Tag Archives: plastic surgery

Beauty diversity and unlikely animal buddies.

Well this video recently surfaced in my facebook feed (thanks Gina) and I woke up singing the song and thinking of these adorable animals.  It was much more pleasant than the mental tug of war that is finding a topic for a blog post today.  And then it hit me–do a blog post about adorable animals playing with their pals.  Win. Win.

So today, I’m going to talk about body diversity.  The super cool thing about this video is how all the animals are different.  The monkey can play with the dog without telling the dog to look more like a monkey.  The dog and the dolphin can swim together without the dog having to engage in a streamlining program or getting a blow hole cut in his noggin.  And the dolphin can swim with the dog without feeling any particular need to join “Crazy LEGS(TM) a new process to grow legs in just 8 weeks!”

And it really made me think about our current standard of beauty.  It made me think about how so much of our society is shaped around the notion that if we just looked like a movie star or a beauty queen or a male stripper, everything would be just peachy keen and wonderful.  This is so silly, and so sad and so very, very wrong.  It’s a Barbie world, where all the girls should look like Barbie–tall, tiny waist, large breasts, smooth and flowing blonde hair, tiny feet and all.  Never mind that many believe that Barbie’s proportions are not only unlikely but also perhaps impossible.  (Some suggest if Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9″ tall, have a 39″ bust, an 18″ waist, 33″ hips and a size 3 shoe.  She would have a BMI of about 16 and would likely not menstruate.)  Yet as we’ve heard before and will undoubtedly hear again, it’s a Barbie world.

But seriously, where’s the fun in that?  It would be pretty boring if we all looked the same.  And trying to turn dogs into dolphins or vice versa could be endlessly profitable (if anybody could convince them that this needed to happen) but doesn’t seem likely to meet with any success or lead to happier canines or aquatic mammals.

So here’s to our diversity.  Here’s to our beauty in all it’s differences.  And here’s to keeping our money to go out and have a whole lot of fun with our very best buds.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to come and speak to your school or church group or organization or business about body diversity?  Check out my speaking page here!

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Kids, Bullying and Plastic Surgery

plasticsurgeryI was somewhat floored this weekend as I listened to a brief radio report on my local public radio station about kids and plastic surgery.  The story (which made reference in the intro to Renee Zellweger’s altered appearance at a recent awards show) talked about the number of kids having plastic surgery and the reasons behind it.  The report opens by talking about the number of teenagers who have had Botox (TM) in 2013.  According to the report, that number is 17,958.  Now the report was careful to state that most of these procedures were for medical reasons.  Botox is used to treat migraines, strabismus (cross eyed) and facial spasms.  Yet when all was said and done, over 1,000 of these Botox procedures were performed on kids in America for “purely cosmetic reasons”.

Now I’m not going to tell any parent or kid what they should do with their own bodies.  It’s their body and their choice.  I don’t think I would let me kid have Botox treatments (if I had one).  But you know what, I think it’s a lot easier to judge if you are not in the situation.  In fact the report went on to state that cosmetic procedures are on the rise among young people, and experts suggest that the reasons for that rise probably include social media culture and the rise of the “selfie” as well as a rise in bullying in our schools.

My knee jerk reaction at the time was, why aren’t they fixing the BULLYING?  Why are kids undergoing the risks and rigors of plastic surgery all because kids can’t stop being mean?  And then I remembered my own school days.  There was a period in my school life, after I had moved to a new school where I was bullied relentlessly.  I was verbally abused and physically abused.  I had my property repeatedly stolen or damaged.  It was so bad, that I often got physically sick from the stress of it all.  My parents were extremely worried, but I felt that their involvement would  only make it much, much worse.  There was no surgery that could have fixed my situation.  And even if there were, I doubt we could have afforded it.  But I wonder, if there were a medical fix, that we could afford if we would have used it.  I was miserable.  My parents were deeply concerned.  Would we have undergone a medical risk if it meant that the problem would go away?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that not all people who are bullied can have that problem fixed by surgery.  The reasons for the bullying are not always physical or may not be easily physically corrected.  And even for surgery that is readily available, a whole lot of people cannot afford it.  And this lack of access to procedures that can make our social media selfie red carpet ready is just another gaping chasm between the haves and the have nots in our world.  So on the one hand I sort of feel like the families that are “opting out” of bullying by changing their physical appearance are making things even harder for the families that do not have that privilege.

It’s easy to heap scorn on the families who seem to take the whole notion of cosmetic surgery very lightly.  The report stated that husband/wife cosmetic surgeries are followed only by mommy/daughter plastic surgeries in popularity.  It’s easy to heap scorn on the privileged families who hand out boob jobs as high school graduation presents.

But I’d like to suggest that not all cases of kids and families choosing plastic surgery over bullying are quite that simple.  If I could have had a surgery to make the bullying stop, might I have done that?  I honestly don’t know.  And if I had done it, how would my life have turned out differently?  Would I be as strong?  Maybe not?  Would I be less fearful now?  Would I take greater emotional risks at this point because I spent less time as a target–less time being wounded?  And if my parents had chosen that route would they be wrong for perpetuating the need for perfection just because they wanted me to live my best life, be less in pain?

I don’t really know all the answers here, and I think that’s a good thing.  In my mind this is not a simple or black and white thing.  I sincerely believe that we need to change the culture of perfectionism, social media shallowness and cruel bullying among young people.  And I think that erasing differences by changing whatever faults the bullies choose to target in their victims ultimately make things worse for all of us.  But I think it’s important to view this subject through the lens of compassion.  Because if back then, when I was a kid, I would have been able to undergo a brief medical procedure that would make the bullying stop, even for a minute, I don’t know that I wouldn’t have done just that.

Love,  Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to come to your school and talk about bullying?  BOOK ME!

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Magic Beans

It all started this week with dimples.  This week I came across these photos demonstrating an early invention for creating dimples on the cheeks.  I had a fleeting moment where I thought, “well we’ve come a long way since then.”  After a little searching around, I realized that women used to even undergo surgery to create dimples on the face.  Later the same day, I came across somebody in a popular exercise forum asking if there were specific exercises she could do to make dimples appear on her butt.  After calculating the millions I could make for a chair-based device for creating back dimples (or butt dimples) I realized that we haven’t come that far at all.   And after just a little research I realized that many plastic surgeons offer dimple-making procedures.  They can offer dimples for your face and as an add on to a “Brazilian Butt Lift” procedure, they can highlight those tiny little spots over your posterior.

Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t get plastic surgery.  It’s your body and your life, and I am not the boss of you.  And I am not claiming to be completely natural.  I wear some makeup, I get highlights put in my hair.  But this business about dimples got me thinking about what possesses us to go through this sort of pain to have dimples in the right spots.  And just as I was thinking this, I came across this video in my feed talking about “super foods”.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I think good nutrition is very important, and I believe that the nutrients we put into our bodies make a big difference in how we function and how we feel.  But this discussion about super foods is important because it reminds me how often we take something natural and good in this world and then endow that thing with magical powers.

Dimples are good.  On some people they look cute.  Therefore, if I get dimples on my face or on my posterior as part of my butt lift, I will be adorable and irresistible.  Wealthy, attractive, celebrity men will whisk me off on their yachts.  I will become famous.  Everyone will envy me because, you know, dimples!

Gogi berries are good.  They are mysterious.  They have antioxidents.  If I eat them, I will be endowed with the mystical natural powers of the Amazon.   (NOT the one that delivers books to your house with drones.)  I will never get sick.  I will never get tired.  I will live forever.  I will be invincible.

Yup, you see?  Magic beans.  Why is it in this day and age, when we can put a machine on Mars to take pictures and prove there are no martians running around, we still fall prey to this notion that there are magic solutions, magic pills, magic surgeries, magic foods or magic anything that is  going to make everything in our lives perfect.  If only I could get 6-pack abs (sigh…) everything would be perfect:

Or not.  I am afraid there are no such things as magic beans.  There’s just beans.  Beans that are high in nutrition and can taste good and can fill you up and keep you going.  But beans, by and large don’t have magical properties.  Except maybe for these:

Okay maybe beans are just a little bit magic after all!

Love,
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Book Me! I can speak about magic beans, dimple machines and lots more for your group! Click here to BOOK ME!

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Hold Your Tongue, Fatty!

tonguebrigadeIn the category of “not necessarily new, but new to me” I ran across this article about a doctor who claims that he can make you thin by sewing a patch on to your tongue.  Not surprisingly, the product is called the “miracle patch”.  The procedure seems simple enough.  A patch  is sewn onto the tongue that makes it extremely uncomfortable, if not impossible to swallow solid food.  Now you might get concerned upon reading this that without solid food the patient might starve to death.  But never fear!  The same doctor also sells a nutritional liquid supplement that “meets all nutritional needs” while “maximizing weight loss results”.

“It’s cheaper and faster and more attractive than wiring your jaw shut!” say the doctors.  “It is safer and cheaper than gastric bypass surgery.”  Of course, the doctors are altering the function of yet another perfectly normal organ and making it impossible for you to eat anything other than our prepackaged pap.  But hey, you’ll be (at least temporarily) thin!

This procedure is still listed on the site of the cosmetic surgeon interviewed for the article.  So while it’s not being touted much in the news any more, the surgery is apparently still being performed.  This is horrifying to me on so many levels.  It’s yet another example of the current spate of “we’ll do anything to make you temporarily thin and us permanently rich” school of medical procedures.  And I have to admit, that I was struck by the symbolism.  During this procedure, the docs are literally holding your tongue.  And it seems to me that this is precisely what society is continually asking us fat people to do.  Don’t taste.  And for heaven’s sake, DON’T TALK!  The web site assures us that for people who have undergone this procedure, “speech typically returns to baseline within 48 hours.”  I guess this means that physiological barriers to speaking normalize in a short time after surgery.  But what about the psychological barriers?  Isn’t this just another way to say that people who aren’t perfectly thin are without worth and that people who don’t have perfect bodies shouldn’t be allowed to eat or even taste?  Isn’t this just another striking example of how people without socially-mandated “perfect bodies” are told to hold their tongues?

Well you can just forget about that!  I’ve written nearly 400 blog posts on Fat Chick Sings, and I really have no intention of shutting up any time soon.  I’m going to continue to talk and sing and whistle and shout!  So how about you, my loyal readers?  Does the proverbial, societal cat got your tongue?  Or would you like to join me in a size accepting, bigotry smashing, virtual primal scream?  What do you say?  Shall we free our tongues to taste and savor all of the amazing things this world has to offer?  I will use my patch free, pliant and liberated tongue to whisper, shout, sing, and simply say, “Yes.”

Love,

The Fat Chick

P.S. Hey all you Fit Fatties out there!  Don’t forget to enter your miles so we can reach Seal Beach for our Virtual Trek across the USA this Saturday!

P.S.S. Interested in joining me for my training programs?  I’m offering a one-month free trial period for any of my training programs for just $25.  Offer ends soon, so join now!

Modern Foot Binding and Zed Nelson’s Exhibit

In Zed Nelson’s amazing exhibition entitled “Love Me” is this photo of a woman who had her toes shortened to better fit into Jimmy Choo’s stiletto heels.

Recently a friend shared a link with me to an article at TheHoopla.com.au entitled Body Perfection: A New Religion. The article talks about an exhibition by renowned photographer Zed Nelson entitled “Love Me“. The exhibition showed works from Nelson’s five year project which took him to 17 countries to document just how far people will go to attain the “perfect appearance”. From vaginal rejuvenation, to leg lengthening to having toes shortened simply to fit into fashionable shoes, the photos are shocking and sometimes heart breaking.

In many ways, it reminds me of foot binding in China. Beginning as early as 900 AD and enduring into the 20th century, this practice involved breaking the bones in the feet of young girls and rebinding them into a smaller shape. It was done to ensure that the girls would be seen as ladies and to make them more attractive potential wives for wealthy men. Many people, especially in the west, see this practice as barbaric. But really, how different is this from getting your toes shortened to fit into fashionable shoes? Yes we have better surgical practices now. But still, it begs the question–just how far are we willing to go to be fashionable, attractive to the opposite sex and to wear our bodies as a signal of status? Many of these surgeries still may cause complications, from infection to permanent disfigurement to death. And although these complications are rare, the fact that people are willing to face those sorts of risks in the name of “beauty” says something profoundly frightening about our culture.

I wonder about the world that we are creating not only for ourselves, but also for our sons and daughters.  Are we creating a new surgical divide between the haves and have nots?  Will surgical and other alterations of our bodies become so commonplace that those who have natural bodies are seen as the “working class” or impoverished lower class?  Or has this already happened and we just didn’t notice it?

I don’t know.  But it makes me more determined than ever to parade my unaltered, unretouched, fluffy, feathery butt down the avenue.  If avoiding plastic surgery is a somehow counter culture, then just call me a rebel baby.

Love,

The Fat Chick

The Next Big Crime for Women: Getting Older


Yup, after getting fat, it seems the next deadliest sin for women is getting older.  Unlike so many societies in the world that revere and honor people as we get older, our American culture (and much of the westernized world) worships youth.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in Los Angeles where I currently reside.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve met a successful male producer or director or actor who is toting around wife “version 3.0” who is 20 or 30 years younger than him and caring for a few new young kids.  In Hollywood, the young, hot wife with cute little kids is the accessory of choice for successful men.  A lot of men go through a midlife crisis.  Some buy a Porsche.  In Hollywood, men buy new families.

So it’s no wonder that I see so many women around me trying so hard to appear so young.  Aside from the strict controls they seek to place on their weight, these women spend thousands of dollars on special cremes and potions to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, remove “age spots”, lift sagging breast tissue, tighten tummies and more.  And if the topical application doesn’t work, many of these women get poison injected into their skin, or have plastic surgery or liposuction.  I have a friend who nearly lost her house because she paid for a face lift she really couldn’t afford.

What a sad thing.  We should be honoring women as they get older.  We should learn from their wisdom.  We should laugh with them as they recount some of their foibles.  We should be offering each other strength and helping each other to relax rather than sharing the phone numbers for Botox clinics.  We are privileged to live in a time when many of us live long enough to get old.  Maybe we should be counting our blessings rather than counting our wrinkles or getting hair plugs.

Now look.  In the name of full disclosure, I do color my hair.  And I do wear sunscreen.  I don’t object to taking a few steps to help you feel good about yourself.  But I DO object to the notion that once your appearance marks you as beyond a certain age, you are no longer relevant to society.  I object to the idea that women over 40 should find it harder to find work, or that women of any age should be part of a “discarded family” because they don’t match the upholstery of a sports car or rate high as red carpet arm candy.  I object to spending a large part of your life trying to fight the inevitable effects of becoming an older person.

So my little chicklettes, if you are young, seek the councel of women who are older and more experienced.  And if you are older, why not get together with other women to laugh and support one another?  Why not celebrate your mature status?  You could come out and join one of our upcoming Hot Flash Mobs.  Or you could just get together at somebody’s house and drink some wine and eat something absolutely fabulous.  Host a lingerie party.  Put on some sparkly clothes and head out to a club.  Take just a little time to celebrate your privilege in growing older and still being able to walk around and enjoy this universe of ours.

Love,

The Fat Chick