Monday, July 30, 2007

Too Fat for Fashion? Surely You Jest...

Ok, so this is a little more personal than I intended to get on this blog, but hey – it’s mine right?

Being fat/big/plus-sized/’healthy’/’thicker than a snicker’ *giggle*/voluptuous, etc. has it’s ups and downs, goods and bads, pluses (no pun intended) and minus. One thorn in my side of being a big girl is fashion. Now, those who know me personally, know I’ve got my own style/flavor and it changes with my moods, but overall I’m fly – yea, I said it.

As I was blog browsing today, I came across several gems on plus sized fashion:
Fashionista; Size 14
Manolo for the Big Girl
Too Fat for Fashion

I found the blogs to be quite interesting as I
1. am a plus sized vixen, and
2. I happen to love fashion

While reading, I came across a post about Old Navy’s size bias and as I sat and read it…I had to nod my head in agreement. I don’t know how many of you out there shop at Old Navy…but I like the place for an occasional cheap sweater/skirt. Thing is, lately I’ve noticed they don’t make the same stuff in the Women’s and Women’s Plus sizes…The pieces they do venture to make in Plus aren’t nearly as cute as the items in the smaller sizes. Now, me being an 18, I can go either way – but that shouldn’t have to be the case. Or rather, what about those women who can't? For the record, fat does not equivocate frumpy fashion, and I need for more designers/stores to get with that. I’m young, I’m fly, and yea I got curves in the right (and some wrong) places, but damnit that doesn’t mean that I or those like me are less deserving of some good looking clothes.

So what did I do? I sent an email to their customer service. I don’t know if they realize how much more money they’d make if they stepped their game up a little bit. America is slowly becoming the land of the large, I cant say that I’m glad about it, but the clothing designers and manufacturers need to get with it and accept the big fat truth – fat people ain’t going nowhere anytime soon, so make us some damn clothes that look good!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

AM Reflections

I've been gone awhile it feels. I had my wisdom teeth pulled last week (all four), and spent the rest of that weeke recovering (read: eating all the ice cream I wanted and getting obscene amounts of sleep). I won't get into a full on post now, but I wanted to leave you with this quote by James Baldwin:

"I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also much more than that. So are we all."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Just Listen...and Internalize

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Gil Scott-Heron

Whitey's On the Moon - Gil Scott-Heron

Friday, July 13, 2007

Growing Pains

i think my mind might be fried. or maybe it's just that there's too much going on in my life, in addition to the events that have been going on in the world. there isn't enough time in a day...i need more sleep...but there are things i still need to get done, but am too tired/preoccupied to do.

i need a vacation...from life *smile*

over the past couple of weeks ive come into contact with a lot of information in regards to our people, society, race, etc. im still trying to process it all while taking on even more information. ive found myself being 'mentored' by Andrea of UppityNegro and she's been giving me some great stuff to read in addition to the material i already 'assisgned' myself.

i feel like im in college again. my mind is weary, but i feel like im catching up on a lot of things i didnt know. im reaching a new level of understanding and that's wonderful & terrifying at the same time. wonderful because i feel like im getting closer to something...what i dont know for sure. but im learning things that i/we really should have learned long ago. terrifying because i feel like i can see into some ofd the issues that plague us...the possible solution...and the fear that we'd reject the solution (and we have been doing just that)

i talk about how i hate/think it's pointless to talk about/overanalyze the problems. i talk about how we should do something. yet im stuck talking to you all because i havent figured out exactly how to do what i think needs to be done. ha,

contrary to popular belief, one cant solve the problems of the Black community all by their lonesome. no great Black leader will emerge just in the nick of time to save us from ourselves. if we are to do better, we need to work as one. we need to work together and build.

i was privy to an email exchange between Andrea and a young woman she worked with, and in it some of the things i'd been thinking as of late became apparent:

  1. for some of us who already know the 'deal' with race and racism in the country, news of new injustices arent a surprise, are really arent going to move us. if we were/are concerned at all, we dont need the reminders to rekindle what should have already been a fire blazing for social change.
  2. we are a reactionary people; collectively and individually (some of us). why do we enormally wait until something goes from obviously bad to blatently worse before we decide we want to take action (examples: Imus, video 'ho's', the N word)
  3. my generation is in trouble. we have been lead to believe that community service, a college degree, and a nice salary will change the world and better our race. WRONG. its gonna take a lot more than that, we have to think innovatively, work collaboratively, challenge the old ways and assumptions, and really get dirty. basically, we're gonna have to get in the trenches if we want to really win this thing.
  4. we dont like hearing the truth...even though it could set us free. we'd much rather tell ourselves we've made it versus admitting that we're far from reaching the goal. we're not doing nearly enough to make things better, but we refuse to be told otherwise.

not meaning to be such a Debbie Downer, but that's just how i see things right now. i do hop ethat one day things will change, just havent figured out how yet.

there are a couple of pieces id like to share and speak on at length, but given my current state of mind, i dont know what i'd be able to do that. so here are a couple of pieces for you to sink your teeth into:

Losing What We Never Had: White Privilege and Deferred Dreams, Part 1
"The larger white society is getting ready to hold a party, to celebrate the end of racism, and lean back on their white privilege for the rest of their lives. It is an ongoing story of constant revision of history, and writing Black people out it. "It seems that every four years we see our struggle and needs ignored," writes the author, an historian. Presidential years are key to the revisionist project, they define the "new era." What follows is betrayal, as whites made up a feel-good version of history to justify their past actions."

Losing What We Never Had: White Privilege & the Deferred Dreams of Black America, Part 2
"Modern political mythology, also believed by Blacks, maintains that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and the post-World War Two college and housing benefits for veterans were unmitigated boons for African Americans. However, in many ways, the opposite is true. The New Deal, largely shaped to appease racist southern lawmakers, actually codified Black inferior status, while elevating poor whites. And returning Black veterans got only a tiny fraction of the benefits of the GI Bill. President Johnson's Sixties War on Poverty effectively lasted only three years – at the end of which, the hopes of the Black poor were smashed."

How to Destroy an African-American City in Thirty-Three Steps – Lessons from Katrina
"How can we destroy a Black city? - let us count the ways. Federal, state and local officials appear to have compiled a comprehensive list of destructive acts of commission and omission - and pursued every possible tactic to permanently de-Blacken New Orleans."

What’s The Greater Obstacle To Black Progress: No Black Agenda, or Too Many Blacks With An Agenda?
"Certainly, the great leaders and change activists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, and even in the Twenty-first century recognize the inherent relationship between struggle and progress. Yet, more than ever, the Black community, in the collective sense, has become increasingly conflicted about what the struggle is and what progress has been made."

Majoring in Minstrelsy: White Students, Blackface and the Failure of Mainstream Multiculturalism
"White kids apparently believe they have the right to mock and deride Black people, as a sport. When they are caught in the act, they retreat to a position of "non-racism" - after having committed profoundly racist acts. Putting on "Black" wigs and darkening their bodies, these fiends who are going to become the leaders of "their" country act out the historical narrative of conquest and dehumanization. White youth hide behind "multi-culturalism" to solidify their social status, as rulers of the world, while talkin' Black talk, and tryr'na do the Black walk."

Whiteness as a Right of Passage
"Poor people from poor countries populated America, and then became "white." That was their right of passage. It is the saga of the American immigrants, who now turn on the new immigrants, as they did on the Black laborers who worked alongside them. They chose whiteness. Now they turn on Mexicans - who are also not of their race. Racism is the game. White supremacy is the object, and the at root of discourse around "legal vs. illegal immigration." It has always been. White America is out to protect its hard earned whiteness. But for Black America. the stakes are different. Do we need a whiter America?"


    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    We Just in Storage

    Courtesy of the New York Times:

    July 12, 2007
    Patchwork City
    Road to New Life After Katrina Is Closed to Many

    CONVENT, La. — This was not how Cindy Cole pictured her life at 26: living in a mobile home park called Sugar Hill, wedged amid the refineries and cane fields of tiny St. James Parish, 18 miles from the nearest supermarket. Sustaining three small children on nothing but food stamps, with no playground, no security guards and nowhere to go.

    No, Ms. Cole was supposed to be paying $275 a month for a two-bedroom house in the Lower Ninth Ward — next door to her mother, across the street from her aunt, with a child care network that extended the length and breadth of her large New Orleans family. With her house destroyed and no job or savings, however, her chances of recreating that old reality are slim.

    For thousands of evacuees like Ms. Cole, going home to New Orleans has become a vague and receding dream. Living in bleak circumstances, they cannot afford to go back, or have nothing to go back to. Over the two years since Hurricane Katrina hit, the shock of evacuation has hardened into the grim limbo of exile.

    “We in storage,” said Ann Picard, 49, cocking her arm toward the blind white cracker box of a house she shares with Ms. Cole, her niece, and Ms. Cole’s three children. “We just in storage.” (read full article)

    Suffice to Say I Dig Them

    Been gone for awhile…just information overload, coupled with the fam being in town for the week…I’m still recovering.

    I’ve been listening to Incubus for the past 2-3 weeks straight, and I have to say…they are forreal. Hands down, no questions asked, this band is the sh*t. I dug their singles back in the day, but it wasn’t till a few weeks ago when I was on Blind I's blog that I downloaded their compilation of Incubus songs and gave it a real listen. I was hooked. I could go on about how great I think they are, but what really gets me about their music is the lyrics are so on point; it’s poetry, it’s prose, it’s just good sh*t. Now I don’t normally like to do this, but check the lyrics for this song called ‘Make Yourself.’ If I feel so inspired I might come back later today and put some songs up for your consumption.

    Make Yourself
    If I hadn't made meI would've been made somehow
    If I hadn't assembled myself
    I'dve fallen apart by now
    If I hadn't made me
    I'd be more inclined to bow
    Powers that be would have swallowed me up
    But that's more than I can allow

    If you let them make you
    They'll make you papier-mache
    At a distance you're strong
    Until the wind comes
    Then you crumble and blow away

    If you let them fuck you
    There will be no foreplay
    But rest assured
    They'll screw you complete
    Til' your ass is blue and grey

    You should make amends with you
    If only for better health
    But if you really want to live
    Why not try and Make Yourself?

    If I hadn't made me
    I'dve fallen apart by now
    I won't let em' make me
    It's more than I can allow
    So when I make me
    I won't be papier-mache
    And if I fuck me
    I'll fuck me in my own way

    You should make amends with you
    If only for better health
    But if you really want to live
    Why not try and Make Yourself?

    Make Yourself

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    For the Fellas...

    A real woman knows how to be a woman. She knows how to handle her business, whether that be in the bedroom, on the street, or doing her thing in the office. She does not, repeat, does NOT need a man to tell her what he ‘thinks’ she ought to be, how she ought to look, how she ought to speak. We’re people, not pets – sorry fellas. I’m just mystified by the amount of men…correction, boys playing dress-up, who either don’t know how to respect a woman or just care not to.

    We don’t want to be whispered at on the street. Grabbing at my hand, arm, ass even, to get my attention is NOT going to get you any play – we are not your playthings, and our worth far exceeds what’s between our thighs. We don’t want to hear your weak @ss lines, you have NO game – why is it that people even look at it as being game in the first place? I don’t care how much you might have in the bank or what you drive – real women aren’t gold-diggers, we can take care of our damn selves and THENsome.

    If you want to get a good woman in your life, you need to learn to respect us. We are the way through which human life is created, can we get a little appreciation? Talk to us and treat us like we’re people, not objects. Don’t assume that we’re all out to ‘tie you down’ or ‘take you money’ or any of those foolish things.
    Yea, this might sound a little angry, but sometimes a woman gets tired of hearing men complain about what a woman ought to be when next to nothing is said about what he NEEDS to be. So, instead trying to get us to step our game up, how about some of y’all grow up.