December 30, 2010

Dear Special K,

I'd like to tell you that your "What will you gain when you lose" campaign is full of shit.

I'll make this short because your commercials offend me. And if you don't know me, there really isn't a lot that I take offense to. Even when it comes to diet and weight loss issues.

If you haven't seen the ads or are unaware of the campaign, here's a link to a news release:

"It truly is not what the numbers on the scale read, but how you feel about yourself that allows you to project beauty and confidence to the world," said Jesper Lund Jacobsen, associate director, Special K® brand. "That is what the new Special Kbrand campaign is all about, reminding women of the positive emotional benefits that come from reaching weight-management goals. It's not what you lose, but what you gain in the process that translates into the real reward.

 While I see where Special K is trying to go with their message by empowering women to take their weight issues into their own hands. I do not agree with the strategy behind using adjectives like "Sass", "Self-Belief" or "Passion" to describe what you get when you lose weight.

This image belongs to the Kellogg Corp. I just nabbed it from their site,, please don't sue me.

I'm not sure how anyone else has taken these commercials, but this is how I see it:
"You cannot possibly be happy with yourself. You're fat and miserable. You posses neither sass nor self-belief because you are fat. So when you take our "challenge" you'll lose that pesky weight and gain everything you couldn't have when you were 30+ pounds overweight. Plus, we have this nifty tag line. Get it? 'What will you gain when you lose?'"

 Now if I read correctly, their spokesperson says "It's what you gain during the process that translates into the real reward." But the commercials come across like no one can be happy and feel whole unless they lose weight. They're making it a self esteem issue.
There are plenty of women who posses sass, self-belief and confidence (and to be honest, these women inspire me). It really is all about health. Why don't we focus on motivating people to take care of themselves, and if losing weight is part of that process, celebrate it? I think the way this campaign has an issue with its wording and not so much its motivation. Healthy = ok. Being overweight and happy with yourself = ok too.

I'd really like to hear what others think about this, if you've seen the commercials.

December 19, 2010

Unknown Artist

I'm dying to know who this artist is. If anyone out in the world wide webs knows, give me a clue, please.

December 13, 2010


This is going to be brief, and to be honest, I'm writing this while on the toilet because I'm a proud multi-tasker.

I took a short, yet semi-traumatic shopping trip with my mother yesterday. I say semi-traumatic because I was able to walk away from said shopping trip with an awesome pair of shoes and a cute sweater. The traumatizing part was two-fold.

First I was hoping to squeeze into a new bra, most of the ones I have now are "well loved". Bra shopping has always been a pain in the ass for me.
I've never been properly measured for a bra. I couldn't tell you if I'm a B cup or a C cup to save my life. I fluctuate. My boobs are the first place I gain weight (yay!) but the first place I lose it (boo!) so there's never really a set size to the girls. The only thing that's constant is the size of the band around my bust.
Which leads me to a complaint I've had ever since I hit puberty. Being fat and having small tits. Does this sound offensive? Good.

I've often envied my fellow large and lovely ladies for their glorious racks. Big girl shirts fit nicely over their chests, they fill out bras like cupcakes and frosting. And have you seen a corset on a large, curvy woman? WOW! Like a romance where the couple is meant to be.

Me, on the other hand, I've always been on the small side of the tit spectrum. While my hips and ass have been the focus of a lot of compliments, no one (save for my dear, loving boy) has ever complimented me on my boobs. Which is fine, I'd rather people focused on my shining personality above my boobs. But I haven't been able to properly fit into large lady clothing because clothing manufacturers think that if you're over a size 14 that you're more than well equipped in the bust.

Coy and demure in 2006
Shopping for a shirt that's cute and a little flirty is a pain in the ass. If it has the slightest "V" in the neckline, I find myself having to either stitch it closed a little, or I have to wear a tank top under it. I could be extra brave and just let the shirt do its thing naturally... but then I'd constantly be worried about wardrobe malfunctions.
I find myself shopping for push-up bras or padded bras so that my clothing fits correctly, because I don't want to always wear a T-shirt to hide my girls.

So after trying on two or three bras, and realizing that if you're over a 38B, and under a 40DD there are no cute bras for you. YOU are supposed to wear a bland, white, no frills, granny bra (no offense to hot grannies out there). While I'm possibly a 40B or a 40C, I couldn't find a cute bra with polka dots, or a demi-cup with a lacy pattern to save my life. The bra I liked that looked good on me was an EXTREME PUSH UP bra (This is what it said on the tag). It was comfortable, but not EXTREME. Why? Because the padding in the bottom of the bra that made it extreme, was taking up the space that my boobs did not. So it looked like a regular bra, and it still didn't fit me correctly. I was a little dejected.

Yeah, I took a photo because I thought the EXTREME push up bra
looked hilarious on my non-extreme boobs.

We made a quick trip to another store where I was rewarded with a pair of boots that I had coveted months prior. High five to 50% off sales AND awesome mothers. But there was something I really wanted, something that I've been searching high and low for.... a sweater dress in a fat lady size. I found one, but it wasn't "quite" my size. I tried it on anyway and was disappointed that it looked more like I'd tried to squeeze into a sock than a sweater dress. 
I have several pairs of leggings that I'm enamored with. I'd love to wear more dresses, but I don't because tights are a pain in the ass. So leggings are these amazing things that allow me to wear dresses AND not have to deal with the BS that are tights. They also have me looking high and low for things to wear OVER them.
This is where the sweater dress comes in. After much staring, debating and twirling in the dressing room, I gave up the search (for the time being) for an appropriate sweater dress.

While my mom and I were walking to the car, I asked her a question that has been rolling around in my brain for a while.
"Why do you think that calling someone "fat" is an insult?"

This resulted in a quizzical look and her replying "because they feel that way on the inside, or maybe were fat at one time in their life?"

Which really wasn't what I meant, but it's a question that I want to get to the bottom of. 

Why is calling someone fat an insult? Fat is an adjective. It describes a noun.
Yelling "Hey, you're skinny!" isn't an insult. Why should saying "Hey, you're fat!" be one either? 
Why we're so afraid that someone is going to call us an adjective is beyond my scope of comprehension. Are our collective thoughts on our bodies so warped that FAT has become a four-letter word?
My mom was more interested in a clever retort to someone saying "hey you're fat". This is yet another reason I love her. I'm going to start compiling a list of comebacks. I'm sure Joy Nash has a great list of comebacks...

Fat Rant 3

While this post was meant to be brief, and it looks like I was a little more verbose than I would have liked, I want to think about this more, though. It ticks me off that I've ever felt insulted by some idiot trying to be mean by throwing grammar at me.

December 9, 2010


I've been having a hard time standing my ground about body acceptance. Well, personally.

I want so hard to say LOVE THY SELF and mean it. To be genuine to the movement is very important to me. I'm starting to get cynical about people who are weight-loss addicted. Where there entire world is focused on losing weight and exercise.*

*This is in no way to say that I'm against weight loss and exercise, at all!!!

My problem is this: I want to lose weight and be healthy. While I agree that you can be healthy at any size, I however, am far from healthy. I'm not pre diabetic and my blood pressure is good for my size, so this is good. But my cholesterol is high. This is NOT healthy. My weight fluctuates by 20 pounds on any given month.
Anyway. In the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, I want to lose 100 pounds. This would put me back at my "pre-jerkface" weight. If all 100 pounds happens, great. If 20 pounds happens, awesome!

Don't let this contemplative, sexy pose fool you, I had
a terrible time with self image when I was this age.

I feel like I'm being wishy-washy to the spirit of my thesis.

I don't like the weight I've gained and I don't fit into the clothes I have. While a shopping trip would be spectacular, I just can't afford it right now. While I like the clothes that I have, I just don't like how I look in them. This is where my hypocrisy starts. A line from my thesis is: "I want to explore my own perceptions of body image and open a dialog with viewers about how media influences the way that women perceive themselves. I want to see why some women base their happiness solely on how they look in their clothes and why they compare themselves to the people that they see in the media." I feel like I'm not being true to this statement with my thoughts about my own body. I guess this can change as I work on my project next semester. Because my perceptions will change.... but I feel like wanting to lose weight is undermining my soul.

I look at blogs about weight loss, and congratulate women on dropping 100+ pounds. Then I read blogs about size acceptance and find myself saying "YES! You have it right!" then reading more about women losing weight and feeling badly because I'm thinking negative thoughts about how everyone should learn to love themselves.

Fat girl in a swimsuit, on the internet. And I'm ok with it.

There has to be.

I can't continue to torment myself over my weight. I can't make it this life or death matter that I can only see black or white.
I can't berate (albeit quietly) women who are addicted to exercise and weight loss, I can't put women who accept themselves, fat and all, on pedestals. There are negative aspects to letting yourself be unhealthy and not willing to change it, and also negative aspects to being addicted to exercise, there are positive aspects of both!

I'm currently mapping out a plan of action to get healthy, exercise and eat right. While I don't eat much and my portions are usually small, I don't eat enough and this is why I struggle losing weight. Eating once a day, and on the go, is far from healthy.

While I know that I'll never be skinny, I think that being healthy, firmer and happy wherever I end up is what my goal should be. And I am ok with that.

December 4, 2010


Friday started out as almost every day this week. I was a nervous wreck, but moreso than Monday through Thursday. I felt like my guts were churning, I wanted to melt out of my skin and make a trip to the Bahamas. I just did not want to be there.

Public speaking is NOT my strong suit. I get nervous just making polite conversation. I was glad I practiced my notes and had a moderately good feel of my proposal.

I got to the room 20-30 minutes early. I wanted to be sure that my fears of my slides being wrong, or the computer eating all my files or whatever problem that could go wrong, would not. I set up, paced, went to the bathroom, paced some more, flipped through my slides four or five times and paced one last time before I sat on the stool behind the podium.

The intro slide to my proposal

People started filtering in and they were all very friendly. People I've never met before were coming to see me talk about my work, my proposed project. Familiar faces started to come in and seat themselves and it made me really feel good. At first, I didn't want anyone to come to my presentation. It meant more pairs of eyes staring at me, analyzing me, watching me make mistakes. But knowing that there were kind people there that supported me and genuinely gave a shit about what I had to say, really made it easier to sit on a stool that was way to small for my butt, easier.

My mentor introduced me and I was off! I read through my cards, made eye contact with the blob of shapes in the darkness that was the crowd, flipped through my slides. Hearing myself gave me more confidence, I really sounded like I knew what I was talking about! Confidence that I'd never experienced started to filter through my body and out of my face! Several times my silly quips even made people laugh.
I HAVE YOU WHERE I WANT YOU! Which is right there in your seats following me.

Process slide

When my presentation came to an end, I sat there looking into the darkness at the silhouetted shapes of strangers and friends, wondering what kind of off-the-wall sorts of questions I was going to get. And then they came. Questions about what sorts of materials I was going to use, what I thought about using more than Caucasian models (which was odd, given that I created drawings of women of different ethnicities on purpose for my roughs. Maybe they weren't apparent enough). I surprised myself because I was able to answer the questions that I hadn't prepared myself for. The deeper  questions of where I was doing my research, what I want to glean from my project and how I was going to reach "the masses". My mouth opened and a woman who I'd never met before was coming out.

Rough layout of my final proposed project

To put a long and potentially rambly story short, I nailed it. Better than I expected. When called back in after the decision, I was told some initial concerns (which were few) and some praise. I was given the green light and now I have to prepare for the upcoming final semester. I'm excited! I even got some great ideas from my peers. I think it's a great idea to have a smaller doll so that people can take one with them when they leave the presentation. WOW! I wish that I had thought of something like that myself. I went a step further... to make a small version of each of the final dolls so that the audience can take one home with them. (I'll plan that out at a later date).

Ridiculous vintage underwear ads. I love them

I can't even continue to convey how happy I am that I didn't die right in the middle of my proposal. I was told continually that I was going to do well, but it was hard to hear that over the thumping of my heart. I was so frightened. I may have lip-synched in front of a group, done karaoke, performed in plays, go-go danced in KISS makeup on a pool table, dressed in clown just to hang out at the local bar....etc. But this was serious and I overcame one of the most terrifying things in my brain..... and I survived.

Final mockup (if you haven't seen it before)

I've gained an appreciation of having the support of loving family, friends and peers. I am sad that it's taken me until my senior year to make friends at school, but honestly, I expected that it was going to end up like that. But as they say, it's better late than never. I love hearing ideas from such awesomely talented folks. This seems so much more positive and bubbly than my normal pessimistic view.

My final slide

No one asked questions that were obnoxious like some of the questions I'd seen earlier in the week. It seemed to me that if someone didn't agree with what you were doing with your thesis, they'd ask some obscure question that bordered on being spiteful. (I learned a little about the nature of some people this week too, and it was sad). It's sad that at an art school, where we're lauded as being open-minded, that some people can be so closed-minded. Especially if your belief system is not the same as theirs. Some of these people push being tolerant in your face, but if you believe something completely different than they do, they try to belittle you or demean what you're trying to say. These people don't deserve to use the word "tolerant" in any of their speeches. I was pissed.

So the week is over, I'm happy for myself and for my fellow thesis proposing classmates. I'm excited to see what the next semester is going to bring (if I can survive 18 units) and putting together my project and watching my friends put theirs together. This makes me happier than any antidepressant. Especially since I'm such an process-oritented person. It's the process of putting together art that really gets me revved up!

Oh, and I created a special bow for my hair that I wore during my presentation. At first, it was going to be a large lime green bug patterned fabric bow with a huge bug on it, and then I realized that I still had the fabric that I used as the background of my intro and exit slides. So I came up with something just as silly. No one noticed the connection though.