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Friday Fusion [6]: Perspective and an Epic (for me) Rant

July 11, 2014 by Kat Morrisey

Photo Credit: Mark Vegas, https://www.flickr.com/photos/vegas/768782063/in/photolist-2aWd8a-48n4LY-4DY5H7-7uCTD-7uCTE-5dwPd6-48J18i-63UxRL-e6qmde-5cgSv2-9LDdiB-2aWfYB-4QLmqb-7jsdJs-9dApMZ-7a9VYA-9g9fFf-8GfV5p-hhKT-63QjWB

 

I got the idea to showcase this week’s song from two awesome people on Twitter that I follow. For those of you who haven’t heard the latest controversy, there was a horrible article written that basically says people who are overweight should feel ashamed of themselves. This isn’t all that is said and it’s a grossly understated statement, so I urge you to read the responding article written about by the amazing Jenny Trout. She outlines what is said and responds to it, way better than I could.

Anyway, I got the idea for the song for today’s Friday Fusion, from Katie, (@Katiebabs on twitter). She noted in a tweet:

I’d always loved this song, but I’m not much of a video watcher. Not since MTV stopped airing videos. So when she tweeted the link to the video and I wateched it, well, holy hell. This makes me love the song even more. Here is that video, embedded for your viewing (and listening) pleasure:

 

The article and blog post I mention, and this video, segues nicely to a blog post I read discussing lack of diversity by Marquetta at Loves to Read For Fun. She talked about the lack of older heroines and heroines who embrace sex and are unapologetic about having it and liking it, among other items we don’t often see in romance (or, really, anywhere). It’s a great post and I even ranted a bit in my own comment. I urge you to read this, as well. I’m going to continue my rant a bit here because that’s how fired up I am over all this craziness about weight, size and sameness not only in books, but in the world. I never (or rarely) rant. But something triggered this and I can’t not rant. I need to get it out so I hope you’ll bear with me.

My big thing is, why the heck are people so hung up on looks? Still? In 2014? Why can’t we embrace diversity in everything? And why must people be so judgey (I know this isn’t an actual word, but I’m using it anyway), about weight and size? Why must we all strive to live up to a set of standards that are set by…well, hell…I don’t even know who they are set by! The media? The public? The fashion industry? Hollywood? Aliens? I mean, who the fuck are they, already? 

Cause whoever they are and me, well we need to have a sit down…

When it comes to weight or size or whatever you want to call it, why do people care so much? Don’t tell me it’s a “health” thing, because someone calling someone a fat ass or mocking them or shaming them for their weight isn’t a concern for health. That’s just cruelty for cruelty’s sake. I’m not a size 6. And I never will be. I have hips, and ass, and apparently, curves in the wrong places, wherever those are. But you know what? I’m sick and tired of being judged for it. I’m ME! And if people don’t like me because I’m not a perfect size or weight, or have a scar that will be with me forever, or wear glasses, or have plain brown hair, or just normal green eyes, well, you know what? FUCK ‘EM!

I’m done with peoples’ so called ‘health’ concerns over this. It’s not health. Judgey people just don’t want to look at something they don’t find attractive in their judgey, cruel world. Well, guess what, assholes, I don’t find your judgey-ness attractive. So, fuck you.

And this brings me to the mini-rant I had on Marquetta’s post: I noted that women in books (romance in particular) don’t often have scars, or at least they aren’t pointed out often. And I don’t want them dwelled on, but seeing a woman with scar on her forehead from a fall off a bike when she was 8, or one of her chest from when she had major life saving surgery? (Gemma on SOA has this, and it doesn’t make her less bad ass or beautiful. Oh, and btw, I have one too-just like Gemma’s. And it doesn’t make me not beautiful!) I also weigh more than I should, but guess what? I walk 3-5 times a week and do bootcamp. So yeah, people who want to shame me for being what you consider ‘fat’, I get off my fat ass and work-out! Try not to be so shocked and disgusted to think of me, in my fatty clothes, at the gym, being healthy but not the size and weight YOU want me to be! 

Which brings me back to the John Legend video. I cried watching it. A lot. Like big, sobbing cries. When I saw the cancer survivor? I cried, because that is similar to my mom’s scars. And those scars don’t make her less beautiful. When I saw the young girl with the birth mark on her face–that doesn’t make her less because she doesn’t fit into the ‘flawless skin’ category. And the pretty blonde who some assholes would call ‘heavy’? I think she’s gorgeous. I think each and every one of those people is beautiful because they’re themselves. They’re unique. And they deserve to be loved for who they are, not what they look, or don’t look, like.

So whether it’s age, weight, scars, curves where they should or shouldn’t be, hair color, eye color, glasses, no glasses, breasts or lack thereof, or whatever, let’s see more acceptance of all of it. And more of it in the books we read and write. As a writer myself, I am going to push myself to do just that. I want to see a character with a scar like mine. Or my mom’s. I want to see women who struggle with the mean people of the world judging them for their jean size and then I want to see those women embracing that jean size, whether it’s a 4 or a 24. And I want to see women of all shapes, ages, and sizes enjoying sex and wanting more of it. And I want to see them falling in love, and being loved.

I want to see, finally, the people who love these women, no matter that woman’s size, age, shape, skin color, scars, eye color, hair color, breast size, etc. I want to see those people love these women just for the simple reason that they are strong, awesome, wonderful, caring, fantastic, sweet, wild, sexy, amazing individuals. 

And you know what, seeing a hero who isn’t perfect -visually- wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

I’m sorry, but not sorry, for this rant. And I know it’s all over the place, and might not  make complete sense. But I’m angry. And yelling and raging as I type is better than letting women like that Linda chick, or anyone else like her, make me cry. I’m done crying.

Oh, and by the way, as Marquetta mentions on her blog, go get Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl. It is, in my opinion, an epic novella that I will read over and over again for the simple reason that the hero and heroine are over 40 and…wait for it…want to have s-e-x!! Oh my god, nooooo! The world is ending! They have sex, they like it, and dear god, they want to have more of it!

Well, hell yeah they do. And I know that I’m all the happier about that. And if you too want to read about such a horrid, disgusting, amazingly hot and delicious thing, well you can get it FREE (at the time of this posting anyway. Check the price BEFORE you one click, you dirty, dirty reader!). Here are the links:

AMAZON  BARNES & NOBLE KOBO

I must be a horrible individual for wanting heroines who don’t all look the same,are over 30 (and even better if over 35 or 40), have lots of dirty, awesome sex, have scars *gasp!*, and aren’t, in a word, perfect. Well, then I embrace my horribleness with gusto, damn it.

Have a great weekend everyone and feel free to comment about the issues I’ve brought up (or even just the song I’ve picked for this week’s post) in the comments!


7 Comments »

  1. Fallon says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    I’m working on the more diversity thing, but yes. I’m certainly not a size 6(try twice that). No flat tummy here(I’ve had 2 kids, so yeah). And as you know, I’m currently writing one of those older couples. Certainly not flawless(although James has kept himself in shape). It’s definitely stretching me beyond my comfort zones, but I think it will be better for it.
    Fallon recently posted…Fiction FridayMy Profile

    • Kat says:

      I’m finding that it makes things so much for fun to be outside my zone. Sarah for example, wasn’t much described before her and Tommy’s book–other than being fun, outgoing and having a temper when it comes to Tommy. I think that people will be surprised at what she actually looks like. at least I hope they are. And I hope they embrace her for it. Same with Tommy–he isn’t over 6 foot and muscled like Sam is (or even Cooper). He’s in shape, but he’s…just, a normal guy. With a normal, but brave, job. And another character in a different WiP has a wicked scar on her face. She’s going to embrace the shit outta that scar, let me tell you. No reason for her to hide or be ashamed by it. No way, no how!

      And now I want to write a novella too, about Steve and Rose (from the Ashten Falls series). They’re both over 50 and need to get a little lovin’, methinks! *adds this to the list of books to write*

      Yep, I’m still ranting. Holy hell, I can’t stop! LOLOLOL

  2. […] an epic rant based on some crazy stuff that had been happening, well, everywhere in the world and wrote a pretty passionate post (imo, anyway). It’s not political or anything, and actually discusses the need for diversity […]

  3. Amy says:

    I clicked from your WIPpet linky, and HELL YES. I write romantic humor and I’m about to be independently published, which means I have a bit more leeway than “traditional” romance, I think. Even so, there is definitely a lack of diversity. I could do a whole rant on this myself. I write LGBT fiction, which again, you’d think would have room for diverse, but…nooooope, not always. There’s an image of the “acceptable” LGBT people–traditionally pretty lesbians (even if personality-wise they’re not “lipstick lesbians”). Alpha gay men with rock-hard abs. No one with physical disabilities or mental illness or scars or fat. Very few love stories about trans people. Bisexual people only exist if it’s for a threesome. Funny thing is, my current project that’s still in draft was born out of a friend lamenting that he doesn’t see people like himself in books too often (he’s very effeminate and sometimes wears “women’s” clothes, but not as fetish). And people of other races or ethnicities? Not usually. Blergh. Now I’m all ranty. LOL!
    Amy recently posted…WIPpet Wednesday: Lemonade and SympathyMy Profile

    • Kat says:

      Sorry to get you all ranty, too! I’d been sitting around, thinking about this stuff for awhile (there have been so many posts about this lately and on twitter), but something about the conflagration of things that occurred last week just tipped the scales and I just exploded with this. LOL

      I have so many ideas now to hopefully infuse into my future stories. I’ve already started with a novella I’m writing, by having an older Hero and Heroine who don’t want kids. (Well, he has already one. But she’s 38 and doesn’t want any. Which, in romance, is not often written about. Usually it’s part of the HEA where the couple marries and has kids/adopts/she becomes step-mother of the year. I wanted to have a woman who just…didn’t want kids. Not because she’s evil, but just..because. I know it’s not earth shattering in it’s “diversity” but it’s different, and it’s real. Many women feel this way and often feel guilty for it. So…I’m going to write about it. ;D And then, after that, a woman with a scar who is PROUD of them–she isn’t shamed into hiding her face or arm because of it. Nope, she wears them as a badge because they are a PART of her. And now, here I go again, ranting again. LOLOLOL

      • Amy says:

        Oh, wow! I love those ideas, especially the one about the woman who doesn’t want kids. Yes, I’m a mom myself, but as such, I completely understand why people don’t want kids. That’s because everyone seems to think if you have your own, you adore everyone else’s kids too. Nope, sorry. So I get why people choose not to have any at all, and I think the HEA with white picket fence and two kids needs to just die already. A couple IS a family! And I know people who love kids, if they’re someone else’s (like the anti-me, lol).

        I’m no longer ranty. I’m excited to see so many people wanting to tell more realistic, awesome stories! :)
        Amy recently posted…WIPpet Wednesday: Lemonade and SympathyMy Profile

  4. Eden says:

    You do realize I am now official in love with you, Kat (at least as far as your perspective on life, characters and acceptance go). :-)

    One small thought to consider though, at least in stories. In a lot of situations, the people who love us don’t “see” the scars. And in fiction this should be true too. We focus on the positives in the relationships we have and only note the negatives in the meeting, the creating of them or when we’re pissed at said person… even when we know they’re there.

    So, it’s very possible to have a love story with a disfigured character that the reader would never know was disfigured. (At least, I think so.)
    Eden recently posted…Moderately UnscathedMy Profile

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