Am I the only one who forgets every single year that February is a short month?
A bit of personal news: Unfortunately, the hand injury I gained back in October is still not healed. I've been diagnosed with de Quervain's tenosynovitis, which basically means that the tunnel two tendons run through in my wrist has become inflamed and painful.
It's not the same as carpal tunnel, but has some of the same symptoms. That means my computer and camera time are still limited. I've been doing a lot of jigsaw puzzles, watching my backyard birds and watching Great British Menu.
Most of my active-hand time has been spent in the Body Liberation Blanket Fort, where we have an increasingly close and active community. Lately we've been having body-doubling days, discussing fat accessibility in mortuary services and enjoying new channels for neurodivergent folks and for diet-talk-free food and recipe chat.
Supporting me on Patreon at any level gets you access to the fort.
Speaking of Patreon, I've also created a shiny new Google calendar for patrons, making fat-positive and Health at Every Size® event listings easier to browse and search than ever. You'll still be getting events for the current month here in the Body Liberation Guide, but the full listings will be there.
An apology and correction:
So many of you kindly sent emails to Dragon, my young trans friend, and I have…received none of them. Because I made a typo in my own post office box address, and didn't realize it until people began contacting me about returned mail.
Having so little productive time, and that often painful, means I've been making a lot of this type of mistake lately, and I'm so sorry.
If you've received returned mail, please send it to this corrected address and please accept my apology and gratitude: 14201 SE Petrovitsky Rd Ste A3 #234, Renton, WA 98058.
Now, on to this week's letter, with a content note for frank discussion of fatphobia:
If you've been a subscriber for a bit, you know I produced an entire guide to that awful fatphobic movie The Whale.
I'm not a pop culture kind of person and I don't watch movies (due to my neurodivergence making it difficult), so I'd be perfectly happy never to think about that movie again. But with awards season here, it's popped back up.
I ran across this thread from More Than Tracy Turnblad (go read it, it's great) and just the thumbnail preview of the face of Brendan Fraser, The Whale's fat-suit-clad star, was triggering.
I hadn't realized that Fraser's character dies at the end of the movie, and learning connected some things for me.
First off: Come on, y'all. How can anyone think fat suits are convincing in any way? The bottom half of his face is just plastic! Skin does not look like that, and fat bodies don't move like that!
The eternal popularity of fat suits is a testament to how actual fat bodies are so invisible and unrepresented that thin people have no idea our bodies look and move.
Second: That's why so many thin folks thought this movie was deeply moving: what they consider trash took itself out. Fraser's “fat” character was a neatly self-solving problem, removing himself from the world and ceasing to trouble us with his existence.
Fat people are always most beloved when we're ceasing to exist, whether that means physically shrinking in a temporary attempt to become not-fat, or removing ourselves to hospitals to give ourselves surgically-induced eating disorders and cut off parts of healthy organs, or simply dying.
And make no mistake, all these anti-o* medical efforts aimed at adults on down to toddlers are just another attempt to solve the “problem” of us existing at any cost, up to and cheerfully including our deaths. It's handy that erasing us also creates massive profits.
(I'm not a filker, but I'm tempted to create an angry parody that begins, “How do you solve a problem like a fatty?”)
Extremely unpopular opinion incoming: a whole lot of you only started caring about Brendan Fraser's career when he affirmed all your prejudices. Seriously, I heard nothing about this man from anyone until he could be used to shut down criticism of this film.
I have no dog in this fight because I don't care about celebrities either way, but also fuck this guy for taking this role and helping affirm another generation's worth of bigotry.
With increasing exhaustion, Lindley
P.S. Share this week's letter or save to read later here. It's only possible to offer the Body Liberation Guide and all its labor for free because people like you support it. $1 USD per month helps out, and $5 and up gets you access to the full Conversation, event listings and more.
Here's what's being discussed this week in the world of body acceptance and fat liberation: