Orignal Post: Monday, February 8th 2010 6:11 PM www.ohoyocreole.bravelog.com
Not your NDN-Creole Princess presents:
My Big Neapolitan Fatalogue
Welcome to my little fat girl rant in where I sit my fabulous and fluffy fundament and unload a few unnecessary calories on issues festering inside my chubby cheeked yet stunningly well-proportioned and lovely head. Not to say my other chubby cheeks are not stunningly proportioned, they just aren’t given to moments of contemplation and epiphany. So if certain things make you uncomfortable, INDIGENEITY, RACE, RELIGION, SEXUALITY, CONSUMERISM or dare I say it FAT, then its time for you to move on, or at least please mock me with more finesse than your average racist, fat-fearing college jock. So grab your drinks and favorite snack, and while it will be a bumpy read, that’s just cellulite rather than turbulence.
After a certain age in life there comes a time when you just don't give a fuck. But that advanced degree of freedom, stability and self-worth is something that goes from day to day. Society is a capitalistic consumer smorgasbord for pretty, thin and socially unconscious masses drowning themselves in the art of selective memory. After all, why should one think of their own accountability for the histories of oppression and violence this country was built on when he or she can get a tan, mocha latte and drop a few dollars in a “Help Katrina Victims” jar? Ok, I am not saying we are without concern or empathy, what troubles me is the world’s preoccupation with beauty, body, money and boxes. These boxes would be race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and capital. And what scares me even more, is that I myself, a big fat mixed-blood woman in her thirties can at times be just as caught up in the machine of a Homogenized America designed to sell a story specifically written to write me out of its social and historical narrative! But then again I suppose that is why the masses invented blogging! All the luxury of a diary confession with none of the weighty secrecy! And so here I am.
As I mentioned before I am a thirty-something mixed-blood woman, which too often translates as a fat woman over thirty without race. Without race how? My very existence is problematic, from the red, to the black, all embroidered on my fair skin… My birth certificate is blank where race should be. My family is mixed on both sides, mixed with love for their color, mixed with hate, mixed with histories of prejudice and residential schools, Catholicism and pagans. My racial make-up and ethnicity is so transient in phenotype that depending on the day of the week and the city dictates the race I am assigned by brethren: white, Latina, American Indian, or high-yella black. I was raised to be the some of my relations, and while I identify as a multi-racial Indigenous woman, there is no box for me. See, checking that one race box makes people comfortable; in my experience masses visually check the box whenever their eyes appraise the “empirical” data of racial phenotype. There are few places where I can check all the boxes, much less confer to others an understanding of a métis/mestizo, multiracial Indigenous based race and cultural identity. To those who see me as white, my ethnic features make them slightly uncomfortable, while the family albums filled with tan, olive, brown and white (and every variation thereof) peoples gives them a sense of the exotic, safely wrapped in me: A pale complected ethnic featured package, which in essence obscures their inherited fears of procreating across racial divides (miscegenation). What is loss on making people comfortable with my whiteness means I must bear the additional weight for my “non-whiteness.” That in making themselves comfortable with my presence, I must carry the weight of the histories of oppression, violence and survival that enable me to walk down a street as a person of color, in most cases, unmolested for my race. Carry them and occasionally make others recognize what they do not see empirically. And let me tell you, bearing half my weight is no easy task. (insert drum roll: da dum dum).
And so now we get at the meat, no pun intended. The part I am sure all you readers out there are curious about. The fat girls and boys, the chubby ones too, who just don’t want to cross that line to “fat,” and of course those who despise my kind: The Fluffy, Fat-Happy, loving and living plus sized, please hand me a seatbelt extender on the commuter jet--- FAT GIRL! They say the average size of a woman is 12-14, however the market’s capitalistically sold images for consumers, prefer the 2-6-size set. Helping to write into the consciousness of Americans (and those in countries unlucky enough to have been deculterized by the McDonaldization of the world)… that women are both a commodity and accessory…(c’mon my sisters of color have been dealing with this perception for hundreds of years)! Only desirable for acquisition if she fits a certain height and weight ratio deemed attractive by media. All hail the seemingly benign power of fiber optic transmissions and Compassionate Imperialism under sunny yellow arches of welcome! And here I sit, a size 26, (for those of you less savvy with the ins and out of plus size fashions, that’s roughly 4-5 sizes larger than a size fourteen) a bonafide fluffy, fat girl. In the last two years I have lost almost 70 pounds (the thrill of walking into a store like Target to buy clothes and not just Lane Bryant or the Avenue), and gained it back. I have hated my body, loved my body and for the most part live in limbo with my body. How did I get here? Genetics? Totally, most certainly. Race? Sure (lets not visit who all has been diabetic), Thyroid and metabolism problems? Yeppers. Bad eating decisions? Well duh, and even Medications (yes folks some meds make you gain weight). But the question comes down to where in the narrative of humanity do I stand? Am I written into the story? Or am I, and others like me a commentary on the sidelines hidden behind fast-food documentaries? Another story of the obese “other” minority? Sorry to disarm the primary Weapon of Mass destruction for fat-haters, but I am not an over-eater, nor do I repeatedly binge on junk-food or fast food. Oh I get my cravings, Claussen Dill Pickles, Chinese and Thai food, Mexican and of course Hagen Das Toasted Coconut Sesame ice cream! But the excess of food has never been my primary problem. So yet again here I stand (or rather currently sit) undefined by stereotypes and boxes. And trust me I am not alone.
There are few things that unsettle a persons mind as much as s race, religion, sexuality and fat. But who wants their mind to be comfortable? Who wants to stop learning? Ok, strike that, but then again I am not here to sell fairy-tales of placation to the masses. Rather who here, still reading this blog wants to stop learning or pushing the comfort envelope of their minds? So I leave you with this image: race politics, lipstick lesbians and bull dykes and openly in your face gay Jews for Jesus neatly surrounded in the well padded, bats in the belfry fat bottom of American phobias, and in some cases fantasies. Just a benevolent introduction to the many topics I hope to rant, pontificate and sometimes just word-vomit about in the running blog series I have dubbed: My Big Fat Neapolitan Fatalogue...appearing here on Not your NDN-Creole Princess, periodically, or rather when I get a bug up my ass… It’s like downing a shot of tequila and fattening up the worm.
So, when the time is right, or rather when I am ranting on body image and sexuality… grab your lemon and salt and enjoy the read!