chronicles fat acceptance

What it’s like Being a Fat Girl

edit 12  By Jesse Turner

At almost 200 pounds, I am fat. I don’t call myself fat as an insult, I call myself fat because it is the reality of the way I look and the body I maneuver the world in. I am what feminist writer Roxane Gay calls “Lane Bryant Fat.” This means I am overweight but can still reasonably find clothes that fit me. However, as much as I have worked to accept the size that I am, I also call myself fat so I don’t have to hear other people call me fat. If I know I’m fat, I take the edge away from people who would use “fat” as an insult.

A lot of people would think I should not be OK with being overweight because I am not the “good kind of fat.” I don’t have a thyroid condition, and I am not actively working to lose weight. I like eating, and I don’t make a lot of time to exercise. When I get off work, I would rather take a nap than go to the gym.

Now, there are precautionary measures I take to make my thunderous size as minimally shocking to myself and others. I am sure to include pictures of my body on my Tinder so I don’t get the grimace from guys who didn’t realize I was fat when I first meet them. I only wear crop tops if I haven’t eaten in the last five hours so my stomach doesn’t especially stick out. I would hate to offend someone with something as unsightly as a stomach full of food. I psych myself up for at least 24 hours before I go out to bars, as being the “fat friend” requires especially steely nerves.

What I find weirdly troubling is that instead of using fat as an insult, I have noticed that some men like to point out my size, claim “thick girls” as their fetish, and expect me to take it as a compliment. Recently I had a guy online tell me “You’re very beautiful I’m sure you are told otherwise from…ostentatious people who don’t know what a real woman looks like.” First of all, real woman? I’m not a real woman, I’m actually a bundle of limbs sewn together and packed with straw. Second, I know you thought you were doing a good deed, but you’re not noble or brave because you find a fat girl attractive. Telling me that I should grateful for your compliments because most people would be insulting me is a slap in my fat face.

 

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I’ll take summer school anytime!

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

If you’re like me, summer term is a perfect opportunity to soak up some sun and get one step closer to achieving the dream of wearing the Portland State University emerald green cap and gown in 2017.

Summer at PSU is one of the most beautiful times of year to be on campus. Unlike other campuses, summer term at PSU isn’t a term to be dreaded, as there is no better feeling than strolling along the shaded Park Blocks, with its lawns, outdoor cafes, and Viking-inspired iced latte. If you’re lucky enough like me and find yourself taking a summer Saturday class, be sure to check out the Portland Farmer’s Market which takes place in the Park Blocks from 10am-2pm. PSU Food Trucks

PSU Park BlocksAs PSU students, enjoy summer classes, so grab your laptop, grab a pair of #FearlessPSU shades, and see you in the Park Blocks this term.

chronicles street harrassment 2

Is it OK to Randomly Hit On Women On Campus?

By Jesse Turner

A few weeks ago, I was walking to my car from class. It was 6p.m. and still light outside. I was walking by the science building when a man who seemed to be in his mid 30s came up and asked me if he could walk and talk with me. I hesitated, thinking he was one of the many canvassers I see on campus. I asked him why he wanted to walk with me. He said that he had time, he was lonely, wanted to make new friends, etc. I did not believe him and I was afraid to say no outright, so instead I tried to discourage him by saying I was in a hurry and just walking to my car. He started walking with me anyway. Another woman saw this interaction and how uncomfortable I was, and she spoke up: “I’ve seen you approaching a lot of people around here.” Appreciative of her actions, I tried to walk away quickly while he was distracted. But he caught up to me.

I told him I was sorry he felt lonely but that approaching random women on the street was not the best way to make friends. “I don’t know who you are or anything about you, it’s kind of a scary situation to be randomly approached,” I insisted. He insisted back that he was not a dangerous guy and that he totally understands women and their fears (here’s a tip; saying “I’m not dangerous” while following a woman to her car is not reassuring). He had an argument for every reason I gave him that this was a terrible idea, which just made me more defensive. Finally, I told him outright: “You do not understand my fears, if you did, you would not be following me. You would have taken the hint.”

We finally got to my parking garage, and I told him to stop following me, not wanting him to see my car. Just like I expected, he asked for my number so he could take me out.

This blog is not about bragging that I got hit on. And no, this situation would not have been different if I was attracted to this guy. This blog is about the fact that this guy’s desire to follow me, talk to me, and ask for my number does not trump my desire to feel safe and be left alone. His arguments that humans should be able to talk to one another and be able to meet people this way, are BS. You have never made a best friend by approaching a random person on the street, so don’t put your fake burden on me.

So, when should you randomly hit on someone on the street who does not want to talk to you? Never. It’s scary and unnerving. Do not do it.

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A NEW LINK TO THE JOB MARKET

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Just like you, I am one of 28,076 students currently enrolled at Portland State University. All of us are followed, liked, shared, and/or linked by millennial-driven platforms; each of which are working hard to promote our professional self image.

As a career driven student, I allocate a majority of my time to the top business networking platform, LinkedIn. I am excited to start using its new standalone, “LinkedIn Students” app, which is currently available for download. The LinkedIn Students app is solely equipped for helping soon-to-be college graduates search for future employment by providing an easy and convenient way to explore jobs anywhere in the world.

According to Forbes, “The tool offers personalized job recommendations and postings based on the career paths of LinkedIn’s more than 400 million users. The app’s algorithm iLINKEDIN STUDENT IMAGE1s guided in part by the career paths of professionals who graduated from the same college and with the same major as a particular student.”
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I like that the free app also offers career-
related content and videos, which consist LINKEDIN BLOG IMAGE3
of articles about interviewing and negotiating a salary – to name a few. Student-friendly features include a ‘star button’ that gives students a way to indicate preferences and transform LinkedIn Students into our own digitalized career consultant.

Have you tried the new LinkedIn Students App? If not, download the app using the link: https://students.linkedin.com/

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Wim for the Win!

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

For those of you who don’t know, Wim Wiewel is the president of Portland State University. He took a break from the office on May 6 and walked over to the Urban Plaza to play a round of kickball at Campus Rec’s Pride Kickball event.

I’d had the opportunity to meet with Wim before at a fancy lunch in the president’s office with my fellow Pacific Islanders Club. Turns out he’s a very mellow, down-to-earth guy with a kind sense of humor.

While a bunch of us were standing around outside, soaking up some sun and enjoying the festivities of Pride Week, I noticed the president appear, walking towards our makeshift “field.”

“Is that the president?” someone exclaimed. I glanced over and knew it was him. “Look, it’s Wim!” I could see all of the Campus Rec staff and students pulling out their smartphones, “snapchatting” photos of our PSU celebrity guest.

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The faces of our players lit up as they watched the president join in for a game of kickball in his suit and tie and make a run for home base.

The greatest part about Campus Rec and Portland State is the sense of pride we have in our community and the fun we have together regardless of status or self-identity. It’s moments like this that remind me why I play. When the stress of college and being an “adult” catch up to me, I remember to play, have fun and unleash my inner child

 

 

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Why I ‘Sailed through the Stars’

Kellie Doherty  By Kellie Doherty

Graduate school is busy and stressful. But don’t get me wrong, I love my book publishing program. I’ll be sad to leave next month, but sometimes I just have to do something else. PSU has no shortage of cool events for students, and last Saturday was no exception.

I decided to go to the Pacific Islander’s Club 14th Annual Lu’au called “Sailing through the Stars.” It was held at the Stott Center a block from my apartment and the entrance was free for students, so I thought, “What the heck, a lu’au sounds fun.” I’m so happy I went.

First off, the place was packed—students, kids, elderly folk—it seemed like every age range wanted to participate. The dinner had traditional food, including Kalua pork, a lovely guava juice, and even wide range of desserts. (I chose poi for my dessert, a purple paste made of taro root but tasted a little like pineapple.)

The entertainment was quite fun. They had a show with traditional music and dances all from different islands, like Hawaii, New Zealand, and Fiji, among others. (Plus there were fire dancers, and they’re just plain hot. Pun intended.)

Overall it was a great night. It made me forget my stresses for a while, and we all know that forgetting your stress, even for a moment, is important. If you’re still here next year, make sure to add this event to your ToDo. It’s one you won’t want to miss.

chronicles welcome to oregon

Here’s How Little I Know about Portland

By Jesse Turner

We all know Portland is white. Very white. I am white. I grew up in a very white neighborhood and went to some of, if not the, whitest public schools in Portland. And for years I was told that Portland was “politely racist.” None of us are openly racist, because different races live in different worlds. There’s no opportunity to be “openly racist” as a white person because you rarely ever encounter a non-white person. I didn’t learn until I was in college that black people were not legally allowed in Oregon under the state constitution until 1926 when the clause was finally repealed.

I now work in the juvenile correctional system, which means I work with a lot of young men who claim gang affiliation. I will now tell you just how white I am and admit that the other day I googled, “gangs in Portland” because although I had heard of several gangs in conversation with the youth I work with, I knew nothing of their history, nor could I keep them all straight. I grew up in Portland, I have lived here for 21 years, and a few days ago was the first time I had ever heard of Lil’ Smurf or Kerby Blocc or vice nights. Because I live in a completely different world. Gangs have only recently become a part of my reality, and only because I work with people who are a part of them.

I also work at a residential home for formerly incarcerated young men. One of the housemates, one who is gang affiliated, was recently arrested for armed robbery and because he is 19, he will go to prison. This person is Latino and so is the man he was arrested with. Their mugshots are featured on the Oregon Live article about their arrest. And I am not exaggerating when I say that every public comment on the article is race-related, the vast majority of which are negative. The top comment is “Jeez, Maybe Trump is right….” Another person says “this is why we need Trump to build the wall.” Scroll a little further down and you read “Dreamers. They’re just here to work.” A couple people call out these racist comments and they are bombarded with comments of being too “sensitive” and needing a “safe-space,” the argument of people with no empathy.

These are internet trolls and likely not an accurate representation of the whole of Portland. But I would encourage you to question the nature of “Portland Polite” when it comes to race. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.