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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just Look Away

No rational conversation could be had about this on Facebook
... so I'll talk about my feelings here.
 
You may have seen stories about how moms are "furious" about the above picture of a stroller advertisement featuring Ymre Stiekema in a bikini jogging with her two year old. I think the media uses the wrong word; I think annoyed is more appropiate. It's ads like these that add to the ever growing pressure to have this insane looking body post-birth. Celebrities are always showing off their post-baby body, and we look on in amazement - how can we be just like them? It also gives first time moms a bit of a false idea as to what her body will look like after pregnancy - it doesn't just stap back like that, and when it appears to on a celeb... well... there's a reason.
 
Ymre Stiekema for instance is paid to look like this. Being a model she has catered meals, a personal trainer, personal chefs, money for surgery (not saying she had any!), access to a gym, a nanny, and all the time in the world to work on her body since that is her job. She is contractually obligated to look like that, while most moms are not. Some moms work full time, and care for their children... Spare time is spent getting an hour or two of sleep, and the other bit is spent taking care of the home. Going to the gym, or heck! Caring for oneself is second to everything else that revolves around caring for the family. Some moms are lucky to sit down to a hot meal, much less having the time to prepare (and pay for) free range chicken breast and organic kale.
 
I'm not saying it's impossible, nor am I jealous of the above body type. In fact, I question anyone who would want to shoot for that, since Ymre Stiekema is 5'10 and 120 lbs - that is underweight. Shooting for a goal that is below a normal weight is not unrealistic, it's just unhealthy. Furthermore, if you are a breastfeeding mom, it's not preferable to starve yourself if you plan to continue providing nutrients to your baby. Most of us have no reason to shoot for a body weight below what is healthy, so why would anyone want to? Why can't folks workout, eat well, and be comfortable in their own skin?
 
People immediately point to, "well fat women are in running ads, and they are praised!" But you have to consider that women like Ymre Stiekema are the average when opening a magazine, while plus size women are not. People cheer when plus size women show up in Runner's magazine or Vogue, because it's not something we often see. We don't see a woman with a woman's body when opening fashion magazines, nor can we even tell what clothing looks like because it's draped on a size 00 frame. So yes, it's refreshing to see someone that is a size 12 showing off their curves in clothing - if gives women a better idea when looking at whatever is being advertised, and the confidence that they can pull off said look.
 
At the end of the day though, no matter your size, we gotta stop mommy shaming. So what if Ymre Stiekema is underweight? So what is so and so is over weight? Are their children cared for? Yes? Then shut up, and worry about you. Do what you want with your body, because others have the choice to look away. WE HAVE THE CHOICE TO LOOK AWAY!

Monday, July 27, 2015

SO Much to DO!

I'll be honest, I'm freaking out!
Suddenly, it is now one month until the wedding and I feel like there's a 1000 things to do! It mostly revolves around paying people for things. We have to pay the other half of the venue rental fee, the other half of the linen rental fee, the other half of the cake rental fee, and pay however much my alterations are going to cost - they gave me an estimate, but it was the very most it could be. I'm assuming my dress will not cost $300 to hem and have the straps adjusted, their estimate was for the cost to have a traditional wedding dress completely re sized. My dress is beautiful, but it's not exactly traditional. It's ivory and blush, with hints of silver in the bodice; a-line with a short train. I can describe it all day, but it still won't tell you what it looks like exactly. It's unique.
 
Other things to do:
Plan food and the amounts needed
Decide on booze or no booze
Make the boutonnieres
Make my table display
Find someone to babysit the dogs
Make sure everything is set for the honeymoon
Attend showers
Make programs
Make signs for the wedding.
Get with our officiant
Get with out DJ
Get with stylist
Get with Photog
Attend pre-marital counseling
Get marriage certificate
Show up on the wedding day!
Get married.
 
I feel like that's a lot, but I don't guess it is. I want to coordinate my test- style appointment with one of my showers so I can look extra nice that day. Richard and I also need to make a trip or two to the Goodwill to make some donations, while throwing some stuff away. We assume we'll get standard things like towels and sheets, so we're going to get rid of anything that is on it's last leg. Regardless if it's replaced or not, we need to get shed of a few things, because we just have too much stuff. I could get rid of a lot of clothes... that's tough though. I don't know why.
 
We have to do all of our wedding stuff in the middle of our Chattooine stuff - luckily all the major movie premieres are over at the moment, except Fantastic Four on August 7th and 8th! The next BIG thing is Superhero night at the Lookouts on July 31st. If you don't get there early, you won't have a ticket. It's a huge night for us - lots of costumed heroes and lots of children to meet. It's going to be a lot of fun! Before that event, I'm going to try and get some other stuff done - I need deadlines for all of these things to do, or else I'll wait until the last minute.
 
This week:
Linen and Venue payments!
Those have deadlines that must be met 30 days prior.
 
I'll work on other projects as I go....
 
** screams **


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cosplay Life

So I've been out of the Cosplay game for a few weeks now for various reasons (sick, broke, busy, ect..), but this weekend I'll be back at it for the premier of "Pan". A group of us ladies in Chattooine are dressing as fairies - it's different for me to be super girly with other girls, but I think it'll be fun. I'm going to get glammed up and throw on a fairy costume I actually wore in High School (yes, it still fits!) The top is a little small, because it's not made for an adult chest but I'm going to wear something under it to make sure everything stays covered. It should be fun!
 
My current project is Hawk Girl. It's tough, because I don't know how to make masks or helmets, and they're too pricey for me to buy one right now (maybe Christmas?) It's okay, since it's my own spin on her look - I have a gold corset that I'll be wearing over a dark green tank, I have dark green skinny pants, I'll add a red belt or tied fabric around my hips, auburn wig, and wings. The wings are the second hardest, because they are expensive to make. I'll probably buy generic angel wings and spray dye them with fabric paint - it should work since fabric paint is designed for soft surfaces unlike regular spray paint that would make the feathers crusty. Those things, even without the helmet, should show everyone who I am. Oh! I'll have a mace as well - that's exciting.
 
I'm hoping the little girls will be excited about my costume. Boys have a lot of heroes that are easily recognizable, but girls only have Wonder Woman really. Chattooine has a great Wonder Woman, but as awesome as she is, it's always nice to have other strong ladies to help you save the world (or sign baseballs at Lookouts game events)
 
Spider Woman (costume) will return for Fantastic Four, and I think that's the last major superhero movie for this year. I'm hoping to improve Hawk Girl for next year since there are so many DC events happening! For the remainder of this year, I think I'll be wearing Leatherface at least 4-5 times for various events (bwhahaha!) Horror events are always fun, because some folks are legitimately scared and completely freaked out when they see some of us! Good times..
 
I hope we never get too busy to enjoy these events. I'm sure we'll eventually have kids, but I'm hoping to work my belly and later my baby into a great cosplay. I have a while to think about that..
 
Later!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fat, Fat, the Water Rat.

I gotta take a break from Facebook. I mean really.. It's just awful right now. I don't mind if you disagree with certain things, but at least post facts. I have two friends right now acting as though they are seeing who can post the most Fox News articles and videos - all of which are misleading and ignorant. This is what I was talking about... It really messes with my view on folks when they share videos of others spouting bigotry and hate. I wonder, "do you really believe that stuff?" I'm disappointed in them if so, and sad that they hold so much hate in their heart - must get heavy. That's no way to live.
 
Anyways, I'm here to talk about being heavy! I mean fat! I'm a size 12, and others may look down on me like, "umm, you're not in our club...must be this size to ride!" That's what really sucks about being a size 12 - you're not apart of any club. You're not plus size, you're not skinny, and you can never find clothes, because a lot of others are in the same boat as you. More often than not, I'm placed in the plus size group, and by that I mean I'm directed to the more "covering" clothing when shopping for stuff like say.... wedding dresses. When I made a "test" trip to David's Bridal, they made me feel like I was a house. They directed me toward plus size and "modest" collections with sleeves and straps. What's with plus sizes and halter top dresses by the way? They have a ton and they look terrible on me (they make my big shoulders look even bigger!) I humored the associate until I could run away from there and cry, "Woe is me, for I am a fatty." I actually visited a second David's Bridal in Knoxville thinking that I may have gone to a bad store, but no... I took a break from dress shopping at that point, and later attended a Trunk Show at a local store by the name of Monica's where I found a great dress at a great price. Monica's didn't make me feel too big, and they brought me the styles I described, and worked WITH me. When I told DB's what styles I wanted, they would bring me the opposite or what they thought would be better or what would cover more. I ended up with a great dress that appears low cut, but the illusion neckline allows me to feel covered up. When I say low, I mean like J-Lo. I'm all covered, but I guess it's risque' to show so much in between boobage - ya know, that space in between your boobs that doesn't have a name? You can see all of it! The back is pretty low too, and that worries me more than anything - I'm self conscious about my back, which I guess is a weird "trouble spot". Long story short, Monica's made me feel like a person, not a body type. The dress flattered me, and it's definitely sexy!  Like, I have a legitimate concern that my dad will be mad when he sees this dress. I'm 28 years old, and that worries me.
 
The wedding is only a month and a half away, and I'll probably still be the same size and if someone considers that fat than okay. I'll be fat all day that day, and probably the next - the world isn't going to end or stop. I've been or felt fat almost my entire life. I was notified that I was fat in 6th grade with no real previous knowledge that this was an issue. By 8th grade, I had an eating disorder. By 9th grade I had lost a lot of weight, but was still fat. I struggled with the disorder through high school and most of college, and like they say... you are never really cured. After my major break up in 2011, I lost 40 lbs from working non-stop, exercise, and eating a very low calorie diet. I gained 25 lbs back over 3 years, but I was happy, in love, and being fat wasn't really a "problem", but it was still there and is still here. Well, I'm still happy and although I'd like to lose weight, I'm also okay the way I am. I still get incredibly hurt when someone calls me out on my weight (there's a reason I don't look at my engagement photos the same as I did when I received them - someone said I looked "thick" and "awkward") I'm otherwise surrounded by friends who are body positive for the most part, but  there are still those who act like being fat is a bad thing. It's not the end of the world, and that statement is not something "I'm just telling myself." I'm in great health, I eat well, and workout... I'm fine, but there's more of me than there are some people. Why is that terrible? I preach to folks to be more tolerant everyday when I can't even tolerate my own differences at times.
 
It would help a lot if we stopped labeling people. In bridals magazines, a larger bride can't be just a bride - she's a plus sized bride! A larger woman can't just be pretty, she has to be "pretty for her size" and her dress isn't sexy, it's "flattering". It's like larger women are in another category, as if we are a new race of people - the difference? People are mean to us, because they assume that we can help it. People tell you to move more, and eat less as if this is a new concept to you. They suggest fad diets, try to sell you their protein shakes, and judge you when they see you eating. For a long time I was ashamed of eating certain things in public spaces, because of the irrational fear that someone was silently judging me even know that was the first time I had ate that day, or it was a "cheat" day after eating clean for a number of weeks. I was initially afraid to meet Richard's friends because of what they may think of me, but that was also silly. The world has caused me to step lightly over situations out of fear that someone may be offended by my size - I can only imagine what someone much larger than me must feel like, especially if it has become a handicap.
 
I don't wear clothes to look smaller, I wear clothes because I like them. I don't eat food because I lack control, I eat because I'm hungry dammit! I wear bathing suits because I wanna swim, and that's what you need to wear. I get winded after kickboxing, because it's tough to EVERYONE! I don't want a house with stairs, because my soon to be sister-in-law is in a wheelchair, not because I'm too lazy to walk them. I'm eating a piece of chocolate, because I've been without for weeks and have a sweet tooth. I want a multi-person sleeping back so I can have extra room, not because I'm too big for a normal one. I don't get massages because I don't like strangers touching me, not because I'm ashamed of my body. I don't wear shorts because my legs are pale, not because they're fat. It goes on and on. People assume so much, that I just can't deal with it anymore - I just can't waste anymore time on what people think of me. I don't know if I know how to do that though.



 

Monday, July 20, 2015

#Noogastrong

I'm sorry that I haven't spoken in a few days. Besides having a terrible sinus infection, Thursday my home town had a big scare when a local man attacked two recruiting facilities wounding a few, and  killing 4 Marines and 1 Navy officer. We were in shock that day...everyone... Shock quickly turned to grief and confusion as we asked why. We felt violated and heartbroken for these men and their families, and yet most of us do not even know them and never will. All around town there are tributes and memorials of those who lost their lives that day. At the two crime scenes there are many gathered in tribute, but it's so surreal to see FBI and Homeland Security in the background carrying out the investigation. Large news satellites surround a mix of law enforcement and mourners, all asking that one common question we have right now - why?
 
 
I don't know if we'll ever REALLY know why. It was easy to jump to the immediate conclusion - this man is a Muslim, so he must be a terrorist. In that instant belief, and even now that the FBI has reported that so far nothing has pointed to that man having any connection with overseas terrorist groups, people will not believe it. It's amazing - If he was white, we would have taken the fact that he was suffering from depression as a reason for his actions. If he was black, we would be sending out messages of #blacklivesmatter, and looking for other causes. The FBI said today that they found his diary, and it noted battles of depression and thoughts of suicide - he did say that he thought about going out as a martyr, but no mention of terrorist organizations or connections. He was a lone wolf that acted upon what was obvious mental instability due to the fact he was having issues with drugs and alcohol, and due to that he lost his job. If this happened to a white man, would you have labeled that person a terrorist so quickly? Would we have investigated this as an act of domestic terrorism until proven otherwise? Probably not. People do not hesitate to associate all Muslims with the violence and the oppression for women, but Muslims are all around us. There are Muslim countries that exist that have appointed more women in charge than we have. Just like Christianity or any other religion there are denominations that interpret the word differently, and this causes some major differences and extreme behavior. There are a TON of Christian views that other Christians view as "outrageous" like polygamy, not using birth control, not dancing, or even wearing very modest dress. Let's not forget, there have been MANY Christians that have killed throughout history in the name of their religion as well. What I'm trying to say is, it would be best if everyone reached out and tried to understand others instead of painting them with one brush just because of what the media wants to throw in your face. Not all Muslims of Terrorists, and not all Christians can be compared to those who worship and protest with Westboro Baptist Church.
 
I hate that we can't simply honor the fallen and mourn our losses, without spouting hate about other religions or races. Standing strong does not involve throwing insults and spreading misinformation to impressionable readers. It's about showing that we are not threatened, that we will strive, and lift up those who are feeling beaten down. The entire community must come together in these events and show that we will not back down or fold to violence. Maybe that will send a message to our community who is already struggling with consistent violent crime on a daily basis.
 
*******************************************************
 
Saturday we joined over 6,000 others at Finley Stadium to cheer on the Chattanooga FC who won their battle against the Miami Fusion - No matter how much Miami fussed, fought, and blatantly cheated, we continued to play with great pride - we wanted it more! In the stands, the crowd could be heard singing the Marine and Navy Hymns to honor the fallen, and before the game we had a moment of silence and listened to the National Anthem. Flags in the city are at half staff. Some are criticizing the POTUS for not bringing down his flags for the fallen, but if he brought down the flag every time a soldier was killed in the line of duty, the flag would never fly high. Furthermore, there are certain codes that he must follow to honor the flag. People don't understand, and are speaking from an emotional place, and the hatred some have for the POTUS just makes it that much worst. I've seen some pretty disgusting things said, but I believe he has shown concern and I though his words were all that he could really say at the time of his interview that same day. Some were calling for him that same hour, asking why he wasn't saying anything - when he finally said something, it wasn't good enough. In fact, somehow, someway it was his fault. How? I have no idea. To those who hate the president, everything is his fault even when he's miles away dealing with unrelated issues. I don't get it. It probably will not get much better with the next administration, especially if it's Hillary. At that point, I may just give up social media to save myself from the negativity and disgusting comments from the "conservative" south. I know a lot of people that put down the president that claim to be conservative... I'm really not sure if they know what that means though considering their life choices, but that's another topic for another day. It really has everything to do with them not being knowledgeable about the voting record of the very people they support - most of the stuff they complain about is stuff that was enacted by a conservative, but good luck telling them that.

For now, I just want everyone to stop for a moment and be a community - don't widen the divide with hateful comments. We are all mourning. We are all heartbroken... We have no real answers. Let's just take a moment to heal. In other words, shut that stupid hole in your face if you can't say anything nice right now, because no one needs that kind of negativity..

Keep calm
and
Nooga Strong.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Deleting Friends on Facebook

You've probably seen a friend or two, especially recently, say that they're going to clean their Facebook up and delete some unwanted friends due to their posts. It's your account, you can do what you want, but while some think it's okay, others may think it's childish or silly. I don't have a strong opinion either way... Again, it's your account and you can fill it up with whatever you want, and if it excludes friends that differ as far as political interests, that's your choice.
 
I recently posted the following on my Facebook, "Big thanks to everyone that managed to support our home, honor the fallen, and come together without spouting hate about a religion, a race, or branch of government. To those who didn't, well... I don't know because you've either been unfriended or unfollowed - now is not the time to contribute to the divide. ‪#‎cometogether‬ ‪#‎noogastrong Every single person I chose to delete were people who I've not seen in person for years, and really wouldn't want to go out of my way to see them if given the chance. These people were posting things that encouraged violence, bigotry, hate, and misinformation. Once they posted something, I then had to see the few comments that showed up from their friends which were even worse. I unfriended those people, and anyone I still am in contact with I unfollowed just so I wouldn't associate their "real" self with whatever it is they try to portray on Facebook. There are still plenty of people I talk to or see everyday through Facebook that have completely opposite views, and that's okay! The difference is, they share their view in an intelligent, logical way so others may add to the conversation. Many post memes that I scroll past quickly, because in my opinion their wrong or not factual, but it's not a big deal to me. I'm mostly concerned with those spreading negativity and hate to breed more negativity and hate. I don't want to be associated with that, and if they're posting several times a day it really takes up a lot of space that could be filled with my actual friends, status updates, pictures, and things that are actually funny. I'm not trying to be harsh or "teach someone a lesson" by deleting them, I just have no interest in continuing any relationship with those people, even if it's a dormant Facebook friendship. I'd rather have the complete indifference toward someone I've deleted, than the strong negative feelings for a person I barely know. What a waste of time! Call me passive aggressive, but I really do not believe it's passive aggressive when you have no real feelings for the person or their life in the first place. It's just emptying space that can now be filled with good conversations and logical debates.
I don't know why deleting Facebook friends is so taboo or worrisome to people. Facebook isn't the end all be all of relationships, just ask any overly positive girl who posted about her significant other 10 times a day about how incredibly happy they WERE (that always seems to end well). Facebook isn't reality folks. Value the living breathing people in your life, and stop treating Facebook like it's more important than it is. You wouldn't have valued Myspace this much LOL!

...poor Myspace

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wedding Guilt

I'm starting to feel guilty... The whole "no kids at the wedding" thing is not easy, and I've addressed the envelopes in hopes that what we want will turn into reality without any fight from our friends and family. I've already recieved a couple of messages from parent friends asking if they may bring their kids, and I'm sitting here like... "What do I say, and how do I say it without sounding like a monster." I'm probably worrying a little tooo much, but I had the hope and fantasy that I wouldn't have to deal with people anymore until the wedding got closer (LoL! NOT!) So I'm sitting here trying to think of a good excuse, or if I'm going to cave on those who approach me about it. I REALLY do not want many kids at the wedding for a number of reasons. I want our parent friends to be able to escape for the evening, I don't want a peep from a child or a phone during the ceremony, and I don't want others to feel uncomfortable during the reception since we will be serving beer and wine in hopes that people will dance their butts off! I feel like those are legit reasons, don't you think?
 
So how to I reply to, "Can my kids come to the wedding?"
I can't just say, "No.. that's why I didn't invite them, duh!"
 
I guess mostly it'll be a yes with an attachment of - they will be bored. What's fun for adults, isn't always what's fun for kids. We don't have any child friendly activities planned, or anything. There's nothing special for them to do, or anything to entertain them. We're also having an unplugged wedding, so I'm hoping that folks will abide by the no phone/tablet/camera rules - we have a photographer, so it's okay to put the phone away for half an hour so I don't have to listen to your shudder sound, Taylor Swift ringtone, or vibrating pocket.
 
I'm such a Tyrant...
That's how I feel, even though all of my requests seem perfectly reasonable. My biggest request is if you are going to be present for the wedding, ACTUALLY be present. It's an important day! If you feel like you're going to have to chase your kids or give them a talking to during the ceremony, then it may be best to find a babysitter. If you're more interested in playing Candy Crush on your phone instead of being present at an event we worked very hard to plan for you, then stay home - we don't need warm bodies to fill the seats, we need folks actively engaged in what is going on around them. That may sound harsh, but consider what I'm saying. Wouldn't it piss you off if you spent money on a celebration, and someone you invited valued your efforts so little that they kept their nose in their phone almost the entire time? Yes! You're lying if you don't say yes.
 
I know that a lot of this will not matter much once the day gets here (thankfully!) I probably won't care about most of these things, or even hear is someones kid loses it because I'll be focused what is happening at that moment.. That one incredible moment... It's going to be great!
 
I'm getting nervous, and I know that..
I'm getting worried about things going right...
I just wish it would hurry and get here!