November 28, 2015

Is Adele Fat...?

...And do we care? When is It OK to be fat?

Last Friday (11/20) Adele released her third album entitled 25. The album has been on shelves for only just over a week but has broken music records worldwide. I'll be 25 next year and I haven't broken any kind of record, not even a vinyl. Much like fellow popular singers, Adele has a huge following and a "stan base". We all know Adele can sing the roof off of any given building and she is a radiant beauty. In addition to all of her beauty and achievements she is also plus sized...Or is she? I saw someone mention on Twitter the fact that she has lost some weight since her last album. In response to this several people came to her defense saying "That doesn't matter! She's beautiful". Some people don't even address the fact that she is plus sized like they do with other celebrities. Some people might even say that I’m wrong for mentioning her size when she’s so much more than her weight, but I’m still typing. Just a few months ago Rihanna showed off her body in a traditional Carnival garb during Carnival season in Barbados. She seemed to be a little bigger than normal and folks were saying how fat she looked and how the weight was unbecoming. When Tyra Banks put on weight a few years back and faced heavy criticism causing her to tell everyone to "kiss her fat ass" it was a problem. Similar things have happened with Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, etc. Those are tiny examples of how weight shaming is real, even with smaller sized celebrities.This year Tess Holliday became the first super plus sized model to earn a modeling contract with a major agency. She is beautiful, outspoken and graceful, yet with one glimpse of her Instagram you'll see comments like "You're too fat, you need to lose weight for your health" or the grossest popular one, "You're not going to live long enough to see your son grow up". The last and best example is the exuberant Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe, oh the backlash she faces for merely existing is so hateful and annoying. Yet with Adele her weight doesn't matter. Why?

I believe it's because Adele exists but she's not visible. Yes, she has a new album out and her face is all over magazines, blogs, and advertisements, but her body? Not so much. I saw a picture of Adele leaving some event and the caption read, "Adele in her signature black attire" which intrigued me. Black is a wonderful color and it also has a slimming effect. I can't help but wonder why black is her signature clothing choice. Usually when any celebrity (or even regular folks) have put on some weight and want to mask it, they throw on black from head to toe hoping to hide the bulge. Is it truly Adele's choice to wear black? The difference between Adele and other plus size celebrities is visibility. Adele is heard rather than seen and I'm not sure if it's her choice or not but it's working. She has mentioned that she doesn't want to look like the women in magazines, but she never draws attention to herself by wearing bold colors or a statement piece, because her voice commands all the attention and that alone is amazing. Which leads me to my initial question, when is it ok to be fat?

Fatness is ok in [American] society if you're invisible, funny, or a man. According to society, if you're in the shadows or if you are hiding your fatness it's fine. That’s not to say that invisible fat people don’t receive backlash and are “welcomed into society” but it’s basically if I don’t see it, it doesn’t bother me. Visibility is bothersome as with any group of people who are considered to be socially deviant.

Over the past few years I’ve noticed that a lot of comedians or comedic actors are overweight. For the longest time being fat itself was funny. The “I’m always hungry/eating” or “I will sit on you” jokes have been around forever, people make fat jokes nowadays without even thinking about it because it’s so common and accepted by the general public. Again, visibility. Of course when someone is standing on a stage telling jokes you can see that he/she is fat but the jokes are at the forefront and to a lot of people the fatness is a part of the joke even if the comedian didn’t intend it to be. Growing up my least favorite comedian was DL Hughley. My parents watched ComicView and for a while he was a regular on the show. His routine always included pointing and laughing at someone in the audience, especially a fat person. I’m sure after a while fat people refused to sit in the front section of his shows because it was expected to be made fun of. My mom went to a live comedy show at this club that my uncle owned. My uncle thought it would be a great treat to give my parents the VIP section in the front. My mom did not want to sit at the front and it was too late to switch seats. After the show my mom seemed a little upset, and later I found out it was because the comedian ridiculed her as a part of the act. I think it shows a true lack of comedic talent if one has to rely on the audience for material, but I digress.

Lastly, fat men are far more acceptable in general society than fat women. On most TV shows centered around a couple, the man is usually stocky/chubby while the woman is cute, thin, and petite. Fatness isn’t feminine or pretty in TV Land, I guess. There are exceptions Mike and Molly, Roseanne...but again they’re comediennes. I have yet to see a fat woman play someone’s serious love interest.

Fatness and visibility are two of the most important things when considering when fatness is acceptable. There are some exceptions as I have listed above, but even still no one wants visible fatness. I used Adele as an example, I’m not picking on her at all but seeing the “her weight doesn’t matter” idea specifically attached to her name is interesting. It’s special because this same kind of “pass” doesn’t seem to be attached to anyone else in the spotlight even if they are very talented. There have been other celebrities who have been given a “pass” and it’s simply because they don’t address their size. If Adele decided she wanted to make fast-paced dance-pop music and wanted to do choreographed dances in the style of Beyonce, I think things would be different. If she wanted to wear a bold bright neon green crop tops with the words “Fat Fine” across her bust, things would probably be different. If she decided to ditch her modest black attire and go with sexy deep plunging necklines and bold bright prints, things would probably be different. However, her talent isn’t related to her size and she has definitely emphasized that. She doesn’t model, she isn’t a dancer, and she’s not a sex symbol. Her voice is her talent and her voice is her gift to the masses, and who doesn’t love a beautiful gift? Forget dieting I just wish I could sing well...

November 21, 2015

Why Don't You Love Me?

Years ago, there were a few guys who I liked and the feelings were mutual, but I ruined it. This is going to be a short post, I don't want to drag this out anymore than necessary. Thanks for tuning in to Nic's super short post! Anyway, both of the aforementioned guys were extremely sweet and well... I was sour. 

I think about them both when I sit back and think about my past relationships/friendships. I often wonder how things would be different had I not been such a witch. Both situations started and ended almost the exact same way. The beginning was wonderful, interesting, and just pure bliss. Overtime, they went from being sweet compositions to disjointed improvisations. The final performance commenced with me screaming "leave me the hell alone!" just before waltzing off the stage with my baton in tow.

At the time, I didn't fully understand why I became infuriated with them. The first guy was always hanging on to my every word, the second guy would always stand so close to me, I could smell his not-so-minty-fresh breath. Those things were issues but they weren't the real issue. At that point in my life I hated myself so much I lashed out on those who tried to get close me. I figured it would be a waste, they couldn't really like me, blah, blah...I was angry that I didn't like myself enough to let my guard down to let someone else like me. It's weird and confusing yet it all makes sense. 

I think a lot of us use anger and 'lashing out' as a means to keep people at bay but it's truly the worst thing you can do to someone who cares about you, sees your beauty, and is willing to maneuver through all the treacherous channels to explore the deepest parts of you. I regret doing what I did to those guys because of my self-hate and pent up anger. I'm writing this because I think it's important for people to understand how the psyche of a person with low self-value affects everyone involved. Self-love doesn't just blossom when someone likes or loves you. Much like telling a person with depression to "just get happy and look on the bright side". It may sound encouraging but it won't cure their depression nor make them feel better. If anything it can agitate the issue and make things even more difficult.  I know, I know, you want me to quit with the 'Love thyself' cliches and anecdotes, but trust me, it's important and life changing. Oprah says so, too. 

November 12, 2015

What Do You Fear? Tag

In order to keep up with the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) challenge, I'm doing this tag for today's post! This tag was created by the illustrious James Colwell on Youtube. Please visit his channel! I challenge anyone reading this to complete this tag. You don't need to make a video or even have a blog, post it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media sites that you use. Share it with your friends and ask them about their fears. It could really lead to a fun and informative conversation. 

Do You Fear…

1. The dark

Sort of but not really...I don't like being in total darkness, but I wouldn't say I fear the dark.

2. Tunnels or bridges

Yes! The last time I drove across a bridge I was shaking. I actually don't mind crossing a bridge if someone else is driving across it. It's mostly because of my combined fear of large bodies of water and heights.

3. Large bodies of water

Yes, it makes me queasy, which is why I don't really like the beach.

4. Hospitals or doctors

Hospitals, no. Some doctors, yes. I like the optometrist and dentist!

5. Hotels or motels

Ugh, no?

6. Heights


7. The woods

Chile...Yes. There's bugs and animals and crazy ass people in the woods. No gawd. 

8. Airplanes, trains or buses

I have thought about flying and it just seems so scary but I've never flown. I'd rather drive or take a train. It's one of my life goals to take a train ride. 

9. Rollercoasters or other amusement rides

Yes, again heights!!!

10. Thunderstorms or lightning

Yes, thunderstorms. They're so unpredictable! You don't know where it's going to strike and it could cause so much damage and destruction.

11. Horror movies

I don't fear them but I would prefer not to watch them.

12. Public speaking

Yeah, I really hate speaking in front of groups, large or small.
13. Animals; and if so which ones?

Snakes and spiders. I just don't really like cats but I don't fear them.
14. Ghosts or apparitions

Hmm...Nope. Ghosts and spirits actually intrigue me. 

15. Death

In a sense, yes but in a sense no. I just would fear dying and not telling the people that I love how much I love them. I think I fear how I will die versus dying. 

Other things I fear: Fire, Getting Sick, and Hurricanes.

November 11, 2015

Catching and Confessing Feelings

I've never had to confess my feelings for someone who I liked. I've only truly had feelings for two people, so I don't catch feelings offen. The first one was this guy who I thought I loved. He hardly knew my name. I never wanted him to know that I liked him but watching several romantic comedies where the awkward girl confesses her love to the jock and they ride off happily ever after really encouraged me. After crushing on him for years, I asked my friend to tell him for me via Myspace. Smooth. She told him and of course he said something along the lines of "I'm interested in someone else". He even started avoiding me at school. Back then I was crushed but looking back on it, it really wasn't a terrible rejection. 

The hardest part about putting yourself out there is rejection. Then again, I guess how do you know if you don't try? Rejection is terrible but so is regret. I think the thought of dealing with regret is more appealing than the thought of dealing with rejection, at least in my mind. But regret lingers longer. After a while it starts to hurt, at least with rejection the pain is temporary, like the prick of a needle and after a period of time it's something you can laugh and/or reminisce about. The longer you hold on to your secret the harder it'll be to confess. Secrets get comfortable like a lazy Sunday afternoon in bed. Once they're tucked away in the comfort of your mind, it's difficult to wake it up and put it out there in real time. Trust me, I know. Would I ever confess my true feelings for someone that I'm into? I would choose not to if I could. Not because I think confessing feelings makes you vulnerable but honestly, it's just scary. I always envision my confession to go like this (This is totally fictional, by the way):

Monday evening, outside, dark blue skies, distant stars freckled across it as a cool December wind chills the air. 
Me: Hey wait, can I talk to you? Do you have time to stay for a little bit?
Pulls dark brown jacket tighter, crossing his arms.
Him: Yeah what's up?
Clears throat, and looks away for a moment. Suddenly both of our eyes meet. Starts speaking, pacing the words moderately quick.
Me: I think you're so amazing, you make laugh all the time and just being around you makes me happy. You make me think, you spend valuable time with me, you make me feel special, beautiful, and valued. Getting to know you has been the best thing that's ever happened to me, because through getting to know you, I learned about myself. You don't understand how much that means to me. *Speaking slows down, calmer tone* I never thought I would develop these feelings for you when we first became friends. I think about you all the time, you're even in my prayers and dreams. I realized I fell for you when I truly couldn't see anyone but you in a crowded room. World War III could've been going on outside and I would've been at peace because you were the only thing I could see and hear. You're never too much for me because I can't get enough of you. You're so not perfect and neither am I, but somehow I can see us both getting closer to perfection if we really came together. We're so different but I just really like you, I love spending time with you and I was hoping you felt the same about me.
Him: Uh...Yeah...That's very nice of you. I like you too, as my friend. You're like a sister to me. You're such a good friend, I don't want to ruin what we have.
Me: ...But you gave me signs. You spent time with me, you got to know me, we shared things, you're so nice to me...Buzzfeed videos and Google said those were "the signs"...
Him: I was being nice to you, I didn't realize that was a sign...I'm sorry, I was just being my normal friendly self. 
Me: Oh...Well...Have a nice life. *dies*

Truthfully, I don't like bottling up my feelings for someone. It eats away at you eventually, and when you see the person you either feel anxious to scream "I love you, please be with me!" or you try extremely hard to not let your feelings show. I'm an expert at the latter, but even if feelings aren't shown chemistry never lies and is more obvious especially to those around you. I never feel like it's the right moment to confess feelings, but is there really a perfect moment? 

I said all of this to say that I hope the love of my life is braver than I and will confess first. If not, I'm screwed.

November 10, 2015

True Life: I'm 24 and I've never had a boyfriend

Maybe it's because I snore, I'm not a girly girl, usually the curtains don't match the drapes (hey at least there are curtains and drapes), and I'm severely introverted. Or maybe it's because I'm fat or all of the above...Probably none of the above. 

I never expected my life to end up this way, I thought for sure I'd have at least one boyfriend by now. Nope. My dating discussions consist of slightly embellishing stories about the couple dates I've had, laughing at bad date jokes as if I can truly relate to them, and hoping to God that no one asks me about my non-existent first time. One of my friends told me that I sound inexperienced, oh the horror. I never wanted anyone to know my secret, I thought I was a pretty good actress. I guess I'm Beyoncé in The Fighting Temptations movie. No shade. 

When I do talk to my friends about guys it's never concrete and almost juvenile. I have crushes, they have flings. See? There are all these articles and blogs about how the young, modern woman is flourishing, dating,  and having lots of casual sex. Well, I'm here to tell you I'm not one of them. 

I know this sounds like a super dorky sob story but quite the contrary. In my twenties  I've experienced a lot of life, it came faster than I expected. I believe in God's proper timing, and I'm sure this is all a part of His Divine Plan for me. Since middle school, it always seemed like having a boyfriend was the most important thing a girl could have, even more important than being well-educated and respectful. Thankfully, my parents never pushed the issue about dating as some parents do. But I always felt like I was out of the loop, and I still do sometimes. A couple years ago I looked into becoming a nun, seriously. Unlike the Army they are really selective. 

Throughout my years of single-ness, I have grown in ways I didn't think I would. My twenties have definitely been a time of unexpected growth and change. A relationship during my lowest points would've been unhealthy for both parties involved. I was broken, painfully insecure, and self-loathing. Through my own method of  unprofessional counseling (aka talking to myself and/or making my brother listen to my rants), prayer, writing and self discovery I have become better. Not cured but better. Four years ago, if you had asked me to tell you about myself, I would've only been able to say a couple sentences. For a long time, I didn't even know myself and I'm still working on that.

I think one of the most difficult things about being single my entire life is simply comparing my life to other people my age. Sure I look around and I see broken, insecure, and self loathing people in a relationship or even married and I wonder why them and not me? However, their journey is not my journey and vice versa.  We're all experiencing life and our paths are leading us all to the same place but we're all getting there in a different way. I was going to quote world-renowned American poet Lil Wayne, but I think I drove home the point.

Lastly, although it seems like we should all be out looking for a partner, it doesn't have to be a priority. I'm not just saying that because I'm single. Invest time into getting to know yourself better, learn, develop, and reach your goals. If you don't have any goals, set some. Self-development/discovery is really never ending! 

All in all, I am happy at this point in my life. There are many days where I get sad and envious of people in relationships, but bad moments don't equal a bad life. I don't even have a love interest at the moment but I know regardless of my lifelong single status I'm a pretty nice (and hefty) catch. Lord knows it took me a long time to see it.  Keep in mind that relationships aren't as easy as posting cute pictures on Instagram. I'll admit, next to being able to cuddle with my future beau and talk about deep social issues after an evening of Netflix, taking an 'ussie' is one of the things I look forward to. Still, relationships take lots of time and energy, and if you're single maybe it's a sign that you should focus on other things. I'm not an expert, although I have been single forever, I'm still learning about what it means to be single. Being single forever is not a death sentence, I'm still very much alive and well!