Lovely Links: 3/25/11

This week I got a reader e-mail from a woman requesting hat/clothing advice for her best friend who is about to undergo treatment for breast cancer, and I remembered Chikara. I wrote about this company ages ago, and I’ll be damned if they haven’t churned out EVEN MORE gorgeous clothing in the meantime. And they’ve expanded into lingerie and swimwear, too! Check out Chikara for truly stellar clothing designed for post-mastectomy bodies.

And speaking of, Imogen posted three videos showing how to tie headscarves that are fabulous for chemo/radiation patients and non-patients alike!

Here’s some great advice for how to help when someone you love is struggling with negative body image.

On a more general note, these suggestions for supporting a friend going through a rough time are both smart and helpful.

Stéphanie’s gold bear paw necklace is killing me with its coolness.

Terri shares some thoughts, quotes, and ponderings on how women relate to food, and how it impacts our collective body image. A favorite snippet? “The slender body codes the tantalizing ideal of the well-managed self in which all is kept in order despite the contradictions of the consumer culture.” (From Susan Bardo’s Unbearable Weight)

Find out how to clean your thrifted jewelry.

I’m still reeling from this one, and unsure of my own stance, but it certainly made me think. Think so hard my head hurt, actually: Are fat acceptance and trans activism in conflict?

Charlie’s vibrant pink skirt is simply breathtaking.

Sarah’s tribute to her grandmother makes me miss mine.

Even though hitting the gym is good for you, those evil inner voices that compare your body to others can make gym trips unbearable.

I’ve already nabbed my little white dress for the coming summer. If you’re still on the lookout for one, College Candy has some adorable and affordable suggestions right here.

Keratin treatments are becoming increasingly popular, it seems, despite some evidence that they can damage your locks. Makes me so grateful that I’ve been oblivious to the whole “curly hair is unkempt hair” philosophy.

I loved this condensed history of the shirtwaist dress, written in honor of the anniversary of the Triangle Waist Company fire. After all, I’m a HUGE fan of this dress style. (Cheers, poodletail!)

Joelle’s white-and-cream outfits are so inspiring. My mixed-white outfits always look more hilarious than chic, but I’ll keep trying …

Over at the Coffee Talk Community, I asked: Do you abide the unworn-for-one-year clothing donation rule?

This post on how pregnancy can both inspire positive feelings about your body and make you feel disconnected and objectified is rounded out with a really lovely interview with a psychologist who is currently expecting her third child.

Meet Mrs. Eddie Polk, a flapper from Venice, California. Doesn’t she just exude coolness?

And from the Department of Random: I was going through old photos on my phone and found this one from Christmas in Chicago with the ‘rents. In case you can’t see the type clearly, it says, “Oodles of noodles: Scientific research confirms it’s delicious.” Research was undoubtedly conducted at the world-renowned University of Tastiness.

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20 Responses to “Lovely Links: 3/25/11”

  1. Cynthia

    OMG. There used to be a noodle shop in Champaign-Urbana called Oodles of Noodles and it was totally delicious. I ate there all the time. In fact, I sampled it often enough that it could be called data, and not anecdote.

  2. firefly

    I don’t really understand the problem with fat acceptance and transphobia. I think you can both accept people for their weight and their gender identity. My own opinion is that you shouldn’t force yourself to lose weight/conform to societal/cultural standards is you don’t want to, however, if you want to lose weight or get a sex change and you know that is what will make you happiest, do it. 🙂

    • riv

      Yeah, freedom-from-body-policing and bodily autonomy (including doing what makes YOU healthy and happy and sane in your own skin) are basically different facets of the same thing.

      • Sal

        Agreed. Aris Merquoni had a great comment on this below, and also see my reply.

  3. threegoodrats

    My understanding of transgenderism (which I don’t think is a word, so what do I know?) is that they aren’t having surgery to conform to gender roles, but in fact feel like they are in the wrong bodies. (I can’t explain how this is different from feeling like you should be a skinny blonde when you are not, but apparently it is.) I think it’s hard to understand if you’re not living it. The memoir She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan was a really good account by a male-to-female transsexual of her experience. It’s a fascinating topic.

  4. Aris Merquoni

    Several months reader, first time commenter.

    I just had to say that the link on FA/Trans acceptance made me a bit spitting mad. I think it’s only fair to say that Fat Acceptance and Trans Acceptance are in “conflict” if you think that being accepting of fat people means being against all body modification ever. I’d say that FA and trans acceptance are actually in total harmony, since the lesson of both is to be critical of how society views bodies that don’t conform to the standard of perfection. Having the body you feel most comfortable in is a radical idea, whether that means getting tattooed, learning to not shame yourself for those five (fifteen, hundred) pounds you think you shouldn’t be carrying, or taking hormones to live the life you want to.

    Also, as soon as commenters started using the line of “All trans people immediately perform stereotypically as their post-transition gender” they lost a lot of respect from me. In order to legally transition one needs to convince a psychiatrist to sign off on a lot of documentation, and in many cases that includes dressing up masculine or feminine “enough”. It’s a hard enough world for cis women out there; loosing venom on trans people for not being radical enough feels cruel.

    • Sal

      Yeah. In the end, the conclusion I drew was that people deserve to feel happy in their bodies. Period. If they don’t, they are entitled to make changes. Pretty simple, and supports both FA and trans people in their choices.

      I think it’s valuable to examine questions like the one posed in that post because it helps us roll over what we believe and look at it from other angles. But most times, I find that those questions have more theory than heart. And I’m a heart person, so I usually end up landing exactly where I started. Which, in this case, is that all human beings deserve respect and the right to be exactly themselves. In some cases that means fighting the social norms of body shape and size, in some cases that means finding a way to connect with the gender you feel is truly yours.

      • Katharine

        I was going to say that I rather thought the anti-trans spirit of the post you linked to was probably due more to the radical feminist connection than to any broad agreement within the FA movement, but I see that j, below, has helpfully linked to femonade.

        For what it’s worth, among the trans people I personally know, I don’t see much “performing stereotypically as their post-transition gender,” and some of them are fat. But what do I know; I’m just a cis, white funfem who occasionally gets pleasure from some oppressive heterosexual trauma-bonding.

      • Chelsea S.

        Sal – you rock. Thanks for sharing the post about FA/trans acceptance. the post did present a good topic to consider, however I felt that a lot of the commenters (and the author) were coming from a place that was not paying attention to the fact that trans people change their bodies in many cases to survive… whether that be to “fit in” so as to prevent harm from others, or to prevent self-harm or even suicide. I love what you said… that “all human beings deserve respect and the right to be exactly themselves.” Hear hear!!

  5. j

    Ooooh you linked to a radical feminist blog (Undercover punk.) Daring 😀
    If you want more mind-boggling stuff, I recommend this blog:
    There is nothing like some hardcore feminism to get your female self-acceptance on.

  6. GingerR

    You don’t have to have had a mastectomy to appreciate the asymetrical drapes on those dresses and tops.

    Plenty of women who’ve had lumpectomies or mastectomy with reconstruction end up a bit uneven, and depending on where it is and how self-conscious you are a strategic drape can be helpful.

  7. Casey

    I always love your links posts, Sal! The jewelry-cleaning post was so timely; I thifted an amazing, statement necklace at the thrift store this past week. Unfortunately, it is really dusty/dirty and needs a good scrubbing. Shall have to do that this weekend so it doesn’t sit in my to-clean pile for too long! 😉

  8. patni

    The tumblr blog with coco the flapper is the best thing I have seen in forever! I LOVE it. I think my friend is going to scan the photo of her great great grandmother in her gibson dress to add to it.

  9. Julia

    The “evil gym voice” post resonated with me. It kept me away from the gym for about 6-7 years and I’ve only recently been able to return.

  10. Jenny

    Thanks for the link to Undercover Punk — I’m really learning a lot there. I don’t officially categorize my feminism as radical or otherwise, but I think it’s valuable to read people writing from clearly-defined perspectives. Like you said, it can help force clarity in our positions. I think I don’t accept the way the post characterizes the priorities of transpeople because I don’t believe I have the right to dismiss anyone’s deeply-felt needs and desires as the product of cultural “brainwashing.” If we give ourselves permission to dismiss others’ experiences because we decide they’re operating under false consciousness or are less enlightened than we’d like them to be, then I think we risk devaluing a lot of worthwhile contributions to shared progressive goals.
    Um, sorry that got so heavy :/ The topic just struck a chord for me, and I don’t think comments from outsiders are too welcome on the original post…