WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

RBI focuses on using expressive writing, design-oriented work, photography, media, research, and community input to fuel fat positive, body acceptance, discussion, and outreach. Our goal is to redefine the way we view and think about body image, size, fat, discrimination, health, fitness, wellness, mental/chronic illness, stigma, and other related topics.

We are constantly redefining our own perspectives, and therefore tend to write a lot about our personal experiences. Many followers and contributors are living with anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder, depression, and a variety of other body image disorders or mental illnesses, so please be respectful and remember that health applies differently to everyone. Any and all potentially triggering content will be prefaced with a trigger warning.

RBI supports all races, genders, classes, and sizes. We try our best to make this a safe space for everyone. If we are not doing our job or checking our privilege, we invite you to please inform us.

Some of the artwork you see here has been created by our founder or moderators, some sourced when applicable. Please be kind enough to source this blog whenever you share it's content.

We are not health professionals. Any and all advice provided on this blog is supported only by our own research, studies, and personal experiences; nothing more.

This blog is part of the Safe Space Network.

gradientlair:

Lupita Nyong’o is on the cover of People as the most beautiful person for 2014 in their annual “50 Most Beautiful” issue. This is the first time that anyone of her complexion has made the cover and she’s only the third Black woman to make the cover, other than Halle Berry (2003) and Beyoncé (2012). 

image

She shared some insights on beauty in a behind the scenes video for the shoot for this cover. She made some really wonderful statements, some of which I included below:

The first person to tell me that I was beautiful was definitely my mother. She said that a lot, especially when I felt the least bit beautiful which is, you know, as an adolescent you go through times when you feel ugly in general. But my mother always said I was beautiful and I finally believed her at some point.

She’s regularly cited her mother as one of her main supporters in terms of fostering her self-esteem in her beauty, inside and out. She mentioned the importance of being content and I truly believe a part of her allure is her joy. It comes through in her every action and it’s beautiful where it just compliments her glorious dark skin, emotive hopeful eyes, adorable nose, incredible smile, and edges of the gawds, all on a remarkable symmetrical face. 

I feel most beautiful when I am content. That for me is more important than my physical presentation because it’s through inner contentment and happiness that I care about my presentation.

In the behind the scenes video, she also mentioned the role of laughter in her adult life and this definitely connects to the previous quote in terms of internal contentment being the origin for feeling beautiful.

I think the older I get, the more I laugh. I think I’ve laughed a lot in ways; I wish I remembered to laugh like that when I was a teenager.

This made me think of the carefree Black girl conception that many Black women talk about and it made me happy to hear her discuss the role of laughter. An internal source of joy and confidence in appearance are radical acts for Black women in a society that regularly denies us joy and beauty. I am acutely aware of how people hate Black women and also want us to hate ourselves. This dehumanization isn’t just emotional and interpersonal but is a foundation on which oppressions such as misogynoir and colourism rest on. There are people invested—deeply in fact—in not only Lupita being invisible but that no one find her beautiful. They’re terrified that the status quo may shift even a little. And it wouldn’t be a complete shift. Lupita is still very well educated, from a Black immigrant middle class two-parent family and is thin in accordance with most Hollywood standards, so there are elements of privilege as well.

Even so, that beautiful dark skin on the cover will be a problem for many. There have been Black men heavily invested in making sure no one believes she’s beautiful. This isn’t completely about the cishet Black male gaze in a sexual context, though a factor, but also about how it shifts some cishet Black men’s worldview where they may have nothing but “at least” they aren’t Black women. If Black women are to be loathed, Black men can justify their misogynoir as simply being what everyone else feels about us, and it is what everyone else feels about us. Black men did not invent the hatred of Black women nor do they enact it alone. However, if Black women are not to be loathed and some are even deemed beautiful and valuable—even the ones who don’t meet every Eurocentric bullet point in terms of what “beauty” is—then it shifts the ground for many Black men whose choices and gaze are shaped by misogynoir that remains unchecked. This presents a conflict for them and some have lashed out because of it.

There’s also the issue of the White Gaze where even suggesting that a Black woman is beautiful upsets Whites who think that then means White women are being called “ugly.” They purposely ignore the structural power and privilege difference and even the exposure scale differences in the mainstream for White women versus Black women. When I wrote Yeah, Black Women Are Great. Fin., I made it clear that Black women need the space to celebrate our beauty (and not just aesthetically, though yes, that matters as well when our exterior and interior qualities are degraded on the hour) without the White supremacist notion that not reifying Eurocentric beauty standards at every moment means Black women are somehow “harming” White women or any non-Black women. (The latter can be anti-Black at times and placed “above” Black women, as non-Black women of colour, in terms of beauty, but placed “below” White women. Then there’s the intraracial manifestation of colourism where some light skinned Black women may also reject this cover or dark Black women being considered beautiful as well.)

I’m also aware of those among us Black people who think this cover is as simple as “White approval” yet do not understand how visibility as fully human and recognition matters in the mainstream even as Black people create our own media. This is not an “either/or” situation but a “both/and” one. Representation among the mainstream—as it shapes media, politics and culture, which means it has a great deal of power—is not the desire for interpersonal White favor. It’s the desire for the affirmation of humanity so that we are not punished for not being viewed as human. We may not need Whites’ “approval” of us in the mainstream but we most certainly cannot afford Whites’ dehumanization of us in the mainstream. 

While I am not a fan of People and I most certainly don’t read it regularly, I’m also aware of what representation means. Lupita mentioned the importance of representation for Black girls, especially, in a previous speech at Essence Magazine’s 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood luncheon:

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shame in Black beauty.

Representation as human, as beautiful and as relevant matters for Black women, especially dark Black women (in this case; in other cases Black trans women, fat Black women etc.). Lupita can have this moment without the suggestion that it somehow “harms” Black men (as if their gaze has to matter to Black women at all times) or White women (as if they cannot love themselves unless Black women hate ourselves; well…hmm), without the suggestion that it means Black people no longer care about the media and content that we create ourselves (because let’s be crystal clear here, the mainstream pilfers Black creativity and culture anyway) or any other nonsensical or cruel suggestion meant to harm Black women that everyone was taught to hate. Lupita is clearly at a point of a great deal of self-love. A lot of Black women are. And we deserve to be. 

I hope Lupita continues to thrive in her career (the acting one); I look forward to seeing her in any visual media (even as small as her Instagram). This People announcement as “Most Beautiful” made Lupita happy, as she tweeted, so I am (and many people are) happy for her. Congrats to Lupita Nyong’o. 

Related Essay Compilation: On Beauty Politics

Related Post: Black Women Do Not Have To Reject Any Mention Of Beauty To Be Womanist/Feminist

fatbodypolitics:

Mary Lambert - Body Love

midnight-pursona:

"Your too fat."

"I didn’t know [insert character] was black!"

"Why don’t you do more black cosplays?"

"Cosplay to your size!"

"I don’t think that looks right on you, why don’t you cosplay [insert character] instead?"

"Why is [insert character] black? They’re not black in the show."

"You shouldn’t cross-play, it looks weird on you."

"Your boobs are too big for [insert character]."

To everyone who as ever posted a comment or question like this, my answer:

I am a black plus size female cosplayer, if you don’t like it… well honestly I don’t care. The more you comment like an idiot, the more it feeds my will power to prove I’m an amazing cosplayer, not matter what you say. I may have days, or even weeks when I feel down about myself, but that will never stop me from doing what I love. I may have large boobs, chubby stomach, double chin, hair on my face, dark spots around my face and body, and a flat butt, but I rock any cosplay I put on. So grow up, and get out of my face. <3

fatbodypolitics:

tierracita:

Click here to support Help Three QTPOC Fatties get to the AMC! by Cory Briana

Dear community of friends, family, and supporters.

We are three queer fatties of color and this will be our first time attending the Allied Media Conference. We really need your support getting there! 

The Allied Media Conference is in Detroit, Michigan June 19th-22nd. Our workshop was accepted and we are excited to present as part of theAbundant Bodies track! We have not been in any way able to afford this conference in the past and it’s prevented us from even applying but this year we took a leap of faith and submitted a workshop proposal. Now that we have been accepted we want to make sure this dream opportunity becomes a reality.

The cost for the three of us to attend is pretty immense, especially considering our limited and different economic resources. We anticipated being able to cover a portion of the cost but we will need your help to get all three of us there. We hope that our vibrant community of fatties, QTPOC, friends and family will help us make this trip possible. 

We need help covering the following costs:

Plane tickets $1800 (flights from Portland to Detroit are ~650 and flights from Salt Lake City are ~$550)
Housing $500 (we found an airbnb across the street from the university that would allow us to room together and cook meals to save money)
Transportation/taxis $100
Registration $150 (we were awarded an additional $150 from AMC to use towards registration but we would like to contribute more to the conference beyond that amount)

Trip Total 2550 + ~150 for indiegogo fees

Grand total 2700

Anything we raise here above and beyond this amount will go towards food and supplies for our workshop and our rewards offered here. 

If you can’t donate (and we totally understand that many folks won’t be able to), we hope that you will still support us by spreading the word or consider donating items/skills that we can add to our rewards offered.

We do this work to leave evidence of ourselves, those of us who are simultaneously unseen and hypervisible in our queer, fat, brown bodies. Please help us in doing this work!

Thank you! 

Cory, Jess, and Esther 

(read more about us and our workshop at the link!)

Please support and share this campaign so they can get to the Allied Media Conference!

snakeoil:

uglygirlsclub:

shout out to pimples

makin pimples look cute like????????? OKKKKKKKKKK

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fatbodypolitics:

fatbodypolitics:

lovethyfatness:

Trust me— you need to click through and watch the trailer for this documentary.

Watch the trailer! Donate and share!!

After last night and all of the hate being sent about this documentary it seems like the best time to support this film. Fuck the trolls.

Click here to find out what happened last night and report the account doing it.

fatbodypolitics:

A troll has been doxing the filmmaker, contributors and now is targeting backers of the kickstarter for the film Fattitude. As of now twitter has done nothing to remove this person from their website, where he keeps posting links to personal information he’s collected. Twiter, kickstarter and pastebin are all complicit in the harassment and stalking of these people.

Block and report this person, report the individual tweets, report the links in the tweets. Tweet at kickstarter, pastebin and twitter. Don’t be silent while people’s personal information is being spread around the internet. Make it stop.

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fattyforever:

curvily:

How often have you been shopping and you come across something that is just PERFECT, but does not go up to your size? Over 60% of American women wear a size 14 or above, but only 17% of clothing sold is 14 & up. That is a ridiculous disparity.

Moreover, when some brands move into plus (ahem H&M), they throw their signature trendy looks by the wayside in favor of flowy dark fabrics that they think “work” for plus sizes. That is crap. Plus size women want color, print, and structure. Moreover, we want variety. A group this numerous cannot be a monolith, and since style is such a personal thing, we all have different tastes. I want #plussizeplease to be a way to showcase the demand for styles we’d buy and rock, and all the money brands are forfeiting by refusing to expand their sizes.

So here’s how to use it:

1) Snap a picture of a garment you love but does not come in your size. Include the brand and price, tagging the company if possible. For example, I am in love with this Zara marble print dress. I would have purchased it yesterday if it went above a size L. My tweet would be:

“.@Zara marble print sheath, $59. I’d buy it right now if it came in my size. #plussizeplease”

2) Use it on any social media – Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest… even Facebook supports hashtags now.

3) Tag anything you’d purchase, whether in store or online.

4) Feel free to include the size range it comes in and/or the size you think you’d need. Sizing can be tricky, so this is definitely not required.

5) Tell your friends! I don’t just want this to be a blogger thing – I want all women who wear size 14 and up to show their purchasing power and share styles they love. Let’s be unignorable!

Um, yes. I will be doing this.

hufflepug:

There is nothing wrong with having a bad day, nothing at all. There is nothing wrong with putting your jammies on and staying in. The world will wait, the world will not combust because you can’t force a smile. - Sharon Rooney

bottom right she literally looks like an oil painting

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girl-germs:

lalondes:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T SCROLL PAST THIS.

Scarleteen is a vital queer and trans positive sexual health resource. Their staff do an amazing job of creating really comprehensive and helpful articles on literally every sexual topic you can imagine. They also provide live chats, advice columns, moderated discussion forums, and SMS-based peer support. This site has helped me on countless occasions, and I refer at-risk queer and trans kids to this site every single day.

Scarleteen is invaluable.

And Scarleteen needs your help.

During their annual donation drive this year, the site was only able to raise $1,500. Only fifty people out of Scarleteen’s 350,000 unique monthly visitors contributed to the fundraising drive.

This means that unless Scarleteen sees a stable, sustained, 50% increase in donations, the site will essentially be forced to go dark on May 1. No more new content, no more advice columns, no more forums, no more live chat, no more SMS support. 

This is devastating.

If Scarleteen goes dark, millions of young people, vulnerable queer and trans teens among them, will lose access to essential, fundamental sexual health resources. We cannot let this happen.

Please, please, please donate to Scarleteen. Consider making a recurring monthly contribution if you feel that this is within your means. Even $5 or $10 a month will go a long way to helping this very, very deserving organization.

And whether or not you’re able to donate at this time, please signal boost this and spread the word. Scarleteen does incredible, very necessary work, and they need our help.

Hey y’all, Scarleteen was like my number one resource in high school and early college, it helped me through a lot of scary stuff. If you can afford to spare a few bucks, please do! I’ll be heartbroken (and worried about new lil high schoolers) if it shuts down.

reimaginefat:

fatbodypolitics:

I wrote a chapter for this book almost 2 years ago and they are finally at the point where they are trying to get it published. It will be an awesome fat positive art book.

Support / share. 

So Amanda Levitt of Fat Body Politics ALSO contributed to Sometimes Beautiful, and you should all know how amazing she is by now. Seriously guys, everyone please go donate whatever you can. It is such a great project and a wonderful way to support fat positive artists and activists.  Fair warning, I’ll probably be reblogging/reminding people about this frequently for the duration of the kickstarter.

Thanks!

- Liz

Well, guys, there’s just one week left to the Kickstarter, and we are very far from funded. Since two of the mods here contributed to this project, I’m SURE all of you would be interested in owning this awesome book. Micheal might publish on blurb or something regardless of it a professional printing gets funded or not, but it would be so great it we could get it printed in a really beautiful way, with great images of the work.  

We have over 12,000 followers here at RBI.  If each of you contributed one dollar we would be more than funded. If one tenth of you contributed $10 we would be more than funded. Please please please contribute if you possibly can.

Thanks,

Liz

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submissivefeminist:

This blending perfection makes me so happy inside.

glitterlion:

biyuti:

meyllenpage:

biyuti:

oberlinsic:

biyuti:

international-twoc-gathering:

WE ARE SO CLOSE! Only 16 hours left and $1500 to our goal! Please donate and help spread the word!!!!

As a quick note: since we are so close to the goal, pls consider the following:

If we make the goal and only have to pay the 4% service fee (instead of the 9%), this saves enough money that we literally can get one extra person to come out to this.

I believe in all of you. We can do this!

12 hours left to raise $844! Please donate and/or share if you can!

omg. getting so close.

you are all fucking amazing.

keep boosting (and donating)!!!!

There’s 11 hours left and only a few hundred dollars to go! Please donate if you can!

omg.

you guys are all amazing.

pls keep it up!

2 more hours to go. The goal has been met, but you never know what might come up and I’m sure additional funds will allow them to support more people.

lovethyfatness:

[Series of texts by @fatnutritionist, which read: “People are mad at me because they ‘work so hard’ to be fit or lose weight. They have told me this explicitly. It implies that they think my rejecting the values they subscribe to can somehow take away the fitness they’ve worked for. That is totally delusional. If you’ve worked hard for fitness, no amount of fat people rejecting stigma can take that away. So this is obviously not actually about fitness, at all. It’s about the other thing they ‘worked hard’ for: social status. They DO think, and they know, that the social status they have worked hard to earn, through ‘fitness,’ can be devalued. It can be devalued if the hierarchy that rewards them is crushed. Crushed by people rejecting stigma. We can’t take away your fitness or whatever weight you’ve lost. But we can devalue those things by destroying fat stigma. So they are afraid of us, and for good reason. If fat people aren’t stigmatized, then there is no more thin privilege. Remember always, fat people: People are afraid of you because you have an awesome power - to destroy the hierarchy. If they were not afraid of losing their place in the hierarchy, they would not come after you so viciously.” All tweets were accompanied by the hashtag, #notyourgoodfatty]

Read the full thread of Michelle’s tweets on Storify.

fatbodypolitics:

It feels like every few years another movie comes out attempting to expose the root cause of the “obesity epidemic” making my life as an activist and a fat person even harder. Last night on twitter I was asked if I had heard about the documentary Fed Up that’s coming out next month by someone who saw it at Sundance in January. You can read their review here but after watching the theatrical trailer that was released this week, it only confirmed what my initial fears would be about the film.

At the 45 second mark commentary on the trailer states “this is the first generation that is expected to live shorter lives than their parents,” which first started circulating in 2002 and was again reinforced in 2005 by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The lead researcher later backed off his assertion (downloads pdf), as did the first author in 2002, after he admitted that this statement was a prediction and not based on empirical evidence. Since then, especially after the study F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future was published in 2011, the idea that children today will live shorter lives than their parents is continually presented as fact when that simply isn’t true.

Read the rest at my blog.

^