Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
Yeah, I know, there’s a lot of far more important stuff to talk about. I have several angry blog posts about the wave of domestic, white, terrorism against Muslims, and Rep. Akin who appears to have his head wedged so firmly up his own rectum he has forgotten what the light of day looks like. But right now I need to talk about something else.
The daily minimalization women, particularly fat women, go through.
I cannot, and will not attempt to, speak for POC in this regard, though I know they go through their own daily gauntlet of marginalization, in many ways worse. But this is something that’s been bugging the shit out of me and I need to get it off my chest.
Every time I look around someone is telling me to minimize myself.
Not in so many words. But it’s there. Be quiet. Don’t take up so much space. Don’t laugh so loud. Don’t be angry, especially don’t be loud in your anger.
When I go clothing shopping designers want me to minimize my body. Bras that flatten my glorious breasts, panties and girdles (that’s all Spanx are, kids, girdles), control top tights and hose, tummy “firming” slacks and skirts to rein in my hips and thighs. Avoid bright colors and splashy prints. No ruffles.
I am sick to fucking death of being told to be less than what I am. I tried that. I starved and exercised myself down to pneumonia and malnutrition in the name of beauty. I punished my body until the pain felt like pleasure, and then kept going. What did it get me? Chronic health and joint problems that the unwashed masses blame on my fat instead of the things I did to try to burn off my fat.
I take the bus, and I, and other women, sit with our feet tucked tight againt the bags we rest between them, elbows pulled in. Dudes, on the other hand, sprawl, legs akimbo, bags on the seat next to them, taking up all the real estate. And woe unto you, non-conventionally attractive lady, who tries to sit next to these sufferers of “phantom giant schlong” syndrome. The looks and muttered curses. Sometimes they elbow or knee you painfully, to make sure you know your presence is unwanted.
I’ve started elbowing back, with a smile so sweet butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, and a look in my eye that says, “Go ahead, say something. I’m waiting.”
I laugh loud and long. I sing from the gut. I don’t worry about looking pretty while I sing, and I know this frustrates many of the folks who take pictures at our shows, because I almost never SEE the pictures I know they’ve been madly clicking away at. No one wants to offend me with unpretty pictures of my face, all scrunched up in concentration.
On that stage, pretty isn’t my job. Awesome. Awesome is my job, and I can’t be pretty and awesome at the same time. So, pretty had to go.
I’m done being minimized by myself and by the rest of you. I’m just fucking done. I’ve carved out a space for my awesome on stage, now for the rest of the world.