Thursday, September 20, 2007


I know, I know....another Beth Ditto photo from the fat girl! But I have a bee in my bonnet, again. I was delighted when Ms Ditto "came out" as a new "fat girl" icon, her size, her sexuality and her white trash roots were all irrelevant because she is such an amazing performer. Then Mika brought out his "Big Girl" song and I was delighted, it still makes me smile when my kids sing along to it at the top of their voices (Mika's album is on rotation in the car at the moment). The problem is I mistakenly took this new wave of fat acceptance as the beginning of something else, maybe "Fat Pride"?

My friends who frequent clubs of the night tell me that when the DJ plays Mika the girls go mad and they love it, but apart from that, and Beth recording an album, Oh and strutting around the stage in Glastonbury with only a pair of granny pants on (hey if Sienna Miller can do it?) nothing has changed, there are still no size acceptance groups in Ireland. In the States where size is a much bigger (oops) issue they have lots of these groups, support groups, sources for people who need bigger clothes, chairs etc, some of the groups are dating groups and then there are the nights out in clubs (the butterfly lounge of Mika's song).I know why we don't have these groups in Ireland, lack of pride, it's OK to be fat if you are unhappy and apologetic ( I apologise for my very existence on a daily basis) but once we have pride in ourselves then that can't be allowed. The overweight will be tolerated if they are dieting and express unhappiness at their tragic circumstances, but if they start to be happy....oh, that could be dangerous.

We could start to rock the boat, questioning why certain shops only make clothes up to a size 16 (14 in some really swanky shops), why are the larger clothes shops so expensive? Why are the clothes so unfashionable? (oh, if you are overweight you hate take this mu mu) The "normals" don't really think if we say it's OK to be fat that everyone will be doing it, all rushing out to be morbidly obese? I feel it would be the opposite, as a lot of people's issues with food are related to their self esteem feeling accepted in a group might help break the food/feelings cycle. What could be so bad about saying it's OK to be you, here are some support systems, maybe exercise classes tailored to meet the limitations of the overweight, a lot of the time people are afraid of the gym changing room, or that they can't keep up with a regular exercise class, if everyone is fat (go on, say it out loud F A T)! There used to be an English size acceptance magazine available in Easons, "YES", I used to buy it, but they went out of business several years ago. Easons stock lots of magazines, "Construction Monthly", "Cat Fancier Quarterly" and several gay and lesbian magazines.

Maybe we need a Fat movement? Gay guys and lesbians fought for the right to be themselves, to be accepted, it's now illegal to discriminate against people due to their gender, sexual orientation or the colour of their skin but it's OK to discriminate due to size (oh, they must be lazy, having to waddle to the pie shop every twenty minutes will really be a time wasting problem, ) Seriously, this happens, do you never look at at fattie and think, "God, how did they get like that?" Let it go. Some people are skinny, some are fat, such is life in a western nation, if it bothers you just don't look!

So I'm trying to live by the mantra of be proud! But yesterday I was struggling, I was driving along Mika album blaring out and "Big Girls" came on, I had stopped at traffic lights, near a building site and I turned it all the way down, embarrassed by my feeling of self worth! I think this is probably why "YES" magazine went out of business, we wouldn't want people to think we very happy in ourselves, happy enough to buy a magazine about it! I don't want to feel less that confident, I'm the one who has to look myself in the mirror no one else, so I need to build up my inner strength!

Post script, in case you were wondering why I keep using picture of Beth Ditto in my posts, it's funny, she's the same weight and size as I that's why! I just wish I had her youth and her talent!


  1. I think you should have a fat pride parade. I def. think the world would be healthier if it accepted weight a bit more like they did pre 18th C when it was a sign of wealth and status. And back then, the whiter your skin the better. Tan was for urchins who have to work outdoors. Of course if I went back i'd still be a freak, being 3 foot higher than yer average punter then.

  2. Am in total agreement with you MW, media and business interests have spent decades now convincing us that thin is in. Why? Because there's no profit margin in you being heppy with the size you are. Milan is right - it was always considered a sign of health and beauty to be curvy and pale. There's nothing hotter in a woman!

  3. As it stands, I think a Fat Pride parade would be the object of mass hysterical amusement and abuse! Imagine the wee gurrier boys.

    But perhaps this is more of a reason to do it.

    I was once satanding at a bus stop outside Trinity eating an Iceburger and holding a can of Pepsi Max, and a couple Dublin lads went passed and one remarked 'Well, you know why you're fa'!' and they reeled onwards consumed with merriment.

    It was funny, in fairness, and I couldn't really argue with him either. Though I am envious of thin people who can eat on the street without drawing comment!

  4. I've got a close family member with a serious eating disorder so I detest the size zero culture.

    However, I'm not convinced that a fat pride march is the answer. For a start it would be a very slow moving parade and we'd have to plan a route that didn't involve passing by any fast food chains or Butlers chocolate outlets.

    More seriously - I can't help but think that people are missing the point with the Beth Ditto thing. Or maybe I am.

    Yeah - shes a big girl; good on her. I'd rather shes in the charts than Paris Hilton.

    Is Beth herself a healthy role model?

    Heres a tangent to go on..

    We know that extreme right wing politics are bad. Is the antidote to those politics to support extreme LEFT wing politics? I don't think so.

    I find the sight of Beth in the nip just as distasteful as those picture of anorexic supermodels.

    Why can't our pop stars just like like Debbie Harry circa 1979 goddamit


  5. I don't think it should be a size zero or size 30 option, I just think it should be accept yourself whatever your size! But then again it's only my opinion,it's the utopia society I'd like my kids to grow up in. Meanwhile all I can do is take care in my own life to be as positive a person I can be, and a good influence on my kids and the other kids I come into contact with! GB, my Fat Parade wouldn't go near the fast food places, we'd just walk form one Leon cake shop, to another, finishing up at the Queen of tarts!

  6. What's not to like about Beth in the nip? GB? Outside. Now.

  7. Who'd win a scrap between Beth and Courtney Love. Beths got the girth but Courtneys got the gob. Deathmatch to the XTREEEEME