Fat Activism Request

Just a quick call to all the fat activist oriented individuals posting here. With the new release of "The Obesity Myth" by Paul Campos, now would be a good time to go to Amazon and post glowing reviews of some classics of Fat Acceptance literature. If you've read any of the books below, I strongly urge you to post a review. If you haven't, I strongly urge you to visit the site anyway and mark the positive reviews as helpful and the negative ones as unhelpful. Its a little thing, but considering how dependable it is for anti-fat acceptance forces to try to use the User Comments section to launch attacks on fat people, its important for us to overwhelm their negativity. And if you don't have any of the books below, feel free to buy through this link, as I'll get a cut from Amazon.

The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos
Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann
Big Fat Lies by Dr. Glenn Gaesser

What I hate about me

At a discussion forum I sometimes visit, a topic had come up over women's body issues specifically dealing double chins. Specifically solicited were FA opinions. Seems the majority FA opinion is that they appreciate them but usually don't focus on them. Some, however, expressed a specific aversion to them and this just confuses me. Why on Earth would an FA have a problem with fat? Its one thing to have a physical ideal (and, yes, I will eventually discuss that after teasing it the other day; just not today) based on preferences, but one based on aversions bugs me. One reason I have no problem with the term FA is because I do find it very accurate on a basic level. I'm a fat admirer. Obviously, I'm looking for more in a relationship, but I don't like FA's who try to justify themselves by acting like thin women are fundamentally bad people. I think the less read into the preference, the better. Fundamentally, I'm attracted to fat. I don't understand how someone could have an aversion to fat as a fat admirer.

Anyway, the discussion also veered a bit into whether you could be self-accepting and have a problem with a double chin. The answer, as it so often is, is it depends. Its one thing to struggle with being fat accepting in your own life. Acceptance is always a journey. That's something I really hate when I say I'm looking for a woman who believes in fat acceptance. Some people always immediately respond by cutting me down with "you can't expect someone to be perfect all the time". I always think, "when the hell did I say anything about perfect?" I know acceptance is a struggle. Always is. What is key is not losing sight of the prize. Its not always easy. You'll have moments of self-doubt and self-hatred. Its how you respond to those moments that is important. Its okay to have doubts, but what's not okay is to be complacent in the face of those doubts. Acceptance is about challenging the voice inside that tells you to hate yourself. Not accepting the voice.

One thing that really bothers me is that people respond as if I don't have any first hand experience. I mean, I'm going through this myself. The double chin is specifically a point of real struggle for me. I still cringe whenever I see my photo with a double chin. I tell myself that its just in pictures that it comes out, that its all shadows. I hate it, but I do it. But I hate it, and that's what is important. What I really need to do is desensitize myself to seeing myself with a double chin. If I get a digital camera, I'll just take a ton of photos of myself to get used to it. That tactic helped me a lot when I first gained weight. I've always had a bit of vain streak to me, though I've always had self-esteem issues. Weird, I know. But, I looked at myself enough to start accepting what I was. Seeing something all the time can really help. I have a very large birthmark on my left-arm for instance. Goes from my palm to past my elbow. I see every time I look down. I'm used to it. I might be more self-conscious if it was somewhere I didn't deal with all the time.

But, I'm probably being too generous. The neck up poses a lot more challenges for self-acceptance. Our face is, well, our face to the world. Its definetly been my biggest obsticle to self-acceptance for plenty of reasons. I don't have a very good complexion, and though I'm largely over that, its more a matter of resignation than acceptance. I also have a couple scars on my forehead from a cat falling on my face (long story) that still bug me. I hate it, but they still bother me after 15 years or so. But I do hate that it bothers me, so that's something.


Gay men don't find women attractive! GASP!

Sex columnist Dan Savage opens up his letters column with a charming little bit of hate speach from some guy who is just outraged at women wearing low-rise jeans who aren't size 2's. He's terribly disturbed at having to see "girl love handles". Does Savage stand up to this spiteful response? Nope. He applauds it lovingly. Fat women just aren't attractive to Dan Savage, and shame on them for not pleasing him.

Except, Dan Savage is gay. So, why does he care so much about what women need to do to be sexy? Why is he such an authority on what makes a woman sexy? I don't get this, but this isn't the only place I've seen the phenomenon. A lot of gay men seem to consider themselves to be absolute authorities on what is physically attractive for women. Not all, certainly, but I seem to keep running across this. I keep trying to tell myself these are exceptions, but they just keep coming up. One of my earliest encounters with this attitude was in high school with a then closeted gay man (last one to know) who was violently hateful of fat people, especially fat women. It set a bad tone, and I know I've judged other gay men too harshly because of it. But, although I haven't seen the extreme of that person, its not like I'm judging people who haven't expressed a some hatred of fat women. It hasn't always kept me from being friendly with some gay men who express this. As I've said before, I haven't the luxury of only surrounding myself with fat positive people. Hell, I can't even manage one, and that's including fat people. But it still puzzles me why so many gay men would care so much about women who aren't meeting a standard of sexual attractiveness they don't care about anyway. Have other people seen this, or am seeing more to this than I should?

Anyway, back to Savage. He goes on to get a dig in on fat people. Not the first time for him, either. In his book, "Skipping Towards Gomorrah", he visited a NAAFA convetion to experience gluttony and instead found lust. He also found some anti-fat activist pushing the line that she was the one who was the "real" fat acceptance. You know, the one that amputates their digestive system and condemns people finding fat women attractive. (I admit, NAAFA, especially then, has a lot of problems with objectification of fat women, but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater) So Savage has long come out against fat people. The result? My outrage has faded into resignation. Just another self-righteous fat basher. Why care anymore? The leaders of "fat acceptance" are always expressing their undying love for fat bashing. Its hard to care anymore.

This post is all over the place. Just a lot of frustrations. *sigh*


Kerry's Ribbons

Bush has sent out his minions do to some dirty work and stir up trouble over Kerry lying about throwing away his medals in a major protest after he returned from Vietnam. You seem, Kerry didn't really throw away his medals. He throw away his ribbons. But in 1971, he said medals, so he's a no-good liar who doesn't deserve to be President unlike the saintly G.W. who was obviously doing nothing wrong in 1971. (cough)

One problem, though. Its all a great big lie.

Bush's people are counting on ordinary people's definition of medal. Meaning, those shiny metal things. Kerry didn't throw those away, but he said medal. The thing is, the Navy calls the ribbons he did throw away medals. Kerry was just using the Navy's terminology. Basically, if you've seen a formal Naval uniform, you may have noticed the field of ribbons worn over the chest. Every medal given out comes with a ribbon meant to represent the medal. The Navy regards these ribbons as Medals. Indeed, given that they are the symbolic representation of the medal, it made sense that Kerry would choose to return those as a symbolic expression of opposition to the continuing Vietnam War. When Kerry called them medals, he was 100% accurate. That is what the Navy calls them. But Bush are counting on people not learning the context and just accepting the 100% dishonest spin they are putting on it about Kerry being a liar.

So, they are lying to call Kerry a liar. Not that lying hasn't been a major part of their campaign to date, but this is getting even more absurd.


Low Expectations

Hey, remember when I said this was going to be a pop culture blog and I would eventually start a seperate blog for politics?

Oh, you don't? Well, I once said this was going to be a pop culture blog and I would eventually start a seperate blog for politics. Forget I said it. Or, forget I just reminded you I said it. So, forget I just said this. I keep wanting to write about politics and its silly of me not to because I want to set up a seperate political blog that I still haven't bothered to start. So screw it.

So, anyway, today was the March for Pro-Choice rights which drew somewhere in the area of a million people to the mall in Washington. I'm very happy that there was such a strong turn-out, since there has been such a growing concern of complacency over the issue by some on the left who take pro-choice rights for granted. Ralph Nader was a big part of this as he as often taken to ridiculing pro-choice advocates and mocking the suggestion that these rights may be at risk, ignoring the plain language of those on the rights. Meanwhile, the White House response to the March included a "bi-partisan" declaration that all people, regardless of their stance on abortion, could come together to support Bush's attacks on Pro-Choice rights. Seriously, they did this. More of W's "bi-partisan" means everyone agrees with me. But its not getting much play on the blogosphere for a big reason. Because Karen Hughes, Bush campaign big-wig and former Administration official, said this.

Yet again, its all about 9/11. Yet again, the Bush agenda is cleanly transformed into being all about terrorism. The Bush folks aren't like the terrorists, and that's why they aren't like us pro-choice advocates. Because, you know, so many fundamentalist muslims are really into a woman's right to choose. But this is the same administration that compared teachers to terrorists, so no one is really surprised any more. The soft bigotry of low expectations is pretty big with the Bushies, don't you know?


Run for Your Life

I know I haven't been posting much lately. Sorry. Work has been busy with the end of our concert season. Also I'm just very worn out with looking for a new apartment and trying to find a part-time job. Asking people for things is, lets just say, not a skill of mine. I find it extraordinarily stressful so I'm just generally not in a good mood. It will all work itself out soon, but I'll be happier when its settled. Knowing it will be settled won't do much for me. The part-time job thing really is weighing on me. I know I need to, and I don't mind working retail though something nicer would be, well, nice. The easiest jobs to find, though, I'm not going to consider. Telemarketing and food service are non-starters for me, though I might get desperate and apply at Starbucks just because they seem to always be hiring and it could be much worse. I don't hate food service, but I know how draining it is. Telemarketing, I hate. Like I said above, I hate asking people for things. I did telemarketing for a week as a temp 4 years ago. Made me sick every night and I did an awful job.

Anyway, there is something I've been meaning to post since Monday. You see, Monday was what we here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts call Patriot's Day. Do other states have state holidays? Massachusetts has two of them. One isn't a big deal because no one really acknowledges it except the state (St. Patrick's Day is actually a legal holiday in MA; and we wonder where we got our reputation), but not Patriot's Day. Patriot's Day actually forces a change in Tax Filing many years since it falls near tax day. The City of Boston basically shuts down (I had to work, but it wasn't very productive since most everyone else was closed) and parties in honor of the Boston Marathon.

As you might guess, Patriot's Day's true origin lies in the American Revolution. It honors the first skirmishes between Colonials and British soldiers at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Its now a Monday holiday but this year it actually fell on the real anniversery. Not that anyone really cares about this anymore. (Well, except the Revolutionary War re-enactors) Now, its just Marathon Monday. The biggest sports event in Boston, and that's saying a lot considering the devotion Boston holds for the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Super Bowl Champion Patriots. Now, every year, some sports freaks start whining about how they don't get the Marathon. But the reasons they don't get it is the same reason I love it and why it draws huge crowds stretched out across 26 miles every year.

I've been lucky to see the Marathon live for each of the last 8 years. At least some part of it. I saw the Elites run through 4 of the 8 years, too, though a couple I only got out after work 3 hours after the leaders ran through and once I only watched it from my bedroom window. Nevertheless, its something I love. Part of it is the tradition. This was the 108th race. And because it is held on Patriot's Day, crowd participation has long been encouraged among all people. I don't get the feeling other cities have marathons anywhere near as iconic. The Marathon isn't a disruption. It isn't something to ignore (not that I think anyone could). Its something that brings everyone out. But more than that, its a sporting event where no one is rooting against anyone. Boston sports fans are infamously bitter and mean-spirited, which makes the Marathon all the better. This confuses some of those bitter fans, who don't know why they should care if they aren't rooting for someone who might win and if they don't understand why they should care about the Kenyans who've dominated the race in recent years.

Well, for starters, the fact that the Kenyans have so emphatically embraced the Boston Marathon. They LOVE us in Kenya. Really, the Boston Marathon is not a perfect Marathon, but the Kenyan runners have completely made it their own. I'm not entirely sure why, but there is no reason for Bostonians not to love the Kenyans right back and root for them. But aside from that, the race is all about cheering everyone. That's why going there 3 hours after the winner passed by isn't an excercise in futility. Its all part of the fun. You cheer on these people who've already run 20+ miles. On Monday, I saw the race from Kenmore Square which is about a mile away from the finish line. At this point, the runners are almost home. Easy for us to know, not so easy when you've run 25 miles already. That's where the crowd comes in. Even hours after the important stuff, the streets are lined with people cheering on everyone who passes by. These aren't athletes seen from the Upper Decks in Fenway Park. They aren't ball-players making millions (not that I have a problem with sports salaries). They are just regular folks here to compete and they are just a foot away. You just cheer. You encourage them. By name when possible, or at least by t-shirt. Everyone is in good spirits, everyone is there to have a good time. Its just a great thing to see and the kind of thing you really need to see for yourself. One of the reasons I love living in the city.

Well, except that I don't really live in the city anymore, but that's neither her nor there.


He's Rick James, BITCH!

I've really been loving Chappelle's Show this season. I wrote a very long post about that, but it sucked. Suffice to say, I'm really loving Chappelle's Show.

Oh, and I'm also enjoying those Brawny commercials. You know, the one with the "softer" Brawny and the old-school Brawny. (Softer Brawny: "Look inside yourself. What do you see?" Old Brawny: "A cardboard tube.")

This post sucks. *sigh*


flirting with disaster

Yeah, I'm whining about flirting again. (see here) I had a near-sex dream last night. Its funny, I've never actually had a sex dream, but every now and again I'll have a sexual dream. I'm having trouble figuring out who it was, though. I recall a blonde BBW who was my roommate. I actually used to have a blonde mid-size BBW roommate, but I don't think its her. The dream girl was definetly larger and noticably not a psycho. Its tough to remember the details, as they are all fading back into nothing. I was getting a lot of REM sleep last night, though, as it was not the only dream I had some recollection of when I woke up. I do know it wasn't explicitly sexual, though, but more lightly flirtatious and involving limited clothing. I just remember it being nice. Not wild or anything. But nice. I had me wanting to be in a relationship again. I wasn't looking at it from the negative perspective, either. (i.e., why am not in a relationship) Just a simple little reminder of desire.

And so was my frame of mind while riding on the train (didn't hurt that it was sunny and was going to be beautiful this weekend, though it also didn't help that I've failed in my roommate search and need to find a second job) when I look up and see this cute girl I've been noticing. Ah, the flirting opportunity. And what do I do now that I'm in a good mood and not being all negative like I was with the Train station girl?


Yeah, I suck, I know. But, it didn't feel right. I mean, I've been checking this girl out for months now (most of which while I was seeing someone and not on the market). Admitedly, she may not have noticed me at any of these times, but still it would seem oddly timed. Something about it just feels a little creepy and I'm very hypersensitive about doing things that could be construed as even a little creepy. I'm especially on guard because I've found myself imagining what her job must be. She never looks like she's dressed for work, but she's always there on the same route at the same time in the morning. I figure she works with children. Its not like she's dressed like a slob, but the clothes look like they are intended for comfort. She needs to look nice enough for the kids, but still needs to be comfy. Which all feels like way too much thought for some random girl on the train.

But she is cute. If I were to imagine my physical ideal, she'd be close. I technically prefer pale-ish blondes, but have never done so in practice. Random Girl is all raven-haired and olive skinned, but its not like this was ever a deal breaker. I grew up in an Italian community so there is no aversion to appreciating a beautiful Italian SSBBW. Or maybe she's a Latina. Well, it was really an Italian/latino mixed community. But that's the closest she goes from my physical ideal. I'm debating expounding on my physical ideal, but it feels too creepy-ish right now, so I'll leave it at that. And in all the idle admiration, I've not gotten to the "She hates being fat, she'll hate you for thinking she's beautiful" thing, which is good. But still, I say nothing.

I think its the train. Its an awful place to try to flirt. I mean, if I get shot down, I'm still riding the same damn train everyday. It'd just be awkward. But where do people flirt? Honestly, I'm wondering. Does this work in these kinds of everyday situations or does flirting only take place in flirting-encouraged scenarios? Damn TV and commercials for creating an unreasonable expectation of flirtation.



Sorry, just all this gray is really wearing me down. Man, they weren't kidding about April Showers this year. I know, this is some wonderful drought protection and all and that's good, but I really can't wait for it to be over and for the warm weather to return.

My subway train crosses a river on its way into Boston. Aparently the Mystic River, and thats the first time I've bothered to find that out. When the skies are clear, the water is this amazingly beautiful deep blue. Its very out of place for the surroundings. Heck, one side of the train shows a little industrial area on the river's edge, but still it is something to see. Lately, its just been this bland colorlessly dreck. That's the thing about bodies of water. On a beautiful day, they make it all the more beautiful. On an awful day, they make it all the more awful. They play to the surroundings, never making anything nice or making anything bad, just aiming for whatever's already there.

Meanwhile, I'm very close to giving up on finding a roommate. I have to find one by Saturday and don't have much in the way of strong leads. Oh, well. It sucks that I have to pay for my place on my own in May, but I'll get by. I'm going to try to do some little free-lance graphic design and/or get a retail-ish job to make up the difference. Wish me luck, and feel free to offer me work. hehe


You may know this already

I know my readers have already heard about this elsewhere, but in case anyone new steps in today, Sandy Szwarc has the latest in her series of articles dismantling the fat myth up. A great job, as always, exposing the hideously bad science at play in the crusade against fat people. Really, go read it. But here is the short version of the "science" behind the anti-fat movement.

Fat people who die, die because they are fat. That makes science easy.

And that's not even an oversimplification. Read it, and read her other articles...

The Truth About Obesity
The Skinny on Fat
The Diet Problem
Dying to be Thin
The War on Fat's Casualties
To Your Health
Where's the Epidemic?
To Do List
A Simple Plan
A Matter of Health
Mikey Doesn't Like It
Killing Turkeys Causes Winter
Getting Excersised about Excersise
Shape Up America
The Emperor's New Crisis



Again, I further push down my big long post. I guess its more personal than my previous big fat post so I'm both more interested in other's thoughts and expecting fewer comments. After all, its personal, not a general discussion. But, I need to get over it and start posting again. And since this was supposed to be a Pop Cult blog, I might as well post on the topic. The variet of pop cult? Movies!

Being girlfriendless, I haven't been really going to the movies lately but there is a backlog of films I want to see rapidly building and I really want to see several films right now. I've already written off getting to see Lord of the Rings (not happy about that, but oh well), so I want to see what I can now. My ex-girlfriend was kind enough to offer to pick up some discounted tickets from her employers HR office, so I wanted to figure out what I wanted to see. I was surprised to find 6 movies out recently or this month, but more surprised that there were only 4 for the rest of the summer.

I'm hardly an anti-Hollywood guy, but I'm just unimpressed with the remainder of the summer blockbusters. April isn't blockbuster time, so these flicks don't even count. Its not even like there were films that were close. I shouldn't be surprised, though. It was like this last year, too. Am I more of movie snob than I let on, or do the movies just suck? An open question. Anyway, here is what I'm looking forward, too.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (OUT NOW):I love, love, love, love Charlie Kaufmann, the screenwriter of this. I've seen all of his movies. (Being John Malkovich, Human Nature, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adaptation) in the theaters and would like to keep that streak going. I actually own 2 of the 4 on DVD and want the other two. Though I've been sorta boycotting Winslett since she lost the weight and got viciously fat insulting, but I'll probably suck it up out of my Kaufmann admiration.

Jersey Girl (OUT NOW): Ah, Kevin Smith. I'm a HUGE Kevin Smith fan and have been looking forward to this for a while now. Its gotten some teppid reviews, but I know I like Smith so I'll like the film. Plus, it just looks good. Affleck does his best work with Smith, its got a great extended cast, some cool cameos from the sound of it, and I'm quiet excited about seeing it.

The Ladykillers (OUT NOW): Never saw the original, but my Coen Brothers fandom is second only to my Kevin Smith fandom. I trust their work to know it will entertain and amuse me. And Tom Hanks looks like he's having a lot of fun, too. Another easy call for me.

Hellboy (OUT NOW): I've got a thing for superheros, as I suspect I've touched on. Not comic books, mind you, but I love the idea of the characters and enjoy superhero films and tv shows. Don't know much about the character, but the whole package intrigues me. The director is really dedicated to the material and passed over a couple VERY high profile jobs to take this one (like Harry Potter), so you have to respect that. Equally respectable was the casting on Ron Pearleman as the lead. Its beautfiully unconventional, but perfect casting all the same. At the end of the day, does a famous face mean anything under so much make-up? Why not go with a good actor who's look will lend to the character. Very positive reviews, too.

The Punisher (April 16): Speaking of Superheros, I'm especially fond of Marvel's core characters and Punisher is one of them. They made a horrible film out of it way back when, but this looks promissing though tough to pin down. The source material is tailor made for an action film, but the promos look like its got a lot of poetry to it, as well. (Visual and story poetry, mind you. I don't think there will be any E. E. Cummings) (And yes, E. E.'s name should be capitalized so don't try to correce me. heh) It could be a very interesting character if done right.

Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (April 16): My ex-girlfriend HATED the first part with a major passion. She found it horribly disconcerting, which I can respect. Tarrentino can be a horrifically violent director, but I can't deny the beauty of his work. Besides, I want to see how it ends.

Shrek 2 (May 21): I liked the first one. Simple as that.

The Day After Tomorrow (May 28): From the folks who brought us Independance Day, its the return of the great big city destruction genre. Instead of comets or aliens or Godzilla, this time its weather. Yep. A big ass storm is set to destroy the world. The next Ice Age to be specific. Not sure how they intend to resolve it, either since its, well, weather. But it has Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead and I've long enjoyed mass destruction films. Obviously, such films have been off-limits for a couple years after we, you know, actually saw mass destruction on September 11. It was tough to enjoy the excitement and terror of the destruction of a city when we actually saw it for real. When we actually saw the debris cloud engulf a city. Actually saw an airplane plow into a landmark. But we're getting back to normal, it seems, so we can stomach watching a massive tornado tear apart and utterly destroy Los Angeles. Even New York is back in play, as it gets engulfed by tidal waves plowing through Wall Street, depositing tankers on the streets of NYC. Eventually, Manhatten is incased in ice and snow and we see the disturbing images of a new ice age overtaking the city, sealing the Statue of Liberty. We see the Public Library destroyed and frozen. All compelling images and I find it interesting. ANYWAY...

Spiderman 2 (June 30): Liked the first, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Anchorman (July 9): Loved Will Ferrell in Elf, so I'm more than happy to give him a shot in this film.

There are some others I'd consider. The Village, I, Robot, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Bourne Supremacy, Garfield, The Terminal, Troy etc. but nothing I'm too big into. Well, that's enough for one day. Sorry for boring you.


Let us Let You Do It Yourself

I was reminded of what I still consider the most insane service ever advertised. I'm sure it has a point I'm missing, but I guess that's my point.

New from H&R Block! Do your taxes yourself!

Um, okay. Close as I can tell, for $35, they'll do the math. Or rather, some computer program will do the math. Now, you can by a well-known computer program to do the math for $20, so I still don't get the service. I even less get the pitch.

Its the commercial all about how some people have the "Do-it-Yourself" gene and now H&R Block has something for them. Um, okay. But, I've been doing my own taxes for years. I'm young enough and make little enough that my return is entirely uncomplicated. But, if I got complicated and I wanted to do it myself, would I figure that out, ya know, by myself? Doesn't paying someone blatantly defeat the purpose of Do-it-Yourself? Especially when they don't seem to be offering much in the first place. I don't know, I just don't get it. I mean, "Let us let you do-it-yourself!" just strikes me as a weird pitch.

But I'm all proud of myself, anyway, since I did my taxes a month ago. Already have my returns, too. Yay me!


Nothing important.

So, this has really gotten to be more of a personal blog than a pop-cult blog. Oh, well. I probably could have seen it coming. Though I've touched on politics with Fat Acceptance, I've still mostly left that subject off limits as I do want to start a political blog, still. And this will be for all other wastes of time.

I really need to do it soon, though, because I keep wanting to write something political. I admire the hell out of the great Poliblogs out there. I know I can't do what the best of them do, but I'd like to do what I can. Especially while I'm short of funds and unable to support the causes I really want to support.

Anyway, nothing important. Just felt like posting and I figured I might as well be done with it. I'm always hesitant to post after a long one like my last post, but had to do it sooner or later.


April's Fool

Just warning you ahead of time, I expect this to be a rambling post without any clear direction as I'm basically talking about two things at once. Its also going to be very very very long. Sorry. Oh, and its not an April Fools day prank, either, I just thought it was a catchy (and cliche) post title. Though its not passed onto April 2, anyway, so it just makes no sense.

I was leaving my train station yesturday and happened to notice a very cute SSBBW waiting out front at the car stand. I was walking right by her and I found myself in that quiet awe stage that comes just before full-fledged staring. But really, I was hunting for eye contact.

Flirting has never been a strong point for me in general. I can do it well enough in a social situation, but cold flirting escapes me. I think it has something to do with my natural inclination to assume other people aren't interested in having anything to do with me (but that's really another issue). I can really only think of one time I really did the cold-flirting thing right. It was at a class picnic my senior year of high school. We went to this picnic grounds/camp place that was quite popular for this sort of thing. They let a few different high schools come on the same day and there were all manner of outdoor activities for people to do to their heart's content. Volleyball, swimming, basketball, tennis, bocce, horseshoes, even a playground and a lake with those foot paddle boats. So, I notice this cute girl from another high school and I'm quickly smitten. More significantly, the friend I'm with notices her and immediately realizes I'm checking her out and proceeded to goad me into chatting her up. That was the cool thing about high school for me. Everyone knew I was an FA and no one gave me grief about it. Even people who really didn't get fat acceptance were very genuinely supportive of me. I had countless friends telling me about the cute fat girl at their college once we all settled into our respective universities. The friend here was the least likely to be supportive, too. Very much a Barbie type, although also very sincere and nice though most of my friends never saw that in her. It was so great to have her being so normal about me checking out a fat girl. So, I dismissed my instincts with surprising ease and hung out with the girl for most of the rest of the day. Nothing went on from there, but still. I felt as if a victory had been achieved. Regretably, my college was stunningly lacking in BBWs and I also quickly ended up in long-term relationships for most of the last 7 years, so keeping up on my flirting skills was not very tennable.

And yet, I don't think that was the problem as I stood their hoping this cute girl at the train station would make eye contact with me. I knew what I hoped to do. I was just going for a quick smile and leave it at that. Nothing major. Not really the place. I was clearly on my way somewhere and she was clearly waiting for someone. Not a situation that inspires much, but you never know when I might see her again, so it'd just be laying the groundworks. But, she made eye contact with me, and I quickly flashed a little smile, but just as quickly paniced and looked away. Not because I was afraid of talking to her. Wasn't the plan to begin with, after all. I was afraid she wouldn't want me thinking she was cute.

I really really really hate FA whining, so please forgivie me if I get too self-pitying. I'm not at all trying to say this in relation to what being a fat woman is, since I know the issues are much worse. Just so you know. This isn't meant to be a compartive discussion. Just about me. hehe

My biggest problem is that in the last 3 years, I've seen almost exclusively discouragement about being an FA. Reasons to make me feel that it is utterly hopeless, that no woman really wants to be with an FA. I worried that she would take my little attempt at flirting with her as an insult. I know, I know. "Get over it." But its not that simple. Fat negativity has gotten so much worse in the last few years. Just as it seemed we were turning a corner, it all came crashing down. I know a lot of my feeling this way has to do with my ex-ex-girlfriend lying to me about this. For those who don't know the story, I had dated a BBW who believed in fat acceptance. It was great. It made me happier than I could have imagined being and I told her that. Not as a warning, but to show my appreciation and gratefullness.

She took it as a warning, though. Because eventually, she changed her mind. Not sure why or how. I suspect she lost some wait due to feeling sick for a couple months, and it just got addictive. Pretty soon, she was taking pills, eating less and less, developing an excercise disorder. She lost a considerable ammount of weight in just a year. And she didn't tell me what she was doing. And because I had expressed my opposition to intentional weight loss to her very clearly and was under the impression she agreed, I just figured this was all normal. Hell, I didn't really notice until she lost 100lbs. I never suspected anything, either. I trusted her. After all, it wasn't about losing weight to me. It was about the attitudes and beliefs around weight. And even though her weight-loss measures took over more and more of her life, leaving less and less time for me making me feel lonely and sad, I didn't think she was trying to lose weight. I figured it just happened. But, eventually, I stumbled upon the truth. I went to a site she liked for recipes just to see if I could get any ideas on something we could eat together. I looked through the forums and I found a post from her detailing the whole story. I was just in shock. Especially when I realized that what had been pushing us apart entirely on its own was also something she knew I had strong feelings about. I know I can't make anyone else's decisions for them, and I wouldn't want to. But I should get to make my own. Fat acceptance has always been intensely important to me. I know I need to be with someone who not only supports this belief in me, but supports it themselves. I had told her that, and she disregarded my feelings. And that really hurt a lot. Everyone always makes out dieting as some kind of grand civil rights issues and we evil Fat Acceptance people want to deny people the right to diet. Its really just their way of letting us know they want to deny us the right to disagree, because it is utterly absurd to say we have any means to make anyone do anything. I can't control what she does with her body, but I should get to control who I share my life with. I have to accept dieting and fat negativity in friends. I don't want to in a partner. Its important to me, and I need to share it. She was welcome to make her choice, but so was I. She denied me the chance to make that choice and she also denied me the chance, as someone who cared about her, to try to convince her not to do it. So, I ended it not long after that. I was hoping she'd finally come clean, but she didn't, so I decided not to bring it up.

The aftermath is that I've become a lot more cynical about finding someone. When I met my last girlfriend, I really held back a lot of myself, because I was afraid she'd reject it or worse. Which is a major reason I think our relationship never went anywhere. It was nice, but never more. How could I fall in love with someone who I was being careful not to share an important part of myself with? But, the bigger issue was that I held back not because I was afraid of how she'd react, but because I knew it. I read enough plain signals and statements to know where she was on these issues. I tried to act like it didn't matter to me, but I always knew better. If anything, I'm glad because it really showed me that finding someone who agrees with me about fat acceptance is important to me and its not something I can run away from.

But is it something I can find? There is so much hostility towards fat acceptance, it can be demoralizing. I know BBWs often point out that they are easy to find, but FA's don't stand out in a crowd. Sure, this is true, but its not like every fat woman you see wants to be someone who thinks they are beautiful and will be supportive of them learning to love their body as it is. Its not what many want to hear. And finding those who do want that is begining to feel like a very overwhelming challenge.

I put up an ad at a non-BBW related site that is local to the Boston area. (Go ahead, guess) I started mentioning all of this in very positive terms, like someone accepting of their size or who doesn't apologize for their size. This yielded me numerous responses from people who would describe themselves as a "BBW but working on it." *shudder* Why would you respond to an ad of someone who is looking for a BBW when you are so negative about it, you'd define it as something you're "working on". Had one person who was completely incredelous that I didn't fall over myself to congratulate her for losing 150lbs. Look, as I was saying, I can't make anyone accept themselves, but that also means no one can make me support their non-acceptance. I cannot support something I know doesn't work, and that's my feeling about dieting. Anyway, I got progressively more and more explicit about it, and never yielded a response from someone who seemed to get it. The closest was someone who started their response by lecturing me how I was foolish to expect someone to be perfectly accepting. Did I say I expected someone to be perfectly accepting? Nope. Would I expect it? Can't expect something I can't be myself. But they jumped to that conclusion just on seeing me mention that I wanted to be with someone who believed in fat acceptance. I took this as a bad sign and steered clear.

So, fat acceptance groups as a means of finding a mate? Well, I'm sure Kell will rightfully take me to task if I suggested using political activism as a dating service. And some may remember my whole disillusionment with fat acceptance thing. (more on that later), so that's also an issue. But even before either of those concerns, the fact remains that Boston isn't the hot bed of political activism San Francisco is. Or New York, or Seattle I guess, or, um, well its not like there are many hopping communities of fat accepting folks. Boston's claim to fame is the social scene, which is one of the more active you'll find. Predictably enough, it was at BBW dances that I met both of my previous girlfriends. And yet, I feel conflicted about going back to them. (I also feel noticably automative deficient since they events are all suburban and I am all public transportation dependant) When I had been to them recently, I felt a profoundly anti-fat sentiment running through the room. Rather than the safe haven feel I used to see, it now feels at the least abivilant towards fat accepting attitudes, and at worst openly hostile. I've exaggerated it as a meeting between feeders (which I'm not) and dieters (which I'm also not) and this just leaves me feeling like the odd man out. At the least, it doesn't solve the problem of finding someone who is on the same page as me with fat acceptance. Sure, part of me is desperate to go back, but at the same time, another part of me is actively unmotivated.

Why so important? Couldn't I just give up and dealing with a woman who resigned herself to being fat. At least until she was next convinced she really should lose weight. After all, diets have no great track record of success. If I wanted to play the odds, I'd be pretty comfortable that in the end, no weight loss would occure. Actually, the odds favor weight gain pretty dramatically, so weight loss isn't long-term concern statistically speaking. But as I've been saying, its not the weight. Its the attitude. I've gotten so much inspiration from the fat acceptance movement and some of its good leaders, like Jennifer Portnick or Marilyn Wann. It is something I deeply value in my life, but its not something I can do on my own. I tried that, and many in the movement only inspired me to give up on it as I saw them time and time again coddle and satisfy even the worst bigots. Short of moving to San Fran, I need to find support in my life somehow for this. It is a very important part of who I am, and I need to be with someone who wants that. Who wants to be with someone like that. They don't need to have the activist trends I do, but they need to agree with me. Not just humor me. I need that kind of support, because I don't have a community of support. I cannot afford to give up that personal support, even if I was willing to sacrafice it.

So what does this mean? I don't know. I've just spent 12 hours (no, not straight) getting to this point, and I don't have the energy to look at the next step. Just ranting without purpose for now. Thanks for putting up with it.