Dear readers (and I know you still exist, because WordPress tells me, so there!), have you seen Rose’s comment on my Sexuality and Gender Expression Bingo page? No? Well, here it is:
“This is awesome. Can you please do one for biphobia next?”
As I said there, I didn’t write any of those cards, I just transcribed them. But my search-engine skills are second to none, and I’ve actually found not just a Biphobic Bingo card, but a whole load of others, too! Hooray!
Bear with me as I tinker about behind the scenes to bring the new ones to your attention…
It’s not even December yet, but my poor, sad little herbs are covered in snow. Actually, it’ll probably do them good.
I’ve reacted to the snow by deciding that fashion be damned, I can wear a good dress over manky jeans to keep my thighs warm if I want to. J has reacted to the snow by rushing to the window and taking photos at every available opportunity, which at least means I can show the internet how much snow has happened:
Sadly, my squirrel-like approach to food storing hasn’t been nearly so effective this year, which means I’ll have to go hunting and gathering later. Right now though, I’m trying and failing to get some work done on my assignments. Mainly I’m sitting watching the snow fall.
Flatmate keeps wanting attention from me. I keep refusing to give him any, partly because I’m a meancruelevil person, and partly because even if he tells me about how he couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed this morning another five million times, there is nothing I can do about that. I don’t think it’s indicative of a particularly healthy outlook on life, and I’d much rather that he felt better, but I still can’t actually help. I’m not even bothering to suggest things that might help, because you know what? He knows that things exist that might help. Probably, deep down, he knows that I’m not one of those things.
Lectures have begun, we’ve just had a delivery of 45 boxes to the warehouse, I spent 4 hours this week responding to medieval society emails, I still need to feed myself, and did I mention, lectures have begun?
Oh, and also, J’s parents are turning up in three weeks’ time, I’ve got to see my sister to give her a birthday present, and yesterday my gran phoned me to tell me that she was coming to Sheffield in three weeks time, and wanted to see me and J.
And I still need to phone my local education authority to get the rest of my student loan, and find a time to get my bedroom window repaired.
So, I’m not dead, but I will be elusive, at least until November, probably.
So, the inevitable has happened, and Shapely Prose is officially closed for business. The amazing Kate Harding is still alive and well and is leaving Shapely Prose up as an archive, which is lovely. She’s also blogging in a personal capacity here, but as you’ll see, she’s not wanting to deal with comments threads of doom, even nice ones, so this is my official “Thank You, Kate Harding” comment-turned-post.
Shapely Prose was feminism and fat acceptance, with a smattering of Health At Every Size and a fair few posts entitled “Why I Shouldn’t Breed”. I’m one of the lucky young women that avoided a teenage eating disorder, but I’d be lying if I said I’d never looked at myself and wished I was a different shape. In fact, I’d be lying if I said I’d never looked down at myself in the shower and thought to myself that I really looked quite like a supermarket chicken from that angle.
And Shapely Prose helped with that. Not with the looking-like-a-chicken thing, that’s just something that is, and actually it’s quite entertaining. A bit like the way watching the shower water drip off your breasts is entertaining. But it definitely helped with the wishing-I-were-a-different-shape thing. I suspect most of us have done it at some point – gone clothes shopping and come home empty-handed, with the feeling that our bodies must just be wrong, because nothing fits. But as Kirsten’s dad recently pointed out, and as the good folk at Shapely Prose said often, that just means that the clothes were wrong.
And you know, it’s actually helped me in my work. As I’ve mentioned, I’m working for a lingerie company. That means I get a hell of a lot of questions about sizing, shaping and so on, and if I hadn’t had the resources of Shapely Prose behind me, I don’t think I would’ve given the kind of customer service that I have. I also don’t think I would’ve been happy with taking the extra large size myself – but we make those sizes for a reason, and that reason is, some people are that size. And one of those people is me. What I’m trying to say is that Shapely Prose was all about being body-confident, or at least working towards it, and my job is a lot easier if I can absolutely believe that my body is awesome. (Guess what? My body is awesome!)
It’s also helped me deal with members of the medical profession. Had Shapely Prose’s BMI project not existed, and had they not devoted the time to ripping apart the concept of a BMI scale, the “news” that I’m officially “overweight” might’ve scared me. As it is, I couldn’t care less. And I’ll eat what I damned well want to. Because of Shapely Prose, I can recognise my own weight range, and if there’s ever any problem, I’ll be able to draw on that knowledge.
And lastly, Shapely Prose was nice. That’s what I liked. I even filched bits of their comments policy when I was moderating a group blog a while back – you know, the bit that said: “If you’re really worried because you don’t have any specific guidelines for not getting banned, try this: be good-natured and delightful.” Then, of course, Kirsten press-ganged me into writing with her instead, on a blog that’s all about niceness. We need more niceness in the world, and especially on the internet.
So, thank you, Kate Harding, for founding Shapely Prose, and for keeping it going for so long. With my baby flavoured doughnut, I salute you!
(Cross-posted at Teaspoon of Sugar.)
Don’t attempt to slice bread when hungry, is what I learned today.
I’ve sliced a few layers of skin from the middle of my left index finger. Part of me (the part that sliced dead pig for a living) was impressed by the sharpness of the knife. The rest of me was just pissed off. And, in the case of my finger, bleeding unreasonably quickly.
Also, cheap plasters are not worth buying. The cut wasn’t big, but it goes across the finger rather than through it – less serious, but impossible to close – and when the cheap plaster fell off as I washed my hands, it ripped off whatever I’d managed to grow back under there. The result: more blood, more pain, more anger.
I have therefore had to bandage my finger. This is infuriating, because it is seriously interfering with my ability to touch type, and my ability to crochet. Not pleasing, as I’ve been trying to write a crochet pattern this evening.
Ah, first world problems….
Once again, MSN has done itself proud:
“Is size 14 the perfect body shape for women?”*
I have only one thing to say to this.
“Join me again next week on this episode of ‘let’s make no fucking sense’, when I’ll be waxing an owl…”
*link here, but it’ll eat your sanity points.
Something about me which has slightly bewildered my parents is the seemingly effortless way I manage to find the truly bizarre jobs in life. That time I was a kitchen porter on a boat was quite a good one, but for the last year I’ve been having even more fun working in a lingerie warehouse. Like you do.
Only I could find a job in which having pictures of a scantily clad woman on the walls is actually a requirement. Only I could find a job in which that scantily clad woman is in fact a one-woman talent show: she’s her own photographer, make-up artist and graphic designer. And only I could find a job which exists because a lovely woman one day couldn’t find a decent suspender belt, and decided that she’d bloody well make her own.
Anyway, because I’m a rare beastie that can read, write and count to quite an alarming standard, I’ve been doing a lot of customer service. Mainly, that’s writing emails to people about their returns and exchanges, which is frankly not very interesting, but the other day I had an email that I really, really wanted to help with.
It was from a woman who was short and fat, and despairing of ever finding stockings to fit. I can sympathise. She was only a little shorter and a little fatter than me. And she, like me, has what I affectionately refer to as “thighs of doom”. She called them “thunder thighs”, to be fair, but I knew what she meant. So, in the interests of science, and customer service, I did some things that I’d never expected to do at work.
- I measured my waist, my hips, my inner leg and around the top of my thigh using the tape measure that we usually use to work out how much the postage will cost for oddly-shaped packages (an occupational hazard).
- I weighed myself.
- I went to try on our sample stockings.
This was all decidedly weird. For one thing, because the fashion industry has all but eradicated the use of actual measurements for womens’ clothing, I looked at the tape-measure numbers and they meant nothing. The weighing-scale number, on the other hand… Well, at this point I’m going to go on a detour and explain that, when I was last weighed a month or so ago, the nurse made a point of pointing out that I’d got heavier again. I was right up at the top end of my normal range, 75 kg – or nearly 12 stone if you’re old school, like me. If you’re from the US and use pounds, what I want to know is, why? Why do you use pounds? Who needs to be that accurate?
Anyway, anyway. So I did what I usually do, which is to wait until the nurse has finished before explaining sweetly that I don’t own a set of scales, so I can’t keep an eye on my weight. As long as my trousers fit, or can be tied on, I’m all good.
Between then and now, I’ve been working at the warehouse a lot. Really, a lot. To the extent that my arm muscles have visibly grown, and I now can’t fit into a really nice shirt I own that has tight sleeves. But when I weighed myself that day, I was 69 kg. That’s 10 stone 10, so I’ve lost nearly a stone in weight from somewhere. But where? It’s inexplicable, and I don’t like it. My vote is that the medical scales are evil, and should be punished. I’m pretty sure the warehouse scales are ok, because if they weren’t, we’d owe a lot of people a lot of money in unpaid postage, and you’d think they’d've figured it out by now.
And for another thing, it was weird because I wear my mankiest clothes and heaviest boots to work, which is perfectly acceptable when it’s a dusty warehouse. So I had to warn my colleague and friend (nicknamed Baron Von Pickles by me one drunken evening) that I was disrobing, so that he could avoid being surprised by my naked legs. And then I had to hide in the back room, trying on stockings and making notes.
The nice thing is that despite all of the multifaceted weirdness involved, this story has a happy ending. I did find some stockings that are made of awesome, I put my trousers back on, I emailed the customer back and hopefully, everybody will be happy. The moral of this story is that sometimes it’s ok to weigh yourself in the pursuit of knowledge. And also that stockings for fat women exist. Yay!
OK. This story begins like this:
Rachel walked into a bar.
It’s kind of like a joke, except for how it quickly turns into a huge wall of WTF?!
She had a couple of drinks, and then went to find the toilets. Eventually, she found three doors.
The first door had a picture of a stick figure in a wheelchair on it, a standard sign that could have been bought from a wholesaler.
The second door had a picture of a toilet hanging on it, lovingly hand-painted with a blue background.
The third door had a picture of a toilet hanging on it, lovingly hand-painted with a pink background.
Because I was (a) a little tipsy and (b) not thinking so much about how much I like pink, it took me a good couple of minutes of staring at the doors in confusion before I realised which one I was meant to use.
This has been your daily dose o’ weird. Remember, don’t take more than your recommended dosage, as this can result in a permanent frown of confusion.
Don’t read this opinion piece if you like doctors who “specialise in obesity care” to, well, care.
Especially don’t read it if you take exception to the idea that some people are more equal than others. (Spoiler: guess who Dr. David Haslam thinks is more deserving of weight loss surgery: an old woman who’s immobile, or a middle-aged man with erectile dysfunction?)
Let’s hope the dear doctor is too busy pontificating to see any patients, as clearly, they’ll fare better without his “help”.