Dauphine Sizer: my friends call me fat

 Photos by Kassidy Curry

Photos by Kassidy Curry

1) WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, HEY, EVEN BRAG A LITTLE.

My name is Dauphine. I am the mother of my cat, Miguel and a proud member of the Longhorn Band at the University of Texas at Austin. I study Rhetoric and Writing, but I’m incredibly passionate about clothes, skincare, Texas summers, Chili’s cajun chicken pasta, making friends on twitter, and most importantly, being fat.

I would say I’m a mover and shaker of the “fat positivity” movement, whatever you would like that to mean. I have struggled with diets and disordered eating throughout my entire life, but even in times of rest and contentedness, I was still incredibly unhappy with my body because subconsciously, I believed fat was the worst thing I could possibly be. However, I’ve come to realize that there are many worse qualities than being fat. I could be petty or jealous or hateful or xenohomophobicmisogynisticracist or hungry or dishonest or greedy. But instead, I’m just fat. And I’m getting close to being okay with it. I began building up myself and working on the inside instead of stressing so much about the outside. I realized I couldn’t put my life on hold any longer until I got skinny. Through all of that, I’ve become an advocate for body acceptance (plus all the highs and lows that come with it.)

2)  TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOU ARE DOING AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT.

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Right now, I run a blog called “My Friends Call Me Fat.” My goal is to destigmatize the fat identity through sharing stories, perspectives, and ideas of both myself and others that identify as fat. I didn’t have many fat friends in grade school, so when I came to UT, I started to meet people that (gasp!) shared some of the exact same pitfalls of being fat that I struggled with on my own for years.

This blog has been swimming around in my head for about a year or so. Discovering new plus size clothing was an eye-opener for me; I had so many people asking where I bought this or that—it made me realize how difficult it is to shop for bigger bodies. So ultimately, the concept of my blog was born from wanting to share my tips and tricks for shopping. But it’s evolving into something much greater than that, I think.

I sift through a lot of blogs and websites run by plus sized individuals, but they don’t really cover the fat experience as it is lived by a young, twenty-something college student. For example, I’ve never seen content about what college parties are like as a fat girl, or how hookups are different for fat people. There was a whole other—much darker—side to my fat experience that I felt was lacking representation in this community. So I decided I might as well add my voice into the mix.

In the (distant) future I see myself adding videos, submission columns, forums and possibly even a little market or trading post. The dream would be all sorts of interactive stuff to foster a sense of community among its audience.

In general, I want my blog to draw a crowd that can benefit from having their experiences understood. I never had that kind of support when I was younger, so I hope that one day this blog can be a source of strength and inspiration for someone who is faced with similar obstacles.

3) WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME CHALLENGES IN PURSUING THIS WORK?

Making myself vulnerable has been the most difficult thing, by far. Starting a blog (in a world now saturated with blogs and podcasts) was intimidating, and I often feel silly for thinking that I’m having—or will ever have—any impact. On top of that, trying to navigate my own fat experience is a full-time job, but before this blog I could keep all of it to myself. Now, I have to find the right balance between public and private. Making myself vulnerable almost always benefits others, but it takes a toll on me, personally.

I worry that people will see me differently once they have access to my personal experience at their fingertips. I’m always happy to share part of myself, but it makes me susceptible to being torn down and torn apart. Trying to navigate this vulnerability usually takes the form of balancing negative and positive, recognizing my own internalized fatphobia, and pinpointing exactly how much I want to divulge to readers. I am an open book, but sometimes I lay awake at night wishing I could shut that book, light it on fire, and throw it in a dumpster.

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4) WHERE AND HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR QUEST?

Social media is the greatest tool we have! I have an Instagram for my blog and I have a subscribe link on my website, myfriendscallmefat.com. More than anything, sending your fat/plus-sized friends to MFCMF is the best way to spread the word and foster a community of young, vibrant, unapologetic fat individuals. #FatIsNotABadWord

5) WHO INSPIRES YOU, DAUPHINE?

At the moment, I have been so enamored with Karley Sciortino and her website, Slutever. She’s not fat or plus-sized, but her writing is so unapologetic and honest that it gives me the courage to pursue my own snarky, biting philosophical questions. She recently posted an edition of her website’s Sex Work Diaries that featured escort, Amelia Swann, and her experience as a fat woman in the industry.

I am constantly taken with Sciortino’s incredible talent for taking a step back and being able to gaze on less familiar territory through a calm, pragmatic lens. Her coolness is something I strive for. To be courageous is easy, to be grounded in reality at the same time is another.

(Honorable mentions: Christian Siriano and his designs made for women of all sizes; Aidy Bryant and her wit that isn’t defined by her size or in spite of; and CupcakKe because...do I really need a reason?)

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