Why Is the Thick Sistah on the End? (Asked My White Husband)

Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday and I was feeling great in my fat body and channeling my inner goddess into everything I did. Friday I had a fabulous massage, mani/pedi and had drinks with one of my besties, Melinda Alexander of Mumumansion).  Saturday  was an amazing party at my house, and yesterday was spent sailing on my boss’ huge boat in Santa Barbara with my hubby and co-workers.  It was a wonderful way to start they year ahead.  I was surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. I even wore RED (which I said was my new signature color), so that’s exciting too–actually doing what I say I’m going to do.  LOL.

Me in my sexy butterfly dress!


But yesterday, while filling up on gas before the drive to Santa Barbara, I saw the billboard for the new film Baggage Claim, which opens September 27th. 

Jill Scott is on the far right.

I looked at it and thought, “I wonder why Jill Scott is on the end?”  As soon as the thought entered my mind, my husband popped his head in the window and said, “Oh, they put the thick sistah on the end.”  My mouth dropped open as we fist bumped it out.  First of all, my husband is white. From South Dakota. And is not known to ever use words like “sistah” in a sentence.  But more interestingly, he noticed what I also noticed, that Jill Scott–the thick sistah in question–was indeed on the edge of the billboard, as almost an afterthought. I was thoroughly disappointed in the placement of her photo, but pleasantly surprised that my husband even noticed it. 

What’s interesting, is that of the entire cast, Ms. Scott is, in my opinion, the most talented one.  But there’s one problem–she’s fat.  And in Hollywood if you’re fat, you cannot be the star.  In fact you are either the butt of stupid jokes, or you are the “funny friend,” or you are fat and need a makeover. Those are the choices.  I think few fat actresses have ever managed to be the star despite their size.  The obvious example is Queen Latifah (whose talk show premieres next Monday–woohoo!), who has starred in many movies and often gets the hot guy, without having to lose weight or justify her size.  She has starred opposite hot actors like Common and Dijmon Honsou, with ease, confidence and grace.  She is definitely one of my sheroes!

Queen Latifah & Common

That got me thinking about size acceptance and race.  In my experience, I have found that being plus size, fat, heavy, thick, etc., is much more acceptable in the black community (except in LA).  I remember black girls with big booty’s and thick thighs wearing daisy dukes when I was in high school in DC in the 90’s. They always got lots of attention from the black guys, and songs like Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot, were homages to their fluffy proportions.  And it wasn’t an intentional grassroots size acceptance movement, it’s just the way it was. Why is that?  And what can we learn from it?  And more importantly, why in the hell is Jill Scott on the edge of that fucking billboard???


Jennifer Hudson
Mo’Nique


I think that Hollywood is using the tactic of “better health” to convince black female entertainers into being thin at all costs. I think they have largely been excluded from body scrutiny in comparison to white women, but now the jig is up, and body shaming has spread like wildfire.  Hollywood has convinced black women like Jennifer Hudson and Mo’nique, who were once confident in their ample figures, to publicly share their weight loss stories with the world as though it somehow justified their existence. I sometimes feel like, “where my fat girls at?” And I want to be clear that choosing to lose weight should be a personal decision.  I simply believe that now all women (even women of color) in Hollywood pay a high price in order to really make it.  And that sucks.  

And don’t get me started on the weaves….that’s a blog for another day. Oh, Lord!  

Ciao for now,
Pia


Guest Blogger Virgie Tovar on Hot FAT SEX

I am so thrilled that Virgie Tovar has agreed to be a guest blogger.  She is an inspiration to me on so many levels, and helps me to accept and love my body just as it is.  She is brave and funny and beautiful and wears her fat as a political statement, while donning mid riff lacy baby dolls and eating yummy desserts.  I really need her to rub off on me.  Seriously.  Ok, without further delay, here’s her amazing shit!

Jiggle Paradise
By Virgie Tovar
I orgasm the hardest when my belly is out – wobbling, undulating, jiggling, pushing my big breasts closer to my double chin, when my lover is staring at it, mouth open, squeezing the pads of his fingers into the soft flesh of my thighs as he holds me open, kissing my calves, sucking my toes.
The first time this sort of thing happened I was seeing a guy I had been in grad school with. He was a barista, the lead singer of a metal band in Santa Cruz and had a pet tarantula named “Thing” or “Death” or something. I know. We bonded over shared reading material and he seduced me in a San Francisco coffee shop with his critique of colonialism.
He told me that the way I walked into his coffee shop with my short skirts and enormous pitch black sunglasses to get free iced mochas – with the obvious and total conviction that I was hot shit – got him hard. He begged me to let him eat my ass in the stock room amidst all the hermetically sealed stacks of cups and bound bales of earth conscious brown napkins.
I said yes.
I’m a 250 pound woman, 5’5’’ with long black wavy-curly hair, olive skin, almond-shaped eyes. I’m half Mexican and half Iranian. My skin is soft, my lips have a pronounced cupid’s bow, and my manicure and pedicure always match.
I always say that my first introduction to radicalism was through sex. After being brainwashed between the ages of five and 18 into believing that my body was inferior (and, most heart breaking of all, that it was unsexy!) because I’m fat, you can imagine my shock when nearly every man I expressed interest in sexually reciprocated the feeling.
And for a long, long time that was enough.
Even though I met lovers and boyfriends who wanted more and who told me I was more, what I wanted was for my body to be desired and wanted, to be drool-inspiring, to stop traffic, to take people’s breath away. All the things that I was taught mattered. All the things I thought would make me complete.
Even though I’m smart, creative and funny, for a long time – like many fat girls who are top heavy – I thought my tits were what mattered most about me, the best thing I had to offer the world. They are big and round with perfect cleavage and seem to tick off on all the major criteria for pornographic boner worthiness. When I was 19 my boyfriend said that he loved my tits, but that they weren’t the hottest thing about me. After a decade of thoroughly entrenched boob supremacy, I started to believe him.
One morning in May, after a nine-hour romp with this fireman I’d been seeing for three months, who only left my bed because his balls were too sore (to which I feebly offered “put some neosporin on them.”), I stood in the mirror looking at my chubby face, applying some bright blue eye shadow, and I finally really realized something: that the sex scarcity isn’t real! Sex will always be something I can get (because I’m a woman in a patriarchal culture! And, yes, because I’m a hot fat girl) –  what else do I want?
I discovered that I wanted the following:
            1.       I want to sleep with people who inspire me!
2.       I want amazing, amazing orgasms that make me cry and scream and have deep realizations about the planets and freedom and shit!
3.       I want to ask for more when I want more and not settle for anything less!
4.       I want to have political conversations that lead to sex that lead to political conversations that lead to dessert sharing!
5.       I want to say “no” to hot dudes just because there are tons more hot dudes where they came from!
6.       I want dresses that look like fruit and I want someone else to buy them for me!
So, when a friend recently professed his feelings of desire for me (in the form of free styling an hour long poem at 11pm), it was clear he wanted me for my politics. Yes, yes, my body too. He wanted to hug me and squeeze me and be inside me, but my body was a vehicle for a bigger emotional experience – the experience of sleeping with a woman who loved herself and knew she was awesome. And I was ok with that – in fact, I was fucking hot for that. I decided to say “no” – even though I wanted him too – because it made me feel powerful and it reminded me that this jelly isn’t for everyone who wants a taste.
But I did feel like getting some belly petting and so I let him do that.
I’ve learned that my jiggly belly likes to be out. I show her off in crop tops and bikinis, in bright pink body con dresses and cheetah print pencil skirts. My belly is soft and textured with rivuleted stretch marks. It pokes out of dresses and lacy baby dolls.
It represents my politics, my hotness, my entitlement to the kind of pleasure I want, my refusal to bow down, the tender parts of me, a sacred battleground where I fight for ownership of my existence.  
And for me that’s what sex is all about.
Learn more about Virgie and buy her awesome book here: 
  
Virgie Tovar, MA is an author, activist and one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. After teaching “Female Sexuality” at the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2005, she went onto host “The Virgie Show” (CBS Radio) in San Francisco. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book. Virgie has been featured by MTV, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, 7×7 Magazine, XOJane, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. She lives in San Francisco and offers workshops and lectures nationwide. Find her online at www.virgietovar.com

3 Stories That Will Make You Say, "WTF??"

Fat shaming can look like this:

Cue obnoxious 6th grader:   Boy says to girl, “You’re fat!  Na-na-na-booo-booo!”  He runs away. He secretly thinks the fat girl is cute but can never admit because we live in a patriarchal society that teaches us to abhor women who take up space.


Cue fat shaming victim:  Girl sobs. And then sobs more. She is humiliated and spends the next 20 years hating her body and going on diets so she can try to look like Kate Moss.  Epic fail.  (Insert shameless plug here) But then she starts reading my blog and website and slowly starts to love her self more and more.


Do you know the feeling?

Situations like these are not uncommon in school yards, but they’ve expanded to include all sorts of other arenas as well. I was reading up on some cases of fat shaming and came across some truly appalling examples.

Get this.  At the Borgato Casino in Atlantic City, female cocktail servers where subject to a policy prohibiting them from gaining 7% of their initial body weight.  The women allegedly faced mandatory weigh-ins and were told to take laxatives or stop taking prescription medicine in order to stay thin. To make matters worse, the judge ruling on the case said that it was a perfectly legal thing to do. He claims, “The Borgata Babe program has a sufficient level of trapping and adornments to render its participants akin to ‘sex objects’ to the Borgata’s patrons… Nevertheless, for the individual labeled a babe to become a sex object requires that person’s participation.” Um.  Wow.


Don’t get any bigger than this or you’re FIRED!!


I don’t know about you, but I used dread going to water parks.  I always felt like my body was being compared to those of thinner women around me, in skimpy swimsuits.  When I was a teenager I always wore a t-shirt over my swimsuit to cover what I thought were my gargantuan thighs.  Now I actually have gargantuan thighs and like them on most days.  But I digress.  Here’s the story…

Madelyn Sheaffer of Missouri lost 100 pounds and decided that she finally felt comfortable wearing a bikini–yay Madelyn!!  However, when she showed up to the Adventure Oasis Water Park, she was asked by employees to put on shorts because they said her bikini bottom was too small.  Sheaffer recounts, “I just felt like I was singled out… I felt like it was both age and body discrimination…There are 16- or 18-year-old girls wearing just the same amount and no one’s criticizing them or making them feel ashamed or feel uncomfortable in their bodies.”  My thoughts exactly.  The supervisor on duty told Madelyn to put on shorts or leave.  Our girl called the police to file a complaint.  At a girl!  But it doesn’t end there.  The police removed her from the park, saying, “the facility made the call and we rely on their judgment.” WTF is going on here?  I guess having fat and not having a model thin body is against the law now. And I thought Missouri was the “show me” state.  So much for that.  

This is Madelyn.  Not sure I get it, Missouri.

And then of course there’s that asshole psych professor, Geoffrey Miller from the University of New Mexico who just plain hates fat folks.  Did I mention he’s an asshole?  Oh, right.  He tweeted this: “Dear obese PhD applicants: If you don’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth.”   There has been a huge backlash against this prick. Unfortunately there is evidence to back up  the fact that graduate school candidates with a higher body mass index who did face-to-face interviews got into schools at a lower rate than applicants with a lower BMI or overweight candidates who had phone interviews.  I guess we’re back to the fat = dumb and lazy argument again.  


Yes. Yes you are Geoffrey Miller.


And so, what is the point of sharing all this?  Well, besides enlightening the hell out of you, I hope you’ll get angry and fight fat shaming when you see it happening.  Sometimes it’s subtle and at other times it’s right there in your face.  So whether you’re fat or not, stand up and do the right thing, because discrimination is ALWAYS wrong.


ciao for niao,
pia

10 Ways to Look Skinny, And Other Bullsh*t!

Don’t  you just love picking up a fashion magazine and reading those scintillating words on the cover?

Dress 10 Pounds Thinner

7 Steps To Dress Yourself Skinny

How to Look Slimmer Instantly!


My Exact Shape & Size!  Really?  Oh, Yay.

Looks Like We’ve Been Reduced to Fruit.  I’m Hungry.
Holy Shit, Batman!  It’s even endorsed by NBC. 

These headlines suggest–no–demand that as women we should hate our bodies and that they are inherently bad.  Even great magazines like Marie Claire, who I see as more progressive in terms of their content, still lack size diversity on their pages.  

A friend shared this with me recently and I love it:
I randomly received an issue of Redbook in the mail a couple of weeks ago (which I never subscribed to–weirdness), and the cover features a very slender, very blonde, Rebecca Romijn.  The headline reads: 

How She Got a Flat Belly After Twins 

(No Tummy Tuck!)

Wow.  Now that is amazing!  I mean after all, it’s not like she’s rich and has a personal trainer or anything. Is that supposed to be an inspiring article?  I’m totally confused here.  Because the women I know who have had kids mostly have stretch marks and beautiful bellies that reflect the tiny miracles they’ve brought into the world.  They don’t have the time or the energy to get their pre-baby figures back, which by the way, society practically demands of women.  

Lovely and Amazing
I’m fed up with mainstream fashion and women’s magazines.  They have the power to change the world and the way that women are perceived, but rather they choose to manipulate and make money off the insecurities of their readers.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s just bad behavior.  I’d much rather read and support these magazines:



       




If you want things to change, then stop buying and reading mainstream magazines.  Let them feel the weight (pun intended) of their oppressive tactics blow up in their faces.  Stand up and say NO!  We have choices. Make good ones, and watch the world change.  Keep doing the same thing (buying magazines that make you feel inferior) and you’ll get the same result–frustration, anger, intimidation and self-loathing.  The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  
BOYCOTT MAINSTREAM MAGAZINES!!

Or engage in some other act of defiance.  Women are powerful, especially in numbers.  

Feminist Naomi Wolf said it best:

“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”

Where do YOU stand?

ciao for niao,
pia

Who You Callin’ a Fat Bitch?

Last week on my Facebook page  I asked the question, How do you feel about the word fat? or bitch? or for that matter, fat bitch? Does it offend you or empower you? Or neither?”  The responses were very interesting and I thought it was worth exploring a bit more. 

I recently changed the name of my blog from Curvy Sexy Chic to Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick (though I also considered Mixed Fat Bitch).  I had and still have mixed feelings about the words “fat” and “bitch” or the idea of using them both to describe me.   Historically, the word “fat” has been used used to marginalize people of size and make them feel less than human. But as you know, people like Jes Baker (The Militant Baker) and Rachele (The Nearsighted Owl), and many other bloggers are taking back the word “fat” and giving it new meaning. Does it still mean someone who has extra adipose tissue? YES!  Some say that by calling ourselves fat and really dissecting the meaning and the context of the word, we can begin to see it simply as a descriptor, neither good nor bad. In some cases, it’s actually a good thing!  



As for the word “bitch,” the responses were mixed.  Some thought it was OK if used playfully, while others found it offensive altogether.  Admittedly, I use the word rather a lot, and use it to describe everything from people (male and female) to situations to inanimate objects–sometimes playfully and at other times in anger.

Now I want to share some of the responses from the Facebook survey.  Not all the women who posted responses were fat, by the way.  

  • I definitely wouldn’t consider it a term of endearment…
  • I have come to love the word fat and my fatness in and of itself. In its definitive essence fat is merely a descriptor, just like being tall or having brown hair. It’s only a pejorative term because of years of re-appropriation and misuse.
  • Personally, I don’t know a woman at any size that has truly managed to stop thinking about herself as fat, so I’ve tried to accept that my body is a certain shape, that some will find it beautiful, and some disgusting, and I can’t control that.
  •  I wouldn’t call myself that. When/if I’ve said it about myself have been in moments if self-hatred. Or like poking fun first before anyone else can. But I don’t think I’ve ever said fat bitch. Ill say “my fat ass knows I don’t need that slice of pie” hmmm pie. Also just so we clear I WILL always have that slice of pie…
  •  I love to walk into a store and ask where the fat section is LOL, I also call myself fat girl, it throws people off and they back peddle – normally I end up with the “Oh you aren’t fat” and I counter with “You are sweet but I do look in the mirror every day and you know what? I own this!” As for the Bitch part… well everyone just knows that I own that word as well. I use those words and own them because I am not going to let myself be brought down because of the words that come out of someone else’s mouth
  • I think that both words are hurtful and playful depending on how they are used and by whom. And I think that is wrong. I think fat should be just a descriptive word but in my reality it is not. I call myself fat and it does not make me feel bad about myself but if someone else says it to me (especially a thinner someone) it is hurtful. That may be wrong but that is how it is for me. Bitch on the other hand is constantly changing for me. In my youth, bitch was just another word. We threw it around like it was nothing. These days it is dependent on who says it and how, again. I do describe myself as a bitch at times (although more often now I say I am an asshole). Its the one word equivalent of saying I’m going to respect myself and stand up for myself and not take your shit. And usually it works out that way. But I don’t much care for someone calling me a bitch in anger (such as ‘you fat bitch’). I know it is a double standard. I know. 


ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES


I’m so encouraged that there was such a big response (pun intended) to these questions. Opening up a dialogue and sharing ideas is important.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole thing, really.  In truth it’s a daily struggle to accept myself as I am.  I think many women feel this way.  I want things to change so that the next generation of young girls can avoid the hideous ridicule and infliction of twisted beauty standards the media has thrust upon us.  I will continue to be honest and share my thoughts with you and ask the important questions.  

Women are powerful and we can create lasting change, but we must be committed.  I would love to hear from you about what you’re doing to create change!

Ciao for Niao,

Pia


Why I’m OK at 200+ Pounds

I wondered whether or not I wanted to tell the world (or at least the people who read my blog) how much I weigh.  I’ve ranted on and on about tossing your scales and that the number doesn’t define you in any relevant way.  But in truth, there is a part of me that feels exposed and vulnerable at the thought of highlighting it for public consumption.  I have no idea whether people will be inspired, appalled or just not give a rat’s ass.  I’ve started this journey, and I keep moving forward in hopes of encouraging other folks to be at peace with their bodies.  I post photos and encouraging quotes on my FB page, and get lots of LIKES and lovely comments.  But I can’t talk the talk and not walk the walk.  



You’ve seen me in a bathing suit and cheered me on when I posted a blog on why I love my thighs.  So why is it so scary that I should tell you that I weigh over 200 pounds? Perhaps it’s because it is a further act of defiance that will set me free.  And to be set free from something  that you have known intimately for years (even if it’s painful) can be scary shit because it’s uncharted territory. It’s like being in an abusive relationship where you convince yourself that you don’t deserve better.  Who would you be outside the realm of that familiar, yet hurtfuul relationship?  Same idea.

So declaring my number to the world is a way for me to be an activist in the struggle toward size acceptance.  I must do my part if what I want is a broader cultural definition of beauty.  I cannot sit on the sidelines and whine about why I detest advertisements for cellulite cream and anti-aging potions without actually backing it up with some kind of action.


I think the other reason I want to share it is that there are so many of you whose daily moods are based on what the number on the scale reads.  And I get it, because I’ve been there too.  If the number was low, that meant I was a good girl, and worthy of love and success.  If the number was high (in my distorted opinion) then I was useless, lazy, fat and ugly.  It was a terrible way to live. In fact, it wasn’t living at all.  Being a slave to that number kept me from living the life of my dreams. I missed out on so many incredible experiences that I can never get back.  


Do I have regret?  Yes and no.  

I wish today’s Pia could go back and tell Pia of 20 years ago that she was amazing, lovely, smart and perfectly imperfect. But then I realize that this journey is mine, and the painful experiences I’ve had around my self-image are part of what make me who I am today: A mostly confident, kind, compassionate, attractive and intelligent woman, who wants to help others transform their self-hatred into self-acceptance and eventually love.  


If you’re feeling brave, or just want to shout from the rooftops how much you weigh, join the movement by leaving a comment here and/or on my Facebook page for the world to see.  Help break down the myths around traditional beauty standards and say ‘fuck you’ to the media for feeding us bullshit.  Claim your space in this world and take no prisoners!

Ciao for Niao,
Pia

www.curvysexychic.com
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So, Obesity Is a Disease Now, huh? WTF?

The American Medical Association has now deemed obesity a disease.  How profoundly ignorant, well timed and devious of them!  I call bullshit.  And so do a lot of other people.  And they’re not even fat.  Hell, even the New York Times is confused:  To some extent, the question of whether obesity is a disease or not is a semantic one, since there is not even a universally agreed upon definition of what constitutes a disease. And the A.M.A.’s decision has no legal authority.” (Anthony Pollack)


It seems me that  the medical community has now empowered itself to shame fat people even further.  They claim it will reduce the stigma attached to obesity.  But will it really?  It sounds good on the outside, but it also completely ignores the fact that people who are not obese have plenty of health related problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and lead sedentary lives.  There is much focus on the BMI (Body Mass Index) which measures and individual’s body fat based on their weight and height.  I find the BMI a poor measure of one’s overall health.  I am considered obese based on the index, yet I have normal blood pressure, low cholesterol and am in good health, save for a vitamin D deficiency.  The public health council that advises the AMA agrees with me:


“The council said that obesity should not be considered a disease mainly because the measure usually used to define obesity, the body mass index, is simplistic and flawed.
Some people with a B.M.I. above the level that usually defines obesity are perfectly healthy while others below it can have dangerous levels of body fat and metabolic problems associated with obesity.”

Well, halle-fuckin-lujah!  


Oh, look. Fat people DO exercise!

Opponents of the declaration say that this is just one more way the drug companies can profit from patients who are desperate to be thin–not because of health reasons–but the overwhelming desire to quench their thirst for vanity in a beauty centered society.  It sounds pretty manipulative to me.  So, I’m not buying it.  

According to Merriam & Webster, a disease is defined as “something that impairs normal functioning of the body.”  Let’s see…So, I went out dancing until 4 am on Saturday and I was fully functional, I assure you.  Ask the the 15 plus size women I was dancing with for four hours.  They were functioning at a very high level.  In fact, I think we out-danced everyone that night, even people who seemed to fall within the healthy limits of the BMI.



In summary, the AMA’s declaration that obesity is a disease is really crap.  I’m just sayin’.  Do I deny that some obese people are unwell? Certainly not.  But if we’re going to be fair, then let’s make sure we also dissect the health of all people, rather than targeting a specific group based on a measure that is inaccurate and outdated. 

In the meantime, I choose to chuck my scale and swear off BMI charts forever. And so should you.  

Ciao for Niao,
Pia