Categories – what on Earth do I do??

Lately I’ve found myself wondering about some of the categories we place people in, and whether those people would find those categories welcome.

I was looking at a photo of a really pretty person on Tumblr and went to reblog it, when I got held up by the tags I’d put on the post. The post is here, but if you don’t want to click the link, it’s of a super pretty fat person in a dress. I’d initially thought to tag the post as fatshion, but then I had to think – would the original poster appreciate me declaring them and their outfit part of fatshion?

I know that if any outfit posts of me ended up being reblogged around, I’d be happy to have the fatshion or fat tag added – they have become part of my identity as I try to love my body. But would someone else like me to make that decision for them? If they consider what they wear to be fashion and not part of the sub-culture of fatshion, is it offensive to them that I declare them part of it anyway, simply because I see a fat body wearing a lovely dress? The person is gorgeous and wearing a beautiful dress either way, but I worry about labelling them as something they may not identify with, and indeed, with a label they might have problems with.

Putting labels on people is something that happens naturally, I think, but people have such complex identities and being accurate can be incredibly hard.

For example, here is a photo of me in the woods:

in the woods

 

(LMAO I know, super attractive photo) I would be totally ok if you wanted to tag this as “fatshion, girl, dress” – but apart from the dress tag, if you don’t know me, how do you know I’m fine with the fatshion tag? How do you know I’m a girl? I am a cis woman, but just because I present in this picture as feminine, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a plethora of identites that I could actually be. It’s really difficult to know how to categorise people and photos sometimes – one way to avoid the problem is to avoid tagging/categorising altogether, but if you want some organisation to your blog or whatever, you do have to organise somehow.

 

Similarly, something else that I’ve seen and have been curious about is the tendency of Sci-Fi conventions to have panels like “Women in writing…” or “Female characters….” – panels that revolve around that one aspect of a person/character. Is it wrong to group all women authors/characters together like that? By prefixing author with ‘women’ are we singling them out and separating them from ‘normal’ male authors?

I think that it is important to hear and draw attention to the experience of women, trans* and non-binary people within any cis/male dominated field, because without highlighting problems, how can anything change? But equally, you have to be really careful not to come off as patronising or othering. It’s a difficult line to walk – redressing the balance and ensuring that more than just white cishet male voices are heard, without suggesting that women or trans* people or non-binary people need their own space to play in, far away from all the serious, normal men. I will say that it’s very rare I’ve seen a “Girl cooties are in this panel, the rest are safe” attitude, but it’s easy to see why it’s a worry for people taking part in conventions.

 

In the end, I suppose we should always try not to assume too much about the people we see and hear – if we don’t know how someone identifies, then it’s best to be neutral, right?

Have you found this? Have you been mis-identified before? Have you given up on categories?

Comics coming off the pull-list.

So I  guess that title may not make much sense to those of you who aren’t big comic readers, so first, a brief explanation!

Some people collect comics by creating a “pull-list” – this is a list that your comics’ retailer uses to reserve copies of comics for you (kind of like pre-ordering a book!). As comics are now in the physical and digital domain, my pull-list is for use in the brick-and-mortar store where I buy physical copies of my comics. Pull-lists are useful because comics are obviously a serialised form of fiction and they generally come out monthly, and I may not get into the store before they sell out of the title I want. (Well, I rarely go into the store, my little brother does and we share a pull-list! This is good because a) my paycheque frequently runs out halfway through the month and I can owe my little brother the money and b) when I get into a comic shop, I tend to spend way more than I ever intend to!)

Having said that, I will occasionally cancel titles or a series will come to an end, so those things come off the pull-list. I thought I’d give you all a few mini-reviews on the things I’m no longer collecting! These will be spoilery, so watch out for that!

Batman And Robin – by Peter Tomasi (writer) and Patrick Gleason (artist), published by DC Comics.

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I have greatly enjoyed this series! I love Tomasi’s writing and Gleason’s art, and they work really well together as a team. I was wary of this series initially – I loved the pre-reboot series and adored Dick Grayson as Batman – but as I read it, I came to see how fantastic this title is. The dynamic between Bruce Wayne and Damian Wayne is played out very well, and it was a joy to see them grow together as father and son, to see how they interact as family. The initial story-arc was incredible, Tomasi’s writing was on top form and Gleason’s art supported and illustrated that beautifully. I think it was unfortunate that the comic was forced to tie-in to two other Bat-title events – Night of the Owls and Death of the Family, as I felt most of Tomasi’s strengths laid in writing issues that stood on their own, or story-lines not tied into the wider Bat-range. Still, the comics leading up to #18 were all of a good quality and I’d happily recommend them to anyone interested in these characters.

And then. Then we had Batman Inc. #8. One of the two main characters of B&R is killed – and not even in his own comic!

So we come to B&R #18 with Damian Wayne dead, and Bruce going through the stages of grief over his son. If you ever needed evidence that Bruce Wayne is deeply, deeply fucked up, then look no further than these issues. Some are better than others – indeed, B&R #18 and #23 are both a masterclass in how to gutpunch your readers into tears (#18 doesn’t even have any dialogue!), but the introduction of Carrie Kelly in #19 feels forced and it’s an unfortunate mis-step to include her at this point, I think. Overall though, B&R has been consistently brilliant, with Tomasi’s stories and characterisations spot-on and Gleason’s art is accomplished, interesting and in near-perfect sync with Tomasi’s stories.

You may wonder why I’m giving up this title, when I can’t seem to praise it enough – well, I don’t care for Carrie Kelly (yet! I could be convinced!) and I have practically zero-interest in a Bat-title that doesn’t include Damian. Depending on how well others like it, I may pick it up in trade format, but for my money, B&R ends with #23 and it ends on a high.

 

 

Aquaman – by Geoff Johns (writer) and Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Art Thibert (artists), published by DC Comics

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Cover to Aquaman #6

Aquaman was a title that I bought mostly on a whim – I like the idea of Aquaman, but he’s not a character I was particularly familiar with. The previews made Arthur look hot (yep, I’m that shallow!) and Mera (Arthur’s wife, pre-reboot, now they’re apparently not married? But they are still in a committed, long term relationship) seemed to have a big role to play, which I am all about.

Geoff Johns’ writing has been a lot of fun and he’s mostly had interesting ideas to tell. The longer story-arcs have largely been interesting enough to keep me buying, although I’m not normally a fan of super-long story events nor am I particularly invested in The Others, which is a group of super-heroes Arthur was with in the past and who have been making reappearances. As the comic moved away from the surface world and included more of Atlantis and its politics, I started to lose interest. I’m only capable of caring about royal intrigue for a small amount of time, apparently!

Still, the writing and art have all been competent, and were the series to move away from politics and have some more standalone issues, I’d probably return to it, although the writer is about to change. Overall, I’d say this has been a fun comic with great art. Arthur is a character I’m definitely more interested in, and if Mera got her own series, I would snap it up in a heartbeat! I definitely think if you get a chance, you should thumb through a few copies of the trade and see if it’s for you!

 

Red She-Hulk – by Jeff Parker (writer) and Carlo Pagualyan, Jana Shirmer and Francesco Francavilla (artists), published by Marvel Comics

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Cover to Red She-Hulk #2 (Hulk #59)

Firstly – Red She-Hulk is a standalone title that only lasted for 10 issues, but if you look at the cover or Marvel’s website, it begins with issue #58 and ends on issue #67 – this is because before it became Betty Ross’ (the Red She-Hulk) title, it was for a different Hulk (the other red Hulk? IDK), and so the main character changed but the numbering system did not. Don’t ask me why.

Anyway! I was pretty sad to see this title end, because there is a dire lack of leading female characters in the big-two’s output right now and also because it’s an awesome series! The story involves shady organisations and a world computer called the Terranometer, Betty Ross fighting against an awful future she saw in a vision given to her by a little girl and a machine man named Aaron Stack. Yes, all of those things are ridiculous and yes, there are even sillier things throughout the series.

Much of the storyline revolves around Betty trying to prevent the future she saw, but luckily Parker doesn’t just focus on that, this story has plenty of other elements and little side adventures to help keep the pace going strong. I’m a big fan of Betty Ross and Aaron Stack, both of whom I’ve read in other titles, and as the series progressed we also had the appearance of Jen Walters (the cousin of the original Hulk, Bruce Banner and a She-Hulk herself) and Man-Thing as regular characters. Man-Thing I’ve never heard of, but Jen Walters is a character I would wade through Hell to read about, so this was an event that excited me! You can therefore imagine my disappointment that this title only lasted 10 issues, and ended on the idea of a team formed out of the above four characters! (the wailing you hear? Me.) Alas. Still, the 10 issues we did get were pretty awesome and included a lot of action and adventure, the art was pretty great throughout and this is a series I’d recommend picking up in TPB if you get the opportunity!

 

Gambit – by James Asmus (writer) and Clay Mann + various (artists), published by Marvel Comics

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Cover to Gambit #15

Gambit’s been my favourite X-Man since I watched the cartoons as a child, so of course I had to pick up his solo title! It’s been fairly good, although not quite as fun-packed or interesting as I’d have hoped!

Mostly this series revolves around Remy’s issues about leaving his roots as a thief behind and carrying on as a hero – he’s pretty conflicted about it and misses the rush. The first storyline to arise out of this was interesting – but I think Asmus dragged it out too long, and the emotional climax didn’t hit as hard as it should have done, because it took too long to get to the point. Still, it had a few high points, and a few of the issues weren’t directly related to the overarching storyline, which helped to keep my interest going.

As the first storyline finished and we moved onto new ones, I think the pace really picked up and the series was a lot of fun to read. As the series came to the end, we were introduced to a new story – Remy’s dad comes back and wants Gambit to head the Thieves’ Guild. I’m pretty glad that the series ended when it did, because it meant we didn’t have to spend too long on what I thought would end up another bloated, boring arc.

Although I don’t regret buying this title, I think if it hadn’t been cancelled at #17, I would have dropped it soon anyway, as the extended storylines and Gambit deciding to be more of a thief than a hero didn’t excite me very much. Interestingly, the issues where Gambit does reveal his heroic side were the ones that worked the best for me! Those, and the shower scenes (we got two!). If you like Gambit, and want a series that has him being really cool in it, and has recurring female characters that are more than love interests, you should check out X-23 – he’s a supporting character in it, but it’s one of my favourite versions of him! Links to where to get it are in my about page.

 

Peter Panzerfaust – by Kurtis J Wiebe (writer) and Tyler Jenkins (artist), published by Image Comics

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Cover to Peter Panzerfaust #11

Peter Panzerfaust is an interesting title – it’s sort of Peter Pan retold in a WWII setting, but then again… not. It starts out with Peter (an American boy) helping the lost boys (French orphans) to escape Calais, and then rockets along from there. There’s action, intrigue and plenty of adventure to go around. This is a title I really wanted to be excited by, and it’s certainly got some great storytelling going on! Wiebe is an accomplished writer and although Jenkins’ isn’t my favourite art style, he’s still a very good artist. However, I found myself drifting from this title and could never get quite as enthusiastic about it as I wanted to. It’s certainly very good, and if you’re into war or action stories, you should absolutely be checking the TPB’s out! It gets consistently high praise all over the internet, and I can see why! It just, unfortunately, doesn’t work well enough for me to keep spending money on it.

 

So there you go, the five titles that have come off of my pull-list, as of September (well, alright, Red She-Hulk ended in July, but it took me so long to get around to catching up on my reading I didn’t notice until September!). Have any of you read them? What did you think?

 

Clothes Wish List #1

What’s up everyone? I have a lot of free time, and spend a great deal of it looking at clothes that I really, really want – even though they’re normally too expensive or not in my size! I thought I’d share a few favourites on here. You should be able to click the image to take you to the webpage for each item (if I did this right…).

First up is this Galaxy Fit N Flare dress from Cult of California:

galaxydress

Isn’t this so gorgeous? I really love the galaxy trend that’s around right now, although I don’t own anything galaxy print myself. Domino Dollhouse had some really gorgeous galaxy leggings, but they were a hint out of my price range! Same as this dress, alas! The dress is $85/£53 which I’d hardly call expensive for a dress that has such an interesting print and comes from a small brand, but if I were to spring for it, it would definitely be a big purchase for me! When my next paycheque comes in, I think I’ll end up very torn – this dress has such a pretty print, and I am a total sucker for the fit ‘n’ flare look… My bank account is already crying at me to reconsider. Something to mull over, I guess!

Next up are these gold Metallic Foil Zigzag Stripes Leggings from Torrid:

gold leggins

Having been a goth in my younger years (and still favouring the no-black-is-black-enough mindset when it comes to clothes!), I used to avoid gold at all costs – I much preferred silver, it reminds me of the moon and stars, and, y’know, has a preeetty strong association with werewolves! You have to be able to protect yourself against any sudden attack, right? Well anyway, in my advanced age, I have suddenly grown quite the penchant for gold – gold fabric always looks so luxe and it helps to add a hint of the baroque to any outfit. And if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it, yeah? (I am so sorry!) Anyway – Evans once had a really gorgeous pair of metallic gold/bronze leggings, that I never bought, thinking I’d never have anywhere to wear them. Now I realise what a fool I was – where do you wear gold leggings? Why, everywhere, of course! So I am in lust with these Torrid leggings, and hope somewhere in the UK brings out some more metallic leggings soon!

The next thing on my wishlist is this Praslin Black Leather Panel Dress:

praslindress

As I said on Twitter – one of the things I adore about this dress is the slight air of Ultimate Alien Queen that the textured faux leather gives. And if looking like an invading member of extraterrestrial royalty isn’t your thing (though I confess it is utterly one of mine!), I think the vertical panel of leather is a slightly more interesting take on the recent leather trend! Unless the cut is also good, all-leather dresses tend to be overwhelming, IMO, so something like this is a good compromise! Plus, how much of a badass would I look like in this? It’s even on sale! But only in size 16, so I think it’s far out of my grasp, for now. I hope we see something similar come out again!

Now we’ve got an Inspire Mutlicoloured Cartoon Print Scuba Skater Skirt (what a snappy name!) from New Look:

graffitiskirt

A lot of the time, multicolour prints are pretty dull, I find, and any time a brand tries for brighter tones, you seem to end up with the terms ‘tribal’ or ‘aztec’ flown around. I shudder every time I see a shop using that term! One, wow, haven’t they heard of cultural appropriation? (Briefly: cultural appropriation is the act of taking ideas or images or elements of one culture and using it in another: here is one link explaining why it’s racist and here is one talking about a specific case of cultural appropriation with West African Ankara prints) Two, what the hell do you even mean? Normally, it means geometric prints, but to be honest, I think they’re both essentially nonsense terms. ANYWAY, this skirt is neither ‘tribal’ nor ‘aztec’! It’s a really cute pop art print, that I would love to wear. It’s nearly £18 which I’m iffy about spending on a skirt, on the other hand, it’s a skater style and the print is super cute! Although I have no idea what the Scuba in the title refers to? Maybe the way the waist band looks? I don’t even know.

Anyway, moving on! Now we have the Black Leather-Look Sleeveless Biker Jacket from New Look:

bikerjacket

I actually own a jacket very like this(from Evans, ages ago)! I love it so much that I’d quite like another one, haha. I love the biker-style of this jacket, and I think it would add a welcome edge to any sweet outfit you wanted to pair it with. I’m also not a particular fan of jackets with sleeves – normally the sleeve length is wrong, or they’re restrictive around the shoulders, which I find quite uncomfortable. Something like this is a good compromise, I find – normally I’m warm enough if I wear long sleeves underneath as well as some cute gloves or armwarmers! If you want to see how I wear mine, here’s a recent example, I was on a hike with my Mum and my dog and wore a cardigan underneath the jacket, and I was very snug, in fact, so snug I overheated and had to shed layers, haha!

Lastly, in terms of things I could actually buy, we have the ASOS CURVE Skull Fangs Mega Ring Pack:

asosrings

I know that the skulls and fangs are a little bit 12-year-old headbanger, but dammit, you have to channel the 12-y-o at some point! I like interesting rings like this, and would have been especially into the fang ring when I was still into Teen Wolf 😛 As it is, I always like adding skulls and skeletons to my already skull heavy jewellery collection! Also, £15 for 10 rings? That’s a really good price for rings which’ll fit fat fingers! In fact, the only other place I see that does them so cheap is the Evans sale rail,  but there you have the additional worry of things falling to bits (of course that depends on the style of jewellery you go for! big, chunky things tend to last a lot longer than the more delicate and fiddly things).

Finally, I was reminded recently of a footwear brand that I really love! They’re called AirStep, and their shoes frequently look like the leather has come from the back of a monster, rather than a cow! I really enjoy the more organic and strange nature of their products, and I feel that they offer a good alternative to the more usual style and black, brown or tan that many shoes come in. They are hugely out of my price range though! They shall remain the boots of my dreams though!

Here are a couple of my favourites:

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(these are out of stock, unfortunately!)

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(I actually used these ones as a basis for a fantasy swamp explorer outfit, which is here if you’re interested!)

So what about everyone else, have you got anything you really want to  have? Let me know!

XOX

Intro

Hey everyone!

If I’m going to start a new blog, I guess one of the first things to do is have a bit of an introduction about who I am, right?

So my name’s Melissa, I’m 24 years old and I’m from the UK. I’m interested in feminism, fatshion and geeky things!

What can you expect from this blog? Well, you can expect a lot of talk about fatshion (you know, fashion, but in a size 16+, for us fatties) and geek things – comics, books and films and the overanalysis thereof! And throughout it all, a healthy vein of feminist perspective.

If you’re wondering why I’ve started this blog, well, it’s because I am pretty active on Twitter,  but I frequently end up blasting over the 140 character limit and using multiple Tweets for one thought or argument. This kind of stuff isn’t necessarily what I use Tumblr for, so I’d like to have a place to put all my thoughts together without spamming my Twitter followers!

And I know this is pretty bland stuff, so here’s 1 favourite dress, 1 favourite comic from my pull-list and 1 favourite pair of boots!

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AX Curve Navy V Front Tutu Frock: New Look – unfortunately sold out in my size, but I love the shape and extra interest that the overlay gives to the skirt!

wonderwoman

 

Cover to Wonder Woman #23 by Cliff Chiang: published by DC Comics – although DC Comics makes many, MANY decisions to enrage me, I am still absolutely in love with the current Wonder Woman run – the art is impeccable, the story is interesting and Wonder Woman is the biggest badass around!

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Spot On Hologram Boot: Blue Banana – of course they don’t come in my size (that wailing noise you hear is me shaking my fist at the sky), but I am so in love with the holo trend, and would love to get my hands on some boots or shoes like this! This pair is pretty rad, and a good price as well – they’re only £29.99! Agh, damn you, gargantuan Size 8 feet with with I am burdened!

 

And I guess that’s it for my first post! I’m gonna cross my fingers and try for a once a week or so posting schedule!

xox