Sunday, 26 June 2022

Dear Emma Thompson,

Dear Emma,

I have loved you and your work since I was a teenager. If I remember correctly, it was The Young Ones that brought you to my attention. Then I remember you in The Tall Guy. My bookshelves are full of your movies on DVD; Sense & Sensibility, Love Actually (you’re the best part in that movie!) Peter’s Friends, Dead Again, Late Night, Brave, the Men in Black films, Howard’s End, Much Ado About Nothing, and my favourite movie of all time, Stranger Than Fiction (nobody ever talks about what a brilliant movie this is.)

I’ve also loved your work for women’s rights over the years. Campaigns you have done for sexual trafficking, domestic abuse, women’s health, body image and so many more. I’ve loved how honest, passionate and full of common sense you have always been. I have loved your sense of humour and willingness to laugh at yourself.

Recently I heard you in the media talking about how you struggle to see your own body in the mirror, and how women are not used to seeing “untreated” bodies on screen, how we are indoctrinated to hate our bodies. Which made my dismay all that more sharp when I saw that you are wearing a fat suit to play the role of Trunchbull in the new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. The ultimate in a “treated body” for film.

Emma, do you not see how your wearing a fat suit to play the baddie is demonising other women’s bodies? I gave you a pass on Nanny McPhee, because I saw the moral of that story as being that people you don’t really know can look scary, but as you get to know them and love them, you see their beauty shining from within. But there’s nothing I can find in this portrayal of Trunchbull that gives any indication of there being a better message about women’s bodies. All I see is “It’s not enough for me to act mean and scary, I have to use a fat body to demonstrate that I’m the bad guy.”

I’m a librarian. I’ve read Matilda to children for many years. Trunchbull, in the book is described as:

“above all a most formidable female. She had once been a famous athlete, and even now the muscles were still clearly in evidence. You could see them in the bull-neck, in the big shoulders, in the thick arms, in the sinewy wrists and in the powerful legs. Looking at her, you got the feeling that this was someone who could bend iron bars and tear telephone directories in half. Her face, I’m afraid, was neither a thing of beauty nor a joy for ever. She had an obstinate chin, a cruel mouth and small arrogant eyes.”

Nowhere is she described as fat, or having an enormous bosom, or a fat face. But looking at your costume for the film, all I see is your face and body with a lot of prosthetics on them to make you look fat.

Admittedly, Quentin Blake’s original illustrations did make Trunchbull somewhat blockier than muscular (but she doesn’t really have “small arrogant eyes” in his drawings either), and the original movie and subsequent stage plays have taken their look from those drawings, and used fat actresses. But you Emma, you’re the one in the media talking about how women’s bodies are scrutinised and ridiculed and made to feel unworthy if they’re anything but perfect. I expected you would understand. I expected that you, a woman I consider one of the finest actors alive, would be able to portray Trunchbull without using fake fatness to make her horrifying.

I am a very fat woman. I also work with children. They don’t see me as scary or mean. I’m like Miss Honey to them, only I’m almost 50, very fat and not in any way pretty. But I’m colourful and smiley and cuddly. They want to crawl on to my lap when I read to them, or hug my leg as they talk to me in the book stacks. Or lay their heads on my enormous bosom when they’re tired or grumpy or sad.

When I look in the mirror at the body that does look quite like the fat suit you’re wearing in those photos, at my face that is round like the embellished one you have as that character, I hear your voice in my head about how women can’t look in the mirror without hating their bodies. Then I am reminded that famous actresses put on fake versions of my body to portray women who are mean, scary bullies, because who could believe a slim woman is a mean, scary bully? Can it not be imagined that someone who was slim could ever be a horrible person? I mean, a thin person never made anyone feel bad about themselves, did they?

One of the reasons I always loved Roald Dahl is because when I was a little, chubby girl in primary school I read The Twits, and this quote spoke to me:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

We know now that Roald Dahl was problematic, and we adapt around them. No-one knows how to adapt writing from the past like you do! You’ve literally won an Oscar for it! In this case, he wasn’t the one that made the character hurtful to fat people, but you can definitely be one to start to undo that, to make a real difference.

Look it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see this. But other people will. Perhaps someone who thought they might take their kids to see this film might think again, or take the time to explain to their kids why your wearing a fat suit in the movie is not OK. A fat person might read this and realise that they’re not alone in being hurt and angry that you’ve chosen to do this.

But just on the off chance that you or one of the people you work with sees this, I want you to know this. Slim actors wearing fat suits hurts us. It makes us hate our own bodies, and it contributes to other people hating us for our bodies. Not to mention that it denies fat actors work. When there is a fat character in a film, at least hire a fat actor, but interrogate what you are saying with that character.

I know the film has been completed and it’s unlikely any changes can be made now. I know you’re probably not able to say anything about wearing that fat suit even if you do now understand why it was the wrong thing to do. What I would like you to do, is from this point on, think about what prosthetics say when you’re asked to wear them in a movie. You can also use your considerable platform to speak up for ALL women’s bodies, not just those that fit into a narrow window of “acceptable”. I’d also like you to advocate for fat actresses as well. You’ve produced some pretty big movies so far, there’s your opportunity to ask “Can we just get an actress with the body type, rather than using prosthetics?” and “Does this character really need to be fat?”

Because after having watched you for so many years, I believe that you are not someone who has ugly thoughts, I believe that you have good thoughts that shine out of your face.

Yours sincerely

An Actual Fat Woman.

via Fat Heffalump

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Weight loss as the desire to reinhabit a past self.

I wrote this over a year ago, but didn’t publish it. Today I figured, why not?

Hi, I haven’t written. Everything sucks and I’m constantly angry. Not only do I (we) live in a never-ending pandemic and attendant state of chronic incompetence, but at the beginning of all this, one of my cats died, and my other cat has required daily medical care to survive. So far, she has. [Update, 2022: she hasn’t.]

Everything is on fire, everything is terrible, my work schedule has exploded (if you’ve emailed me and I haven’t responded, this is why and I’m sorry), yet there is a deep sense of boredom and monotony, occasionally interrupted by spluttering rage or outright terror at world events.

I’m not writing about all of that. I’m writing about this: I’m in my 40s and having some kind of midlife…thing. Two years ago, I started ice skating (proto-figure skating?), and I wrote about that here. [Update, 2022: I’ve now also taken up kick scootering and cycling because I’m a small-time adrenaline junkie.]

And, 25 years ago, I weighed exactly 100 lbs. less than I do now. Here’s a photo someone sent me that I hadn’t seen before:

My handsome boyfriend repping the early Raptors in rural Ontario, and Jane Russell except it’s the 90s and she hates herself.

People have a lot of feelings about old photos, and I’m no different. My first impression was of how intensely young we look, and of my then-boyfriend/now-husband’s adorable Luke Perry-esque sideburns. My second impression was: who’s that girl/oh shit, it’s me.

My third impression, which took a few days to identify: unutterable sadness. People had been so desperately cruel to me by this point in my life, specifically about my appearance. As a result, I was completely alienated from my (apparently dangerous/disgusting) body and attempting to live solely in the jar of my brain.

At the time this photo was taken, I was just barely starting to find my way out of constant despair, because one person in the world (pictured left) had chosen to be kind to me.

It should not have required that. I should’ve been allowed to feel human without the redemption of my boyfriend’s gaze reassuring me that I was okay, that I was pretty and smart and funny and angry and ridiculous and lovable all at once. In a just world, it would not take a boy loving me and treating me like a human to make me real, like a velveteen rabbit.

I was human the whole time: when boys groped me at school, when I was excluded by my peers for an undefined yet unforgivable weirdness, when grown men stalked and threatened me on the street, when I was told how ugly and stupid, ugly and stupid, ugly and stupid, ugly and stupid and fat and stupid and ugly and fat and stupid I was over and over and over again, for a decade (plus occasional surprise encores in adulthood, bravo!)

My fourth and final impression: a strong and completely irrational wish to go back. This is not unusual for people seeing themselves in old photos. The desire to lose weight and re-inhabit a former body is, I suspect, the desire to use a scale to travel back in time. But time is not a place; it is a process of annihilation.

I live in an older, larger body now. Even if I weighed what I weighed back then, I would not have that body back; I would have the body I do now, just smaller, with more skin and more wrinkles.

Maybe the desire to go back, itself, is not even really a wish to be who I was (because I was miserable), but a wish to tell my former self the truth: The people around you are messed up. Your body is not a punching bag. You deserve to live.

Since that former self no longer exists, I can only tell it to myself, and you, now.

via The Fat Nutritionist

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Queen Latifah – Red Table Talk – Novo Nordisk

I have loved Queen Latifah since the 80’s! I have loved her and so many other female MC’s from that era and after. I just super love female MC’s as a general rule, but Queen Latifah was always a favorite. I followed her career over the years as she went from MC to starring on our television screens on Living Single and even the big screen in Set it Off, Chicago, Bessie, and so many other wonderful films. I never saw her as a fat icon in the fat liberation sense, but always appreciated her ability to stand out while truly shining in her spotlight. 

When I happened across a post in my feed that mentioned Queen Latifah by The Curvy Fashionis last night I clicked immediately! As I read their post I got excited, Queen Latifah was on The Red Table Talk…talking about being plus size?! I got so excited, and I don’t usually watch that show. And honestly, I was so full of hope as I watched the intro and even as she began talking about her current passion for “destigmatizing ob*sity”. My hopes were soon dashed, however, as she also talked about ob*sity as a disease and focused hella hard on health and all of the usual things. I watched it to the end and was glad to see some familiar faces from Instagram as they took questions and opened the dialogue, and it did end on a positive note. But damn! What a letdown.

“Often people connect being overweight with not working hard enough to keep the weight off, being lazy, or eating too much, without realizing that it may be genetic. It may be hormonal,” she said. “If people knew that, they might not look at it in the same way.”

I’m not at all implying that Queen Latifah has an obligation to be a full on fat liberation activist or anything. I was surprised she was even talking about this stuff at all because she’s always been private about her life and struggles. I think I was slightly misled by the post by The Curvy Fashionista when they said towards the end of the post, “Queen Latifah, welcome to the plus size community. You’ve been a honorary board member and it is nice to have you celebrate your membership.” I hope they got some money from that post because I never would have known or watched without it.

And then this morning I found out it’s all because she’s partnered with fucking Novo Nordisk (a diabetes drug)! OF COURSE! Because no one actually gives a flying fuck about destigmatizing or improving the lives and treatment of fat people. UGH! I wish this shit wasn’t so damned predictable. Lke, it’s actually laughably boringly predictable at this point. But they fooled me because I never would have thought Queen Latifah would be on this kick. I mean, her overall message was that of knowing and loving yourself and doing right by you whatever that means for you. 

She did get into how clothing is purposefully inaccessible for fat folks (she doesn’t use the word fat in this interview) and that almost felt radical to hear. Almost. I wish she had gotten into medical fatphobia and how it kills us every day, but she didn’t really go there and I’m sure that is part of her partnership to not mention that part. Looking at the Novo Nordisk community guidelines has me laughing my ass off! It’s a classic case of we will do what we want but you don’t get to say shit. (My opinion and summation.)
A Twitter friend in the fat community, @blackqueeriroh (follow them, they are brilliant!) responded to The Root’s post about Queen Latifah’s “It’s Bigger Than Me” live tour, “I don’t even know what to say. This is so gross, especially considering fat Black women are one of the most marginalized groups of fat people. To see Queen Latifah do this is a profound betrayal, and I don’t think I’ll get over it soon.” 

I don’t expect my heroes or role models or any celebrity entity to be some perfect moral compass or anything, but it really felt like she was throwing fat folks under the bus in this talk, and I’m guessing on her whole damned tour. It’s too bad. I loved hearing that someone wants to help remove stigmas associated with larger bodies. I loved hearing how she felt that Lizzo brought a new language and a new way to talk about and live in larger bodies. But we all know there’s a limit with these campaigns or endorsements/partnerships, and it always hurts the fat community. They will get more eyes and ears on a subject but still turn it back on us. 

It just really felt to me that she was framing this whole thing on how she was personally upset and offended to have her celebrity fitness trainer explain to her that according to the BMI she was in the ob*se category. Like her feelings were really hurt and I do get that. But when Jada Pinket Smith said, “Not La!” like, not my friend, they can’t be ob*se, like it’s the worst thing a person can be. And to then lean so hard on the health shit just pissed me off. Saying things like, “It could be due to hormones or genetics” again bringing it back to the good fatty versus bad fatty shit we are all sick of!

No one owes anyone health! And health won’t look the same on everybody. Often what we perceive as health is simply white Euro-centric beauty standards crammed down our throats every day. Not everyone can achieve health. Not everyone has access to health care or the things they need to support their own health. It’s such a cop out to play that health card again and again. Who cares why someone has a certain sized body?! It doesn’t matter and it’s no one else’s business. Yes, take the stigma out of the equation, please! But how is that even possible when they are propped up with pharma monies and you lean so hard on the health shit?! 

It hurts to hear great ideas mixed in with outdated ones when it’s applied to our very personhood. It hurts on a personal and systemic level because these are big names with big platforms. Those messages get further reach, plain and simple. It makes our work as fat liberation activists, and as just regular fat people trying to live our lives, that much harder. We were already fighting this fight, we won’t be stopping now or anything, but money does have a way of making even the best of intentions sour.

I hope that Queen Latifah can hear our messages and take them to heart. We are not going away, we live here and will  continue to speak up and take up the space we need to be heard. We may not get those big pharma dollars, but I for one don’t want them anyway. 


I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex, with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): 

Or get the same shared content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! I’m also on Space Hey, MySpace, LiveJournal and all the other places: NotBlueAtAll

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.)

via I'm Not Blue at All

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Same Ole Same With Old Navy

Every morning after I catch up on my inbox and any other urgent or pending matters, I check the headlines in my google news feed and see what horrible things are happening in the world, and I like to read my horoscope. It’s fun! It was absolutely no surprise to me when a bunch of headlines related to Old Navy’s so-called inclusivity campaign and its utter failure popped up in my feed. The first headline I saw actually made me chuckle, but not in a funny joking way. More of a “oooooh you fooled us with this shit before!” sort of a chuckle. Like, surely they are fucking joking by trying to blame the fatties, yeah?!
Oh, they are not joking, friends. They are really trying to blame us for their failure. And they are falling hard, too! I laugh because it is absolute bullshit! I follow Mary Fran on InstaGram and she was a huge Old Navy fan up until like this fucking week. She went in and went through the entire store and found nothing over an XXL! When they finally asked about the plus sizes they were told they have a few but they never get put out on the sales floor. WOW! Yep, you read that correctly. They aren’t even bothering to put the sizes they have in stock out where customers can find them!  What?!

I wish I could make it make sense. This isn’t even the first time they have pulled this shit on us. Last time they blamed us for the same fucking issue and then threw all of their plus sizes online with a big flashy “Exclusive” banner all over it. We got mad, so they offered free returns in stores. Then they took that away, too. Then they had just free returns through the mail. Rinse and repeat. FUCK OLD NAVY! 
Look, I didn’t even know that Old Navy carried plus sizes at all until that drama in the late 00’s came up and by then they were online only. I was able to make a return in the store for free once, but the second time I was treated so badly I never went back. It’s unfortunate because for a lot of fatties Old Navy is one of the few places you can find affordable basics in plus sizing. And they have a decent variety of options for most things, too. Activewear being a big one, because it’s so hard to find activewear in plus sizes, specifically. 

Their inclusivity campaign was cute, the ads they ran with Aidy Bryant dancing and being her cute and sassy self, were a revelation! They actually almost convinced me, almost. I love seeing anyone dance, but fat folks especially because we’re always excluded or told we simply can’t dance. Fuck that! Seeing Aidy on my big tv made me fucking happy as hell! Seeing Aidy on my TV always makes me happy. Those ads promised to include plus sizes not just in Old Navy stores, though. They promised to do away with the separate sections and to simply stock it all together on the sales floor. Their web site also has things together so that you don’t have to click on that appalling “Exclusively online” banner bullshit anymore.
Fool us once…Fuck you! They fucked this exact shit up over a decade ago. They claimed to have done the research and listened to what their customers really wanted, at all sizes. They claimed a lot if you ask me because how are you gonna say you listened to anybody when the stock isn’t hitting that sales floor?! How can you blame us when we can’t find the things we want to buy from you? How can you throw us under the bus when even the big influencers are saying they can’t find their size in your stores when that wasn’t a problem for them previously?!?!?!? Make it make sense, dammit!

There’s about four different headlines on this story and they all claim the same nonsense to blame us. One even threw in a nice little piece of shit quote from Diane von Furstenberg about how it’s not fair to charge the same for XS as XXL because it penalizes the smaller bodied people. Fuck her! And fuck the journallist who thought it was a good idea to through that non sequitur at the end of their article, they must’ve needed the word count. It’s embarrassing and pathetic, for them! Let’s be clear on that, it ain’t on us at all! 

The truth is I do peruse Old Navy’s web site from time to time, usually when I’m looking for something specific or I hear about a great sale. Yet when I checked my records, I haven’t placed an order with them in over five years. Hmmm…no why would that be? I would actually love to buy some of their pixie pants and have heard great things about their rockstar jeans. But these are things I simply always have to try on! I just returned two pair of pants to Eloquii because they didn’t fit. Both were the same size, one too big, one too small. UGH! 

We can’t win with these big retailers! They refuse to listen, even when they claim to have done the research. They even went as far as to make the damned clothing we want, but then failed to actually stock it in stores. People from all over are reporting that the middle sizes sell out first and then the higher and lower ends of the sizing spectrum just sit and go stale (yeah in the stock room!).  They finally feature an actual fat person in their ad, even dancing and showing a range of body types dancing in their jeans, too. But it was all a lie! Isn’t it always?!

Forgive me for saying this, but it may just be time to let go of brick and mortar stores as a general concept. I say this as a former business owner during a bad recession, it would rough! I cannot imagine how they are keeping up with current market pricing as well as skyrocketing rents and supply chain issues while still turning a profit. My guess is that they aren’t and needed something to tell their board for the reduced earnings, and now here the hell we are.

Have you been to an Old Navy store in person since September 2021? Were you able to find your size? Were the sales associates helpful? Because what I’m seeing is that the sales associates can be kind of nasty to fatties who come to their stores looking for their size. Which is unacceptable. I don’t care how you feel about fat folks or your employer, you should still treat customers correctly. Damn! 

I am not saying that I have the ultimate golden answer for this situation. I don’t think I’ve ever truly been in Old Navy’s preferred demographic. What is that demographic? I dunno, but it certainly seems like they would prefer a family of 4-5 all dressed in matching ensembles for each holiday or family occasion, and never plus sized, ever. It’s too bad too because my Old Navy active yoga pants are such a prized staple in my comfort wardrobe. I still wear some of their pajama bottoms from over ten years ago. The few times I have visited their stores I cannot say that I ever felt welcome or comfortable there. That could just be me, I’m weird. It also could just be that Old Navy has some deep-seated feelings about fat folks. It certainly feels that way to me.  


I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex, with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): 

Or get the same shared content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! I’m also on Space Hey, MySpace, LiveJournal and all the other places: NotBlueAtAll

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.)

via I'm Not Blue at All

Monday, 23 May 2022

Disfunction Junction

CW/TW for mentions of abuse

This past Saturday morning, as I was luxuriating in bed and just enjoying the moment without an alarm, I checked the time and it was only 7 am. My grocery delivery window didn’t begin until 10 am. So back to sleep I went. I wrapped myself up and hugged my pillow and drifted away. I woke up a few more times, not surprising since my weekday schedule is to wake by 7:30 am, but I was insistent, I wanted more sleep. Finally around 9 am as I was awaking again I got this very clear memory/flashback of two specific instances in my past where my father told my abuser things instead of me. One was when my grandfather had died, my dad had paged me I think (it was the nineties!) and I was at a shopping center with my abuser and a friend. I called and my dad just asked for my abuser to get on the phone. My abuser said a few words and then hung up the pay phone. Then he told me my grandpa died. That was it. But it was so crisp and clear that even all these years later the voices were immediately recognizable. A few more moments of similar feelings and memories and I started to become enraged. The kind of rage where hot, thick tears stream down both cheeks and you can barely breathe! 

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I was fourteen years old! No one ever tried even a tiny bit or even pretended to fucking protect me from a twenty-one year old man! Oh wait! Yet my father would tell my abuser things because he thought I was too young to understand?! That can’t be it, right?! Being my father, certainly he would know best how to communicate difficult things. And then it hit me, oh yeah, my dad was hitting on my high school friends before I had even met my abuser. He would always make inappropriate jokes about “bumping uglies” in front of me and my friends since I was around eleven years old. My dad would often tickle me and my siblings growing up, but as I got older it waned a bit, until he decided it was an easy way to grope my boobs in a very obvious manner. My dad couldn’t protect me from my abuser because he didn’t see what was going on as not normal because he himself was fucked up! I hate it here! (Mind you, I was molested by a friend of my best friend’s family when we were seven years old. The whole protecting children thing, though much touted, wasn’t as big in the eighties as it is now.)

I am unbelievably grateful for my bff M who was already texting me that morning about something else entirely when I woke up with all of this absolute shit popping off in my head. I was so angry! I still am! I don’t think I was able to put these things together in my head until now because my brain was trying to protect me. As I sobbed until I couldn’t any more, she let me unload all of this and was so caring and patient with me. It is not easy to hear, from anybody, but especially from those we love that have been hurt by those who should have loved them. I realized that a lot of what I was feeling about my parents was right and I really do need to trust my own instincts so much more! The more I connect the dots of my past to one another and the full truth of all I survived, the more obvious it is to me that people had to know, and simply didn’t want to know, or it was just so normalized that it didn’t register at all. 

Having giant realizations about one’s parents within a short amount of time is hella exhausting, y’all! The first was a few months ago while on magic mushrooms with a friend when a very clear memory came back to me that I never actually forgot but soon realized how pivotal that moment was for me. It was about a year or so after my bio mom had left us, I don’t recall the reason for the visit, only that it was at our house which I think only happened once. I had this deep hope that somehow my mother would see my abuser for what and who he was. I hadn’t seen my mother since the day she had left and she and I had been on bad terms well before that. The child in me desperately wanted at least one parent to save her. Instead, the woman who birthed me offered my abuser a joint to share between them. It was at that moment I knew that no one would ever save or help me. It took me a couple more years for me to escape my abuser, but my feelings of hate towards my mother preceded even this memory when she kidnapped my brother, and tried to get my sister and I but failed, and my dad had to get the cops involved to get my brother back. I will never forgive her for either of these events. 

Is it any wonder that I had a meltdown on my 35th birthday when my dad texted me “happy birthday”, as I sat on my ex-husband’s couch, when I realized “I hate my dad!” I couldn’t understand why or where those feelings were coming from. The thing is, I know and saw and remember waaaaaay more than my parents or any adults back then knew. People were not so worried about things like what was said or done in front of children back then. My dad had a full on affair with someone he reunited with at a high school reunion and brought me along because she had a kid my age. We had a blast, too! Chris was a really smart nerd and I was just a weird and shy kid, so we got on great! I never really questioned why my mom or brother weren’t invited over to Cathy’s house, but I always had a good time and was glad for the break from the norm. My dad had several affairs, but not in the grand or dramatic or even romantic sort of way at all. I think he just got lucky (ha!) and then just boned them. He had no money to speak of, a retail job with 3 kids at home, and these were independent working women, too. My mother was far too isolated for anything ongoing, but did have a fling later on, but that guy was later found out to be a child molester (later convicted). I used to babysit his kid. What a fucked up world!

The last year my mom lived with us was tumultuous as fuck! Every day it was something new with her, something sticking in her craw, and it always seemed to be my fault somehow. Or at least, the brunt of it fell on me, at least until my dad got home from work. The last month or so it was non-stop fighting with me and her. I just wanted to be left alone to enjoy the last of my summertime before I started high school. She was an emotional wreck! Every morning when I would go into the kitchen for my orange juice she would start on me about how my dad treated her like a whore or she’d wait until I had friends over, burst in unannounced and tearfully exclaim she was a lesbian (we were thirteen). I just wanted to hang out with my friends and kiss boys, nothing else really mattered to me then. But my mom was at wit’s end with no support and I was a stubborn ass kid, we fought a lot. It was never fair, but she would hit an emotional wall and just decide I was to be punished. I remember the first time I had had enough of it and slapped her back. I don’t know how many times my dad came home and had to play diplomat with my mom and me. Often having to unground me just minutes after my mom insisted I was grounded (my siblings were never grounded once, mind you they didn’t have lives outside the home, yet I was pushed out from age four) for some trivial thing that may or may not have even happened. 

I won’t pretend to have ever been a model child or an easy to handle teen, but the ways in which my parents forced me to be an adult very early on are shocking to me now. Is it any wonder I didn’t want my own kids when I had to raise my siblings? Is it any wonder I never bought into the domestic bliss bullshit when I saw firsthand that all adults are liars at best?! I feel as though I will never escape the mistakes and baggage my parents brought into my life. When a cousin reached out to me through 23 and Me in order to get in touch with my mom because her parents’ health was in rapid decline, I became furious! I simply didn’t want to hear or know about her or that family period. I have nothing against my cousin, but we were cut off from that family because of my parents divorce. It’s a long story and more complicated than just that, but that family never truly included us because my mom was the oldest of her siblings and had a different father. Thinking back, the majority of fatphobic bullshit heaped on my mom came from her mother and sisters. And having had no contact with my bio mom in close to thirty years when I got my cousin’s message, it was a lot. I don’t know where she is, and I honestly don’t care. I don’t want to know. 


Fuck forgiveness! What was done to me is not about me at all, but about the abuser who decided that I was an easy target for their abuse. I carry no fucking shame for what I was put through, but they absolutely fucking should! The fact that my dad still texts me on birthdays and holidays is proof that he has no idea why I don’t talk to him. I haven’t talked to him in years, at first because of how he and his 2nd wife would treat my brother, it would trigger me horribly and leave me depressed for a week plus after a visit. I didn’t even realize it myself  until my then husband confronted me about it. Then his 2nd wife got the entire family to stop talking to me for over three years through various lies and manipulations. When my great aunt and I compared notes one day it became clear that this was orchestrated and his wife was a pathological liar. When I told my dad that his wife had tried to rip me off of $5k, he simply replied, “Well, I don’t believe that.” I didn’t even argue or question it, I knew right then where I stood and that it wasn’t worth fighting for. It was his wife that wouldn’t allow my brother to use the internet for years because he looked at porn ONCE, AS AN ADULT! Once I found out, because he was also not allowed to talk to me (AS AN ADULT), I figured out if I bought him a PS3 he could get online through wifi and they’d be none the wiser. It worked out great!

All men have power in some form. All men are corrupted by power in some form. It may not always be abuse, it may not always be towards women, but in any given scenario, a man will abuse his power. I believe this because I have lived it and seen it with my own eyes every day of my fucking life! It is the ones you least expect, too. I don’t believe there is an exception or exemption in this. I hate it. I wish it wasn’t so and I wish those who can recognize it and have the power to do something about it fucking would already, but they won’t. They benefit far too much to even see it for or in themselves. The things I have seen and know to be true are upsetting and it’s taken decades to put the pieces of it together thanks to the abuses dealt to me that have traumatized my brain to that extent. I am hoping that through these newer connections and deeper understanding that I will be able to further my own healing. This weekend’s breakthrough left me exhausted and unable to do much elsen though I would have loved to do anything else. My C-PTSD brain wouldn’t allow it, I mostly just spaced out. There is only so much our minds can handle at once. 

The next day I didn’t not bother even trying to sleep in. 

To all of the abuse survivors that might be reading this: I love you. It was and will never be your fault. You are worth every ounce of energy and effort in this world. You deserve to be loved wholly and completely for who you are right this very second, no changes needed. I love you. I cherish your existence. Please take care of you. 


I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex, with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): 

Or get the same shared content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! I’m also on Space Hey, MySpace, LiveJournal and all the other places: NotBlueAtAll

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.)

via I'm Not Blue at All

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Abuse Survivor’s Can See You! (Heard/Depp Defamation Trial)

TW/CW for mentions and descriptions of abuse, control, and violence. Also when I use the word women in my writing I always mean all women, not only cisgendered women. Trans women are women! TERFs are never welcome on this page or anywhere near me, ever! 

I have not been following the Heard/Depp defamation trial. I tried everything I could, actually, to avoid hearing about it. But no, every fucking day I have to hear or see something so unbelievably triggering it is incredible that I am able to function at all. I’m serious. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, my abuse survival comes up pretty regularly. Guess what?! My abuse survival comes up in my everyday life, everyday. It’s not something I ever get to just put away for a while and forget about. Far from it! Lately it’s been so bad that I have such levels of exhaustion that I keep testing myself for covid (so far very much negative and grateful). The amount of hate and violence towards women, reminding us every fucking waking moment of our lives that much of the world would prefer we were dead rather than non-compliant to any whim of the status quo. 

I rarely share my abuse survival with people I work with or new people that may come into my life. Not because I fear for how they would perceive me, I rarely consider that side of it but I’m now thinking that perhaps I should start, but because of the fact that the few people who have heard any details simply cannot handle it at all. I’ve seen grown men turn pale when I describe one or two specific instances, not even the really bad/terrifying ones, or even outright refuse to accept it. “That cannot be true!” they exclaimed with an insistent look on their face. I’ve had people get mad at me about it, like I had some say in the matter. I’ve had people stop talking to me because they really couldn’t wrap their head around someone they know/like (me) having gone through what I did and being a decent human being in the end. Or of course the delightfully gaslighting that is, “Why didn’t you leave?!” or “Why didn’t you call the cops?!” Which are not real questions and only prove that survivors really can’t ever fucking trust anyone.

The truth of what I really survived will likely never be known by anyone but me. I don’t get to choose that, either. My C-PTSD brain likes to surprise me with dreams and memories, as vivid as daylight sometimes, of what happened to me. It also does its best, as it did then, to protect me in order to survive. To literally continue living and breathing, my brain had to hide things from me while it was happening and after too. My entire being was taken from me, and while I rebuilt it/me, nothing would or really could ever go back to what it/I once was. I don’t and won’t ever get to see the world or any cisgendered, heterosexual, male human as safe ever again. It hasn’t just changed me or colored how I view things, it really rewired my brain. I wasn’t claustrophobic before I met my abuser and now it is the actual worst, for example. 

Seeing the media publish headlines like, “Can we believe women ever again?” about this fucking defamation trial has resurrected a level of dread over my own existence and the world’s. The ceaseless scrutiny of every facial expression, garment worn, even who/when/if eye contact is established with anyone in the courtroom at all. It’s maddening and so predictable! The entire world hates women it feels like. If not for intersectional feminist groups online, I would fully believe it was the entire world that hates women. I do not believe that anyone with any measure of power in this world gives a shit about us, that is for sure! Ahem!

Abuse survivors didn’t choose to be abused. We often never even got to choose to survive. There were more times than I could ever count that I didn’t want to survive. I remember wanting him to finally fucking kill me and get it over with so that a.) he might actually be punished/accountable/imprisoned/removed from society, and b.) to finally be free from the constant violence and threats of worse, always worse. The really important part about all of this and the subject of domestic violence (really it’s gendered violence, I hate the word domestic), abuse survivors don’t owe anyone a damned thing! We don’t owe you our stories, or our testimonies, we don’t owe anyone an explanation or retelling or reliving our traumas to “make sense” of anything for others. It doesn’t make sense. It won’t make sense. Sense was never part of the picture. It is all and always will be about power dynamics. 

Tell me you hate women without saying you hate women: Tell me how you feel about this defamation trial! The “hot takes” are cold wet garbage spouted into the collective void of the internet to make themselves feel a taste of that power. They fucking envy this shit, I promise you that. It doesn’t mean that they would enact the same violence to get it, but they envy it. Because what does anyone gain from saying all of this horrible shit about a woman they truly know nothing about? Momentary feelings of relevancy? More likes or followers? It’s embarrassing. 

I’m at a point in life, especially being single and dating in this so-called modern world, that I am not convinced that most cis-hetero men actually like or want to know anything about women. They refuse to learn even basic anatomy and biology, they refuse to grow and learn to be better people in general (often insisting they “were raised right” so believing nothing to grow from),  most have no interests that would ever overlap with an actual grown ass woman, refuse to do anything in the world to make it a better or safer place for the children they believe they should be bringing into this it. Again, it’s very embarrassing for them, or should be anyway. I’m bisexual, I date all genders, but it does feel awful to be attracted to those you know fucking hate that you even exist. Ugh!

Abuse survivors are only believed when they are absolutely perfect and angelic to start with, and the abuser is the biggest monster with witnesses galore, and even then it is a long shot. That’s it! Outside of that very narrow scope, we are never believed and are always punished for reporting/telling anyone what happened to us. It is kept under wraps by families who find out out of fear of making the abuser “look bad”. More often than not, it is the abuser that gets protected, shown sympathy, and is held up as the victim. Classic! It would be laughable if it wasn’t so terribly tragic. 

If you’re familiar with patterns of abuse, then you already know about DARVO. It is a way to recognize what is happening and when I first heard about it I thought, “Wow! This really fits the bill!!!” Definition of DARVO: DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.

Again, I have not followed this defamation trial, but since it is being shoved down my throat each and every day, I can tell you that much of what I have seen and heard aligns very much with DARVO and my own abuse experiences. The smashing of glass, cupboards, walls, those horrific texts (no one who actually loves someone talks like that about them I assure you), and the worst of and the most viscerally real for me was the glass bottle insertion…I have been in that moment. It feels like the world stops turning but worst of all is that no one knows and nothing stops. You feel yourself leaving your body because your brain is desperately trying to protect you. You can’t process what is happening because it can’t be happening, right?! The abuse never seems “that bad” or even real until it goes way beyond anything you thought you could survive and then it’s too fucking late!

I was fourteen years old when I met my abuser, who was twenty-one. It took only three months for him to take over every aspect of my life, move into my family’s home, and beat the ever loving shit out of me on a daily basis. He forced me to drop out of school. Every phone call, he monitored. What I wore, if or when and how much makeup I was allowed to have on each day, he would supervise. After five months he had made certain I had no contact with anyone else without his physical presence. When I started working full time, he went with me my first day because he needed to know that I was only working with women. Thank the stars we didn’t have cell phones, the internet, or social media, I cannot imagine what he would have put me through over that stuff. He even convinced my dad to sign my emancipation papers by saying it would insulate me and possibly my siblings from the pending custody battle my dad thought he’d be facing at the time. Really it was to protect him and no one else. 

The only way I was able to escape after five years of daily violence and terror was simply that someone noticed something was off. That’s it! They didn’t see anything or hear anything, they hadn’t seen me in years and actually wasn’t at the house we shared to see me at all, but they noticed a vibe. They were gentle and kind about it and simply said, “I don’t know what is going on, but if you ever need a place to stay…” I left the very next day! I had never even heard of the town I moved to twenty miles south of my hometown, but it has been my favorite city ever since. Had that one person not given me an out, I don’t know that I would have survived even the next month, the violence was at an all time high at that point. I mean steering wheel grabbing and opening doors on the freeway level violence.

Today the media is playing up, “Is this the death of # Me Too?” nonsense, which is so fucking appalling! Because how dare anybody try to hold anyone accountable for anything at all ever, oh unless you’re a woman. Then you get punished for fucking existing! The fucking hoops we have to jump through just to get by in the world is too damned much. Not even taking into account that gendered violence is waiting for us around every damned corner! But please, do tell me how we’re all a bunch of fucking liars! (Insert epic eye roll here.) They want it both ways, but we refuse to give it to them, so they try to destroy us. They want something that never existed in the first place and they are pissed as hell about it. 

I used to love Johnny Depp. I won’t hide that. 21 Jump Street and Nightmare on Elm Street were a big part of my childhood. I had a crush on this dude, but I didn’t know anything about him. I do remember though when he got the “Winona Forever” tattoo for Winona Ryder who he was dating at the time. My abuser got a tattoo of my name across his heart without warning or notice, he just showed up at my school and pulled up his shirt to loudly (mega embarrassingly) proclaim his “love” for me. I was disgusted by it, still am. To think that fucker has my name on his flesh for life? Well, mine wasn’t even the first and I knew that, so when he got it and showed me, it just felt like any other time he would punch or kick me in the stomach. I never talked about it. I don’t know if I have ever told anyone about that part. 

The similarities of Depp and my abuser are painfully obvious to me now. The big proclamations, the over the top devotion (that was fake as hell and I knew it), the way they would say the most horrific things to my face about how they were going to destroy my body in the most horrific ways after they killed me, saying they would sexually violate me post mortem, or even while alive because they insisted that they owned me, making it clear every chance they had (without witnesses) that there was no escape. The threats of violence were incessant. The physical violence always came in a moment of calmness, though occasionally not. Usually the violence, both physical and verbal, were related to his intoxication from pills and booze, though certainly not at the level of Depp’s addictions. In public and especially at bars, he would publicly propose marriage so that the entire bar would celebrate and buy him more booze. I got nothing from it but humiliation and occasionally a roll of quarters for pinball, I was too young to drink. He’d use the same trash fingerhut ring and would beat the shit out of me when I would take it off because it kept turning my finger green.

If you had asked anyone at the time about seeing bruises or marks from the physical violence they would have been shocked and appalled. They never saw a thing! I became very good at hiding hickies in the seventh grade, my friends would come to me to cover them, and of course I covered my own too. So I already knew how to take redness and purple marks and turn them into nothing you would ever notice in a lifetime of being right there looking at it. We didn’t even have all of the wonderful products for evening tone and texture like there are now. My secret weapon was a green eyeshadow, the right pink shadow, concealer stick, foundation, makeup sponge, and of course that classic green compact of Covergirl’s pressed powder at the time. More often than not, especially after one time where I couldn’t leave my bedroom because there wasn’t enough makeup in the world to cover the level of swelling and bruises I had, my abuser wouldn’t hit me somewhere that would show or garner attention. That would have defeated the purpose. No, he made sure to hit/punch/kick/grab my back, stomach, thighs, and every tiny tender spot you can imagine. I have no doubt that makeup helped me survive, I know for a fact that it provided the opportunity for me to hold a job and be out in public when I otherwise would not have been able to. Demonizing this is offensive and wrong. Demonize the abuse and abuser, not the survivor trying to maintain any semblance of normalcy in the world.   
The aggression you see, the banging on things, breaking things, throwing things, it is a show. They want to show you how they feel about you. It’s what they truly want to do to you, but they know they can’t, so they destroy you in other ways. Calling you a whore, a slut, a piece of shit, isolating you from everyone who cares about you, controlling as much as they possibly can about your day to day life, they will degrade you in every way imaginable and then keep going beyond even that. They will tear you down to nothing and then plant seeds all around to destroy your reputation, too. Talking to a grocery store cashier could get you thrown into a closet, beat up, pissed on, and locked inside for three hours. Well, that happened to me anyway. I have no doubt that there are instances that Amber Heard can’t yet recall because her brain won’t allow it, it’s still trying to protect her. She has gained nothing through all of this. I genuinely hope that she can isolate and do some healing and has the support in her life to create a new and more positive existence for herself. She. faces a lifetime of flashbacks, sleepless nights or ones filled with nightmares, hypervigilance, and so much more.

Oh, right, the “mutual abuse” thing. No. That isn’t a thing! Though I do understand wanting that to be true, it takes some of the pressure off of us and the abuser to believe that. I remember one very specific instance where I not only fought back, and didn’t go thinking survivors don’t fight back, but actually scared the shit out of my abuser by how I did it. This was like 3-4 years into the situation (I refuse to call it a relationship when I was an actual fucking hostage), and my own rage and strength surprised me. I don’t remember the start of the fight, but I remember how it ended. I lifted him two feet off the ground and slammed his back right onto the ground with every fiber of my being. The look of terror on his face I will never forget. I remember him laying there, very close to tears (hawd how they love to pull out the fucking alligator tears when the tables turn for even moment), trying to raise himself back up and insisting, “Sarah! You could have killed me! You could have really hurt me! You know about my medical conditions, how could you even think of doing this to me…ME?!!!” I vividly recall stepping back and laughing too. 

Everything you think you know about domestic abuse, gendered violence, unless you’ve lived it, you don’t know shit. It is everywhere, right under our noses, we walk by it everyday and don’t notice it. It flies under every radar because there is no radar for this. There is nothing that exists today that would prevent it from happening. Oh, well, sure…education! Ha-ha! But in the USA that is a shit show all on its own, so it’s a joke to even suggest it. Education would help tremendously, though. I think things like consent, understanding boundaries and appropriate versus inappropriate behaviors, should be taught in kindergarten and continue through into higher education because the relevancy and tactics of abuse change and mature as we do. There are signs of course that you can keep an eye out for and absolutely should, but I want to ask you pointedly, if you knew something was going on with someone you knew, what would you do? We often have grand ideas about such things. Reality is much more disappointing though. 

I am personally asking you to never call the cops, and to instead save your local crisis center hotline in your phone now so that when an occurrence arises you will have it handy. And then… What can you truly offer them? A place to live? An income? Safety? Do not confront the abuser, your priority should be the safety and comfort of the abuse survivor and nothing else. Confronting them dramatically can set off a shame spiral. Be gentle! Let them know that you are concerned and want them to have the life that they want for themselves. Let them know that their comfort and safety is all that matters to you. Let them know you have thought this through and have a plan of escape, even if it is literally jumping out a window with no possessions in the middle of the night. Let them know up front that you know it’s not their fault, no matter what they or anyone else says, it is not their fault!

I called the police on my abuser twice. Both times the cops aligned with him upon arrival and painted a nice pretty picture of my insanity (note: they keep saying Amber heard has a number of mental illnesses when she more than likely has C-PTSD). When I had bruises and blood from fresh wounds, they accused me of abusing him. They accused me of purchasing my emancipation papers illegally (it is very hard to get emancipated as a minor, you must prove your independence, have both parents sign, and go before a judge to plead your case). I have never called the police for anything ever again and I won’t. That is not what they are there for or are trained for. My abuser made it clear that a third attempt would mean not just my life but my entire family’s lives, too. He reminded me every day that he had the power, and that at any point in time he could simply choose to slaughter them all, in front of me, in the most gruesome of detail. This is all so on the surface of what I went through, but I think you get the picture by now. 

The only way I was able to escape was by absolute luck! Had that friend not just happened to be visiting another occupant of the house we shared, had he not offered me a place to stay, had he not picked up on something being off (my abuser wasn’t present when this happened), who knows what could have happened. I don’t for a moment believe that I would have gotten out. By that point I couldn’t get a job, I was applying and interviewing, but not getting offers. Finally, once I moved away, I found out that he was telling potential employers that I was dead. I started to give my grandma’s phone number instead, and bam, got a job! That job led me to every good thing in my life ever! What saved me, ultimately, was my abuser not knowing where I was and not knowing who I was with or anything other than where my family lived and I wasn’t with them. When he discovered where I was living he showed up and beat up my other two roommates to find out where I worked. He only knew I had a job because my grandma didn’t know not to tell him, my family really thought that whole five years that I was just in a weird relationship. Ugh! He showed up at my job, I had only had a few weeks at that point, covered in blood and tried to grab me from behind the counter. Had my boss not just happened to be there on his day off to run payroll, who knows, he may have succeeded in trapping me with more violence again. But My boss heard the commotion, called security, and came out and physically apprehended him until security could take him out. That was the last time I saw him. I looked over my shoulder for another ten years after that. Now I worry about how I might react if I ever crossed his path again. The truth is I don’t know. I have had some wild and violent fantasies, but I can’t say at all that that is within my nature. 

My abuser never stood trial, was never arrested, never punished in any way whatsoever. He went on, I imagine, to live whatever the hell life he wanted. He’s still alive. Several years ago, out of morbid curiosity, I looked him up on Facebook. The picture of him now was a shock. He was already disabled when he was twenty-one, so I have no idea how his health may have degraded since. Part of me imagined that he would have died by now, certainly, with all of the drugs and scams (drugs, credit card and check fraud, outright mugging people, fencing of stolen goods, I suspected some pimping towards the end as well) he was always doing. I needed to know that he didn’t live in my hometown, having had to move back there for a few years. And luckily he didn’t. Moving back there gave me the worst flashbacks of all, it was a constant source of triggers, I hope I never have to go back. 

Notice I said “have to”? Yeah, financial abuse is all a part of this as well. When I had jobs, he took my money. When I didn’t have a job, he made me pull scams and dumpster dive. I never had cash to buy my lunch at work, but he always had money for beer and pills. Any means of control, and an abuser will attempt it and even work hard to succeed in their aims. Restraining orders at the time were about $800, per county. Because I moved to escape, that would have meant needing two restraining orders since my family lived in another county where my abuser also lived. I had only just started my retail job at the mall (1996/1997 wages, y’all!), where was I going to come up with $1600? And go to court? No thanks, I had seen enough courtrooms by that point to never want to be in one again. Come to find out, the island-owning Depp has financial issues! That and punishing Heard for ever speaking up at all (she never named him until the defamation trials, and she won the first one) is surely why this suit was brought to the court of Virginia (a state neither lives in, and has much more lax laws about domestic abuse). Abusers always want the last say, the last laugh, the last blow, the last drop of your blood and they will never be satisfied with even that. 

So unless you can offer someone a place to stay where their abuser will never think to look for them or know anyone around you or your circle at all (snitches are everywhere), there’s only so much you can do. Shelters have a lot of restrictions and requirements and often foster more abuse in those settings. There’s no magic charity that can swoop in and save someone with free fresh clothes, a place to live safely, and a means of indepence like an income. And even then, they will need so much support, therapy, learning how to live a normal life again, and years of needing all of that and more just to get to a sense of safety and normalcy. And what if they aren’t willing to leave the abuser? What then? Be present! Stay present as much as you possibly can, even be annoying-level present! Most abusers will almost never show their ugly side to anyone but their victim. Your presence could keep their victim safer than without. It is in isolation that they do their worst. 
This defamation trial has been unbearable for abuse survivors the world over. It shows us everything we always suspected was true. It supe-mega sucks! Seeing people in your own life side with an abuser is devastating. We now know for certain who we can never trust, never want to be alone with, never feel safe around again. The outcome of the trial is still unknown to everyone. I am dreading the day when the judgement is handed down, regardless of what it is, because once again we will feel it like a sucker punch to the gut, collectively. Worse still is that this trial has the potential to create a blueprint for abusers to further harm their victims. Already Brian Warner (Marilyn Manson) has filed a defamation suit against Evan Rachel Wood, it’s a terrible tool of the powerful to further cause harm. Because the power was already in their hands or they never could have perpetuated that level of abuse against us. They are charming and can convince anyone but their victim of their innocence. Until women are believed and supported when they do report and speak up, nothing will ever fucking change. 


I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex, with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

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Sunday, 15 May 2022

Cat Made Me Do It

I wasn’t going to write on this blog ever again. I left it up so people could see my old posts, which I am very proud of, both for my writing itself and the work I did as a fat activist. But I was done with blogging. But then something awful happened. So awful it has taken me weeks to settle into a place where I can talk about it publicly.

One Saturday morning in March, I received a Facebook message to tell me that my darling friend Dr Cat Pausé had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. A Facebook message sent to me by her devastated father, all the way from Texas. As I typed a shocked response to him and then started working on one to her dearest friends who found her, my phone rang in my hands and another lovely friend was calling me to tell me she was gone. I was in shock. Her father gave me permission to share the news publicly, and the shocked emails, messages, tweets and posts came in and I went into “helpful” mode, trying to console others, making sure the people who mattered to Cat and whom she mattered to were informed, and looking for other ways I could be supportive and useful.

I was deeply honoured to be asked to represent the fat community at the private service for her, where I was asked to speak on behalf of the community and be one of her pallbearers. I wrote a piece that I hope expressed how much she mattered to me, to us, which I will reproduce below. I also gave a similar version at the public memorial held at Massey University the following week, where I was so fortunate to finally meet in person her lovely parents, I can’t imagine the grief they are going through. I wish there was more I could do for them, I hope that I have expressed to them how much she was loved and respected and will be missed dearly by so many people.

I still hadn’t really cried right up until I literally had my hand on her coffin at the funeral, walking it through the funeral home, to the sound of the karanga, the formal Māori call to ceremony. Even then I know I still wasn’t grieving fully, it really wasn’t until after the service when two lovely wāhine Māori I didn’t even know held me so tight until I finally let myself fall into grief and begin really mourning my beautiful friend.

And it was at that moment I knew I would be blogging again on this page. Bloody Cat, she was always pushing my boundaries, in a way that always turned out to be good for me. I have heard from others in the fat community that they also have a fire lit under them to continue their activism and work in fat liberation. She will always be an inspiration to us, even though she has been taken from us so early.

So far we have already had a clothing swap for size 24+, organised by Joanna of House of Boom (she has a new range out, go support a fatty’s small business eh?) which was an amazing event of community, seeding Cat’s beautiful wardrobe out into the community of super fatties, the group most neglected and disrespected by both fat activism circles AND the entire community. It was a delight to sit back and watch so many fat babes comfortably trying on clothes and delighting over having something, anything available to them for once. To tell these fat babes they looked fabulous (they did!) and encourage them to adopt Cat’s lovely clothes and love them as much as she did. Cat would have loved it, I could feel her presence several times. She would have been in the thick of it, throwing garments and compliments around the room, as she had in life many times.

I’m not sure what I will write, or how often I will do so, but I at least wanted to take the time to pay respect to and remember Cat and share the piece I wrote for her on behalf of the fat community mourning her loss. My world will never be the same without her, and the world in general is diminished without her in it.

Cat and I in 2012 at the first Fat Studies New Zealand conference in Wellington.

Vale Dr Cat Pausé

What do I say? There are not enough words to convey what Cat meant to me personally, let alone the fat community in general. I first met her in 2010 in Sydney at the Macquarie Fat Studies conference, where this short redhead with the biggest smile I’d ever seen appeared beside me and fan-girled all over me. I’d never experienced such adoration in my life. Once I calmed her down we instantly became friends and in that time she has been my greatest champion, fiercest protector and strongest confidant. She is the reason I finally moved to Aotearoa after talking about it for years.

When I started sharing the news with the community that we had lost her, I expected to hear back from mutual friends. But I have received hundreds of messages in the past week. Cat touched so many lives. From her students, to the listeners of her radio show, fellow scholars, activists like myself, and just dozens of people living in fat bodies who had either seen a news article she was quoted in or chanced upon her social media and been deeply moved by the work she did. I have been told of her kind words, her fierce encouragement, he raucous laugh, her astonishing generosity and mighty intellect touching people she never met, or only met by chance. There was always word at every event or fundraiser that Cat had secretly contributed a lump of her own money to enable others less fortunate to be included. She once told me that her biggest goal was that she would no longer be the go to voice for fat community, because she would no longer be needed, that we would be respected, listened to and believed enough not to need her scholarly input.

We still need her. I still need her. But she gets to rest now, and there has been nobody who has earned that rest more than she has. She was an angel here on earth while she was with us, and I have no doubt wherever her spirit is now, she’s still an angel, just the one with the loudest laugh and biggest smile.

via Fat Heffalump