Archive for ‘Musing’

August 19, 2010

Let’s talk about Fat, girls (yes i said the f-word)

Ah when worlds collide!

This blog is actually a collision of many worlds-or we can call it a merging of affiliations. I am a Muslim. A lover of clothes. And a fat woman (more on this descriptor in a bit).

I mentioned in this previous post why I started this blog. I needed a space to talk about style (a particular Muslimah style-that of a hijabi) in a body affirming way.

When I say body-affirming, I mean specifically centering the body of larger women. Fat women.

I named this blog Modest Plus because, being aware of the extent of my digressive nature, I knew I would talk about “modest” clothing for Muslim women who cover but I also knew I would eventually venture off into other topics. The plus also gestures to the term plus-size often used to describe clothing for women who wear anything size 14 or above.

The funny thing is that I don’t personally or politically use the term plus-size to describe myself. I call myself fat. Yes, I do.

The interesting thing about being a person in the modern world is that you are exposed to multiple perspectives. Some of these perspectives can be useful to you and some you throw away. Since I was a teen one perspective that impressed itself on my tiny brain was that of size, or more narrowly, fat acceptance.

The radical idea that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes and the idea that this must be accepted without shaming any type of body.

This also includes not making assumptions about any bodies. Not thinking someone is anorexic because they are naturally thin. Not assuming that a fat person eats all day long and never exercises. Or that they’re going to keel over and die any second!

When I am not writing about maxi dresses and jewelry I read a lot of science articles and books specifically about weight. What I have found is that issues of weight, fat or weight loss are more complicated than Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers or The Biggest Loser would have you believe.

I have found that dieting does more harm to the body than good. Based on my research I have pledged a no-diet rule for my body and embraced the proven science of Health at Every Size (HAES). You might have noticed the book on my bookshelf but click here to see more about HAES.

The funny thing is that many of the fashion blogs that I read are loud and proud about their fat acceptance. Young, Fat and Fabulous, Musings of a Fatshionista, Fatshionista flickr, Fatshionable, Saks in the City are all up in your face with their love of their bodies.

The second funny thing is that I hesitated to claim the word fat on this blog. I didn’t want to scare the modest or Muslim girls away. Those who might claim themselves to be a little thicker or curvy or plus sized but would stab you in the heart if you ever called them fat.

Guess what, I understand that sentiment. When a term is used to demoralize or dehumanize a person-he or she will resist and resent it. And let’s be real- fat is a word used to make a woman feel ugly or worthless. Sigh.

So I didn’t throw the term fat out there because moving in Muslim circles for most of my life I know that wearing hijab or abaya or long sleeves does not make you immune to having serious body image issues. In fact, many Muslimahs I know are hyper critical of their looks, weight and, although sad to say, other Muslimahs’ weight, clothes and looks.

And this has got me thinking. Why keep something all to myself? I mean we are all grown women up in here (lol). I am a Muslimah and a bonafide size acceptance warrior. You can love it or shove it!

BUT there might be one woman or teenage girl out there reading this- Gorgeous yet emotionally devastated by the injustice that assumes she is ugly or lazy because she is fat.

Educate yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself. Live your life. ❤

August 17, 2010

a belated greeting

(One of my favorite Ramadan images-of the decorated interior of a Muslim home. Simple and elegant)

Ramadan Mubarak (The blessings of Ramadan upon you)! I know that my greeting comes late -as we Muslims are, Insha’Allah, about to complete the first full week of fasting. Yet, I want to extend my heartfelt greeting to all of my sisters.