Getting Emotional About Chairs

The first thing I noticed when I walked into this doctor’s office were the chairs. It is not unusual for me to focus on chairs when I enter a room. A quick scan tells me where or how I will be waiting to see my doctor. What was unusual was the sense of relief that spread from my chest throughout my body as I realized that these chairs were different. They were wide. Not just one or two, every single chair in that waiting room was made for a large person to sit comfortably in. I could sit in any chair I wanted in that large waiting area without thinking about whether the chair arms were going to dig into my sides and hurt me. To realize this was freeing. It was like exhaling after holding in a breath I didn’t even know I was holding in. I couldn’t help but smile. I immediately felt welcome. The person who designed this space had the comfort of people like me in mind when they drew plans. This space was made for me. I felt validated and confident. I’m going to be real honest here and admit that there were tears in my eyes. Tears of joy.

Most spaces are not made for people like me to exist in or be comfortable in. I remembered all those times I had to endure pain trying to squeeze myself into a desk meant for a person much smaller than me, turning sideways when making my way down the aisle on the bus, being turned away after waiting in line because I couldn’t fit in roller coaster seats, enduring the stares and the discomfort of being seated on an airplane, not fitting into car seatbelts. Eventually I stopped trying. I stood up in auditoriums during presentations, and stopped going to amusement parks altogether. When people asked why I would just tell them I preferred standing. But in that doctor’s office, I didn’t have to worry about any of that. I could spread out and stretch my legs. I could take up as much space as I needed to without consequences for my body being bigger. It’s such a simple thing, being able to sit in comfort. It’s a shame that this simple thing is denied to people every day just because of their body size.

If at this point you are thinking, “Well, why don’t you just lose weight then?”, I’m going to need you to educate yourself before making a comment. I don’t have time to explain to you how complex a disease like obesity is and how mismanaged it is even by people who have medical degrees. Check your thin privilege.

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I’m not talking about how difficult it is to find fashionable and affordable plus size clothes or the fact that even the stores that do sell these items place them in the back of the store or only sell them online (I’m looking at you Old Navy). I’m not talking about the horrible things people have said to me or yelled at me from a moving car. I’m not even talking about how comedians make money by fat shaming themselves or how fat jokes on sitcoms are somehow still acceptable (that’s a whole other blog post). I’m talking about chairs, the essential items we need to work, relax, and function, many of which are not useable by a growing percentage of the population. I’m speaking mostly of chairs in public or business spaces. By not including people of larger body sizes when constructing and designing spaces, it sends the message that we are not important and not welcome. It makes us feel guilty for daring to exist in a space that is too small for us. People shouldn’t feel ashamed of who they are just because of their body shape or size. To be fair, there are a lot of people out there who find larger bodies disgusting and believe that we shouldn’t exist. I don’t have time for those people. I’m used to my presence as a plus size woman of color making people uncomfortable and I’m over it.

I’m here. I deserve to be in whatever space I want or need to occupy. If it costs me some pain and bruising, okay, but it would much nicer if it didn’t and I could #slay in comfort. #byefelicia

Beck

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My Rogue One Obsession is Getting Out of Hand

I have never been a huge Star Wars fan. That was before Rogue One came out and I fell in love with all of the Star Wars things. I thought I would get over it after a few months, but here we are in July and I still cannot even with how good this movie is. Yes, this is my current desktop wallpaper and cell phone lock screen. Shut up.

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After watching Rouge One yet again (this time at an outdoor screening with the NC Museum of Art), I am still obsessed with how much Cassian is in love with Jyn. In every situation she is his focus. It starts early in the journey with his desire to save her and keep her safe in Jedha and Eadu. After Galen’s location is discovered, Jyn has no value for the Rebellion. He would have been perfectly justified in leaving her behind in Jedha or Eadu, but he insists on going back for her in both dire situations. Maybe he fooled himself into thinking it was some sort of code not to leave a soldier behind, but he clearly cares for her.

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He disobeyed orders to assassinate Galen, not because he saw Galen being beaten by Director Krennic, but because of what Jyn told him. It was partly his consideration for her feelings that he disobeyed orders. He even called for the Rebel fleet to not attack the base because Jyn was on the platform. Again, not sure anyone at headquarters would have cared if she died there, but he did. As far as I know, he didn’t have orders to bring her back alive or even at all. He wanted to.

And OMG the fight they had in the stolen Imperial ship after Eadu was so full of tension. You can tell they had a lot more they wanted to say to each other. The whole scene reminded me of the first proposal scene from Pride and Prejudice. #dying

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Then when they finally got to Scarif, his whole mission was to support Jyn and her mission. Even when Jyn finally yanks the Death Star plans free of the storage facility and is thrown off balance he yells “You okay?!” He reaches for her, not the plans. She doesn’t respond. She doesn’t care about herself. She’s only focused on her mission.

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When Cassian is shot and falls, getting injured on the way down, Jyn hesitates and looks back at him. I believe she wanted to go to him but she remembers his words a few moments before: “Keep going!” A lot of people wondered at why she didn’t look more upset that he fell. They are saying that she didn’t love him because of this, but I think she was just focused on her mission. I think she knew Cassian would have wanted her to go on without him so she did. The fact that she’s in love with him is clear when he arrives on the platform and shoots Krennic. She transmits the plans and then basically falls into his arms. She doesn’t even notice Krennic until she realizes that Cassian’s gun is still pointed at him.

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Everything after that is basically porn because they are having eye sex the entire ride down that elevator and it’s awesome. What I love about Cassian the most is that even when he knows they will die together and they only have a few moments left, he chooses to affirm Jyn instead of talking about himself or his feelings. Honestly, I don’t think there was a more loving act he could have done in that moment. The look in her eyes is clearly more than gratitude. It is also respect, admiration, and love.

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People like to try and get a rise out of me by reminding me that Cassian and Jyn both die and don’t get a happy ending. They don’t live. They don’t get to really know each other in a Biblical sense or otherwise. But I don’t think it matters. Just because they don’t kiss or have babies doesn’t mean they were somehow unfulfilled or not a real couple. In the moment they held each other they loved each other perfectly. They were smiling and happy. That moment can never be erased. That moment in space and time will always be there, so in that sense their love will last forever. Who cares if it didn’t last long? It was real. For me that means they did get a happy ending.

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And don’t even get me started on the love between Chirrut and Baze or the adorable cinnamon roll that is Boodhi Rook or the perfect sassiness of K2-SO. Ugh. I caught all the feelings.
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Find a guy who looks at you the way Cassian looks at Jyn before a suicide mission.

Someone take the internet away from me before I lose interest in life.

Beck