Title (as given to the record by the creator): Fatty Fatty 2×4
Date(s) of creation: 2003
Creator / author / publisher: Denise Renfrow
Location: Portland, OR, US
Physical description: 20-page half-size zine
Reference #: FattyFatty2x4
Links: [ PDF ] [ QZAP ]
FATTY FATTY 2X4;
Social Commentary By a Queer Fat Chick
[image description: The cover of the zine includes a hand-drawn line drawing of a fat person with their back to the viewer. They are bending over, mooning the viewer with their underwear pulled down (they are otherwise naked). “2X4” is written on their left butt cheek)
Disclaimer: I’ll try my best not to fill this space with a bunch of self-important and self-absorbed bullshit but it’s hard sometimes. I really wanted to put in more poetry but I feel like a lot of my poetry is more self-indulgent and not as political or impacting as my ranting. The only way to connect with people is to put your thoughts out there, whether you are loved or hated. It’s all I can do to keep from exploding right now with our inbred president leading us into a war based on greed, oil and ego. It’s all about whose dick is biggest right now. So until our world stops being as fucked up as it is, I’ll do what I can, even if it just means leaking my thoughts.
[image description: A very thin, long-haired feminine person is standing in a bikini. The image has been collaged from a magazine page; there is a bar code behind the figure. The figure is encircled by a hand-drawn circle with a line through it, and “No Starvation!” written next to the line.]
The irony that exists between Queers and advertising, People of Color and advertising, Fatties (like me) and advertising etc. etc etc. is a testimony of the media’s power over us as Americans. Look at it this way, we have Queer magazines, special interest publications, we have some nice forward thinking rags like Curve, Bust, Bitch, On Our Backs, Mode, Girlfriends. The tone of this segment is decidedly female focused but bear with me. Anyway, we think it’s a huge victory to have information available to us, and it is. There was a time not so long ago when there was nothing at all for us. It’s a victory that more people can be reached and network, even in rural, Podunk Arkansas.
However, there is a whole different situation that arises. All magazines require advertising. In my media Literacy text it’s said that about 65% of magazine space goes to advertising. This means companies advertise with the magazine and this gets our attention as Queers or Fatties or People of Color. Wow! Do theses companies actually care about us? These giant corporate entities must really care about us marginal groups if they are paying their hard earned cash to advertise in our magazines, right? WRONG!
These corporations simply want our money. They don’t care about us as a group or on the whole. Supply and demand has shown that we have some money and are consumers like the rest of the world and it would be wise for them to try and reach us. So we end up with a double-edged sword. We have the attention of the companies and their “support” but we are being sucked in and targeted from the same rotten perspective as all the other “mainstream” consumers out there.
To illustrate this point simply, just look at the amount of McDonald’s commercials targeted towards African Americans! Look at who is advertising during Will and Grace and pay attention to the slants that some advertisers take using “queer time” or watch Black Entertainment Television and watch how “specialized” the ads are towards the audience. It’s up to us to think critically about how corporations that have marginalized, ignored and disregarded “special interest” groups for decades, suddenly became aware of the need to notice us. They simply want our money. Don’t buy into it.
[in a text box] Useless Rhymes
Fast Food Libation
Get Your Hands Offa Me
Sea to Shining Sea
Fuck You Bushism
Ruling with Dick
Making Me Sick
Tearing Down Brick
Something Will Click
Gimme A Sign
Pretend It’s Fine
Outta My Bedroom
Gimme Some Headroom
Under Rug With Broom
Shiny Cars, Vroom Vroom!
Who Am I?
It’s fascinating how few people are paying attention.
When you start becoming savvy about the media and understanding all of the lies you are told regarding politics, human rights violations, policies, laws, the media, institutionalized racism, sexism, heterosexism, discrimination, the environment, gender roles, and everything the mainstream seems to report on, you stop believing the talking heads.
The media lies. The media lies. The media lies.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
If you listened to them you would care about what your body looks like, color, shape, weight, ability and gender. They started lying to you about who you were before you were even born and when you came out screaming and shaking like the angry lead in the wind, they didn’t care. They dressed you in blue or pink and told you how to dress, how to eat, where to go, who to love, who to hate and what to believe.
They taught you to pray. They lied. They all lied.
Now it’s up to us to investigate, think critically, look at all sides of the box, inside and out. Challenge the canon. Face their guns. Tell them to go away.
CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME
They lied to you before you were born and there is danger in believeing them now. If you do, you will believe that the relationship between you and FOOD and INANIMATE things are more important than people.
If someone calls me fat, I don’t have a comeback. I simply don’t respond. It’s not me they are calling fat. They are simply pointing out how cruel, ridiculous and insecure they are. Calling someone fat is rhetorical like calling a woman a bitch if she’s loud or strong or simply exists. It’s a weak defense, bred out of stupidity, lack of defense and fear. It’s not really about me.
People like Beth Ditto of The Gossip (simply because she’s a hot fat woman), Marilyn, Wann, Nomy Lamm, Camryn Manheim, and of course my friend Dexter, have to be thanked for coming forward and addressing the prejudice and lack of human respect associated with size discrimination. It’s not about a bunch of fat people crying on television because airline seatbelts are too small (which they are); it’s about equality, an unrealistic beauty standard and common sense.
Human dignity is at stake. For chrissake, the media calls Halle Berry fat, s there no end to it? They talk about how beautiful people like Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, and Catherine Zeta Jones are “beautiful at any size” but wouldn’t they just be lovely as waifs? Well, we’ve already lost some of our favorite chubby women to the Hollywood obsession with weight (my spin on it). Wasn’t Jennifer Connelly much hotter as a curvy girl in Labyrinth than as a junky in Requiem for a Dream? Wasn’t Christina Ricci hot shit in 200 Cigarettes compared to her now skinny body and HUGE head? Ally Sheedy won my heart in the Breakfast club as a cut normal sized woman and then she was a junkie waif in High Art. Missy Elliott lost weight for health reasons and I support that but it stands that she is drop-dead gorgeous at any size. Roseanne Barr was never hot but I don’t support her losing weight and surgery just for image.
People are honestly treated like sub-humans just for being fat. Why doesn’t anyone get that it’s the same thing as marginalizing people of color for being a different hue? There is a dangerous, impossible beauty standard in this country. It is endangering and marginalizing people. Cosmetic signifiers,
empty of content and value, are the standards we use to determine a person’s worth in America. It’s interesting how the stereotypes are similar for minorities and fat people. It is assumed they are lazy, stupid and inferior.
This is not to say that size discrimination affects only women of size either. This is not assuming that the very thin don’t also get talked about, stared at and made fun of for being very thin. This is also not commentary designed to compare being enslaved and dehumanized because of the color of your skin is the same as suffering size discrimination.
I am saying though, that being fat in America is something I have to wake up and face every single day. I have had to deal with torture at the mouths of schoolmates, cruel remarks and discrimination because I’ve got a big belly. Doesn’t make a lick of sense, does it?
Doctors and health care providers give false information about fat and talk about the risks of heart disease without addressing the true causes. They feign concern and pressure us to lose weight because they think we should, not because being thin equals being healthy. You don’t get heart disease from being fat; you get it from being unhealthy, eating the wrong foods, genetics and a variety of other factors. Demand respect.
We are so trained in this society by the imposed and enforced dichotomy of fat vs. thin that we can’t even face ourselves in the mirror. I am confronted with images of the thin, white, young beauty standard everywhere, it has infiltrated my life. We are shown women “indulging” in sinful snacks and then bombarded with diet commercials. One lotion brand tells us to “Love your body” as it has a thin, white, sexy, tanned leg waving sexually in the air at us. We aren’t told by the sixty billion dollar-a-year industry that 90%-95% of all diets fail (an actual statistic!).
We have watched our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends and strangers suffer the grueling effects of being fat. We have learned to think we are NEVER THIN ENOUGH. We have learned that losing five more pounds will us happy and beautiful. We rise from the ashes, embrace our bodies and then crash back into the abyss of fat shame.
[handwritten] It’s no wonder that every woman in America thinks about every single piece of food she puts in her face.
[the rest of the page is covered by a collaged-on newspaper clipping that reads as follows]
Retrofitted ambulance will help medical staff handle extremely obese
The vehicle, equipped to lift and carry a half-ton, is designed to protect patients and medical personnel
By PATRICK O’NEILL
American Medical Response has developed a supersized ambulance in response to a growing obesity epidemic.
The Portland company’s retrofitted ambulance, which can carry a patient weighing up to half a ton, went into service in Portland this week. Called a “bariatric unit,” it has a larger than normal patient compartment with ramps and a winch.
The new ambulance reflects challenges that increasingly heavy patients pose to medical personnel. Hospitals are investing in stout new hoists to lift obese patients in and out of bed. And Kaiser Permanente is trying to make its Sunnyside Medical [text is obscured] more welcoming to the extre[text is cut off]
[image description: A line-drawing of a fat person standing in a sexy pose. They are facing forward at a 3/4ths angle with their head tilted back and their corkscrew curls going in all directions. Their tank top is pulled up to expose their breasts. Their stomach is pushed outward and they are wearing a thong. Their butt spills out over tight striped thigh-high stockings]
Fatties make more Luscious Lovers
[image description: there is a heart drawn next to the word “more.” 3 curved lines resembling sound waves have been drawn on either side of the word “Luscious.”]
No more! The lies being told in America about us fatties do not apply! They are lies! Do you believe the KKK’s white supremacy rhetoric? No? Then why would you believe all the transparent lies that contribute to the beauty myth? They should be recognized for what they are, discrimination akin to racist, sexist, heterosexist, and homophobic rhetoric. That is, to be happy and beautiful, you must be white and thin and young and straight.
Once the wool is taken from your eyes, you’ll never be the same. I relearned my body as I learned it the first time as a child. I see Barbie for what she is. I recognize the mixed messages, the shame and the fear that are supposed to motivate me into thinness.
Life is too short. Love yourself.
[image description: a line drawing of person with spiky hair. Their shoulders and head are visible; their mouth is open wide, as if in shock. Their head is leaning against the top of a huge orb with a nub sticking out – it resembles a nipple and breast. The nipple(?) is larger than the person’s head, and is encircled by a ring with a large speckled stone. You can see another round shape in the far corner behind the first, which has lines coming off of it to indicate shininess.]
We are all at individual places with our comfort level and self-awareness. Our bodies, minds and souls often struggle to tune out mainstream rhetoric. This Zine is my first. It’s an honest self-exploration, observations about myself. It’s painful to try and objectively assess my strengths and weaknesses. I was able to do this on a new level. A lot of my observations and thoughts are
based on volumes of information on size acceptance. Thanks to Marilyn Wan and Nomy Lamm for their work with size acceptance. My supporters: Dexter, Rebecca K., LHB, DJ Thomley, Jaye S., Nicole W. , Harmony S. and Hilly Dilly.
The lines between individuality and political correctness are different for everyone so sometimes I may appear to be coming from my own perspective. Unapologetically, I am.
Making and Breaking Myself; some contradictions and strengths
I still like oversized sweatshirts sometimes to curl up around my body, the generosity of the fabric makes me feel “thinner.” I don’t think about my body size when fucking, except how lovely it is, all that flesh and skin.
I love my tits, they’re perfect.
My big, round ass is point of obsession for me. It’s perfectly shaped and smooth.
I still sit slouched over sometimes to protect my belly and hide it.
I love wearing tight shirts that hug my curves. I don’t “feel” like a big person. I just feel hot. People agree.
I don’t EVER meet people and wonder if they are thinking about my size.
No one ever says to me anymore, “You have such a pretty face” because I know and project that it’s all beautiful. All of it.
I don’t wonder if people think I’m fat. I know I am and talk about it as freely as I do being Queer and a Woman.
I never use the word “splurge.” I eat what I want, when I want. My mother covered up her self-punishing eating habits by using that word. Sadly, it happened almost every day.
I will never “give up” on my appearance or think I’ve gotten too fat to wear a certain style.
I change the way I dress every day and look great in everything from overalls to platform heels.
I wear athletic wear without shame.
I don’ t wonder, EVER, if anyone is watching me eat and thinking about my weight.
I talk about being a fat girl with my friends because we’re hot shit. Not because we’re ashamed.
I will never have a friend who thinks I’m too fat.
I own fat pants that aren’t for anything but fat days.
I still worry sometimes that my body will become disproportionate. Like my wrists will become astronomically fat.
I shop proudly at fat girl stores. I call them that.
I don’ t get on scales.
People are always saying I’ve lost weight when I haven’t. I tell them I haven’t but just feel great.
I don’t tell people my weight, I am not a number on a scale, I’m a person.
I tell people my weight i f they ask.
I weigh 270 pounds.
I play on the floor with kids.
I can do the splits.
I ‘m very strong.
I love to hike.
I see through America’s lies.
[image description: A photo from a magazine is pasted on the page. It shows a very thin, long-haired person in lingerie. The figure is kneeling in a sexy position against the side of a porch or bridge, and there are trees behind them. Their face has been covered by a white circle with a frowny-face drawn on it. Handwritten text next to the face reads “feed me!”]
[image description: a line-drawing of a fat person with spiky hair is collaged below the magazine clipping. They are nude and lying on their side in a sexy position. “2X4” is written on the side of their butt. They are smiling coyly, and the phrase “SEXY FULL MAMA” is written next to their face.]
[image description: A figure has been cut from a photograph and pasted onto the page; they are a thin person in lingerie and high heels. They are standing sideways, and holding a chain that connects to a line drawing of an enormous pizza. The pizza is about half their height, and their lifted leg also rests on it. handwritten text by their face reads “Please!”]
[image description: a line drawing shows a curvy person with long hair. They are sitting up and there is fabric over their legs, as if they are pushing off a blanket or getting dressed. Their breasts and butt are exposed. handwritten text next to them reads “Slave to diet no more!”]
AMERICA (one of my several)
Because of the way things are, we have shows like
America is obsessed with normalcy
Whatever that is
America comes in a Happy Meal Box
The name rolls of my tongue
Not what it is supposed to mean
But what it has become
a creative name
for packaging yogurt
so kids will eat it
in lieu of cheeseburgers every onceinawhile
tourists with no tolerance
Nor understanding of other cultures
What the fuck are we thinking?
Does anyone even look at the scenery anymore?
instead of tossing their garbage
out the windows
and locking their doors
I’ve been on streets in neighborhoods
with themes, gated communities
make life so much more comfortable
for Happy Meal Families
Their prize is death.
Do they chase their dreams
Because it’s what they want
Or because it’s what they are told they’re supposed to want?
I see naked people wrapped in television
their date stamped on their bag
raising their kids with GAP underwear
in plastic churches
Products, products everywhere
Bathrooms overflow with 5 billion PRODUCTS
No one’s sure how it all began
but how it is that America has become
the Largest drain on earth
like a teenager in a papoose swaddling America’s tit
leaving her no time to replenish
We are too heavy for this earth
Women are obsessed with food
Anorexia, thin, thinner, thinnest
Plastic faces, liposuctioned thighs
Fat free world
No taste anymore
filling bellies with dead food
filling minds with a slow, leaking, ignorance
How wasted are the days,
spent idly in front of the TV?
What good could ever come of it?
I smash my fists to my ears and
shout at the radio to stop telling me
CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME
Like the gentle clamor of
a train wheels
steady, like Chinese water torture, slowly
making me insane
Deadening me to a point
of not being able to lift a pen
or let a thought breed on it’s own
Psychology becomes theory exclusively
Who could possible think for themselves
with the media waging war on us
He think we’re poor but have no concept of the state
of the REAL world
Well fuck you
and I’ll take MY AMERICA
Away from an Inbred President
dead pan eyes
Everyone thinks they are depressed, unhappy
But it’s because we are taught that we
NEED A B C D E F G to be happy
Read a book, America,
Read a book
You are lost and I fear, too far-gone
[image description: A line drawing shows a fat person lying on their back. They are naked, with their breasts visible. Their legs are tilted to the side, raising their hips. Their eyes are closed and their head rests on their hand].
[image description: The same line drawing from page 13 is copied here, of a curvy person with long hair. They are sitting up and there is fabric over their legs, as if they are pushing off a blanket or getting dressed. Their breasts and butt are exposed. handwritten text next to them reads “Slave to diet no more!”]
I [heart] FATTIES
[in a text box] Lose the Self-Inflicted Baggage!
Websites of Interest
Contact me! DynamicFatGirl@hotmail.com
Books of Interest/ Size Activism/ The Media
We The Media edited by Don Hazen and Julie Winkour
Approaches to Media Literacy by Art Silverblatt, Jane Ferry and Barbara Finan
Wake Up, I’m Fat! By Camryn Manheim, Rosie O’Donnell
FAT!SO? Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size by Mari Wann
Big & Beautiful Overcoming Fatphobia – For Women Size 14 and Up by Ruthanne Olds
Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West by Peter N. Stearns
Well Rounded: Eight Simple Steps for Changing Your Life…Not Your Size by Catherine Lippincott
Body Outlaws: Young Women Write About Body Image& Identity by Ophira Edut
Deal With It! A WHole NEw Approach To Your Body, Brain and Life gURL, by Esther Drill, Heather McDonald & Rebecca Odes The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them by Hanne Blank
[image description: The same drawing from page 9 has been cut into 3 parts and pasted onto different areas of the page. The woman’s flung back head with corkscrew curls is at the top of the page, right in the middle. Her torso is on the lower left side of the page, and her bottom half (the butt spilling over thigh-high stockings) is at the bottom right.]
©Fatty Fatty 2X4;
Social Commentary By A Queer Fat Chick
©Denise Renfrow 2003