Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hel-lllooo Dolly!

Been goin’ thru the 1968 Celeste Geyer (a.k.a. Dolly Dimples) inspirational weight loss autobiography, Diet or Die, as part of research for a project and came upon this marvelous moment wherein the It Girl of Circus Fat Ladies describes being provoked by a heckling rube who claimed she was too fat to dance. Dolly’s response:
“Honey, I’ve got it all over these skinny girls. All I have to do to shimmy is run, stop suddenly and let nature take its course – like this!”
Now that must’ve been quite a show!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

“This Is What They Look Like With Their Clothes Off”

Miz Substantia Jones sent me the link to a new size positive photo project that I intend to keep an eye on: The Adipositivity Project. A series of close photos of fat women, the Project aims to affirm their beauty through “a visual display of fat physicality.” What this means, basically, is you get to see some fifty (at this count) photos of parts of women: in one of my personal favorites, we’re given the belly and upper thighs of a fat model in red panties and fishnets, reposing on some seriously red sheets – very sexy.

I’ve gotta admit, it took me a minute to see what the project’s creators were up to. As an FA, I’m a big fan of fat womanly faces: they’re a part of my visual ideal, and I always try to include at least one good description of my fat heroines’ faces in my stories. And while I can understand the need for anonymity on the Internet (believe me, I can), I have to admit to some frustration whenever I come across a photo which makes a point of cropping off or – worse yet – fuzzing out its model’s face. Too often, the effect of this strategy is to negate their individuality and humanity.

But the Project has a different motive beyond masking the identity of its models for its visual approach: it’s to “to coax observers into imagining they're looking at the fat women in their own lives, ideally then accepting them as having aesthetic appeal which, for better or worse, often translates into more complete forms of acceptance.” Okay, I can accept that. Looking at a varied collection of these shots does indeed get you to appreciate parts of a fat woman’s anatomy in a fresh way. Why not check it out?

Personally, I Like All Three

At one of my favorite progressive blogs, Welcome to Shakesville (which has also recently a feminist size acceptance writer to its ranks), founder Melissa McEwan has done a wonderful post about a misfired Brazillian low-fat yoghurt campaign which photographs a trio of BBWs in scenes from American movies – and asks us to consider how unattractive they look. Thing is: none of the plus-sized models pictured in the ads look unattractive; they all appear happy and sexy. “Forget about it,” the ad states. “Men’s preference will never change.” Um, beg to differ, bud . . .

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

“Let Me Eat Cake When the Menu Says, ‘Cake!’”

Josh Max, onetime Dimensions columnist and full-time FA, and his sparkling spouse Julie have a new CD out as The Maxes (Swipecat Records). Previously known as Josh Max’s Outfit, the Maxes specialize in a club-friendly blend of acoustic pop-rockabilly, ultra-loungey Latin numbers and singer/songwriter reflections. Though the new disc doesn’t contain any FA anthems like its predecessor, Make It Snappy (w./ “I Like A Whole Lot of Woman”), it’s still a rousing good time that’s been regularly spinning in my study for days now. BBDiva Julie gets more vocal tracks now that the band is The Maxes (and not just Josh’s “Outfit”) – good news for anyone familiar with her crystalline voice. I also like Josh’s singing/shouting, which at times favorably reminds me of Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook. Final verdict: a big thumbs up from this pop-rock geezer!

For more info on this spiffy new disc, why not check out the Maxes’ website?