Quick Hit: Fat-o-Sphere in NYT Again

If you didn’t see them on the sidebar here (or Twitter or Facebook) yet, there are two articles by Mandy Katz in the NYT today featuring fat-o-spherians. The first one references Linda Bacon, Fatshionista, Joy Nash, BFB, The Fat Nutritionist, and Deb Burgard. The second one, a sidebar on intuitive eating, features about the best photo ever taken of me — and we all know that’s the important thing. Words, schmurds! (You can go here for an explanation of the giant finger growing out of my arm.) Small quibble about the eating piece: I’m not sure I agree with the assertion there that cave people didn’t binge and starve — I mean, probably not on purpose, but wasn’t that kinda the nature of their diet? In circumstances where food is scarce, intuitive eating isn’t really a viable option. [See comments for why I was wrong.] Other than that, though, two pretty positive articles in the NYT in one day. Damn! Thank you, Mandy Katz!

Also, Lee Randall of the Scotsman wrote a fabulous column about Shapely Prose, including a shout-out to the Shapelings:

The site is also a noisy, companionable community, offering generous space to comments. 

That makes it ideal for anyone who lacks a venue such as this one in which to vent their considerable spleen, bemoan injustice and inconsistency, or celebrate their folds and foibles. It strikes me that this is exactly the kind of safe haven that intelligent women need in life, regardless of how well or poorly things are going. 

Thank you, Lee Randall — and thank you, noisy, companionable internet friends! (Also, I really need to redo the header to get A Sarah up there, because it is totally my fault that Randall only mentioned 3 co-bloggers.)

Open thread. Have at it.

92 thoughts on “Quick Hit: Fat-o-Sphere in NYT Again

  1. Oh, Lee Randall, I am bowing to you.

    “Noisy and companionable” – what a perfect way to describe us!

  2. NYT has been crazy good on FA.

    Also, do you think anyone but us has noticed that practically every single article about FA that has a “but obesity booga booga!” caveat quotes either MeMeMe or Papa Willett? You’d think people would catch on that these two fanatics keep popping up as the only people willing to give the quotes.

  3. “It strikes me that this is exactly the kind of safe haven that intelligent women need in life, regardless of how well or poorly things are going.”

    While I am very grateful to all the brave intelligent women blazing the trail to self acceptance that I am navigating as a fat man, I have not been able to find much about the male perspective on this.

    We guys need a safe haven also.

  4. NYT has been crazy good on FA.

    They really have been. Sometimes it feels like living in Bizarro World, but I hope it never stops.

    Thanks for the mention, and congratulations on more good press, Kate!

  5. We guys need a safe haven also.

    Ivan, why not start your own blog or community space? WordPress is free and easy to use, and I have no doubt that there are plenty of men who would appreciate a fat-men-focused blog.

  6. Ivan, maybe you need to start a blog!

    There have been a couple FA blogs run by men but both have now stepped down (I’m right, right, that Paul isn’t blogging anymore?). Obviously you’re always welcome around here, though — this is an explicitly feminist space but it’s not like that means “no menz” any more than it being an explicitly fat-pos space means “no skinniez.”

    (ETA: I said “always welcome” but of course, if you object to it being an explicitly feminist space, you are far more welcome to push off.)

    I seriously DO NOT KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON at the NYT, but god bless ‘em for it. There was that article on the menace of MeMe, too! Keep it up, NYT, you crazy kid!

  7. Ah, Papa Willett: “The data are clear.”

    I am just raising my eyebrows and sending him “The Look,” because I don’t know how to communicate with inhabitants Of Magical Rainbow Land (where clear data come from).

  8. Also irritating about Papa Willett: characterizing this as the “fat is beautiful” movement. Once again, a dood decides people working for social justice are basically a bunch of ugly chicks trying to get laid.

  9. Once again, a dood decides people working for social justice are basically a bunch of ugly chicks trying to get laid.

    I just horked my water out my nose when I read this, Kate.

    I should know better than to read here and drink at the same time.

    Unless I’m drinking Mai Tais. Can we have Shapeling Happy Hour?

  10. The data are clear: If you are a thin-worshipper, you will do anything you can to misrepresent FA principles.

  11. Wait, what? There’s a *good* article in The Scotsman? It can’t be. But it is. This is mind-blowing to a feminist living in Scotland. Will keep an eye out for future writings by Lee Randall. Thanks for these links, they’ve cheered me up no end.

  12. Willett’s better-off-thin assertion falls flat when you take into consideration that the actual options for many people who have to exist in reality are fatness vs. weight cycling.

  13. Kate, loving the picture of you–you look like a Harry Potter star with that bold gaze in front of those portentous clouds. The storm of fat intolerance rages, but rising against it comes the Fatosphere . . .

  14. I’m glad you mentioned the giant finger.

    When I first saw the smaller version of the photo (on the NYT page), the finger looked like . . . uh. . . something else.

    Although I’m a little disappointed. . . I thought maybe it was one of those paranormal photos proving the existence of phantom schlongs.

  15. Thank you for getting this message into the mainstream! Can it be that the tide is actually turning…now if only more of my colleagues in the medical profession were paying actually attention. One wave at a time I guess.

  16. I’m going to be all hopeful here and decide that the powerful logic of applying the industry’s own disclaimers (‘*Results Not Typical’) to the very average person (‘Wait, am I typical? … probably’) and coming up with a logical path from there (‘Well, fuck ‘em then.’) has finally trumped the fit-throwing nonsense constantly bleated from the opposing crowd (everything from ‘cupcakes = the devil’ to ‘but you’ll die!’).

    Don’t we all know and accept that we’ll die? And since we will, shouldn’t we enjoy living first? Being obsessed with food and cellulite doesn’t feel much like living to me, so. Y’all are exactly the kind of noisy, companionable company I want. Cupcake-haters are no fun at parties.

  17. I am totally with Time4mercy on what that “finger” looks like. (That is once I was done being bowled over by the always gorgeous Kate!)

    So today is such a good FA day, 2 thingies in the NYTimes, the Scotsman, and I just watched the Fox News video of a guy telling off Meme Roth on Jezebel. (3 days late, but hey it was new to me!)

    I think I will have a baby doughnut with my lunch to celebrate.

  18. From that first article: “The aim is to behave as if you have reached your “goal weight” and to act on ambitions postponed while trying to become thin, everything from buying new clothes to changing careers.”

    I…I think I’m in love with that sum-up of what it “means” to accept fat/yourself as you are. :D

    This has improved my mindset so much to see even one (let alone two!!) writings in a “major” newspaper that steps back to say, “You know what, here’s a rational expose on what the ‘other side’ has really been trying to say at us” :)

  19. This is tangental to the awesome FA articles discussed here. And, the example from the intuitive eating article is pretty innocuous. But I have to say, there are iinsidious examples of Using Our Hominid/ Human Ancestors as Comparisons when it comes to gender and fat and health.

    “Did cave-dwellers eat intuitively?” Maybe, probably, I expect it depends. The question, I think reveals a lot about the food issues of modern humans. It’s not automatically revealing about the behavior of humans in the past (and thus isn’t nesc. helping us make useful comparisons between ancient and contemporary human groups).

    Research on contemporary foraging societies* shows that, in fact, people who hunt and gather for subsistence are much better nourished than we historically assumed they would be. Not only that, but they work a lot less hard to fulfill their subsistence needs than farming societies. A famous study of Kalahari Desert residents showed on average, foraging is a three-hour a day time investment. This wouldn’t be the case in a fear-of-famine context.

    And for foragers, food has all kinds of social, religious, status, and gender stuff attached to it that influences decisions about what and how to eat that work in partnership with whatever “eating intuition” people may have. Just like us post-industrials.

    The point of that anthro-trivia is to say that in popular science journalism, our assumptions very often reinforce mainstream ideas about how things are “naturally.” (And how often are things that seem “natural” actually “makes sense to us so they must be natural?” when it comes to gender, fat, thin, health, violence, and so on?)

    Frankly, I wish they’d quit it with the fascination about what is “natural” for humans to do, since whatever is “natural” is thickly mediated by what is cultural to do.

    *which are mostly located in places where food is available year round, so arctic mammoth hunters may have been a different case altogether.

  20. PS: I agree with morganeyrie… that is not what one expects of The Scotsman. The Other Big Scottish Daily… maybe.

    Although, Lee Randall… I don’t know if she is Scottish, but she writes in the straight-forward, no-nonsense tone of one who is (disappear up my own backside…). Hee.

  21. As per usual, Sanity Watchers Points™ are required for NYT commentary. Oh, my God, you guys! Did you know all we have to do is eat less and exercise more? My mind is blown. But several NYT commenters assure me it’s Just That Simple.

    Psssshhhhh.

  22. I think noisy and companionable perfectly describes us! And I support Coco’s idea of a Shapeling Happy Hour.

    Kate, you look gorgeous in that pic! I’m happy that there’s lots of positive press about the book and FA in general. I may be able to buy the book next week, depending on how my financial scene looks. I’m determined to get it, eventually!

  23. Yes, and of course, just give up the junk food! Us shapelings stuffing our faces with McDonald’s all the time, when will we learn?

    “Some people are thin because they are ill. Those with cancer, for example, often lose weight. This is bound to confuse the results, making it look like being overweight is not as unhealthy as it actually is.”

    Btw, I just had to copy paste this comment from the NYT, I’ve read many people claiming that fat is unhealthy and thin is really the only healthy way to live, but it’s gotta be the first time someone claims we’re confusing naturally thin people with cancer patients. Or whatever the hell she meant.

  24. Another thing I learned from a nutritionally sophisticated NYT commenter: “be sure to get a little protein throughout the day from fish, eggs, or poultry, not red meat.” Wow, really, “Jane”? Protein from red meat is less desirable than protein from eggs and poultry? Gosh, thank you for further allowing your food prejudices to parade in the guise of nutritional astuteness.

    Jane, you ignorant ass. Animal protein is animal protein.

  25. Lu, Eggs are terrible for you, Jane doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I mean Egg whites are WHITE and white food is bad. Plus doesn’t she know that egg yolks have cholesterol in them?Surely this will change her mind about eggs, because anything that might contain anything even slightly unhealthy for you is going to be the CAUSE OF YOUR DOOM.

  26. I commented at the NYT in response to previous comments on the FA story (next up: reading the intuitive eating story). Some commenter said you can look at a person and know her/his relationship to food and exercise. Um, I responded, who the hell do you think you are, saying something so presumptuous as that???!! However, I was slightly more diplomatic. But I just kinda tried to convey to those who make such judgments that it is not OK to assume fat people are sugar addicts and couch potatoes. It is just not OK. Nothing that hasn’t been said 10,000 times here, I know, but I couldn’t stand not replying to such arrogance and ignorance.

  27. I was amused by the guy who claimed he stayed thin by avoiding such “modern” foods as BREAD. That was a real winner.

  28. Shell524: well, have you ever seen a medieval cookbook with a bread recipe in it??

    *headdesk*

    (for those of you who aren’t medieval cookery geeks, the reason there aren’t generally bread recipes in medieval cookbooks is because they only had the FANCY foods, for which you needed actual instructions, not the things that every woman learned how to make as she grew up.)

  29. Ironically my copy of the book FINALLY arrived today. Woo!

    Now if only didn’t have all this work-related stuff to read. *pouts*

    *is noisy and companionable at everyone*

    DRST

  30. I ‘m embarassed in praising and my English is not perfect, anyway I want to tell you this is the best blog I’ve ever read – the first where I find some responses as brilliant as the posts themselves. No surprise that the NYT has paid attention to you. Thank you for sharing all this.

  31. @BaldSoprano Yay for medeival cooking geekery.

    Silly kids with their newfangled bread and wheels and fire.

  32. [quote]Small quibble about the eating piece: I’m not sure I agree with the assertion there that cave people didn’t binge and starve — I mean, probably not on purpose, but wasn’t that kinda the nature of their diet? In circumstances where food is scarce,[/quote]

    Agreeing with AnthroK8 in a small quibble with your small quibble. In modern foraging societies, which in general occupy the most marginalized land with the poorest resources, evidence suggests that a foraging lifestyle requires a 7-14 hour work-WEEK. Extrapolating back, in foraging societies privileged to utilize much better resourced area, the work-week may have been even shorter. It is unlikely that foraging societies had ‘feast or famine’ dietary patterns for the simple reason that when land isn’t farmed and people are not consumed with bizarre food prejudices, resources are ample just about everywhere to support healthy lifestyles.

    Interestingly, evidence suggests that older human populations possessed denser bones and huskier frames than modern populations do – entirely reasonable if a person is expected to withstand elements, animal attacks, and extensive temperature changes on a daily basis. In fact, the likelihood is that living indoors is more responsible for the fragile frames of modern populations than diet or exercise. Evidence also demonstrates that there was considerable variation in fat and muscle between individuals in foraging populations, so where we get this idea that foragers were all tall thin “wiry” types is beyond me.

    /archaeologist rant

  33. And Mary, you know, they don’t seem to recognize the logical inconsistency in wanting only healthy thin people but all of the fat people, healthy and unhealthy, included in their statistics.

  34. “you know, they don’t seem to recognize the logical inconsistency in wanting only healthy thin people but all of the fat people, healthy and unhealthy, included in their statistics.”

    I have never thought to say this when that argument comes up about the stats – thank you!

  35. “Some people are thin because they are ill. Those with cancer, for example, often lose weight. This is bound to confuse the results, making it look like being overweight is not as unhealthy as it actually is.”

    See, when people are thin for reasons other than eating little, it’s statistic-skewingly significant. When people are fat for reasons other than eating lots, it’s barely worth mentioning and probably just an excuse besides. (Seriously, the knee-jerk “well maybe A Tiny Percentage TM of fat people are fat for other reasons, but [made-up stat] percent just eat too much” comments are such high ridiculousness. Yet you will never not see them. I had NO IDEA so many people were epidemiologists.)

  36. Awesomely perspicacious (but sadly non-noisy) thinking on the “unhealthy thin people” question, ending up with fillyjonk’s response. Y’all are real smart.

    And shinobi, lol at your two-pronged destruction of the Eggs question. Too funny.

  37. Posting from phone right now, but just want to say to people who quibbled w/ my quibble, I will update post to reflect that when I get back to actual computer. Unless FJ, SM or AS wants to do it for me.

  38. Seriously, the knee-jerk “well maybe A Tiny Percentage TM of fat people are fat for other reasons, but [made-up stat] percent just eat too much” comments are such high ridiculousness

    Yeah, that. Often the made up stat is just “the vast majority” or “nearly all”. These people never mention how they, personally, distinguish the fatties who deserve pity from the ones who deserve contempt, but they seem to think that contempt is always a safe default position. I see this in every single fucking comments section to the point where I’m starting to think there’s a Commentobot behind it all.

    That, or stupidity.

  39. About cavemen, etc….#1….if there were no fat people back then, where in hell did they get the idea for these statues of fat women which were molded 30,000 or more years ago. And #2….why are so many worried about copying the lifestyle/eating habits of people who had a life expectancy of 35-40 years? That has nothing to do with us today.

  40. I have an off-topic question. I just started taking yoga classes for larger bodies in San Diego. It is amazing and so body affirming. It is called A Gentle Way Yoga for any of you shapelings in the area. So, my question for Kate and anyone else is, where are some good places to get yoga clothes? I’m teh death fatz so I need sizes 26-28.
    Gracias.

  41. These people never mention how they, personally, distinguish the fatties who deserve pity from the ones who deserve contempt,

    Oh, see, that’s really easy: the former are the ones you’d fuck if they lost 10 pounds.

  42. But “obesity epidemic booga booga booga” is MINE!

    **fumes**

    (Next time I come up with a good catchphrase, I will make sure there are links that point to me. Who knew?)

    Oh, and the NYT commenter nudniks? (Who obviously think they’re giving me something with their diet advice rather than trying to take something, nyuk.) I just wish one of them would have the guts to give me their shopworn buttinskyisms in person. “Really? Eat less and exercise more? My god. I’m 45 years old and in 35 years of being fat, not one person ever has put it so simply, so elegantly, so that even I, an unfathomably dopey cow, can actually understand it. That is so brilliant! I think I will go home and eat less and exercise more right now! (throws arms around unsuspecting nudnik in fatty-fragrant bear hug) Thank you, brilliant thin person! You changed my life! Thank you! Thank you!”

    I tell you, if we kept doing that, they’d finally shaddup.

  43. they don’t seem to recognize the logical inconsistency in wanting only healthy thin people but all of the fat people, healthy and unhealthy, included in their statistics.

    Oh volcanista, I think you misunderstand. Healthy fat people are exceptions, so they should be excluded too.

    Marianne in Cali,

    There’s what you need for yoga (something you can move in) and there’s what everyone else is wearing ;)

    Mostly I would wear shorts and a t-shirt with a cotton no-wire/sports bra. I do have some bike shorts and leggings that I sometimes wear for working out. But I’ve also done yoga after work in cotton knit pants, a cotton no-wire bra, and tshirt (and even with a normal underwire bra when I forgot the sports bra).

    Where I get this stuff:

    Leggings: Making It Big, Danskin.
    Bike shorts: Danskin.
    Shorts: Making it Big, Silhouettes, Roaman’s, Catherine’s, Casual Male.
    T-shirts: Junonia, Silhouettes, Catherine’s, Roaman’s, Casual Male.
    Pants: Usually Making It Big size H cotton knit Favorite or Relaxed Knit pants.

  44. “There’s what you need for yoga (something you can move in) and there’s what everyone else is wearing ;)”

    HA!!!

    I’m glad you brought up the bra thing, living400lbs. I have a rack of doom at a K cup, and the only bras I have are SERIOUS underwires. The wires tend to poke me when I’m wiggling around. Does anyone know where to get a comfy sports bra? In ginormous cup sizes?

  45. Oh, see, that’s really easy: the former are the ones you’d fuck if they lost 10 pounds.

    Ah, of course. You are the Jedi Master of Understanding Shitty Behavior.

  46. So, after a particularly long day of standing in place, smiling at people, and pouring yogurt, I thought I’d chime in with a couple of notes about my job:

    I’m the free samples lady at Wal-Mart. My job is to go in and prepare and serve a different kind of product every day. But my on-the-job HOBBY is watching and taking note of people’s reactions to whatever it is I’m giving away. As I understand it, most people love food, but feel the need to act like they hate it. (By “most people”: I can only speak for the customers I usually see in this one town, and that’s obviously not representative of everybody.) Serving all natural lemonade? Too much sugar. Serving diet soda? Too many chemicals. Whenever I’m lucky enough to be serving something like hamburgers, ice cream, or cake, I have to mentally prepare myself beforehand for the dozens of people who will accuse me of trying to kill them. Most of them say it in a joking-but-not-really way: smile on the face while they shake a finger at me and say, “Nice try, nice try…” Like I’m a food con artist that almost got away with something illegal. Once in a while, a few are less subtle. I’ve been called a “temptress” and “seductress” before as well, as if by baking cookies, I am simultaneously trying to make people fat, ruin their marriages, give them heart disease AND herpes.

    There’s no group of people I’ve seen that are guilty of this more than others. The longer I actually had the job, I quickly realized it’s not a fat-girl or a thin-girl thing. It’s not even a uniquely female thing. It’s everyone. Everyone is clinging to the idea that there’s a “correct” way to eat, and that if they can just crack the code and avoid the wrong foods, they’ll magically become gorgeous and healthy and gain eternal youth and everyone in the world will finally love and respect them.

    That’s a lot of pressure on me and my little cutting board. Sometimes I wish more of my customers were kids. They take samples based on whether or not they LIKE what I’m serving.

  47. @Marianne from Cali – try Enell for sports bras! I’m sure I’ve said it a million times but they seriously saved my sports-bra-life. They also have a relatively new design they call a “lite” bra which is less heavy-duty than their standard sports bras, and is perfect for low-impact sports like yoga. Only drawback is the price, but for me its totally worth it, and they last ages!

  48. @Marianne – as soon as I posted that I realized I forgot bras! I’ve heard good things about Enell, and In know that Junonia carries sports bras too.

    What I do – and I realize this may not work for you – is buy cotton no-wire bras from LB that are a slightly bigger band and a slightly smaller cup. So instead of my normal 44F or 46DDD, I buy a 48DD or 48DDD. I emphasize that this is comfortable for me but it might not be for you :)

  49. Also irritating about Papa Willett: characterizing this as the “fat is beautiful” movement. Once again, a dood decides people working for social justice are basically a bunch of ugly chicks trying to get laid.

    If he calls it a “fat is beautiful” movement, then it immediately become so ridiculous (eyeroll) that he doesn’t have to actually argue or read any research. Willett strikes me as a naturally thin person who thinks he’s working hard.

  50. But “obesity epidemic booga booga booga” is MINE!

    Aw, I’m sorry, Meowser! I know I’ve credited you here before, but it has kind of taken on a life of its own.

    For the record, even though I’ve said this before, too, also did not originate “Rack of Doom.” Though I can’t recall who did.

  51. No big, KH. Marianne Williamson has to live with that quote of hers being attributed to Nelson Mandela all these years, I can live with this. :-P And it’s not like I can provide any hard proof; I just distinctly remember having done it (and apparently I wasn’t hallucinating, since you remember it too).

    Anyway, confatulations again!

  52. Willett strikes me as a naturally thin person who thinks he’s working hard.

    Ahem.

    (Please note that Willett’s cutoff for “ideal” BMI is 21. Talk, meet walk.)

  53. Hi Shapelings, I’ve been lurking a while, read the book (in Melbourne, Australia) proudly on the train and shamelessly left it out in my living room where guests could see it!

    I wanted to thank this noisy and companionable community for letting me shake of 23 years of shame and judging – I can’t believe how EASY it has been to just say – ok, I’m fat, not the worst thing I could be, and food does not have a moral value: it’s just food.

    I think it just makes so much sense, and I’ve known at some level for so long that I wasn’t really living on cakes and pies and beer etc etc that the FA message just slotted into my mind far more easily than I ever expected.

    Not to say I still don’t have a way to go before really loving my body – but it’s such a relief to stop hating it, or myself…

    So – thanks, Shapelings. I think I’ll go home and cook some noodles.

  54. I’d seriously suggest going braless over wearing an underwire for yoga. I’m not sure what my US size is, maybe 40DD, so I’m not sure how comparable my experience is. But anyway, a no wire bra is best in my experience, not necessarily a sports one. Once when I forget and wore the wrong bra, the wires kept sticking into me with all the twisting and postures. It was awful. (And yes, it is a well fitting sports bra, it works fine for my occasional spates of jogging.)

  55. Thanks for the warning about the NYT comments – I read them anyway, but I was prepared for it. There’s so much smug hate there – people who have bought completely into the lies fed to them by the diet industry.

    A diet of hate seems pretty unhealthy, no matter their size, non?

  56. I’d seriously suggest going braless over wearing an underwire for yoga.

    If it works, that’s great, but it definitely doesn’t for me — my boobs are big enough to get in the way and hurt when they swing free. Personally, I’ve never had a problem doing yoga in an underwire bra, as that’s the only kind I own — I can see the potential for issues there, but it’s worked fine for me. Having said that, I’ve almost never had underwire poking issues in my bra-wearing career, except when they get worn out, and I know some women who can’t wear an underwire at all because they’re constantly being stabbed.

    So I think the lesson here is, you’ll need some trial and error to figure out what works for you. If you can find a well-fitting sports bra, that’s a great start, but I’ve never found one I’m happy with, so I practice in regular full-coverage bras.

  57. Yeah, I seem to get stabbed by the wires in pretty much any underwire I’ve ever bought. I don’t have a Rack of DOOM, but it’s hard to find wireless anyway (42B usually, sometimes 44). My best solution has been removing the wires myself.

  58. If it works, that’s great, but it definitely doesn’t for me

    Oh, I read that as “wearing underwire for yoga is so awful that even the clearly awful option of going braless would be better.” :)

  59. Since this is an open thread, I’m passing this link along. This is a legitimate academic study, not a scam or an industry survey. The e-mail it asks for will not be seen by anyone – it’s only for control and sorting purposes.

    You must be over 18 and a Facebook user to take the survey:

    Survey on Facebook Use and Privacy:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=LOJF_2fjlX_2feO38SnFE6Azkw_3d_3d

    Help a poor academic researcher out, please? And spread that link around like woah, preferably on Facebook itself.

    DRST

  60. I can vouch for DRST being who she says she is and a legitimate academic researcher, if that helps.

    DRST ~ Survey done. :)

    Jane, you ignorant ass. Animal protein is animal protein.

    Awesome.

    Jessikanesis ~ yes! Part of my job is giving out samples of whatever drink we’re promotoing at the moment and the other day it was sample size caramel and signature hot chocolates with a bit of whipped cream on top. Some people are like “Fuck yes!”, but SO MANY others are like “too much fat!” or “oh no, I’m being good today”, patting their stomachs like this tiny tiny cup is going to have ANY EFFECT on their overall size, and refusing it is their Good Work for the day. I just..the indoctrination, man. It burns.

  61. @volcanista, Yes!! we should link the picture back to the phantom schlong discussion! I’d do it but I must be spelling it wrong ’cause I can’t find it.

  62. Re: underwires and yoga, for me it depends on the bra. My workhorse Venus by Cortland 1701 (formerly Lilyettes) 44 or 46DDDs don’t restrict my movement much, but even so I’d rather wear a bra that allows more movement. (I’m wearing it in these pictures.)

    But the newer Elomis I got recently are much more fitted (the center wires are actually against my breastbone of their own accord, I don’t have to bend them in). Plus the underwires come up higher under my arms. That bra I would not want to do yoga in :)

  63. Oh, I read that as “wearing underwire for yoga is so awful that even the clearly awful option of going braless would be better.” :)

    Well, yes, but since my experience is the exact opposite, I thought I’d reinforce that it’s important to figure out what works for you as an individual. :)

  64. I never tried yoga, but I used to go the gym (and shall return soon I hope!) and do some very high impact workouts, and underwire bras would work just fine. I would have much rather wear a sports bra, but my lovely third world country doesn’t like to recognize the existence of my ROD, so I can never find a proper size. My point is, if you have the chance to wear sports bra, it’s probably the best choice, but if you don’t you should try underwire bras once at least, you might be surprised! It really depends on the person.

  65. You anti-diet bloggers and writers are making a positive difference in many people’s lives, including mine. The diet industry, insurance industry, etc. is doing all they can to stop people from finding out the truth. You girls are my inspiration. (Sorry for the cornball) Please don’t quit.To heck with those trying to keep everyone, (especially women), forever on some kind of diet.

  66. Also, anyone looking for new yoga/workout clothes should go enter Colleen’s drawing for a $75 gift card to Lila Plus.

    Each day it kills me a little more that it would be totally unethical for me to try to win any of these.

  67. caitlin, thanks for the nod. Speaking as a vegan, I get so p-o’ed anyway at the thought that one kind of protein is superior to another.

    The Cult of Lean Protein is such a Paltrow-esque cliche (Gwynnie being my current icon of the pointless fetishizing of lifestyle choices); celebrities talking about their “clean” diets of many vegetables and grilled lean protein such as fish and chicken breast ticks me off. I had such fun watching her food-travels in Spain, watching her look down her nose at her companions because they ate lamb, after which she tucked into a plate of mussels as if her ingestion of a different dead creature (inexplicably less deserving of her sympathy) were a holy act.

  68. @Meowser: There are days I love Alex Beam – I went to school with his oldest son growing up (Chris is making a name for himself now) and appreciate his sense of sarcastic humor.

    @Kate: I’m with you on the bras for yoga. I regularly wear an underwire bra while doing yoga and it’s never been an issue for me, but I pretty much always wear underwire anyway.

    You know what drives me crazy? I eat basically the same as my best friend – she’s actually commented that she thinks I eat less and “healthier” (more fruits/veggies/fiber) than she does. She’s 5’6″, 130 lbs, and a size 4. I’m 5’4″ 170 lbs and a size 10-12. On top of that, I’m a runner and do yoga a few times per week. How on earth could any sane person argue that I should just eat less and exercise more? I’d have no time to do anything else with my life and eating less would prevent me from going out with friends, having a few drinks, and getting something to eat.

    No person should be made to feel guilty about perfectly normal eating habits just because he/she is heavier than someone else thinks he/she should be.

  69. @DRST: Quick comment on the survey. I think there’s a tiny mistake on the age ranges. It goes “22-25″ and then “25-29.” I assume it should either read “22-24″ or “26-29?”

  70. Harking back to Jessikanesis’s post about sampling at Wal-Mart, because it stuck in my mind: I have to say that was really brilliant.

    “As I understand it, most people love food, but feel the need to act like they hate it. … Everyone is clinging to the idea that there’s a ‘correct’ way to eat, and that if they can just crack the code and avoid the wrong foods, they’ll magically become gorgeous and healthy and gain eternal youth and everyone in the world will finally love and respect them.”

    So true!

  71. Each day it kills me a little more that it would be totally unethical for me to try to win any of these.

    It would? I entered. I mean, under my real name so Colleen wouldn’t be influenced.

    I mean, not that Colleen isn’t also my friend on Facebook but… I only put my first name?

    Maybe my sense of ethics is skewed. But I just assumed winners were chosen randomly.

  72. Hey, Pegkitty, you and I are boobie twins! I wonder if there’s something about relatively small boobs and large band sizes — I’ve only ever found one style of underwire bra that didn’t poke me all to heck.

  73. Maybe my sense of ethics is skewed. But I just assumed winners were chosen randomly.

    Oh, they are! But since I actually hang out with Colleen and stuff, I figured it would look bad even if I won by accident.

  74. @ comment on “Venus” figurines being fat and the general discussion on hunter-gatherer diets –

    I love the erudite comments on this site! I’m also an archaeologist and I would like to quibble the quibble a little further. Several of those studies on workday length don’t take into account processing of raw materials (something that would probably be done by women in many cultures), so take those with a grain of salt. However, general workday length was shorter and easier than agriculturalists.

    Considering how hunter-gatherers ate, ethnographies point out times of starvation and of plenty in modern groups. It wasn’t just an even keel with plenty of variety, and even in non-marginal environments you have to take what you can get at times. But eating to satiation (even gorging) is seen as a good thing in many groups. No food problems here!

    Question for the bloggers (I’m new here, maybe you’ve touched on this already), how do you feel about the “thrifty gene” hypothesis? (States that we are biologically programmed to like foods high in calories and to cling to every scrap of fat as an evolutionary adaptation against starvation.)

    Finally, regarding the fat Venus figurines, I get very nervous about anyone who makes definitive statements about these guys. We simply don’t know anything about how they were made or used. Maybe there were fat models available, maybe there weren’t.

    Love the blog!

  75. The Scotsman article says that “the fat-o-phere” is a nickname for Shapely Prose. Anyone else notice? Maybe they should print a clarification?

  76. DRST – I’ve filled in your survey and posted the link on my Facebook page. Hope it helps! It did make me think about how genuinely private my “private” information actually was…

  77. “The indoctrination, it burns” My favourite quote for the day!

    I recently bought some sassy yoga/bellydance pants, and was horrified to discover that the denim-look fabric went very see-through when stretched, and of course my butt stretched it the most. If you can not only tell what colour my knickers are, but also discern the pattern from a few feet away in poor light…not suitable for public consumption. I was pleased that my response boiled down to “man that’s bad fabric for stretchy pants” and no flagellation about my bum being too big, or wrong etc etc. I commented on facebook that my hips were just too magnificent for the pants to handle, and was a bit disappointed when a friend responded along the lines of “don’t worry, keep shimmying and your butt will shrink into the pants!”. So not the point. I decided it wasn’t worth pointing out to her that the goal of belly dancing may very well be to ENJOY my hips, not REDUCE them.

    Meh. Where’s my teaspoon?

  78. 1. Just got to read these articles and am so glad SP and fat acceptance are getting some much deserved recognition. Thanks for the community. It’s definitely had a positive impact on me.

    NYT has had some great coverage of eating disorders lately. I don’t think one can critique eating habits, nutrition trends, etc. without addressing what the obsession with diets and body size does to people. Kolbert missed this in her New Yorker article.

    2. Here’s another source for yoga stuff. Sizes up to 6x and good quality:

    http://www.sandiegofit.com/newpage2.htm

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