Disability Representation on Game of Thrones

I just read a post on NPR about Game of Thrones' representation of disabled people... Which is a topic I've been thinking about a lot, especially since the latest season comes to a close tonight.

First of all, I'm impressed that a large news outlet is talking about disability as it relates to GOT, not just talking about GOT itself. I'm also impressed by some of the points they make, such as:

On GOT's use of inspiration porn: 
Take the young princess scarred by a fictional severe skin disease — "greyscale." Perry says the character's disability primarily serves to pump up the pathos.
"It isn't really about her," he points out. "Right? It's all — this poor, physically disfigured girl who's so good and pure and smart. Oh no, she's going to be killed; now we have to be really upset. That is the kind of writing I kind of hate."
The article also mentions the trope of "curing" disabled characters. What will become of Bran Stark, a wheelchair user? David Perry, a disabled activist interviewed in the article responds: "You don't want to learn to fly... You want a ramp built into your castle."

Exactly! (I know I'd gladly live in my very own accessible Medieval castle!).

Tyrion Lannister: "...complicated, powerful and very sexy". Also disabled.

Game of Thrones has some brilliant acting, thrilling cinematography, and fascinating characters... Characters who, for the most part, aren't always moral. You often love to hate them. (Cersei, anyone?)

The disabled characters are the same way:

"Peter Dinklage, the actor who comes first in the credits, is a little person... Tyrion Lannister, is complicated, powerful and very sexy". All true. Except he also murdered a sex worker, just because he was jealous that she was doing her job by sleeping with someone other than him.

Jaime Lannister (who has a prosthetic hand) is "complicated, powerful and very sexy" too. He's also a talented swordsman, and a loyal brother... other than the fact that he raped his sister.

I guess it's nice to see that disabled characters aren't being treated like saints just because they're disabled. But wouldn't it be nice to have at least one disabled character who isn't problematic?

Also note that all of the major characters who have disabilities (other than Tyrion) are played by abled actors. That in itself sends a message to viewers.

Game of Thrones is doing an infinitely better job of including characters with disabilities than many other shows on TV right now. But I still hope they'll do a better job in their final season. 

May the Lord of Light answer our prayers.

#FatAndFabulous Things Friday (11.08.2017)

Hi friend! What have you been up to in the past couple weeks? 

Me? I posted about fruity summer fashion, bought the blue liquid lipstick I've been dreaming of, and have been working on some writing projects. I also got a new appointment with a cardiologist, which is awesome because I'll get some answers about my chronic illnesses and get to piss off the haters when they see a 300-pound Goddess confidently rocking a holter monitor. 😜

A post shared by Rebecca Esther 👗♿️ (@rebeccaesther) on

Aaaanyway... Here's what you came for:

1. Check out some of the best looks at this year's TCF Style Expo. I especially love all the bright colours! (Plus Model Mag)

2. Fat Liberation is for Fat People With Disabilities Too. As a disabled fat person who's experienced much of what's described in this post, I really appreciate this discussion. (Kath is a brilliant writer and a powerful fat activist whose work has taught me a lot on my journey, so I highly recommend her blog.--> Fat Heffalump)
Fat PWD are accused of “causing” their disabilities because they are fat, are accused of “just being lazy” or treated like even more of an inconvenience than thin PWD. It’s hard enough for PWD to get the equipment and services they need, and for many of we fat people to get equipment, clothing and services that fit our bodies – the two issues compounded make it even more of a burden for fat PWD to bear.
3. Celebrity diet culture needs to stop. And society as a whole needs to stop obsessing about health. (Ravishly)
It’s also important to remember that “health” can be a moving target. It’s not an obligation or a barometer of worthiness, it’s not entirely within our control, and it’s not guaranteed, no matter what we do.
4. These photos are totally dreamy and now I'm inspired to do a mini photo shoot in my bedroom, too! (Ailurophile With Style).

5. How to have the confidence to wear whatever you want, whenever you want. (College Fashion)

What fabulousness have you seen (or created) in the fatosphere lately?

P.S. Did you know I have a #fatandfabulous Pinterest board? Go check it out! 

Fantastic Fruit Fashion

Lana Del Rey sang about her "fruit punch lips" and Marina and the Diamonds used "Froot" as her aesthetic and central metaphor for an entire album (including its title and lead single). I think they're on to something: Fruit motifs are cheery, summery, and bright. They can also be playful and kitschy, which I'm totally into.

In honour of National Watermelon Day (it's 3rd August! Fun, right?), here are my picks for a fashionable, fruity finish to the summer.

Fruit-Inspired Accessories

#FatAndFabulous Things Friday (28.07.2017)

Hey gorgeous!

I'm supposed to be at the TCFStyle Expo in Atlanta today, but instead, I'm all but bedridden and undergoing lots of medical testing. I'm devastated.  

If you're there this weekend, I hope you have an amazing time! And if you're already planning for next year, I'll see you there!

Here's what I've been reading lately:

1) This is so well-written and the subject matter really hit home for me: "On Fatness: Acceptable Fat, Respectability, & the Silencing of Super Fats". (Aaminah Shakur)

2) I've been trying to put my feelings about weight loss surgery into words, but couldn't possibly do it more eloquently than this article does. (Your Fat Friend)
"As people living in fat bodies, our choices about our bodies are never fully our own — always swayed or sunken by the pressures of media, family, friends, doctors, strangers on the street. Everyone has an opinion on our bodies, and those opinions are asserted freely at every turn."

3) How did you feel about that ~feminist~ sex scene on Game of Thrones last week? (Refinery 29)

4) Periods are not just for women. (Hello Giggles)

Plus: a throwback to what I wore the first time I visited Atlanta, almost exactly 5 years ago.

What fabulousness have you seen (or created) in the fatosphere lately?

P.S. Did you know I have a #fatandfabulous Pinterest board? Go check it out! 

5 #FatAndFabulous Things Friday (14.07.2017)

Welcome to #FatAndFabulous Things Friday, a quick biweekly list of body positive, fat positive, fun and inspiring stuff.

1) Ragen's take on dressing for your body is spot on! (Dances With Fat)

2) I love these "Style Crush of the Week" posts, but this one featuring women over size 22+  is especially awesome. (Plus Model Mag)

3) These tips for feeling confident at the beach are very timely. (I'm especially a fan of berry lips and wearing something that fits well and feels good!). (Verily)

4) Shopping for a new swimsuit this summer? This is the list for you! It even includes size ranges. (The Militant Baker)

5) I'm so here for fat girls in crop tops! (Ravishly)

What fabulousness have you seen (or created) in the fatosphere lately?

P.S. Did you know I have a #fatandfabulous Pinterest board? Go check it out! 

Maxi Dresses For Summer

Until last summer, I had no idea you could be this comfy and this stylish at the same time. I think maxi dresses literally changed my life, y'all.

Maxi dresses are perfect for summer, because:

They have built in air conditioning

They're flirty and feminine, effortlessly.

They can be flowy or fitted, patterned or solid, accessorized or worn boldly solo. Such a versatile piece of clothing.

You can wear them with heels, flats, sneakers or cowboy boots (like I did last summer):

Plus, you can throw on a dress and go! None of that top plus bottoms nonsense!

Have I sold you on this idea yet? Check out these cute dresses:

I love the shade of blue and the interesting cut of this SWAK dress (CAD $129.90). |  I can't even. This dress is just perfect ($42.50). | How does this dress cost less than CAD $35? It's so cute. | I'm a sucker for good stripes. Like these! ($44.99).

Purchase the dress in the first image here. Also, I'm not affiliated with any of these brands; I just think their clothes are pretty!

5 #FatAndFabulous Things Friday

Welcome to #FatAndFabulous Things Friday! It's a quick biweekly(?) list of body positive, fat positive, fun and inspiring stuff.

1) The term “booty dimples” makes me smile. (The Revelist)

2) “Most Girls” - Hailee Steinfeld. It's been out for a while now, and if you haven’t watched it yet, you should! My only complaint is that there wasn’t more size diversity in the video. (YouTube)

3) What sex-positivity isn't: “Like feminism, sex-positivity has become a more globally recognized movement in recent years. Also like feminism, it’s been co-opted into something that it’s not. In this case: sex performativity.” (Continuum Collective)

4) I wish this kind of sex ed had been taught when I was in school. Loving your body (including in a sexual way, if you want to) is powerful. Way to go for talking about sexual health in a way most people are afraid to, Teen Vogue! (Teen Vogue)

5) The diversity in this fashion campaign is stunning! (Miss Moss)

What fabulousness have you seen (or created) in the fatosphere lately?

Pudgy Middle Fingers Up

I have curves in all the 'wrong' places.

Sometimes I eat two or three donuts in one sitting.

My back rolls and tummy rolls don't magically disappear when I stand up.

My upper arms are thicker than some people's thighs.

My wrists aren't delicate, my fingers aren't slender, my ankles aren't shapely.

My clothing is rarely what stylists would call 'flattering'. I refuse to minimize my size.

I use a cane. I have multiple chronic illnesses. I'm not healthy.

The truth is, I'm not a 'good fatty'. And I don't care.

Dear Doctor: No Means No

"I have a new sebaceous cyst on my neck, so I can't get any injections in my neck today," I said, hopping up on the examining table. These nerve block injections had become routine; I had been getting between eight and ten of them in my neck and shoulders every week for over a year.

"What does a sebaceous cyst have to do with injections?" asked Dr. S.

I assumed he hadn't heard the part about the cyst being on my neck, or maybe he figured the cyst affected my chest or pelvic area, like many PCOS-induced symptoms do. So I repeated myself. "It's on my neck, so I can't have injections in my neck. Just my back today".

Dr. S. walked to the back of the table, brandishing a needle. I braced for pain in my upper back, but it didn't come.

"That's my neck!" I squeaked, tears in my eyes. Neck injections always sting, but the shock is what really startled me.

"That didn't hurt so bad, did it?" he laughed.

I gripped my cane and gritted my teeth, waiting for him to finish. 4 injections in my neck, now aching worse that it already had been. Some shots in my shoulders. 

I wordlessly got up from the table and left the clinic. Then the tears came.

This is the second time this doctor has given me injections in an area I did not consent to. This is the second doctor who has performed a procedure without my consent. 

All three times have given me flashbacks of being raped.

When I was raped, my ex did not accept no for an answer. He did what he wanted, for as long as he wanted, and laughed when it was over. The only way these nonconsensual medical experiences differ is they weren't in a bedroom, but a doctor's office. 

I've said this before on this blog and I'll say it again: I won't be the last survivor of rape who's triggered by an idiotic man taking "no" as an invitation. And I sure as hell won't be the last person to speak up for patients' rights, either.

Why I Waited Until 25 To Get Diagnosed With OCD

I knew talking about my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would be difficult. But I didn't know just how difficult. I guess that's why I put it off for 20 years.

I was afraid of having "something else wrong with" me. In early childhood, I had Selective Mutism. In sixth grade I developed Panic Disorder. In my teens, I developed multiple chronic physical illnesses, plus clinical depression, phobias and Borderline Personality Disorder. It felt like there was no right time to have the "I think I have OCD" Talk, because it felt like I was constantly developing new and increasingly terrifying illnesses. Is there a "right time" for the Talk?!

Besides, I wasn't even sure I had OCD. All the symptoms you hear about in pop culture tended to be very different from what I was experiencing:

I collected plush seals and kept every notebook I filled with poems and doodles, but that's far from Hoarding: Buried Alive. And I was definitely not organized. I constantly drew all over my math homework, stacked my books haphazardly and couldn't have cared less when I noticed something was crooked. I didn't count stuff. I didn't even wash my hands, other than after using the bathroom.

But I knew something was off. I was terrified of germs, terrified of getting sick. Being in a doctor's office made me queasy. I couldn't sit next to someone who had a cold without being convinced I'd catch their cold. I was tormented by vivid violent images. Me stabbing someone in the eye with a fork, someone raping me, me jumping in front of a moving train, someone I love being murdered. The only way I could fend the thoughts off was repeating phrases in my head until it felt 'just right'.

These thoughts have been in my head for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I'd think, "If I can't do (task) within (this fast), I have to kill myself". I don't think I even knew what suicide was! But the thoughts persisted, and became more and more frequent.

Finally, when I was 24, physically sicker than I had ever been in my entire life, living well below the poverty line and feeling battered by my relatively recent job loss, rape and estrangement of my abusive father, I decided to get help. 

I'm 25 and in a group treatment program now. I won't mince words: Exposure Response Prevention Therapy is fucking torture. Baring my soul to a group of strangers, forcing myself to experience the very situations that provoke my anxiety, coping with the exhaustion fighting this disorder brings... I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know it would be this hard.

All I know, is that asking for help was the right choice. I just wish I hadn't waited so long.

Things To Do In 2017 -- That DON'T Include Dieting!

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to try new things. Here are some suggestions:

♥ Try a restaurant in your neighbourhood that you've never been to before.

♥ Follow more fat positive and body positive people on Instagram. I'd recommend Natalie Means Nice, The Militant Baker and Chubsterette. (I'm on Instagram too!).

♥ Try a new to you kind of exercise (for fun-- not because you feel like you have to). 

♥ Bake something from scratch. (Soft pretzels? Chocolate cheesecake?) And then eat some, without guilt.

♥ Figure out what you want to do more of & what you want to do less of.

♥ Read a book you've been meaning to, but haven't yet been able to finish.

♥ Message someone you haven't heard from in ages.

♥ Let go of a relationship that's no longer serving you.

♥ Have you been avoiding a medical appointment, like an ultrasound or a pap smear? Or have you just not gotten around to booking it? Get that shit done.

♥ Try practicing mindfulness.

♥ Pick up a magazine you've never read before. Maybe you'll find a new hobby or interest.

♥ Try a new hairstyle. Even if you hate it, it'll be good for a laugh.

♥ Get a new piercing or tattoo.

♥ Try a lip colour you've never worn before. Bright red? Lilac? Green?

Whatever you do, don't let the insidious "new year, new me" and "gotta lose weight!" bullshit get to you. This is your year. Do with it what you will. And have fun!

Image source: ElleBelleDesignShop on Etsy.
Pin It button on image hover