Monthly Archives: June 2016

Clothes

The behaviors exhibited by groups with large influence, such as companies that spend a lot on advertising, can influence the public’s perception of certain groups to perpetuate marginalization.

Case in point: How clothing companies treat and present women above a certain size.

When looking at clothes, it quickly becomes clear that they are largely designed by people who feel that women with larger bodies should be ashamed and hide. The fact that excessively-baggy, box-shaped shirts are basically all that’s available in plus sizes? That’s what this is. We aren’t supposed to feel proud of how our bodies look, because they’re not one of the Approved Shapes And Sizes.

Sometimes I’ll feel this immense shame and anxiety about how my body looks, and every time I examine it I come to the same conclusion: these feelings are not an attribute of my body, they’re an attribute of how society treats it. As much as I hate to admit it, the way I feel about my body can be strongly influenced by how the world around me perceives it.

Only being able to find clothes that hide the shape of my body, instead of accentuating it, very clearly presents a message I do not agree with: that people with bodies like mine are inherently unattractive, and our bodies should be hidden in shame.

It’s devastating how easy it is to start believing this, how easy it is to hide yourself because of this, how easy it is to perpetuate this. I try my best to not only avoid perpetuating it, but actively fight it. And, frankly, it’s really fucking hard.

These ideas are forced on you from birth. It becomes ingrained, and it takes so much to fight this toxic idea that bodies like mine are inherently bad, and sometimes I forget and I believe the message the clothes on the rack are screaming so clearly.

I’m here to remind you that they’re wrong. My body is lovable. Your body is lovable. There are no exceptions.

What should I do if I can’t tell someone’s gender?

Not give a shit.

Glad I could clear that up for you.

 

Also, you shouldn’t really be assuming gender anyway, because it’s literally impossible to always accurately guess it. There’s also the problem where gender and pronouns aren’t directly tied, and what you probably want to know is what pronouns to use.

Remember: If you don’t know someone’s pronouns, it’s usually safe to use singular they. However, if you can ask or they tell you, only use the pronouns they say to — to use anything but what they want you to is just fucking rude.

Be sure to follow @trainsgendering and @_inatri on Twitter for more helpful advice about Not Being An Asshole To Transgender People™.