This post is the third post in a series of coverage from the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference 2010, that took place Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2010, at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
The first session I attended was “Big Girl, You Are Beautiful … And Small Girls, Too,” lead by Kimberly Schlenker, Heather Knapp, Hayley Imberian, Christy Koester and Elizabeth Van Winkle.
The session focused on queer women of size, what that means, resources for them and standing up for themselves. One presenter suggested refusing to be weighed at the doctor, indicating weighing-in isn’t necessary for medical history. (The presenters emphasized being healthy at any size: Thin does not automatically equal healthy.)
The presenters also highlighted the sexualization of size. Skinnier women are encouraged to show skin and most thinner women’s clothing options in stores include skimpier clothes; however, larger women are encouraged to cover up and their (limited) clothing options in stores usually reflect this norm.
Operation Beautiful was also highlighted as a body-positive form of activism. The group aims to end negative self talk, or (I’m so) fat talk, and encourages people to place notes in bathrooms that have a positive message like “You are beautiful.”
For more resources on size diversity check out:
- Diaries of a Mad Fat Woman
- The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life
- National Organization for Lesbians of Size
- Queer Fat Femme
- Young, Fat and Fabulous