More To Love?: Revisiting Pochamani

Pochamani Drama CDLet’s face it: finding media of any sort that’s ready to delve into fat acceptance is few, far, and in between, especially when it comes to heavier girls and women. As we here at LGG&F are all about body positivity no matter one’s size or looks, I feel it’s important to share when we come across pieces of media that may focus on addressing on some of these issues. Or, if not addressing these issues head on, at least acknowledging that they do exist and that these standards we force on people in the name of beauty are ultimately harmful. Additionally, it’s good to point out that while body acceptance might be a topic or a theme in said media, that it may not necessarily be tackled in the best way. This is the case with the manga Pochamani.

While we’ve already looked at this cute shoujo series once before, I wanted to look at it a bit more in-depth concerning the issues it covers now that I’ve read it for myself. And while I still had my disappointments, I discovered that there was more beneath the surface than I was originally expecting.

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Two Whole Cakes

Have you ever run into that one site that seemed as though it was made just for you?

Back when I was in college, I went through a series of months where I just felt incredibly shitty about myself. Nothing I did was right and perhaps because of my Virgo nature I judged myself about one hundred times more harshly than anyone else. I just couldn’t find my worth. It was at this time in my life that I came across ‘Two Whole Cakes’ (or ‘Fatshionista’ as it happened to be called when I first read it), a blog focused on calling out the prevalence of body policing in everyday pop-culture with some sass on the side. For those months when I read through archives in their entirety, author Lesley Kinzel became my goddess and I slowly, but surely, began to allow myself a grace I had never allowed myself before: I began to accept that I was never going to fit into those size six jeans and, more important still, that this didn’t mar my worth as a person.

In fact, the more I read, the more I realized that I was quite similar to Lesley not only in terms of the physical, but also in terms of interests. Although these days it’s much easier to find a female opinion on things of a geeky nature, it’s less so to find one from one that will openly state that they’re overweight. While this might not seem like a big deal to some, it really is. Especially when considering that the female image in video games and comics is so strictly controlled by males who, let’s face it, probably belong to the ‘no fat chicks allowed’ club. Lesley helped open my eyes to these types of issues, and after reading her site was the first time I ever thought to myself, “I can do this. I can write about this.”

But why bring this site up now? Well, for one, it’s wonderful and I really think everyone should read at least a couple of the posts on there, especially if you have any feelings on the body positivity movement. For another, I want to thank Lesley for what she and her blog have done for me in the small chance that she sees this. Also, and perhaps more selfishly, with the holidays coming and going as they do, there’s a little bit of a stigma around enjoying yourself to the fullest. What I mean is that a vast majority of us overeat during the holidays and then feel like shit about it afterwards, especially when the new year comes and there’s a whole new batch of diet commercials that only serve to remind you of dinner plates past. However, not this year! This year, I shall remind myself that indulging once or twice a year doesn’t make me awful. That gaining a pound or two is perfectly acceptable. That my body is my own and that others need to step off if they ever think telling me what to do with my body is acceptable (unless asked). So you, dear readers, if at any time during this holiday you feel like curling up on your bed and marathon-ing all of Doctor Who with a bottle of champagne and a bowl full of cookies at your side, do it. And don’t let anyone else make you feel worse for the decision.

I’ll leave you with the author herself talking explaining her blog better than I ever could.

Strong Female Characters: Gearbox, You’re Doing it Right

In all the hubbub of Borderlands 2, what with its delightful new and old cast and (roughly) kajillion side-quests, I think it’s important to step back and appreciate the timeless things. The simple things.

But mostly that Ellie is the best character in the game.

I’ve already given my partial opinion about larger people in the media, so when I saw her concept art I was seriously worried what would come of such a character, especially when every other female in Borderlands is thin as a whistle. Would she be played off for jokes?  …The bad kind, that is, not the kind that Borderlands is revered for. I should have had more faith in Gearbox because this lady is faboo.

From her introduction I loved her—seriously? Smashing a bandit in a car compactor? Bad. Ass.— because it was such a great example of what was to come. She doesn’t take shit, she’s clever and resourceful as hell, and she’s fun. She’s an actual 3-dimensional character. Gasp, be still my beating heart.

Playing along her questline further also reveals an intricacy that not many other Borderlands characters have in my opinion. She has motivations beyond “wow, I better not die” and she has something to prove, but not to herself. Being Scooter’s sister, that also means that she’s Mad Moxxi’s, the voluptuous vixen manager of the Ring O’ Death’s, daughter. By doing Ellie’s quests, Ellie ends up venting about how her mom wants her to lose weight and essentially be like Moxxi. In fact, her mother doesn’t believe that Ellie can even take care of herself on her own out in the Dust. Ha! Allow Ellie to prove her wrong. The great thing about Ellie is that she’s completely okay with her life and her choices. She knows smart enough to survive and that she’s damn  sexy to boot. Her confidence in her skills and in her body isn’t played for laughs, so the player is able to come to respect this unlikely paragon of beauty. And gosh, it’s just great.

I could gush more, but why don’t you take a look at what the designers at Gearbox have to say on the mechanic yourself?