What I’m Listening To Today

A special one for Valentine’s Day:

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Women, Celebrity, Fashion and Backlash

Fancy expensive designer shops are out for me as I’m a size 18, sometimes 20, and I therefore do not count as a woman to them…

… Then I went onto Twitter and it was like a pin to my excitable red balloon. Literally thousands of messages from people criticising my appearance. I was fat and ugly as per usual. My dress (the one that caused ooohs in a department store fitting room?) was destroyed by the masses. I looked like a nana, my dress was disgusting, was it made out of curtains, why was I wearing black shoes with it. I cried. I cried in the car.

And that wasn’t the end. The next day, I was in newspapers pilloried for what I was wearing. I was discussed and pulled apart on Lorraine.

I’m sorry. I thought I had been invited to such an illustrious event because I am good at my job. Putting clothes on is such a small part of my day. They may as well have been criticising me for brushing my teeth differently to them.

Yes, there were lovely messages from my fans between the hate but the hate was dominant and made me upset at first and then furious. Why does it matter so much what I was wearing? Why did no one ask my husband where he got his suit from? I felt wonderful in that dress. And surely that’s all that counts. I made a decision the following day that should I ever be invited to attend the Baftas again, I will wear the same dress. To make the point that it doesn’t matter what I wear; that’s not what I’m being judged on.

You can read Sarah Millican’s full essay here.

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Vogue recalls how famous female journalist just couldn’t find clothes, ℅ Jezebel

Sure, it’s a relevant hook for a fashion magazine. But it’s also bullshit. This woman was the first American journalist kicked out of Nazi Germany, thanks to unflattering coverage of Hitler. That isn’t mentioned until the second page. When Thompson’s many accomplishments are outlined, they’re sprinkled with lines like this: ‘Despite all her professional accomplishments, Thompson failed in one arena: She still could not find the perfect dress.

Read more here.

“Weight Loss Talk and Fat Shaming” – ℅ fatbodypolitics.com

I could care less how people feel about their body but the consistent need to be proud of weight loss and center discussion around it supports fat stigma because you are distancing yourself from fatness. You are conforming to a dominant social structure that supports thinness and most social situations are supportive of it. I have never heard a conversation about weight loss that didn’t result in fat shaming comments or disparaging fat bodies, even if it was only the person who was engaging in weight loss who was shaming their current / former fat body. People don’t live in a vacuum where the negative things they say about their own body doesn’t hurt other people or come from thin air with no connection to the culture of thinness or standards of embodiment…

… The sense of entitlement people have when expecting people to engage in those discussions is incredibly high and they expect it without even considering if the people they are talking around have a history of disordered eating while clearly disregarding how fat people in those situations feel.

I have never been part of one of these discussions where people didn’t assume I was also looking for the best way to lose weight myself, since social narratives about fat people tell us that all fat people are on their way to becoming thin people we are never just fat. I have also never been part of one of these discussions where I explained I wasn’t interested in talking about weight loss or fat shaming without me becoming the target of people’s anger. Those two things combined show how much social pressure there is to support thinness at all costs and the angry reaction people have when you reject it.

Read more here.

*mic drop*

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Birthday Mixtape

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is quite possibly one of the most raw and beautiful movies I’ve seen. I can’t believe the film is 10-years-old this month, but this blogger put together the best playlist to celebrate. (Bonus: the first song is “Riptide” by Vance Joy – a current favourite!)

I hope you never get a Lacuna Inc. message in the mail saying someone erased you. We can’t help who we love and I hope you have or find this rare form of love. And I hope you celebrate the movies that change lives and live on forever. Re-watch/check out the movie, enjoy the tunes and maybe one day I’ll meet you in Montauk.

Check out the playlist here.

The Age Of Individualism

In the increasing absence of local, personal forms of fellowship and solidarity, he suggested, people were naturally drawn to mass movements, cults of personality, nationalistic fantasias. The advance of individualism thus eventually produced its own antithesis — conformism, submission and control.

You don’t have to see a fascist or Communist revival on the horizon (I certainly don’t) to see this argument’s potential relevance for our apparently individualistic future. You only have to look at the place where millennials — and indeed, most of us — are clearly seeking new forms of community today.

That place is the online realm, which offers a fascinating variation on Nisbet’s theme. Like modernity writ large, it promises emancipation and offers new forms of community that transcend the particular and local. But it requires a price, in terms of privacy surrendered, that past tyrannies could have only dreamed of exacting from their subjects.

Read more here. 

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