Look Human. I ordered it in a size 2XL based on the website sizing guide and when it arrived it was way too big so I complained to the website and they graciously sent me a large and said I could keep the 2XL as postage back would be too much for me. This was over a year ago and I’ve had no cause to wear the super sized shirt until joining the gym, I chopped off the sleeves, neck and cropped it and it is literally the perfect workout top. I have ordered two more t-shirts in a size 2XL since with some more boss ass ladies on that I am just waiting to arrive.

So there you have it, that is how happy I look to go to the gym…not so much.

 

What’s In My Bag.

Going out with girlfriends can be the absolute best, it can also leave you feeling all icky inside and trying to figure out why. 

I’ve been thinking on my icky feeling today I would say it is simply “the patriarchy”. So I thought today would be the perfect time to blog about what’s in my handbag on a night out. (Stay with me here…)

whats in my bag bag
I know, the bag is pretty dope, right?

My Soda Can Bag (from accessorize) is full of pretty standard stuff. PKW (Phone, Keys, Wallet) PK not pictured, Lipstick, and a Rape Alarm.

The rape alarm is the little black thing that looks like a car key. I take it out with me every time I go out out, and sometimes when I am just out. I think it’s a really important object that all women should invest in. Fortunately I didn’t have to use it last night, and haven’t had to use it since purchasing. I like to have it with me as a sort of totem, it makes me feel like I have one more tool to make myself safe in this world.

Last night, a guy we were hanging out with gave me a funny look when my rape alarm went off in my bag accidentally. I have had laughs and funny looks from all sorts of people when I mention that I have a rape alarm. It has never been said IRL but I know that a lot of people I follow online have experienced reactions like “Why would you worry about rape? You’re not even attractive” or worse yet “Rape is probably the only way you can get laid.” “I bet you wish you were raped” (I have legitimately read the last two on comments online and it really shows the dregs of humanity in full force.)

These kind of comments are not only ugly and hurtful but they misunderstand the basic premise of sexual assault. It is not about trying to have sex with someone you are attracted to, it is about control and dominance. I have  been sexually assaulted twice (not raped although modern media conflates the two in attempts to the crime seem less awful), both times I was fat, both times the guy didn’t care that I’m married, both times it was really shitty. One of the two times the guy got annoyed with me for rejecting his “advances” and said “Oh, sorry fatty” while laughing to cover his bruised ego.

So, last night, when I got a funny look from this guy I flew off the handle and I started telling him “Don’t you give me that look, if you think fat people don’t get raped you’ve grossly misunderstood what rape is.” The guy in question, very fairly, got defensive and explained he didn’t know what the sound was and it was alarming (well it is an alarm so I would hope so).

Let’s rewind a little here. By this point in the night I had taken about all I could from cis-gendered, white men. Men who think they have the right to do, say, and be whatever they want around women. Men who do not take subtle hints and keep pursuing women to the point where it becomes inappropriate.

The taxi driver going into the city was hitting on my friend and being generally sleazy. He decided he didn’t like me (because I wanted to pay with the app that he advertised in 3 of his windows instead of cash) so when one of our squad asked him to guess how old we all are he told my 3 friends they looked 20, 21 and me that I looked 50. Naturally I told him to fuck off.

Then in a club 2 really tall white men started dancing behind one of my girls, I asked her if she was interested in them (I’m no cock-blocker) and when she said absolutely not I switched places on the dancefloor with her, turned around, and said “No thank you” to the men in question. The guys gave me a look like they weren’t doing anything and I was being paranoid but it did effectively get them away from me and my girls. This is another tool I have in my arsenal of keeping myself safe. I read about how saying a firm “No” is more likely to prevent an attack than negotiating with an attacker in this empowering Lenny’s letter (if you’re not already subscribed you should do it now!)

We also had another guy try to get in on a sandwich with me and a friend dancing together, but he was the most polite of the unwanted advances of the night and when I moved him away by his shoulders he apologised and left us alone. I find that when I’m out and trying to have a good time with my friends the attention I, particularly being fat, get from men is a combination of creepy and threatening at times.

I know, I know, #notallmen, if I though all men were rapists I wouldn’t be married to a man. However I don’t think any man has the right to act offended when I am uncomfortable around them. I know not all men are rapists but you sir are being creepy and sleazy so I don’t know for certain if you are or not. If you aren’t planning on attacking women don’t front up to them. “Why are you so hostile” is a great response that I’ve had a lot. If you aren’t planning on attacking women don’t act like they aren’t worthy of your attention, or like you’re throwing them a bone. Do what the guy in the 3rd story did, say sorry and brush it off. Be number 3, we all like number 3, by the end of the night we might even see him in the kebab shop and say hi. Probably not but it’s not outside the realms of possibility.

Sadly I didn’t get an pic for last night’s outfit, but I did make a decision this morning that I’m only going to gay bars when I go out from now on. Gay Bars: Where straight white men don’t get all creepy on you…most of the time.

A tale of Two Crop Tops

I can not resist a sale.

So when I went shopping about 3 weeks ago with my squad and we found two sparkly crop tops, in my size, on sale, each for £5. I had to buy both. It was like the universe was telling me “Micha, 27 will be your year to rock the sparkly crop” so I answered with a resounding “Yaaaaaassss!”

I have recently worn both of these tops out and had a few negative reactions from the basic people of Norwich (who can not handle all of this).

a tale of 2 crops nights out

I’m going to refer to these outfits throughout this post as outfit A, and outfit B. Outfit A is on the left, the A stands for “Alllll that tummy” and outfit B is on the right, the B stands for “Boobies? Please”

I went out for my birthday last Saturday and wore outfit A; Crop Top and Handbag (a generous gift) both from TopShop (they are both blue and sparkly all over but the image is a bit too dark to do them justice), Giant Earrings from H&M, Blazer from Dorothy Perkins, Boss Ass Blue Jeans and 90’s Shoes from New Look.

It was like the universe was telling me “Micha, 27 will be your year to rock the sparkly crop”

We went to an artisanal (read hispter) pub, with infused beers and gins. I had petals in my elderflower gin, I was a happy lady. That was until I realised one of my party had been gone for about half an hour so I went to look for her in the toilets. As I walked away from my table, a mid-20’s hipster noticed me, pointed, and laughed….along with two of his friends. Pointed and laughed! What is this middle school? One of them had a man bun! I didn’t point and laugh at him.

Don’t worry guys, this story has a happy ending. I found my friend, with help of another friend, outside on the phone. I told them about the point and laugh hipsters and pointed at them through the window, in my outrage I gestured at them with my middle finger, at that exact moment Man Bun turned and caught my eye, the three of them uncomfortably left not long after.

We went on to a club because (everyone who knows me will know) I love to dance. In the toilets of this particular club I have had many positive interactions with other women, exchanging compliments on lipsticks, outfits, hair, handbags, and general fabulousity. Last weekend I did have a fair few of these interactions and then I got one that was so almost nice it took me a little while to digest it. One of the girls in the toilet told me “I love your confidence”….

“I love your confidence”, not “I like your top” “I love how you’ve matched your top with your bag” or even a polite decline to comment on my appearance at all. “I love your confidence” is like a slap in the face of compliments, in fact she may have even been negging on me. “I love you confidence” says “Wow, you’re fat and you’re wearing a very revealing outfit that you shouldn’t be wearing”. “I love your confidence” says “I don’t think you look nice, but good for you trying to anyway”.

Those sort of comments make me start wearing less and going out more. 

Feeling a little confused by the comment I graciously thanked this person, but then she went on to say “I could never wear an outfit like that.” and “I can’t even wear a skirt without tights”. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand I was possibly speaking to an insecure person who may well have being saying “You’re brave and I wish I had the confidence you had” but you have to understand, if you’re a skinny, pretty person and you’re telling a fat, pretty person that their only redeeming feature is “confidence” there is a whole 26 years of previous comments, snipes, and downright bullying that mean I can’t hear “I love your confidence” and take it as a compliment. Next time you’re in a club and you see a fat girl rocking it, compliment something specific. Please.

Then lsat Thursday I went out in outfit B, Crop Top from Topshop, Baseball Jacket fro a Charity Shop (and it’s label less so there’s no real way of knowing who made it) Handbag from Peacocks, and Boss ass Jeans (again) and Brown Boots from New Look.

I went out for Karaoke with some girls this week and very much like outfit A I had 2 experiences, one Negative and one confusing with a possible positive spin, but ultimately insulting so it’s getting put on blast.

Walking with my friend along the river (towards the gay bar that is very gracious about CIS women using it’s safe environment to enjoy karaoke) a guy in a passing car rolled down his window on a frosty February night solely to shout at me “Put some clothes on fatty”. I shrugged it off as I so often do in these situations. Instead of making me put on more clothes those sort of comments make me start wearing less and going out more. My 2 thin friends (with fat hearts) were absolutely horrified, having been thin their whole lives they had no idea that this sort of thing happens to me fairly regularly.

Later in the night (about 3 songs in) my thin friends told me about an older man at the bar who hit on both of them and how he grabbed at them and poked at them, generally unpleasant stuff, that luckily didn’t lead to anything more sinister. Then it was my round the only spaces at the bar were near this guy, he seemed to have cleared the space with his creepiness. When I approached the bar he ignored me. Success! He’s one of those old school old guys that doesn’t like fat girls…..that was what I hoped, turned out he just hadn’t noticed me.

He turned to me and said “I hope you don’t mind me saying you’re very unusual” he then proceeded to try to awkwardly explain to me that he hasn’t seen many “larger ladies” that didn’t despise their body. I politely made conversation and then left, as I was leaving he grabbed my elbow and said “Will I see you again tonight?” I answered “Only if I have to buy another drink” and swiftly shook him off. I have all sorts of feelings about that interaction, and all the white men that thought they could have a say about my body this week. Ultimately I know society isn’t going to change in a hurry, I just have to keep being me until it does catch up.

That brings me to Today’s Fat Outfit.

a tale of 2 crops night in

Today I’m wearing my least cropped Crop Top from H&M and my Leather Jacket from River Island. My Boss Ass jeans and Brown boots (because I’m feeling them alright) again from New Look and my new Crown Pin I got as a birthday present. Because in the paraphrased words of Omar Little “If you come at the Queen, you best not miss!”

Body Positivity for all.

I am very mildly disabled.

I have this condition called hypermobility that means for the last 10 years or so, every now and then, my knees decide to dislocate.  Even less often that leads to a much, much worse injury. This means I occasionally need to use crutches.

If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t blogged since just before the summer, I had a knee dislocation which lead to a worse leg injury (just after blogging about how I need to love my legs more….) and recently I’ve been thinking about how hard body positivity is for disabled people.

Now I am lucky enough that for about 80% of my adult life, since this condition started to affect me at the tender age of 16, I have been able to get around on my own steam and my own legs without any help.

The other 20% of my journey has been like a process of healing, and it looks a little something like this.

You rely on loved ones to photograph you but they don’t know your angles, they love you and think you always look attractive….the dummies.

First you are chair or wheelchair bound making outfits much less flattering (everything looks better when standing up) and pictures much harder to take so you get one of two things.

bopo4all chair

  1. You have to take pictures sitting down, you can see main features of the outfit, but not the how it looks as a whole. Or…

bopo4all disembodies

2. You become just a body. No head.

During the next stage you can stand for a little longer but still need to put a lot of weight through the crutches making holding a camera and taking a photo nearly impossible so you need to rely on friends and loved ones to photograph you. This is all well and good, but they don’t know your angles, they don’t have the patience levels or stamina to take the perfect photo, they love you and think you always look attractive….

bopo4all other person

…the dummies.

As the journey continues you start to heal more, you can put more weight on your leg so you decide to take your own photos.

bopo4all straight leg

You are so proud of yourself you don’t realise until months later how weird you look because you can’t bend your knee properly.

Then you get to the one crutch stage, this one can be a bit of a sticker. The process of going down from two to one crutch is related to how much you can weight bear, and how strong you are getting. The process of getting down from 1 to no crutches is much more psychological. Not only do you need to have the confidence that you wont fall down if you’re walking down the street, you also have to have to confidence that strangers won’t tell you off for sitting at the front of the bus, or shove past you in a hurry. For that reason you may find you are still using one crutch out and about for months longer than you are at home.

bopo4all 1crutch

The hardest thing of all is possibly how much of an effect the whole thing has on your mental well-being. When you can’t do things for yourself that you used to be able to, that other people can, or just things that you want to be able to do, it can take a real toll on you confidence and self-worth.

That’s why I think it’s really important that the body positivity movement isn’t just a movement for fat women, it’s a movement that everyone should join in with. No matter what your race, gender, sexual orientation, or physicality is make sure you love yourself. Peace out people and make sure you’re sharing your #todaysfatoutfit with me on instagram.

Love letter to Legs

Dear legs, I think it’s time I told you how wonderful you are.

I know it must be hard to see me go through a body love movement and practically ignore you. I’m sorry that I haven’t showed you the same amount of love and Sunshine as other parts of my body.

Legs, it may help you to know that when I was ashamed of you I was also ashamed of all of me, and last summer when I started feeling better about other parts of myself I was worried about you. I was worried that the world wouldn’t be ready for you. I didn’t want you to hear people being mean about you. I didn’t think you were ready to hear hateful things.

Let my tell you right now, Legs: You are beautiful.

legs

I love the scars on the ankle that are as much a part of me as my every other part. I love how much muscle you have on the calf portion, even though it means I can’t fit you into regular size boots, it’s a testament to how far you take me. I love how much the thighs wobble when slapped, how there are weird dimples and cellulite that give you so much character. I love how pasty and white you are, as white as a ghost, making even my arms look tanned.

Legs: You are beautiful.

You do so much for me Legs. When you were broken Lefty, you worked so hard to heal so I could go back to work and carry on living. You get me from point A to point B and you complain very little.

I am making a promise to you Legs. This summer I promise to take you out more and not to be ashamed. I’m not going to constantly cover you with tights and leggins. I’m going to let you be as free as I know you love to be.

My journey of self love has been a hard one but it is important that I love all of myself, not just the parts that I think society will accept.

Now I think it’s time for Today’s Fat Outfit.

Love letter to legs

Today I’m wearing my Primark Mini Skirt (which, when not pushed up against the bed poofs out in quite a cute way) My Galaxy Shirt, which was a Primark Black Vest which I defaced with bleach and my Matalan Denim Jacket.

This time last summer I probably wouldn’t have worn a dress or skirt that rested above my knees without leggins or tights. I did once last year which I thought was pretty brave. This year I aim to do it as often as possible. Probably not at work though….

Brave Leopard

My fat ass is getting a lot of love these days, something that’s been getting less love are my fat arms. 

There aren’t a lot of fat arms out and about these days.  Even with the plus sized revolution people are still ashamed of their chicken wings.

I can’t say I fully understand chicken wing shame because I have personally never really felt it. Even before being on my discovery of self love I didn’t hate my chicken wings. I love the wear sleeveless tops because they are the most effective way to regulate body temperature over summer months in England. Many of you will know that the UK loves playing us hot and cold like a basic bitch…most of the time. There isn’t any other part of my body that I can quickly uncover and cover up like my chicken wings. Cardigans and jackets are much easier to slip off and on than say, a pair of leggins, or a change from regular top to crop top (this would probably be impossible in public for anyone). So I have always let my arms be bare.

There was only one thing for it. Scissors.

I only really realised that it is pretty brave recently. Last summer I went through a phase of cutting the sleeves off most of my dresses. I did this for 2 reasons, the first is the already mentioned – easier to cool down in the summer reason. The second is a lot to do with my own body insecurities. I think I have masculine shoulders. I don’t see it in shirts or cardigans or (praise be) jackets. The only time I feel my shoulders look masculine are in long sleeved dresses. Not all of them but certain dresses, mostly jersey, I  would put on and want to take right off again. I would rather be thought of as fat than masculine and I know that’s my own hang up. There was only one thing for it. Scissors.

So I snipped and re-hemmed and felt fabulous. When I spoke to women about this their first question was always “Aren’t you worried about chicken wings?” I didn’t realise until then how deep our society’s hatred is for fat arms.

In the last year I’ve noticed more and more plus sized beauties baring the dreaded upper arm, but compared to the amount of plus sized women I’ve seen in crop tops is just crazy. Don’t get me wrong I love a crop top and have braved wearing one! That’s right, ONE! One time! But I can’t help but feel like my upper arms are not as private to me as my tummy so I don’t really see why I should have a problem with getting them out.

This brings me to Today’s Fat Outfit:

Brave Leopard

I’m wearing one of sleeves dresses that I did cut the sleeves off for. My Leopard Print dress originally from South but given by my mum because she didn’t think it suited her…she should have cut off the sleeves! I’m wearing it with my currently over worn and favourite thing, my Denim Jacket from Matalan (which I bought on e-bay). I’m also wearing my Primark Black Leggins because it’s been miserable today and I had cold legs.

Hope you enjoy my Brave Bare Armed Leopard look. I’m sure it’s not the last time you will see me sleeveless but I certainly hope it encourages some of you to embrace your fat arms as though they were your own…

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #todaysfatoutfit if you are baring your arms this summer! I can’t wait to see you fabulous things in sleeveless tops.