Representation Matters

Last week I mentioned that representation matters. And boom! A perfect example fell into my proverbial lap. Sit right down and let me sing you a song of representation, folks.

A friend and I went to see Newsies at the movies. If you’re not familiar, it was a 1992 movie musical that was turned into 2011 actual musical that then got filmed for a 2017 movie. It’s absolutely terrific, and I highly recommend it if you like things like singing, dancing, the newsboys strike of 1899, and handsomeness.

Like Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly!

Here’s why Newsies is relevant to BFD. There’s a character in the show, Medda Larkin, who sings a show stopper called, “That’s Rich.” And what stopped my show was that the actress, Aisha De Haas, wore a costume that shows her upper arms.

I sat there in the dark watching her with my mouth half open. I couldn’t believe a woman with non-firm arms was bare-armed on the big screen. And she lifted her arms up while she sang. She wasn’t hiding, or ashamed, or covered up. I felt surprised and astonished and perfectly giddy! When you have spent your whole life barely seeing your body represented anywhere (least of all in a positive light) it’s incredibly… validating to see a body like this. Check out the trailer below—the Medda scenes happen super fast around 20 seconds (the picture above is a screenshot).

Women in particular are taught to be ashamed of their upper arms. I have known a lot of slim women with what I would consider small, firm upper arms who refuse to go sleeveless because their arms aren’t good enough. Like we have some moral obligation to have triceps like Michelle Obama! I’ll never have arms like hers. Even 100 pounds ago, I still had flabby, flappy upper arms. They may not conform to society’s idea of what a woman’s arms “should” look like, but they are strong and powerful and mine.

Seeing arms that look like mine on the big screen? This is what I mean when I say representation matters. Seize the day!

 

The World Is Wide Enough

Fact: It’s hard enough finding plus-size clothes that fit. Second fact: It’s even harder to get companies to respond when you ask them about their lack of sizes. Third fact: It’s a particularly narrow (see what I did there?) selection when it comes to fandom clothing. So you can imagine …

Hey, Wonder Woman!

When I was little, I loved superhero television shows. (Spoiler alert: I still do.) I loved Spider-Man, Super Friends, The Incredible Hulk, The Six-Million-Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman (they’re considered superheroes, right?). And I really, really loved Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter in that star-spangled costume was everything!

Lynda Carter

After years of every other superhero getting their own movie—or franchise, even—we are finally going to get to see Wonder Woman front and center in her own feature film this year. I can’t wait! Here is Gal Gadot’s incarnation:

Gal Gadot

When it comes to Wonder Woman, there’s only one thing I can’t relate to (besides being super tall, super strong, and, you know, a demigoddess and warrior princess): her body. UNTIL NOW. Check out this incredible artwork, designed for me by the super-talented Desiree Amber Moore.

That’s right: A short-haired, small-chested, fat Wonder Woman! This art makes me so happy, it made me cry when I first saw it. Because representation matters.

There’s a Wonder Woman in me. In you. She doesn’t have an invisible jet or a lasso that makes people tell the truth. But she’s the quiet voice inside you saying Go for it, or You can do it. She’s the steel in your spine when you need it, the source of strength you draw from when you feel weak. She’s the protector you need when the world gets rough. And she knows that everybody—and every body—deserves a super sweet star-spangled costume!

What does your Wonder Woman look like?

Let’s Go Shopping!

One of the subjects I’m going to focus on this year for BFD is shopping. Does that fill you with joy? Dread? Both?! Even though an estimated 67% of women wear plus-sizes, very few stores seem to want our money. I’m going to dig into that, make a little noise, …

Find Your Fit

You know that scene in a movie where a writer keeps starting and restarting their work, tossing crumpled balls of paper into the corner? That’s me, except I’m hitting the Delete button repeatedly. I have tried a dozen times now to figure out how to start this post. At least …

A Holiday Wish For You

So, I was going to get everybody something nice for Christmas, like a BFD shirt, but I wasn’t sure what size to get each of you, and there would be all the wrapping and packing and shipping and whatnot, and just the thought of that made me need a nap. So I …

Is This Really Us?

Are you watching NBC’s This Is Us? I’ve heard that it’s heartwarming and lovely. I’ve heard it makes you cry. (I love a make-you-cry show… I watched ER for 15 years, people!) I can’t watch This Is Us, though, and it all comes down to Chrissy Metz’s character, Kate. When …

Working Together

So last night, after talking to someone at my gym, I was inspired to write a quick post on Facebook. And then another Facebook page, PCOS Challenge, took what I wrote and turned it into this! Now lots of people who wouldn’t have seen it are sharing it. That’s working …

Sign of the Times

Y’all, let me tell you about this sign I saw at the gym today: (Warning: There’s gonna be some shouting.) Yeah, how about no, LA Fitness? How about FITNESS IS NOT A BODY TYPE. How about FAT DOES NOT MEAN UNFIT. How about THIN DOES NOT MEAN FIT. Everything about this …

Busted Body, Broken Heart

Y’all, this is gonna sound like a country song, but I’ve got a busted body and a broken heart. If you’ve been reading BFD for awhile, you know that I injured my left knee way back in 2008, and it’s caused a host of problems, ultimately resulting in some chronic …