One Small Step

Today I posted, on my Facebook wall, a picture of myself in a swimsuit.

It looked something like this …

daphneswimsuit

It’s certainly not something I’d have done a month ago, but as I am trying to stop being negative about my appearance, I thought it was time to stop just talking about fat-positivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fat Fears

My fifty-seven-year-old sister started wearing sleeveless clothes just last year. Mind you, she has always been considered the beauty of the family and is as slim as I am fat. When I was younger I resented her looks – especially when my father, in his capacity as an official at a sporting event, insisted that she present a bouquet to the guest of honour. My mother had suggested eight-year-old chubby me, but my father said my sister (sixteen at the time) should do it because she ‘looked better’. I was furious and felt very much my fatness and grubbiness – I’ve always felt that fat children feel much dirtier than their thin friends. For a start, we are usually sweaty and hot, and often sport red, angry faces from being fat-shamed.Read More »

Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

First published in The Star on 9th February, 2017

THE POWER

By Naomi Alderman

(Viking, 339 pages)

ISBN: 978-0241015728

IF you identify as feminist, you are likely tired of explaining that the women’s movement is about gender equality and not the domination of men by women. If you are a feminist you are probably  sick of hearing it said that you and your ilk hate men, burn bras, and are all lesbians (closet or otherwise). If you actively oppose the oppression of women in whatever form, you will have rolled your eyes countless times in response to those who declare that feminism is a sexist movement and that they prefer being called humanists or equalists.

Feminism is not about women being better than men, but it is about and attempts to address personal, political, social and economic power disparities between the sexes. So, what if women had the power? Would it automatically result in gender equality?Read More »

Fat Means Fat

I am 154cm tall (short?) and I currently weigh 75kg. For most of my adulthood I’ve been somewhere between 55 and 70kg. I recently joined a fat-positive Facebook group and posted about being heavier than I’ve ever been (apart from when I was pregnant). One of the other members commented that they were 180kg, which gave me pause. Seventy-five is nothing compared to 180 right? Well, in theory, yes, but whether you’re 55 or 80kg, 180 or 300kg, being fat is not about the weight, but about being seen as fat, by yourself and by others around you.

Being fat is about being called names, being laughed at and stared at because of your weight, your size, your shape.

Being fat is the look on people’s faces when they meet you and notice that you’re not the same shape as your three older sisters.

Being fat is being fifty years old and still feeling uncomfortable when you hear the word ‘fat’.


‘Fatty fatty bom bom,
Curi curi jagung,
Mata mata tangkap,
Kena masuk lokap.’

To this day, that rhyme makes my ears burn with shame. Naturally I heard it a lot when I was a kid. I was always referred to as ‘fatty’, even into adulthood, even by total strangers and quite openly.

(Interestingly, no one has called me ‘fatty’ in the last ten years. Perhaps I am now seen as an ‘aunty’, deserving some respect.)

Fat is just a word, but it has a whole lot of baggage. When you use it as an adjective and apply it to a woman, it becomes laden with negativity.

A fat baby is cute. A fat cat is adorable. A fat book is, at worst, a challenge. A fat woman? Ugly! Undesirable! Unwanted! And, somehow, even worse than that, ridiculous. A joke.

That is the ‘truth’ we’ve been taught and I want it to stop being the ‘truth’. I want it to stop being my ‘truth’.

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting to Exhale

I’ve been binge-listening to The BodCast, a body positivity podcast hosted by Marie Southard-Ospina. Yeah, man, I really don’t need to listen to anymore thin people moaning about how ugly and unhealthy being fat is.

Marie Southard-Ospina: Isn’t she beautiful?

I was going to say that you have no idea what a relief it is to look at beautiful images of fat women, in this case an absolutely lovely, fat, jiggly Marie Southard-Ospina, but, hell, had no idea what incredible relief I’d  feel. It’s like I can finally exhale – haha, literally stop holding in my stomach.