I don’t talk about gender a lot here on Stuffies. You all might have seen me tweet about the process of buying and wearing a binder, but usually I’m writing to celebrate things that involve as little clothing as possible.
Still, if there’s one thing reading about fat for the past year has given me, it’s a new appreciation for is the bravery inherent in dressing how you want. Flickr groups like Fatshionista, bloggers like The Rotund, and Tumblrs like Big Boy Fashion help to dismantle the narrative that fat can never be handsome or beautiful, that people over a certain size don’t deserve nice things, or that you can’t have your own style and self-expression.
Which is why Sarah Dopp’s new project, to create a store where all genders, sizes and styles of bodies can be catered to, struck such a chord with me. She writes, “You know what I’m talking about. Tuxes for hips and breasts. Size 16 extra-wide high heels. Custom alterations, custom orders, custom tailoring.”
Blogger Samson has already written about how issues of gender often overlap with issues of fashion and size: “…although I might’ve been made to wear men’s clothing, it certainly wasn’t made to fit me. It’s too big. It’s too long. It hangs awkwardly. It looks BAD–and not only do I like to look good, but I have a job and I need to look professional for it… Every now and then I’ll find that elusive piece of clothing: designed to look androgynous but cut to fit a female body–well-tailored, but without hugging my curves–but these things are few and far between, and in the mean time I’m not content to wear things that make me cry when I look in the mirror. I’m not content to shop in the ‘little boys’ section like my petite transmen friends. I need a place to find the clothes that make me look like me.”
This is what activism is all about: refusing to change your awesome self and demanding the world make stripey tights in your size already, dammit!
Sarah Dopp is asking everyone who wants to support this project “to make a video of yourself explaining why this is important to you. Use your phone, your webcam, or whatever you have nearby. Don’t make it fancy; just make it real. Tell us what matters to you, what you need, or what you have to give.” I immediately thought of amazing bloggers such as the high femme fatty Tangled Up In Lace and the trans poet Brown Round Boi. Nude Muse, who writes so eloquently of her struggles to find a space that accepts her and knee-high boots that fit her. And of course Fuck Yeah Chubby Butches.
But we’re gonna have to hurry—-she needs the videos by Tuesday, December 7th! Sarah has since extended the deadline to “as soon as you can”. So get your vid on, and Google Doc, Dropbox, or Easy Share it to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. Or, if you’re not very video-able, get your keyboard on and help us spread the word!
ETA 12/7/10: Changed video submission deadline and one spelling mistake. Also, guys? As of today, this post has gotten 243 views! Thank you so much!
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