Wednesday, June 27

Fat-Shamed @ Starbucks

When mom and I landed back home at the airport on Monday, the first thing I could think of was, OH MY GOD I NEED COFFEE. I was exhausted, but luckily I didn't look too terribly rough like I normally do after getting off of a plane! Mom and I were walking and bam, Starbucks was there. So I naturally stopped. 

I go to the counter and I order a double soy chai. Iced. The girl was all confused about my having to ask for espresso in the chai to begin with, so this lady had clearly not been fully trained on coffee making through Starbucks. I remember my training, it was pretty intense! I tell her she can assume that there are shots in the drink and not charge me for them, I just wanted my damn shots. I like my chais dirty!

So, she writes the order on the cup and passes it off. The woman making my drink seemed capable. She knew what she was doing and she was getting everything together and chatting quietly with her coworker. Everything was peachy keen. They're giggling, they're happy coworkers. She's finished and she hands me my drink. I ask to make sure, because I always do at a new coffee place, that it's soy milk. People overlook the neatly curved 'S' on the cup way too many times, and if I've never been to the shop to build that soy trust, then I ask. 

What does she say? No, I made it nonfat. Um.. excuse me? She stares at me. Looks at the drink.. back at me. Looks me up and down in a very uncomfortable, awkward way. I politely say, I ordered soy. She takes it back and remakes it, and it even though it ended up tasting like complete ass, I got my soy. A few questions come into play here. 

Why did she make it nonfat? There was so clearly an 'S' under the milk preference on the cup. What if I was vegan? Lactose intolerant? The generic milk of choice for Starbucks drinks, if a milk preference isn't given, is 2%, so why the nonfat? Why did she look at me in the questioning, appalled, offended way that she did? 

Now, it doesn't really matter why I ordered soy in the first place, but I'll clear that up for ya'll. I don't like drinking animal milk. Plain and simple. It freaks me out to think that I'd be drinking the breast milk of an animal other than a human. And I like the vanilla taste to the soy milk that Starbucks uses. It's creamier, it's thicker a bit, and it's yummy! It especially makes the chai taste delicious. 

Either way, this woman is making a drink for me. The drink that I specifically asked for. I understand a mistake, I do, but this wasn't just a mistake of forgetting that I asked for soy. This is the mistake of ignoring that I asked for soy and giving me nonfat. If she overlooked my milk preference, she would have just given me 2%, like I said above. She wouldn't reach for the nonfat, it shouldn't even have been in her mind. Or was it?

I'm fat. We all know this. I know this. Anyone who sees me knows this. Did this woman see me and assume I'd want or asked for nonfat? I'm a fat woman and I'm obviously unhappy with the way that I look and I'm on a diet because of that so of course I ordered nonfat, right? Did this woman see me and assume I'd needed nonfat? Did this woman see me, hear my order, and take it upon herself to give me nonfat since I hadn't asked for it? 

The way she reacted really rubbed me the wrong way, and it wasn't just an irritated attitude that I was given. I understand that irritated feeling, because I used to make coffee drinks for people and get frustrated with them needing drinks remade. I get it. But that wasn't what this look was. This was a look of disdain. A look of pure anger. A look of disgust that I'm a fat woman and ordered soy milk instead of the nonfat, and disgust that I may be happy with myself and not trying to cut back on calories or trying to lose weight.

I can't even explain to you all the feeling that this gave me. The rush of thoughts. The rush of blood to my head. Did she really just silently fat-shame me? Even if that wasn't her intention, and it could easily not have been, there was something behind her giving me nonfat. I'm not trying to be paranoid, but either subconsciously or consciously, this woman gave me nonfat for a reason. Like I said, 2% is the norm for Starbucks.

I'd like to end this post by saying that Rohs Street Cafe, another coffee shop, they use soy as the default for their chai drinks. Because they know it tastes good. I've never knowingly experienced this judgement before at any individual, local coffee shop. Only Starbucks. Also, a few friends and I went to Coffee Emporium yesterday and I ordered an iced soy latte. Did the world end? Did cows walk into the shop and moo until the sun came up? Was I attacked by fitness instructors, hoping to morph me into whatever bikini clad woman is on the front of one of those stupid magazines this week? Was I ashamed? Nope. I just got soy in my drink. No nonfat. Nothin' but soy, including no attitude or bad looks. They were actually really very nice. Just something to think about. 

What do you think? Why did she give me nonfat?
xo, cortnie
ps this is my 100th post!

Florida Vacay: Cleaner Eating Venture

So, as you all should know, I just got back from Florida! Debby kind of put a damper on the ass end of our trip, which kinda sucked, but whatevs.

I realized a few things about my body while I was there, I'm not sure if it's because my body was out there in that bikini or not. Who knows? Anyway. I ate cleaner for the majority of the time we were there, unless we went out to eat because that's SUPER hard to do. I didn't drink soda. I tried my best and you know what I found out? I found out that Diet Coke is insanely sugary! I went a few days without it and then I had it one day while we were out and it actually gave me a little bit of a headache. I also was eating more fresh fruit and veggies, even though I am kind of a salad hog anyway. I watched my sodium a lot, and my body just felt better from it all. Then, one day mom and I went out to eat and I had a fried grouper sandwich and french fries. After we ate, mom and I were walking to the car and I suddenly had a panic attack. I hadn't had one in days, so I was surprised, and nothing major was happening.. even though that isn't really the only cause of one. This made me realize that what I eat can be triggering my panic attacks. Maybe too many carbs, sugars, or processed foods? This makes me want to really treat my body right, and then it'll love me back, right? So that is a new goal of mine, and if you're all interested I could post about it. Let me know if you'd like to hear about my new venture/challenge/lifestyle. Mom and I are going shopping Friday! 

On our last Saturday in Florida, mom and I ventured to the island (Anna Maria Island) once again, and got to visit the motel room that my Aunt and Uncle had let us use for the night. The bed was way too small for mom and I, so we didn't stay all night, but we visited! When I say this motel was right on the beach, you all probably think I mean like a hop and a skip away. But when I say this motel was right on the beach.. I mean it was right on the god damn beach! Here are my feetsies!

 And here's a kitty cat friend that I made on the island. He was insanely bred and had awkward colored hair, and the length of his hair was weird, but he was so sweet. He even ran into our room with us! I didn't mind of course, but mom ran him out. Then he was scratchin' at the porch window.. I felt so bad for the baby.

Storm crap. I wish I could dance like a palm tree.

And here's another picture of me in my bikini. Cellulite chunky legs and all.

If you're interested in my journey of clean eating, comment on this post and let me know! I'd love to have a new addition to my posts! Clean eating and nutrition has a lot to do with body love, and many of you lovelies are here for my body love posts, so I figure it all matches.

xo, cortnie

Wednesday, June 20

Feminine or Femme? Which label fits you?

How would you label me?
As many of you know by now, I'm in Florida on vacation. I brought some books to read, but am only reading one at the moment, Two Whole Cakes by Lesley Kinzel. It's really a great read, and I recommend it to all of my followers who really enjoy my body positivity posts! Towards the beginning, Lesley talks about the definitions of women, most specifically femininity and femmeness. These labels go right along with the body of woman, but both are very different. 

The idea of femininity is ancient. Truly feminine women are sensitive, soft, culturally beautiful, thin but not too thin, and muscular but not too muscular (or they'll be deemed masculine). They don't take up much space. To be feminine, you are on the search for the perfect man, and you shave every night so you don't have stubbles if you happen to meet him. Check out this website, and try not to puke. 

The idea of femmeness is very different, and I love what Lesley has to say about it. 
Femmeness, however, is interrogated femininity. The main thrust of the idea of femmeness is not a faithful reproduction of the feminine, but is instead a reinvention, reclamation, or ironic performance of it, taking place outside the traditional context of a misogynist world. 
If I had to put a label on myself, and I do it often, I would definitely be femme. I don't qualify as feminine, in the historical concrete definition. I'm not thin. I'm not on the search for a man. I don't have long flowing beautiful hair. I say bad words.. a lot. I speak my mind. I take up too much space because I'm fat. And well, I frankly don't give a fuck. 

The idea of the 'femme' came from the LGBTQ Community, to categorize or place yourself in a specific area in order to find a mate. As Lesley explains, many femmes understand the concept of drag, and embrace it. A flamboyant gay man, for example, is described much of the time as being feminine, but I think that's a mistake. He, instead of being feminine, is femme in my terms of the word, because if I, as a cis-woman, can't even identify as feminine, then how the hell would a cis-man who is gay be able to be labeled as that? Lots of different people can be femme, but not many people can be feminine, and I think that's an important idea to recognize. Femmes can have all of the qualities and characteristics of being feminine, but fight the idea of femininity at the same time.

Now, I don't want everyone thinking I'm sitting around putting labels on everyone I see. This post is really just to differentiate the ideas of feminine and femme. Since I am a die-hard feminist, fight the patriarchy and misogyny everydamnday of my life, and the idea of femininity stems from oppressing women, then there's no possible way that anyone could label me as feminine. And I don't want them to. 

How does the world label you? How do you label yourself? Are you feminine or are you femme? 
xo, cort

Monday, June 18

Heteronormativity is the Biggest Bully on the Block!

So, I have a question for my fellow queers. You straighties/breeders/'normal' people though, please KEEP reading. 
I need to write about the problems that heteronormativity brings about. You may be wondering, what is heteronormativity, though? Basically, it's the thought that someone is straight because it's the norm, it goes along with heterosexism, and it is the cause for MANY frustrations. I've had people tell me that it isn't a big deal, to just get over it.. and how do these people identify? Straight. Heteronormativity is the reason that gays can't get married, it's the reason that Dancing With the Stars only has opposite gender (whatever that even means) dance partners, it's the reason research studies are very exclusive, and it's the reason that if I'm out of my comfort zone of school and work that I get asked questions like, do you have a boyfriend? Are you married? Girl, why dontcha gimme ya numba cause dat ass is hot?

It's the reason why I get all bent out of shape if someone assumes that I'm straight, even though I make it a point to say that I'm queer and not a lesbian. Why do I get so pissed when someone asks if I'm married, when I could easily fall in love with a dude and marry him? Why do I get so pissed if some guy compliments me and wants me? Why does my blood boil if a straight man gives me a compliment? It's because these people are completely devaluing and degrading the thoughts that I have for women. They aren't important, they don't matter, and they aren't real because of the fact that they aren't recognized! It'd be nice to go somewhere and start a conversation with a stranger and have them ask me if I had a partner. It'd be awful nice to hear that! But we don't hear that because it isn't the norm.

Heteronormativity is one of the reasons why I am constantly coming out of the closet. It's not that I don't like talking about my queerness, because clearly I love it, but when people don't recognize it as a possibility, it feels like it doesn't matter. Which in turn makes me feel like I don't matter. If I feel this way, I can't even imagine how many other people do. This is the reason so many kids are killing themselves. This is the reason why so many people who are queer end up going along with what our culture asks of them and wind up getting married and having kids.. to later come out and be looked down upon because of their 'lie' of a life.

Heteronormativity is the reason behind the stigma that I could be checking out a woman because I'm jealous of her. Women aren't supposed to check other women out, and if they do it's because they either want to look like them or because they are internally condemning them for how they look. Thanks diet companies! Judging. Well, I say fuck that. If I'm checking out a woman, it's not because I'm fat and I'm praying to look like her someday, it's because I think she's fucking hot! It's the reason why if I see a guy and think he's hot and he makes eye contact with me that I look immediately away, in fear of him assuming I want him (which I easily could, there are lots of hot guys) and him assuming I'm straight or something.

I honestly think the ideas behind heterosexism and heteronormativity are stopping me from even thinking about dating a guy. Not to mention that the thought of a penis anywhere close to me makes me want to die. I'm not sure if that point is relevant in this post, but I think it is somewhat connected. I'm in Florida, as many of you know, and my family and I have had conversations.. duh. Well, some of them discredit me. I'm not trying to be all confrontational or sensitive.. but they do! There was a conversation about a woman who was married a handful of times and finally found her soulmate in her last marriage, and it was discussed that this was a great thing. During conversations like this, I literally sit there in fury. I sit there thinking, will I ever have that right in my lifetime? To marry whoever I want in hopes of finding the one? Who knows if that will ever happen for me? That is why heteronormativity is the biggest bully on the block.

I know that people think that gay pride, rainbows, along with the bumper stickers on my car are obnoxious. They think we geeeetttt it, you're gay. You don't have to flounce it around. This goes along with the, okay, you're gay but I don't want to see it idea. How is that fair? I see straight shit everywhere. On the plane down here, I saw couples kissing and hugging and taking cute pictures. I saw people holding hands at the airport. These people were prancing their sexuality in front of me, so why can't I do the same without being worried of getting harassed or beat up? We put it out there because we have to. I put my identity out in the open because I don't want people assuming things about me. I put it out there for the little teenage queers who need my help. I participate in pride because it is literally the one day where I can maybe hold someone's hand and not feel uncomfortable. It's our day to shine. It's our day to be who we are, and not have to hide it for one tiny second. This is probably (unconsciously) why many of my queer friends go out to gay bars every weekend; it's where they can be themselves.

So, there's my bitchfest. There will be more on this soon! I'm outside at Starbucks and I'm hot so I'm going to go back to Mommom's and have a nice nap! I hope you all enjoy your days!

What do you think about heteronormativity and heterosexism? How do they affect you?

xo cortnie
ps, like this post or any of my others? click the pin it button to get it on your pinterest account!

Sunday, June 17

Fat Girl in Florida

Hello everyone! If you've 'liked' my Facebook Page, you'd know that I'm on vacation right now! I'm visiting my grandma and her husband in Bradenton, Florida.. which apparently has been deemed the top retirement area in the country. Yeeeah. So anyway, last night Mommom, Mom, and I had to stop at the drug store to get some things, and I just happened to come across this bullshit product line.
I've heard of the Skinny Girl margaritas and whatnot, but I had no idea that this stupid shit existed. So, naturally, I was pissed. What the hell is up with this? Am I allowed to use these products, being a fatgirl, or am I the target customer for these products, being a fatgirl? They have these beauty products; lip gloss, skin exfoliants, smoothing and firming body lotion, the whole shebang. This is ridiculous.

I ventured over to their website, where you can find diet pills, motivational quotes, among tons of other skinnygirl things. They even have vitamins for their customers, because eating real food to get real vitamins isn't the goal of this company. You're supposed to detox and take diet pills and brush your teeth right after you eat so you won't want to eat again.. and take vitamins to make up for what you're missing out on. Then, I saw this.
"Being naturally thin is a practice." Being naturally thin is a practice?! You don't practice what you naturally are, you just are. I could understand if the quote was something like, "being thin is a practice," because I mean, that makes sense. But being naturally anything isn't a practice, it's just what you are! That's like me saying that my being naturally fat is a practice. It's not a practice, I'm not working towards being fat everyday, stuffing donuts and cheeseburgers in my mouth. I'm just a big woman.

Scoping around their site also proves that in order to be that naturally thin person and practice that lifestyle everyday, you also need to be naturally fucking rich because their products are insanely expensive. This is feeding into the idea that fat people are poor because they're lazy, and rich people are thin because they work hard. Think this has to do with pay inequality between fat and thin people? Ya think? Just a bit? I digress. As you all know, I'm not bashing thin people, I'm just trying to survive in a world that doesn't recognize me as a full person in practically anything.

Since being here, I've felt kind of off with my body. I don't know why, maybe the flight. Maybe the bikini stuff. Maybe the scale that I stepped on when I got to my grandmother's house. I stepped on it and immediately knew that I shouldn't have. I kept thinking, there's no way I've gained almost 50 pounds since August! I wasn't even paying attention to the fact that this scale is super old and outdated, and that I feel better now than I probably ever have. Mentally at least. Physically, my body kind of has been hating me. I've been feeding her bad things, I've not been taking care of her as much as I can. I'm changing that. But, anyway, for as long as I can remember, my grandma has been dieting. She's always either been counting points or keeping a food journal. She has always looked the same to me. Like Mommom.

I had a salad yesterday and put my bowl in the sink to find a Sensa container in the windowsill. All of this shit is super triggering, and just makes me feel blah.
So yeah, I guess my problem here is that this diet-pusher culture is everywhere. It's inescapable. I am a pretty confident person, and it's bringing me down. I guess I'm also crabby because my legs were burnt to a crisp from being at the pool yesterday, and I can't get comfortable in any position that I sit/lay/stand in. Whatever, I'll be crabby.

What do you do when our diet-culture is kicking you in the stomach? When it isn't about health, but about the way that you look?


Thursday, June 7

I Posted a Picture of Myself in a Bikini and the World Went NUTS!


So, today was fucking crazy. For a few reasons, but I'm only talking about one in this post. I posted a picture of my new bikini on the That Cortnie Girl Facebook page today, and shit went craycray! I have to be honest and say that I never expected this amount of feedback from one picture. I can go days, posting blogs, posting pictures, posting statuses on my blog's Facebook page, and I get nothin'. NOTHIN'. So I was not expecting this. AT ALL.

Out of the now 69 comments--teehee, only one, ONE person hated it. But, this person hated my picture so much that she felt the need to continually bully me.. post after post, comment after comment, hateful word after hateful word. I was blamed for killing children in pools, clearing restaurants of it's customers because I eat all of the food, I was told to get gastric bypass, and I was blamed for world hunger. Am I THAT powerful? With all of the power that I apparently have, I wish I could spread the idea of body love to more people. Well, hold on. Wait. I think I did!

So many people were impacted by this picture today. Dozens upon dozens of people were commenting, I was getting notifications on my iPhone every minute. These people were ripping this lonely hateful woman apart, which could be counterproductive, but they were defending me. They were defending my right to be able to be fat and wear a bikini. They were realizing the body love that I was trying to spread, and they were spreading it themselves. Whether these people want to or would prefer to not call themselves fat activists, body positive activists, or whatever.. they were doing it. They were spreading self love. 

So I had two options. I could listen to this woman, what she was saying, and feel like crap about myself. Or.. I could rise above it. I realize that people bully other people because of their own insecurities; it's obviously nothing that I did. I am not going to repeat anything she said because it's very fat shaming and very hurtful.. if you'd like to know you can click the link at the beginning of this post. But, it just shows how much she hates herself. And, I got more people to read my blog, spread body love, and I had so many people telling me how beautiful I am, which is never a bad thing! 

There clearly is more to be said about this, but I'm sleepy and I have a paper to write. Please know this though.. I love you all with all of what my heart has to offer. Keep loving your bodies, and keep ignoring what the haters are saying. I haven't been swimming in nearly 10 years. I haven't worn a bikini for longer than that. I am finally loving my body, and even I have my days of body hate, but we have to.. for ourselves.. LOVE OUR BODIES. It's who we are. 

Until next time, everyone. 


Monday, June 4

NCCWSL Baltimore/DC Trip: Seatbelt Extenders, Anti-Feminists

I have a lot to talk about from my voyage to the east side of the USA. But right now, I want to share some photos.

My lovely seatbelt extender.

Me with USA's penis.

Quote on Slavery

This amazing lunch at the Natural History Museum

Workshops. Meh.

My home for 4 days.

I straddled Lilly Ledbetter getting to my seat. Yeah.

UMD had these amazing Brita water bottle fill stations! These should be everywhere!

Last night in DC, Union Station
Tiny ass plane.
So yeah, there are some pictures for ya'll. I have a few things that I need to address from the trip.

First of all, DC is amazing. I'd never been there before. We walked and walked and walked, I wish I had turned on the GPS on my MapMyFitness app, just to see how many miles we had walked. Alas, I didn't. Anyway. I can't explain how many cold chills I got thinking about the history of DC. I loved it. I'd love to live in that area someday. It's so busy. Helps me anxiety in a weird way. It's like, I go to shop at the mall, and it's sorta busy, so my anxiety goes crazy. It's like DC was SO busy that my anxiety got so high and looped back around to calm. People with anxiety, you will understand this phenomenon.

Secondly, while three of us went to visit DC, one person from our group stayed for the opening sessions of the conference. We watched Twitter while we were gone, and whoa. The conference had a nice hashtag going, and jesus christ. The things people said. That feminism is sexist and archaic. That women shouldn't be in the front lines in the military because men were born to protect and defend women. Then this picture surfaced on Twitter.

This is more than infuriating. We were in our taxi with Malik at this point, who I fell in love with but that's beside the point. The three of us were so speechless that the words that came out of our mouths probably sounded like jibber jabber. Tasha and I were talking later in our silly dorm room. What did I say? These women wouldn't be in college if it wasn't for the feminists who fought for them. They wouldn't be at an all women's conference if it wasn't for feminism. This left me uncomfortable thinking about the workshops the next day, and brought lots of negativity into my mind. Do I belong around these people?

Thirdly, the airplane seatbelt situation. On this trip, I was on 4 different planes. Talked to 4 flight attendants asking for a seatbelt extender because their seatbelts are not made for me. Two of the attendants were women, and two men (and I can be stereotypical and assuming that they were gay with their cute little lisps). The women were very secretive with the seatbelts, whispering and hiding the extender when they gave it to me. As if I was or should have been embarrassed that their seatbelts didn't fit me. It made me feel stupid, it made me feel unwanted on the plane, which many fat people already feel before even getting to the airport. The men? The complete opposite. They weren't whispering, they were happy to give me them, they didn't think it was embarrassing and they were friendly to me. There's something there, I just can't put a finger on it.

So yeah, there ya go. Let me know what you think in the comments!