two words.

eat less.
i would like to point out that while i truly appreciate sophia bush blogging about the shirt as a trigger issue for people recovering from eating disorders…this shirt came out in 2010. the blog post originally was posted in 2013…which makes its recent resurgence interesting. awesome, but interesting.

the shirt itself manages to not only shame fat women but shame thin women as well. kudos, urban outfitters for shaming 51% of the population with two words. 

urban outfitters is literally the worst. here is a comprehensive list on clothing they’ve sold that is offensive. 

their president, richard hayne, supported rick santorum. i mean, who gave money to santorum’s presidential bid? there’s two women on their entire board…one of which is hayne’s wife. all this to say, stop shopping there. stop giving them your money. also, anthropologie is also owned by hayne.

fed up.
guys, i watched fed up today. you can rent it for four bucks on amazon. now, i knew going into the movie that it would cover a lot of things i agree with. however, the main narrative was essentially how we are killing a generation of children. the government should be ashamed of themselves. in 1980 there were 0 cases of type two diabetes in adolescents…now there’s just shy of 58,000. sugar is poison. we’ve made an entire generation ill for profit margins and that’s unconscionable. i am really happy that i watched this on the first day of a 30 day paleo challenge. i decided after going to the doctor last week that i was going to do it. i managed to convince a few of my friends to join me. i was so good for so long and then easily succumbed to the poison. because sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. recommitting myself to eating in a sustainable, healthy way. 

cortisone shots.
i stand. i walk. i took an elevator without pain. 

may you rest in peace.

joan rivers.
oh, joan rivers.

today social media has been overwrought with people discussing the passing of joan. while, i never wish ill or harm on anyone…truthfully, seeing all of the posts from my friends about her has been difficult for me. 

what i don’t think people realize about her was how vehemently she fat shamed. how she was a bully towards fat women. how when you post memorials you basically validate her words and behaviors. how i see her as no different than anita bryant or the members of westboro baptist or other people and organizations that spit out vitriolic hateful comments.  

saying kate winslet could of sunk the titanic, that lena dunham is the poster child for diabetes, going on national television to tell adele she needed to lose weight, making jokes about elizabeth taylor being shamu…that’s all bullying. 

you may think i’m being overly sensitive. maybe i am…but, if any of these jokes were about race, religion, or sexual orientation people would have flipped the fuck out. when we condone hatred towards one group of people, we open the door for hatred towards all who don’t conform to what we deem as ideal or the, ‘norm’. 

we accept fat prejudice. we accept the shame. we allow the bullying. 

joan rivers…
oh, joan rivers.

things that shouldn’t have to be said in 2014 let alone in one day’s time.

dear cee-lo green
consenting to do drugs with you and consenting to sleep with you are not the same thing. it is appalling that you seem incapable of taking responsibility for your actions. so, i suppose i shouldn’t be shocked that you seem incapable of taking ownership of the words you plastered on the internet. you weren’t, ‘accused’ of making statements. you made statements and hoisted them upon social media. also, if a woman isn’t conscious she can’t consent…ever. 

dear columbia university,
so three women tell you that they were raped by one student wasn’t enough for you? it wasn’t enough for you to address their fears and concerns? emma sulkhowicz, i commend you for forcing the university to not ignore you. 

dear internet, 
viewing photos of women that were hacked and posted without their consent is wrong. no one should have to tell you that it’s wrong. voyeurism as a sex crime. it’s a sex crime regardless of if it’s jennifer lawrence, a legal adult or mckayla moroney who was underage. some women do offer up their bodies for entertainment….and that is there choice and right. but, if you knowingly look at photos of women who never gave consent then you are perpetuating rape culture. you are perpetuating the belief that somehow you have ownership of someone’s body.

dear cat callers,
we don’t needy our validation. believe it or not, i am pretty happy and confident with who i am. when you clap, whistle, yell, or make noises at me it doesn’t edify me. it reduces my worth not only to physical appearance but your opinion of my physical appearance. i am so much more than that.

dear asshole on okcupid,
i answered one question about skinny dipping. that doesn’t give you permission to talk about my body and your obsession with it on the first message you sent me. 

here’s the sad thing…this will be yesterday’s news cycle. this will be the things that get swept under carpets. this will be stuff that we will forget until the next time there’s another great nexus of female injustice. 

if the people of crossfit were comic book characters. ladies edition.

who knows if there’ll be a men’s edition…

i was reading up on carol danvers…aka captain marvel and i thought to myself. whoa, i bet lindsey valenzuela would make a kick ass captain marvel for all hallow’s eve.  

which then sparked this post. now, sometimes i wrestle with comic book portrayals of women…they’re often portrayed as simultaneously bad ass and objectified which is an interesting dichotomy. no one can fight that much crime or create that much chaos in a corset. i suppose one could make a valid argument that men in comics are also often objectified. that’s what happens when everyone is in skin tight spandex, right? but. after seeing guardians of the galaxy (which, memo to james gunn…please let the sequel pass the bechdel test) i thought, there’s a lot of kick ass women in comics. 

so, i submit crossfitter and comic book character pairings or squads with quads. 

lindsey valenzuela and captain marvel.

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sort of perfect, right?

alright,next.

sam briggs as caitlin fairchild

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kristan clever as phyla-vell/quasar

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moving on…

rachel martinez as fire (beatriz bonilla de costa)

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christmas abbott as rachel anne summers grey

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julie foucher as moira mactaggert (get it…she’s a doctor)

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camille leblanc bazinet as wonder woman

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elizabeth akinwale as vixen (truthfully i think she looks like bumblebee but bumblebee’s power derives solely from her suit)

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and the scandinavians:

bjork odinsdottir as angela…you know, thor’s sister. 

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and annie thorisdottir as thena thorisdottir…thor’s daughter. 

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it takes a village, my hips do lie: why i love crossfit a brief manifesto by jessie oliver.

i will preface this post by telling you, i’m heavily medicated. 

it started as a mundane friday. 
woke up late, made a veggie and bacon filled breakfast, geared up to go to the gym. etc. 

when i hear people talking about how their lack of mobility is a hindrance to their crossfit progress i’m always quick to point out that being hyper mobile is no walk in the park either.

as i’ve detailed here, i have hip issues. 

my SI joint is my arch nemesis when it comes to progress. 

i am one of the millions who has benefited from the affordable care act. however, because i am intensely busy i have failed at getting a primary care physician which means, even though i know my hip is still wonky, i don’t have an orthopedist. 

yesterday, we were doing deadlifts at the gym. truthfully, it’s never been my favorite lift. but, we were doing light sets at high reps. which, i didn’t even think it would be injuring seeing as i only had 125 pounds on the bar which is less than half of my one rep max. 

rep one, rep two, rep three, rep four, rep five, rep six, rep seven…oh, shit. my hip just moved. stand up…oh, shit…you need to lay down. 

at this point people at the gym started to realize something was wrong. now, a few things: i have a pretty high threshold to pain and i am stubborn when it comes to my body. sometimes, i think that’s why i stuck with crossfit initially.  

but, i will tell you, everyone was asking if i was okay. now, was i uncomfortable? do i naturally shirk off that much attention? absolutely. BUT, guys, it was like the first time in my life that i didn’t think, ‘oh, god i.m  like a zoo animal’. no one in that room thought i injured myself because i’m fat. which, let me tell you, has been a palpably real thing in my life. 

everyone rallied to get me up off the floor, get me to a hospital, and take care of me. that includes people driving me and my vehicle to the hospital, holding me up and walking with me…rolling me in and out of cars. you know, typical i can’t hinge at my waist savior faire.  

crossfit really is all about community.

luckily there was a trade off and some of my friends came to sit with me/take me home post the ER. 

my SI joint is askew. they classified it as an acute recurring joint displacement which while it probably will need surgery, it did not need an emergency procedure. so, now i am left to find a primary care physician to get a referral to an orthopedist to deal with the problem i already know exists. don’t you just love the stupidity of red tape? 

the other thing i will say is not one of the doctor’s was like, ‘oh you do crossfit?’ or spoke ill of it…they looked at my x-rays and just said, ‘you have weird hips’. 

this injury wasn’t caused by crossfit. 
this injury could have happened doing something as benign as an elliptical machine given the nature of my joints. frankly, i am glad it happened at a place where people automatically rallied to help me. 

michelle larson, you and will have created a pretty magical place to call a workout home. 

an hour in.

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five hours in

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on my way home. crutchie.

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stitch fix…get yourself fixed.

yesterday as i was listening to my beloved npr kai ryssdal did a section on marketplace about personal shopping and specifically the online store, ‘stich fix’ for women. link to story…here

i had heard about stitch fix months ago from my friend, amy. she had recently started using it and was raving. 

i went to their website and was sorely disappointed to find that they do not offer clothing for plus sized women. 

oh, that offensive, persistent, subversive belief that plus sized women don’t care about fashion…but, also in the old pervasive tap that fat people are lazy.

stitch fix likes to market itself as something for the fashion conscious woman who is on the go…and frankly, that’s me. but, hey, guess what, i am fat.

i’m also amazed that there is nothing in the stitch fix FAQ  page about why they don’t offer plus sizes but they do have something about not styling men and children. 

also, discrimination aside, it’s just a bad business model. 

plus size clothing is one of the fastest growing demographics in the fashion industry. some people call it, ‘catering’. i say it’s good business practices…if women are 51% of the population and the average size of the American woman is size 14 you have minimized your share holders potential to make money…and you’ve basically confined plus sized women to feeling as if their body isn’t worth being styled. 

as of 2012 there were a 100 million plus sized women in america. 

for those of us who grew up plus sized, i will tell you, shopping was a trauma inducing experience.

my childhood closet, while now the williamsburg dream, was something that isolated me even more from my peers. 

cat prints, apples that said a+ teacher, and so many floral prints. i was dressing like my contemporaries grandmothers because it was what fit. 

if modcloth had existed during my teen years life would have been drastically different. the good people wrote an article describing what modcloth is doing correctly: it’s good

one thing modcloth did was gather statistical data from plus sized women…and frankly, it’s pretty revealing and not at all shocking.

speaking of statistics…plus size retailing in store was up 5% in the last year. plus sized shopping via online retailers (read the numbers, stitch fix). part of that is because fat women often feel shamed in stores. i’m looking at you, target.  

i am thankful for companies like asos, modcloth, and forever 21 for realizing there’s a space for plus sized girls at the fashion table. 

stitch fix, i am waiting for you. i am  waiting for you to recognize and realize that i am a valuable client, verifiably so through data driven analyses. 

so, by now most people who would be interested in seeing this video have seen this video. 

moreover, post the emmy’s there’s been a resurgence of it’s presence on the interwebs because louie won the emmy for the episode…and to his credit, he pointed out that it was a mistake that sarah baker did not. 

and louie won the emmy…and so should the fat lady. 

when this episode first aired i never wrote about it. 

i never wrote about it because it was odd watching something that essentially could have come out of my brain…it’s also strange seeing your real life struggle turned into something that is primarily, not entirely, but primarily serving the purpose of entertainment. 

i feel like as a real life vanessa that this so perfectly pinpoints a lot of my dating experiences. 

just like women in general are either the virgin or the whore fat women are either the fetish or the funny friend. 

we all openly admit to the double standard about body image that happens in the media. but, what so very rarely gets talked about is the double standard of body image that happens in our daily lives. tony soprano isn’t just a tv character, he’s half of the dads of the kids i was raised with, barring bleach cleanings and sociopathic murderous rages.

this is life.

this is how things work. this is why women like me grow up to expect inconsistent double standards. this is why so many women become complacent and unable to decipher the difference between how they are treated and how they deserve to be treated. 

i have found that primarily (clearly i know exceptions) one of two things happens for my plus sized female friends. 

  • either they end up in relationships with men who don’t treat them the way they deserved to be treated. like somehow the plus sized woman should be grateful that a man is paying her attention that it negates his treatment of her. 
  • or she’s single. sometimes painfully so. 

sometimes i really am thankful that i’ve been plus sized for my entire adult life. because of this duality and because of my fierce inability to see myself as lesser than my weight helped form and shape me. i am strong, independent, funny, smart, weird, and a bevy of other things that i love. 

my weight has also taught me that people are assholes…and while i am inherently deserving of love it seems that most men are perpetually in fear of looking past a physical attribute to see the person inside. which is fucking bullshit. 

but, for me, i would rather be single than allow myself to not be loved well. 

women’s obsession about weight and size isn’t confounding when we live in a society that associates a number with self esteem. 

recently i went to go see an intro show for a too much light makes the baby go blind. 

one of the plays was a woman standing on a scale turning around and writing the number on the wall. it incensed me. first of all, without negating any possible weight struggles this woman may have, i just felt like it was lazy. it was uninteresting. oh, you weight 127 lbs. great. tell me why you even FUCKING CARE ABOUT THIS. it is bad art. bad art to define yourself by a stupid number and have no context as to what that number means. 

i had to fight the urge to stand up and just say, ‘no’. i refuse to accept that this is the best art you could create. i refuse to accept that this is how you define your art as well as yourself. 

may more vanessa’s emerge. 
may we raise our young men and women to affirm all bodies. 
may we stop saying fuck your beauty standards and start saying change your beauty standards.
may we promote health and enforce that health and size are not the same thing.
may we rejoice in what our bodies can do instead of focusing on what they look like.
may all body shapes, races, genders, et al be more evenly represented in the media and in lour every day lives.
may we move past all of the bullshit.

oh, and in case you don’t want to watch the scene but wouldn’t be opposed to reading it, here you are

in response to erikadprice ‘s comment. 
oh, yes! hopefully it didn’t seem like i was negating her right to have body image issues. everyone is allowed that, obviously. i just thought the way in which she constructed that play was grade a, fried, bullshit.

slow down you move too fast…

yesterday was my first almost full day off since june (barring vacation).
i tend to do this to myself. where i commit myself to be somewhere for 12-20 hours of the day for weeks on end. part of it comes with the territory of making money and being a working artist. part of it is just also in my nature. i actually can’t imagine what it’s like to work 8:30-4:30 and then come home and stay in for the evening. 

this summer i’ve felt terrible. i haven’t been able to work out as much as i’d like due to time constraints, i gained weight which, really the gaining of weight is not an aesthetic problem for me, the problem with gaining weight is that it has strained my hip further…i just feel off. 

so, yesterday, i woke up and recommitted myself to my own health. i made every meal i ate, i walked for a bit, i let myself watch some shows. 

i have a little gap of time between now and when the school term starts and the top of my list is to figure out how to make my life of all of these things i love to do more sustainable. reclaiming a better work to life balance. in the immortal words of dolly parton, ‘don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life’

breakfast

lunch

dinner

it’s amazing how little things, like making your food makes you feel better. yes, i’m sure part of it is psychosomatic, but, also it was just a physical shift to have all real food in my body. nothing processed, fast, or easy.

to health, friends.  

pour myself a cup of ambition.

sometimes after not having gone to the gym in roughly three weeks due to moving combined with a hellacious schedule you decide you shouldn’t look at what the workout is because if it’s bad you wont’ go…

then you get to the gym…you see the workout…and you think to yourself. 

then you waddle to your car after the aforementioned workout of doom. 

so, currently i am working a lot. all stuff i love. but, i’m tired and i have a terrible sinus infection that i have not had the time to go get treated.

the other night i was scrolling through the book face and this came up in my newsfeed and it literally made me cry. 

work to life balance…you need to get figured the fuck out. as dolly once said, ‘better get to livin” 

also, i really am loving having my own place…i am really disliking unpacking said place. oh, well. balance. 

summer, summer, summer.

i thought my life would lessen in it’s hectic nature over the summer. i thought i’d have time to invest in myself. read more, workout more, sleep more, drink less coffee…

oh, dreams. oh, far off, seemingly non attainable dreams. 

the problem with schedule craziness is that inevitably the first thing you do is stop taking care of yourself. 

you stop putting yourself as a priority and then feel like you’re marty mcfly holding on to the truck at the beginning of back to the future, but you know, infinitely less cool.

tomorrow i move. 

my entire life is either in boxes, bags, or in the process of being put in boxes and bags. 

in totally unrelated blogging.
shout out to crossfit prowess in seekonk, massachusetts for letting me do drop ins while i was on vacation in rhode island. they were wonderful. also, they introduced me to crossfit baseball…which sort of feels like a game where everyone looses to burpees. 

summer

ah, summer at the gym.

first of all, who doesn’t love sweating like this just walking in.

any physical movement feels as if you’re trapped in a hellfire. 

sometimes it gets so bad that i can feel myself over heating and playing double dutch with the vomit line. like yesterday. eight rounds of tabatas of: pushups, kb swings, squats, and burpees. seriously, i had to ask what round we were on so that i could pace myself not to puke.  

but, i suck it up…because a-you know, the point is to sweat and more importantly, b-i want to eat my weight in ice cream. 

mmm…ice cream. 

(Reblogged from erikadprice)

who likes short, shorts?

sometimes you say, fuck it and go to forever 21 and buy yourself a $12 pair of shorts…and they’re the first pair of shorts shorter than the knee that you’ve owned in 20 years…because you know what, it’s hot and your objectively giant thighs don’t deserved to be bound in fabric.

my thighs are large and in charge.
they lift heavy things.
they get me around. 
so, out they come. 

change your beauty standards. love your body. 

return to the gym as told by happy endings gifs.

i went to bed last night resolved that my rest week would end today.

i woke up feeling like this:

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sleeping…

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i needed to work off the week of rest…which, essentially turned into a week of ice cream.

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so, i told myself to get up and go.

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i got to the gym, read the wod and felt pretty good about it. 

tall, hang, and power cleans. 

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then moved on to the wod;
sit ups and squat cleans. i actually found myself smiling. 

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rest week is over.

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make it work.

tim gunn,

i’ve always liked you. you have a winning affability. whatever the media platform i’ve seen you in, i’ve always felt as if you root for people to succeed and be happy.

fashion is often an industry that dismisses the majority of women. it’s an odd dichotomy for an industry to, ‘worship’ women and dismiss the vast majority of them.

so, this opera diva wants to thank you for: this

as a strong, confident, adult i don’t need a lot of external validation. i like my body, i like my life, i like who i am which is a far better reflection of my beauty than what i put on myself. 

but, to read this brought me great joy. not all women feel this way about themselves. not all women recognize that the fashion industry caters to an inverted triangle that is more akin to a man’s body than the average woman’s. 

i’ve struggled with the rise of andrej pejic for this very reason. the gender warrior in me loves and supports what andrej does.you do you, andrej. the curvy, plus sized woman part of me gets frustrated that the fashion industry finds him perfection because of the nature of his male form. 

you’re right mr. gunn. i am a neglected market. shopping isn’t always fun for the plus sized woman. in fact it’s exhausting. also, major chains like old navy which offers plus sizes only does so online. like, i have to try on their clothing in shame, shrouded in my own home. 

hopefully, if ever this were to happen it would normalize my body because, frankly, i am on two sizes larger than the average. 

so thank you for your support. thank you for acknowledging that i deserve more than shapeless sacks. thank you for suggesting that my body is one that deserves to be paraded in garments made by talented upcoming artists. 

sincerely,

jessica oliver, a plus sized, opera singing, fan