Fat Black & Ugly

(I posted this on my tumblr, http://hiphopcheerleader.tumblr.com/)

Let me start this off by saying that I'm not very familiar with Tumblr. I've been active on here for a couple of months but I'm not Tumblr famous or anything. I still can't figure out how to reply to people's replies and I don't really do any serious writing on here. The times that I do write, my posts never get as many notes as I feel they deserve. Lol.

But I'm writing here today to address something that I've noticed. The lack of blackness in the Tumblr fat community.

Now, I should also say. I'm coming from a place of thin privilege over here. Therefore, I use the word fat, not as a reclamation but as the word that is usually meant to mean overweight, obese, and/or overall "thick." Also, I want to make it clear that I am not in the position to speak for anyone, I know the fat, black community is in a perfectly capable position to speak for themselves. I am speaking (in solidarity, I hope) as a black woman who is permanently outside of white standards of beauty. That said, direct me, if you please, to any posts on this subject made by fat black womyn.

First, I want to make this clear for anyone whose forgotten.: White people who are fat, still have white privilege. I'm not sure why this is so difficult to understand but intersectionality folks. Intersectionality. Just because you are oppressed in some ways in your life, doesn't erase your position as a privileged white individual. For example, I am able bodied, meaning I have privilege over a black-disabled person. The fact that I'm black doesn't mean I can disregard the fact that I am able bodied.

What I've noticed is that the fat, white community on Tumblr has a problem with this fact. Why am I not surprised? Because its typical white people shit. Mu'fuckas just don't want to acknowledge their privilege. Following a few fat blogs, I see about 20 times the number of posts on the beauty of white fat womyn than I do for fat black womyn. I guess these fat white womyn feel they are rejecting the beauty myth but by leaving out womyn of color they are only reinforcing it. Remember the time a fat white woman compared her being fat to the struggle of a black woman goes through? Only one fail from the white, fat tumblr community. Another fail was when the woman who creates "ugly" graphics used a black woman in one with a banner across it stating "ugly don't care." Or the gif with the white woman from glee singing TLC's Unpretty, she wasn't fat & neither are TLC but still showed that y'all don't get it. Or the picture with all the white womyn with "real" bodies trying to show bodily diversity but didn't think to include any womyn of color. this is all just another reason & facet to why white feminists fail at developing full analyses, they stop at where their privilege meets & leave womyn of color out for the 5011th time. your whiteness doesn't erase shit. you're still white. fat white womyn are concerned by how well they fit into the perfect white beauty myth & black womyn are concerned that we are constantly judged by how well we fit into that myth, no matter how hard we try to fit in, our attempts are futile.

Here's where I get into the difference between being a fat black woman & a fat white woman: a fat black woman could so much more accurately talk about this than I can but here goes: fat tumblr has a white face. why am i not surprised? because its typical white shit. to exclude womyn of color voices & in the case of beauty politics, particularly, black womyn. the rhetoric still exists: black womyn are not really womyn & we're not even really human. our beauty politics don't matter because we're so far gone from ever being beautiful, trying to include us is a worthless, waste of time. white fat womyn on tumblr seem to be reclaiming their fatness in an effort to say "I am still a white woman! i am still apart of the beautiful people club! stop thinking my body is ugly! accept me!" they seem to be trying to (i don't want to assume anyone's motives) reclaim their stake in beautiful white womanhood because its been taken away from them due to their fatness. But black womyn don't have that privilege. Fat is seen as something that can be changed. This is why people tell fat people to lose weight. they just tell black womyn to die. The belief is that if fat white womyn just lose weight, then they can go back to being in the beautiful club. White womyn are still within the realm of attainable beauty. Black womyn are not. Skin color cannot be changed, its permanent. beauty is constructed. & its constructed against black womyn. black fat womyn get treated harsher (a fat black woman would do better in coming up with specific examples) than white fat womyn because of their ugly, permanent, unfortunate blackness. race compounds the fat plight. its seen as a continual, permanent ugliness. white womyn are seen as just being temporary deviants. if you lose weight you can come back to our exclusive white woman pretty club. but you black fat bitches are out forever because then we'd have nothing to measure ourselves up against.

the end.

*drops mic*


Week 4 Writing: WCC Writer's Workshop

Prompt: Set an intention for your mind, body, and heart, your memory, your thought, and your imagination for the full and magnificent year to come.

Response: Love has been guiding me this entire way. I've been writing and thinking so much about the upcoming changes and journeys in my life that I can't even write or reflect outwardly anymore. I'll just say: Mind elevated. Body healed & elevated. Heart repaired. My memory repaired. Thought elevated. Imagination elevated.


Week 3 Writing: WCC Writer's Workshop

Prompt & Response: What are your strengths, what are their sources? loving. writing. standing up for people. picking out jewelry. caring & respecting.

What are your weaknesses? Communication.
Where do you find power? I find power in possibility. I find power in the resistance of women of color.
Where do you encounter fear? What holds you powerless or helps you overcome? I encounter fear through healing. Through trying to be myself everyday in country where my being is despised. I feel powerless when I'm experiencing sadness, hurt, confusion, loneliness, etc. What helps me to overcome is practicing self care.

I know... that I can heal.
I think... about this journey everyday.
I am... beautiful.
I don’t know... when this process will end.
I  can’t explain... so many things about my experiences and my life.
I believe... in myself.


Week 2 Writing: WCC Writer's Workshop

For some reason I'm just now seeing the week 2 prompt. So my entry is as follows:

Prompt: What do you do in your life just for yourself, to heal, to grow, to learn? What do you do for your family and community? What do you create, manifest, or imagine? What recipes do you use in all aspects of your life? What mixtures of friends, brews of ideas, and practices combine to create your life?

Response: I am just starting the process of learning and practicing self care. As a black woman, from a young age I've been taught that other people's wants and needs have priority over mine. I've been taught that the one possession that I was born with is not my own, my body; that it belongs to my parents, my boyfriend, my uncles, the men who I pass on the street, the women who seek to tear me down, the corporations, and capitalism. It was until just a few weeks ago that I realized self-care wasn't indulgent, that it didn't make me a selfish failure. That it is ok to put yourself first and even necessary. 

Also, self-care is incredibly difficult when you live with your parents. Its also difficult for me because for the last four-ish years, social activism has been my life, its been my passion and one of the mechanism that I used to reduce stress. However, now I realize that this work can be very triggering and that I was using it partially to ignore my own issues. I've since been taking a break from social activism, focusing on myself with regard to self-love and trusting myself. Some things that I do use for self-care are drinking hot tea, treating myself to some sweets, reading while lying by the heater, spending time with friends, drinking wine, going to the movies, exercising, meditating, taking a hot shower, napping, writing, watering the grass, [practicing tantric] masturbation, breathing deeply, and thinking positive thoughts. 


Week 1 Writing: WCC Writer's Workshop

Prompts for Week One

"Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue – my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”
― Gloria E. Anzald├║a

What is your voice? What are your voices? Where do you hear your voice? When do you raise your voice? What are its frequencies, its resonance? How do you find your voice?

What narratives do you draw on from your history, your culture, your life, to tell your stories? What codes do you speak in and around?
What silences do you observe, which do you break? How do you overcome silence?


My voice is one of a woman of color who has experienced multiple forms of sexual violence and oppression and colonialism. I speak mostly about the injustices that we face. How sex and our bodies are used against us when we are the creators of this world. How hate is used against when the source of love can be found in our vaginas and in our wombs. I write because its one of the fundamental ways that I relate to people and the world around me. I write to make this world more tolerable. Its an art to me, but I rarely write poems. I hear my voice and my inspiration in my people and the people who've experienced the same shit as I have.

I observe silence surrounding sexual violence. The only thing that gives me solace is to talk to the people I know. To end the silence and isolation. To mend relationships.

February Writing

This month I will be participating in Women's Creative Collective for Change's February Writer's Workshop. I'll be posting based on weekly prompts.

Their description:  The February Writers’ Workshop is meant to create space for us to write everyday for a month. What we do with that space is up to each writer. Starting Feb. 1, post weekly, post daily, or post somewhere in between. You could write as little or as much as you want in any format – poetry, journal entry, short story, article. We also have weekly prompts available to get you started, but responding to them is not required. Writing in this workshop is an act of community- we encourage you to join us in visiting your fellow writers’ blogs, commenting, supporting, and nurturing our collective creativity. So if you want to get back into your writing groove and join up with a community of bad ass writers from across the globe, it’s simple!

And you can find more about WCC and the workshop here.


I Never Title My Poems

I'm tired of the silence.
Silence is a privilege.
It allows me to keep it hidden.
It allows me to keep it contained.
It allows me to control it.
It allows me to shirk responsibility.
Im afraid of what I might be forced to do once I come out.
Im afraid of all the tests I might fail.
Im afraid to deal with it.
Silence is a death.
And I've gotten so used to living in silence I don't know how to speak.
I've gotten so used to living in isolation, I don't know how to connect.
I've gotten so used to keeping it all together, I don't know how to let it out.
I've been forced to keep a secret, I never knew how to tell.
Now I'll have to explain something, when I don't even know how to speak.
But I can only think of the possibilities.