Fake Words and Real Talk on Christina Aguilera, Weight, and Ethnicity

By now, you’ve probably heard about Christina Aguilera‘s body positive, sassy, and totally fake commentary from this month’s Billboard Magazine:

I got tired of being a skinny white girl. I am Ecuadorian but people felt so safe passing me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl … [In 2002,] I had gained about 15 pounds during promotion and during my Stripped tour. They called this serious emergency meeting about how there was a lot of backlash about my weight. Basically, theyd told me I would effect [sic] a lot of people if I gained weight — the production, musical directors. They claimed people I toured with would also miss out if I gained weight because I would sell no records or tickets for my shows. I was young, so I lost the weight quickly and was toothpick thin during [2006’s] Back to Basics promos and touring.

I told them during this Lotus recording, ‘You are working with a fat girl. Know it now and get over it.’ They need a reminder sometimes that I don’t belong to them. It’s my body. My body can’t put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore — my body is just not on the table that way anymore.

While quickly shot down by a rep as being “100% false,” Aguilera’s words that weren’t were around long enough to generate 100% real commentary and feelings about weight and ethnicity. We can spend every day shouting these messages of self-love on the streets or even at ourselves in mirrors behind closed doors and still feel as if our words are falling upon deaf ears. It can be comforting when a celebrity with a voice and range much broader than your own says the things you’ve been saying all along.

What’s more, these conversations about bodies are rarely easy. Sometimes, it’s not so much about having a celebrity endorse our feelings as it is about having an excuse to talk about these issues, discuss our personal experiences (or distance ourselves from them by focusing on a famous person), and just think critically.

Kate Bein, a blogger for the Miami NewTimes, was one of approximately 3,405,201 bloggers to have a lot of very valid feelings:

OK … So you think Christina Aguilera is a fat powder puff? You actually prefer her as the anorexic genie bottle bitch who wasn’t comfortable being herself? You think she needs to be assless all up in a pair of chaps?

We’re sorry, but we thought this was about music for a minute. Guess it’s not good enough to be the best singer of your generation and curvy at the same time. By these standards, Adele should go kill herself because there’s no hope.

While this kind of reaction to the the media scrutiny surrounding pop stars’ waistlines is completely justifiable, titling the article  “Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and Jessica Simpson Aren’t Fat” causes more harm than good. By saying women “aren’t fat” in order to defend them, you’re implying that there’s a series of vague and impossible sizeist thresholds between “too slender,” being of  a “socially acceptable weight,” and “too fat” — as well as reifying the assumption that fatness is bad. One runs the risk of stigmatizing the “fat” as much as those who shame celebrities for gaining weight while attempting to defend them. In reality, fat’s actually a healthy and totally natural part of body composition.

One of the things that fascinated me about Aguilera’s (fake) commentary was that it came from someone who was taking complete and total ownership of her own body without actually throwing anyone else under the bus. While Lady Gaga’s Body Revolution is being criticized for selling body acceptance to the insecure and creating a movement focused on already-socially acceptable, white, cisgender bodies, [fake] Xtina didn’t order a call-to-arms or objectify herself. She was just doing her.

Our personal experiences dictate the way we interpret words. When I first read this quote, I didn’t feel like I was reading commentary on weight. This cut closer to the bone than that: This was commentary on ethnicity, race, and “passing” — a reminder that our ideas about fatness aren’t objectively true, but culturally relative.

By simply reminding us that she is Ecuadorian, (the supposed) Aguilera pulled the focus off the American stigma of what it means to gain weight and onto what her weight means to her as a Latina. As a society, did we even know that she is of South American descent? Aside from the occasional announcer stumbling over or grossly exaggerating her surname, Aguilera’s heritage has never been much of an afterthought. After all, she’s a fair-skinned performer working in the fair-skinned dominated pop music industry. Despite having recorded an album in Spanish, Mi Reflejo, this isn’t enough to distinguish her from the pack, as many white musicians — from 98 Degrees to ABBA — have done the same. For the most part, Aguilera has passed as white.

Obviously, passing comes with immense privilege. People automatically assume that you are fluent in English, and a police officer will never ever ask you to hand over your immigration passport. TSA agents might even smile your way. At the same time, passing comes at a price: Erasure of your heritage, and the assumption that because dominant culture has adopted you, you have also adopted its norms.

For me, Aguilera’s words were a quintessential “Fuck you, I am taking back my identity” moment. As a Cuban woman whose ethnicity goes unnoticed because I have lighter skin, my chest puffed with pride. I slow-clapped; I mouthed the words amen to that; I hearted the quote; I reblogged it; I commented on the Huffington Post article and then tweeted the link. Aguilera’s words (or, sorry, the words attributed to Aguilera) were about questioning our assumptions and checking the privilege that those assumptions are based in, whether it’s remembering that we can’t know someone’s ethnicity based on what they look like, or that we don’t know someone’s worth because we know their weight.

And I was so sad when it turned out to be fake.

Fake; it’s a word that’s been unnecessarily plaguing Aguilera’s career since its onset, from the manufactured Britney vs. Christina rivalry of the early 00s to the criticism of her reinventing herself as Dirrty Xtina, to the Gaga comparisons following the release of Bionic in 2010. Ironically, the false quote is itself about fakeness — the artificial image that Christina’s handlers needed her to project. But if we’ve learned anything from pop culture and its idols, it’s that we don’t need for something to be real to recognize it as truth. As a generation, we’ve been finding reflections of our real lives in everything from Skins to Beyonce hits. We don’t need for something to be true to understand the ways in which it can be honest. It’s almost fitting that the most authentic words that Aguilera’s ever uttered never actually happened.

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Southern rabble-rouser, working class writer, dirty little swamp witch, brown girl, and practicing tortillera. Sometimes tweets, but prefers the (rough and) tumble, and is always down to talk about a good movie. Work has been featured in Lambda Literary Foundation Review, URGE, and the underbelly of Thought Catalog.

fonseca has written 49 articles for us.

71 Comments

  1. Thumb up 5

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    I think that the part about passing is essential to remember. I pass as all the things: straight, white, moneyed, normal, etc… And those things may or may not be true or true in part, but that doesn’t mean that they can be assumed. You wouldn’t walk down the street assuming that everyone was a curvaceous queer hispanic lady until you were told otherwise, just the same that you shouldn’t assume that everyone is a straight white cisman with money and “no culture.”

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    Did people really not know that Christina Aguilera was Latina? That’s surprising to me because I thought this was common knowledge as she’s never once tried to hide it. Hell, she’s written a number of songs about her childhood with her abusive father. I think it’s just easy for some people to assume that Christina must identify as a white girl because she’s light-skinned and has blonde hair. Sofia Vergara has talked about this too in the past(she’s a natural blonde). One only has to turn on one of the Spanish-speaking tv networks like Univision or Telemundo to see that Latinas comes in all colors and sizes.

    And Christina is not fat! People need to stop perpetuating that shit. Especially Kelly Osborne. She lost a lot of points with me for going after her over her weight when Kelly herself has never been small.

  3. Thumb up 3

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    There’s something demoralizing about women going after each other based on their weight. Honestly, I’d rather Christina and other curvy celebs start calling themselves fat. Those of us who are bigger than the “socially acceptable” weight are told we’re fat, so it would be nice to see more celebrities claim it.

    It doesn’t always work when curvy celebs embrace their curves anyway, though. Remember that weird article on Yahoo! about celebs who “embrace their flaws” that included the likes of Christina Hendricks and Kat Dennings? Seems a little strange to me.

    Weight discussions inevitably make me think of Anna Nicole Smith. That poor girl ravaged her body for TrimSpa. And don’t get me started on Jenny Craig and her celeb endorsements–Kirstie Alley, Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Simpson. I’m all for losing weight if you want to, but MY how we vilify those women as soon as they show the slightest indication of regaining any weight (coughKirstiecough).

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      “Honestly, I’d rather Christina and other curvy celebs start calling themselves fat. Those of us who are bigger than the “socially acceptable” weight are told we’re fat, so it would be nice to see more celebrities claim it.”

      How? How would seeing celebrities (thin/average sized celebrities) claim the word ‘fat’ be at all helpful for people who experience fat oppression? I am a size 26/28. Thin women reclaiming the word “fat” will not be helpful to me or anyone of a similar body size to me. Thin women reclaiming the word “fat” when it’s not even their word to reclaim will just expand society’s idea of acceptable body sizes the TINIEST amount and will still leave the rest of us out, the so-called big gross fatties.

  4. Thumb up 10

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    the more white passing poc (who probably shouldn’t even call themselves people of color honestly) write on this site, the more autostraddle becomes useless to people who actively get discriminated against for not being white.

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          it would “be more obvious” if the person who linked to it didn’t have a username that was portuguese when the article is about white latinamericans from spain.

          so. i’m gonna guess they didn’t write it.

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            No, I’m going to guess you two are just very good at being trolls. You have had a lot of practice.

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          Oh hi. Nice to meet you. I’m Luc, I’m Brazilian, and as you can see from my name, I speak Portuguese and not Spanish. Just in case you were implying anything, I am not the person who made that tumblr post. My tumblr is lucstumblr.tumblr.com (because I am cool like that), but boy I wish I was the person that had written that post, since he is one of the ones that seem to get it.

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        Hum, frijolero’s post may be strongly worded but I don’t see any instance of discrimination in it. They didn’t say “white-passing POCs’ writing is useless like them period”. They’re just saying that centering the discussions on racism (as in “experiencing discrimination because your skin isn’t white”) around people whose skin is or looks white (and thus experience this particular form of racism much less if at all) doesn’t help much in fighting said racism.

        I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with this, since as a caucasian person I have no idea what experiencing racism is like. But if I were to draw a comparison to transphobia, it would be like if most discussions around looks-based transphobia (as in “getting shit because you’re *visibly* trans”) were conducted by or about trans* people who pass as cis or still present as their assigned-at-birth gender (which would make me uncomfortable even though it’s my case, because it’s not my place to do so).

        Pointing out other people’s privilege is not discriminating against privileged people. That is a strawman argument that is too often used against POCs, queers and women – we should know better.

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          I’m going to address this both to GV and Leyla:

          “the more white passing poc (who probably shouldn’t even call themselves people of color honestly)”

          The minute someone decides what someone can and cannot identify as, that’s fucking policing bullshit, and I’m not going to let that slide just because I’m not POC or whatever. I’m not here to fight your battles, Leyla, but that doesn’t excuse any complacency I may show. And yeah, guess what, if someone’s going to complain about discrimination by discriminating against someone, then that IS hypocritical. Just because I’m white doesn’t mean I have to be silent about POC issues.

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            Ah, my bad. I thought it was the second part of frijolero’s comment you were referring to, not the parenthesis in the first part. I guess my answer was off-topic then, sorry.

            I left that parenthesis out not because of complacency (if that part of yours was addressed to me?) but again because I didn’t feel it was within my competences to address it – as a white european whose native language isn’t english, I’m not nearly familiar enough with the term “POC” and what it does or doesn’t entail (especially in American culture) to debate about its usage. I just thought you misinterpreted frijolero’s other point.

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            You still seem to be missing my point. It’s not a matter of who passes or not – it’s a matter of who gets to tell other people how they can identify.

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            POC don’t have to “come out” as a person of color or prove that we aren’t white.

            we just fucking are and we can’t do shit about it.

            i just can’t decide one day to not be brown.

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            Are you seriously going to go with that logic? That white-passing people don’t have any discrimination and thus cannot identify as POC?

            With that logic, a very masculine butch cannot experience sexism and thus cannot identify as a woman, or a femme cannot experience homophobia because she “appears straight”.

            Yes, there is an unfortunate attachment of privilege if you’re white-passing, but by no stretch does that discount anyone’s identity based on how much worse it is for someone with darker skin. You can’t pick and choose who gets to be POC. POC is not a correlation of discrimination. Period.

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            why how surprised am i that a white person correlates race to sexuality and gender?

            it’s not the same shit. at all, and your post just proves my point.

            i’m not picking shit, it’s society. and what side you get to be on isn’t on you or any specific person to decide.

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        White-passing POC can defend ourselves within our own communities, I really don’t need white people telling non-passing POC that they’re “hypocritical” for being bitter about white-passing POC taking up all the room. That is a legitimate concern and it’s really not your place to butt in. As frijolero pointed out, there’s a lot of white-passing POC on this site and if we don’t find a problem with their words, then there’s absolutely no reason why white people should. Especially with some shit that stinks of “reverse racism” cries.

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          Wow. So, should I just shut up about any issue that doesn’t relate to white, cisgendered, Ukrainian-Canadian queer feminist women? Because maybe I should just deactivate my account now since I’m now allowed to defend anyone else’s right to identify.

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            ohmygodgoaway, stop dragging this out, its so simple.
            I, a white-passing person, do not want you, a white person, “defending” my rights to identify if it means derailing and stomping on the rights of other POC. I am not denying that it’s wrong to tell other people how to self-identify, I just don’t need your white savior ass dominating this conversation (which could have been a valid expression of emotions about the representation of darker POC).

            It’s like a white person criticizing misogyny in the Arab world; yes, you have a point, but you should still shut up
            (I can make that comparison because I am both Arab and a woman, unsurprisingly, you think you can draw comparisons from systems in which you are not the oppressed)

            come on intersecitonality 101 like just stop go away check your privilege, stop defending yourself, no 1 curr

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            So basically, white people are never ever ever allowed to talk about race, ever, because then we automatically become fucking saviours regardless of whatever we’re ACTUALLY saying?

            ‘kay, cool, thanks. Thanks for ‘splaining that to me, because that makes perfect sense.

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            no melanin no opinion

            youre “allowed” to do talk about whatever you want, but if you truly cared about the advancement of POC you would butt out when you’re not needed. Instead, however, you’re just concerned with your voice being heard in a discussion that does not /need/ you

          • Thumb up 3

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            Autostraddle is a safe space. This means:

            1) People have the right to express their opinions respectfully and politely.

            2) People have the right to not have their comments filtered through the colour of their skin.

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        in terms of different cultures yes, but within Latin@ community there is a huge difference between white latinos who come from spain and everyone else.

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          Obviously, as a white-passing Latina, this whole conversation is ridiculously frustrating.
          Fonseca mentioned her privilege and she checked it.
          I don’t think anyone would tell Mariah Carey, Sofia Vergara, or Jennifer Lopez that they couldn’t call themselves POCs. They’re all ridiculously light.
          And not every white-passing Latina is fully Spanish. I’m white passing and I am half-Swiss, half-combination of indigenous peoples and conquistadors way back when. No one in my family has been 100% Spaniard for centuries.
          Latinas, more so than a lot of ethnic groups, show a huge array of diversity of color, and honestly, I think it’s what makes us a unique and beautiful people.
          When I was little, all of my prim@s would call me “gringita,” and, as is the case with a lot of multi-racial people, I felt like I didn’t belong in any space, POC or white. It’s beyond frustrating.
          So let’s stop being douches about this, please and thank you.

          Feelings.

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          Oh, I didn’t even know Spainards were considered latin@, since they’re European…
          I was thinking more about people of color who are light skinned enough to keep white people comfortable.

          Honestly, the whole idea of “passing” is a grey area. It depends on if you live in an urban or rural environment, if your name “gives you away”, if you’re multiracial, if its your facial features or your skin tone or what.

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            Frijolero had mentioned white Latinas from Spain, so that’s what I assumed she meant. I’ve never really considered them Latina, though.
            And yes! It really does depend. If I’m around white people, I pass as white and if I mention my non-white heritage, I get funny looks. But if I go to the Mexican grocer in town, I’m immediately pegged as Chicana, and the same for EBC tribal events. It’s kind of funny.
            And I think that’s because those who are not Latina or First Nation don’t know what they’re looking for. Those who are, do. I love tracing the indigenous in people’s faces. It’s fun.

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            Oh my god, are you people completely clueless about Latin American history?! Of course frijolero (which, by the way, is a masculine name, otherwise it would be frijolera, so you may have just misgendered someone) did not mean people currently from Spain. He meant the white descendants of Spanish people in Latin America. It is absolutely ludicrous to pretend there are no white people in Latin America, and frankly condescending, as if everyone outside of the US and western Europe is automatically a person of color.

            Latin America has a brutal history of colonization, slavery, and rape, which is where most of our mixture comes from, and that’s another reason why no one is 100% Spanish anymore. As you pointed out before, there were a lot of other white immigrants that came to Latin America too, but one continues to have white privilege even if they are a mixture of a bunch of Europeans, or are read as white.

            That does NOT give white people from Latin America the right to take up the spaces of POC in Latin America, and I would SERIOUSLY caution them if they want to identify as a person of color considering the unbelievable privilege that being white or read as white gives you in most of Latin America society.

            White Latin@s may get discriminated against in the US of course, but that is mostly because of their nationally and their ethnicity, and not their race. It is, as some of you pointed out, because of their accent, or their name. So-called “Americans” (read: US folks, who we refer to as gringos, by the way, regardless of their race) believe out of sheer ignorance of latin american history that everyone south of the border is a POC (to the point where blonde with blue eyes Cristina Aguilera is not white due to her Ecuadoran ethnicity), that is ignorance, and I believe we need to work to deconstruct that in order to stop the complete erasure of Latin@s of Color, who have gotten a LOT of shit from white and whire passing Latin@s in history and frankly deserve better than that.

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            It’s funny because the only white latin@s who fight tooth and nail to be considered poc are ones in the US.

            White latin@s from Venezuela? Nope. From Brazil? Nope. Puerto Rico? Nope.

            They are white, and they know that their ancestors are the ones that COLONIZED.

            Talk to me after you google “mehorando la raza” and then see what the fuck we’re talking about.

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            I don’t think you understand how genetics works.
            My sister is brown. Very brown. Really short, curvy, pretty stereotypically Mexicana. I am fair. Very fair. A little curvy, average height. The only things we have in common is black eyes, thick dark hair, and round faces.
            Did my ancestors colonize more than hers because I pass as white and she doesn’t? Um. No. Thanks to our paternal grandmother, we are enrolled tribal members with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and our maternal great-grandmother was Pima, from the state of Sonora in Mexico. She married a mestizo. We have the EXACT same ancestry. And I pass and she doesn’t.
            So don’t blame colonization on the lighter skinned of the Latina community. We are the products of rape and colonization just like you. Sure, there are “Latinas” who are not actually Latina. Alexis Bledel, Sara Paxton. But not all of us are them. We just received the light genes, which in my case comes from my Swiss immigrant grandfather and my Swiss-decended Amish grandmother.
            Stop spewing your ignorance.
            Please and thank you.

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            in response to sela

            yes most of us come from mixed ancestry and the way our skin tone looks is not up to us but are you really going to act like you haven’t benefited from having lighter skin than your sister?

            all of us who come from biracial latin@ families can see the racial disparities. the ignorance, and most of all the blatant racism that those with darker skin have over those with lighter skin.

            simply put if society sees you as white, you benefit from white privilege and if they don’t you better hope you don’t piss off the wrong person cause you might end up dead.

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    Hm… don’t entirely agree. I think that we often “allow” POC to be ‘curvy’ or whatever, while making the beauty standard increasingly white, thin, etc. It’s like women can be Fat if they’re representing a cultural sub-group… Fat becomes synonymous with “ethnic”.

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      I kind of agree with this.
      I have been known to use my Latina/EBC heritage as an excuse for my least-loved body parts sometimes in predominately white spaces. “I have hips because I’m Mexican,” or, “I have a big nose because I’m First Nation,” or, “I have chipmunk cheeks because I’m Mexican and First Nation.”
      It’s been an issue, I’ll admit.
      But anyway, yeah, I agree. There is a marked difference between white-washed magazine covers and covers of magazines targeted to WOCs.
      What I think Fonseca was talking about was POCs, specifically those who are white-passing, making their way in a white washed world. Media expects assimilation. And so when you have someone who may, in fact, have Latin childbearing hips that prevent one from being a size 0, and was raised with that being okay in her family, even praised, there’s going to be an issue when she enters the world of the white supremacist media.
      Ay Dios mio.

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    People care a whole lot about conventionally attractive “curvy” women, but never want to talk about women who are ACTUALLY fat: women who face the constant fat oppressions that make it difficult or impossible to exist in a public space, to exist in society at all. I’d like to see Autostraddle give more space to those women, because all AS ever features are “fat” women who are as conventionally attractive as possible, who are actually “average” sized when you compare them to the whole spectrum of fat bodies. Fat queer women are invisible on Autostraddle and that’s really terrible of y’all.

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      Replying to myself here: I guess my main criticism is not Christina’s (fake) words. But what I’m wondering is why Autostraddle praises thin women for being “body positive,” and yet WHERE is the presence of the thriving Fat Activism movement on this site?

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      I agree that there could be more voices on this site to represent the awesome fat activism movement that totally is out there and burgeoning and thriving and stuff, but I have to say that I really doubt that, in this case, it’s intentional exclusion. Your writing looks good; I would say submit a sample! If you have something something solid or heartfelt or interesting to say, which judging by your articulateness and your passion in advocating for a valuable community, I think that you do, I don’t think they’d just dismiss it out of hand. They seem to be interested in listening to what people want and using what they hear to be more inclusive. Be the writing you want to see in the places where you like to read :)

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    gimme a break, it’s fake, she’s fake, all these stupid girls are fake. i wish, wish, with all of my heart, that there could be a band of GIRLS, trans or cis, who are great musicians. and in front is some silly-ass pretty boy dolled up in chaps and a tight fishnet shirt. And the musicians behind him will all be out and proud dykes, and they will play as great as The Smiths, or Joy Division. And the boy in front will croon like Morrissey, only he will have to sing the dyke-friendly lyrics that the lead guitarist and the bass player (girlfriends, except the occasion that they fight over the drummer) have written for him…and once in a while, he will have to sing an ode to the roadie, a hot trans boy, who loves his twink ass and gets to take advantage of the singer when he likes. okay, i can dream on, but until then, i find mainstream music repellent. i don’t want to hear about all of these vapid bimbos who get beat up by their boyfriends, argue over how “fat” they are or aren’t, or drool over how much they can’t wait to have a “baybee bump”. and i’m tired of hearing the same misogynist crap from…um, every single mainstream male “musician” in the top 40. christina and bryttneigh and kaytee “i faked kissing a girl for my boyefrennz delight” perree all make me sick. however, if there was a lesbian version of any of these irritating girls, i think i’d have to re-think my hatred of top-40 tarts: “i kissed a boy and it made me sick, i’d rather lick my best friend’s clit than go near a dick!” YEAH. i think i’d lose my snobbery if i heard THAT.

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    “Obviously, passing comes with immense privilege. People automatically assume that you are fluent in English, and a police officer will never ever ask you to hand over your immigration passport. TSA agents might even smile your way. At the same time, passing comes at a price: Erasure of your heritage, and the assumption that because dominant culture has adopted you, you have also adopted its norms.”

    Thank you for this. Seriously… just thank you. It’s not often I see a conversation on this topic rise to this level of nuance. There should be a word for that distinctive sense of lostness that comes from being caught in the abyss between cultural spaces, unable to bridge the gap.

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    “While this kind of reaction to the the media scrutiny surrounding pop stars’ waistlines is completely justifiable, titling the article “Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and Jessica Simpson Aren’t Fat” causes more harm than good.”

    Yup. THIS. And the last paragraph.

    Also, can we all just be nice and talk about the pink, blue, and purple exercise bike in the first photo?

    Because it’s wonderful.

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    >>By saying women “aren’t fat” in order to defend them, you’re implying that there’s a series of vague and impossible sizeist thresholds between “too slender,” being of a “socially acceptable weight,” and “too fat” — as well as reifying the assumption that fatness is bad.>>

    I want this on a t-shirt.

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    [AS Moderators edited this comment to remove personal info]

    [AS Moderators edited this comment to remove the entire comment, which is “deliberately abusive or hateful” and therefore in violation of our comment policy]

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      First, I have not been a part of this conversation until this moment. As a white woman of European decent whose family has been in the United States since the 17th Century, I am aware of how I do not belong in a conversation about race and latin@ ethnicity. Maybe some of you should do the same.
      However, by using my full name in a public forum, you have drawn me into it. How fucking inconsiderate of you to force me into a conversation in which I never wanted to be involved.
      Second, how DARE you deny my right to exist as a queer woman. I came out as a lesbian at the age of 18. That had been my identity for most of my adult life. I entered into a lesbian relationship, but my partner recently came out as a trans* man. Simply because I am not in a lesbian relationship does not mean I am not queer. Do you even understand what queer means? If you do not know what it means to be queer, then maybe you should exit stage left.
      Also, this site is NOT specifically for ONLY lesbians. This is a queer space that has never identified itself as solely for women. Are you denying the right of bisexual, pansexual, and other queer women the right to speak in this space? I am QUEER. I do not read Autostraddle on a regular basis because of how incredibly problematic so many of the posts are. However, to say that I no longer belong to this community is to say that ONLY lesbians have the right to exist here. If that is the belief of the Autostraddle staff, then maybe I, and whoever doesn’t identify as a lesbian, should boycott the site altogether.

      TL;DR – You are denying my right to exist as a queer woman, and you should probably go fuck yourself.

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    Love this line: “we can’t know someone’s ethnicity based on what they look like, or that we don’t know someone’s worth because we know their weight.”

    Passing is not a cut and dry thing. I live in big city and frequently pass for white and just as frequently don’t. I’m often asked to define my race and ethnicity in predominately white spaces and just as often am considered white in predominately POC spaces. When I leave the city and drive through small towns consisting of mostly white people, I’m automatically “othered” and have been in danger because of other’s perception of my race. I’ve spent my life struggling to understand where I belong and at the end of the day, my identity is not dependent on which boxes others choose to check for me.

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    WHOA scooby doo, you are totally and completely out of line calling out two people you probably know nothing about and using their full names is extremely combative and wrong. get the fuck off of here. stop making an international queer website about your own regressive ignorant washington, DC based hatred.

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    I have a problem with the immediate assumption that the pressure to be thin and to conform to the thin standard of beauty is not present in Latin America. Saying that Christina’s weight is not an issue if it is representative of her ethnicity is not accurate. Just because we have an image of Latin women being curvier, doesn’t mean that image pressures and the cult of thin, perfect bodies is not there for us.

    I am from Venezuela and every time I go home I face criticism about my weight from family and friends and I am only a size 14. These are criticisms that I never get when I am in the US, in fact, a lot of my American think it’s odd when I tell them that I am insecure about my weight, while for my Latin American friends it is a given that I feel like I do not look the way I should.

    I have struggled with weight, self esteem and eating disorders my entire life living in Latin America and I am not the only one. Everyone I know at home is on a diet or trying a new diet pill or gym routine. You only have to look at Latin American beauty queens to see that they are just as thin as the American and European ones. I also dare you to find an overweight actress in a telenovela not cast in the ‘fat girl/ugly girl’ role.

    Perhaps within the US, curves and weight on a Latin woman are more accepted than on white women because they fit with the image that you have of us. But I often hear about these ‘healthier standards of beauty’ that are attributed to Latin America and just wonder if you have looked at plastic surgery statistics for countries like Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela, where girls get fake breasts and liposuctions as high school graduation gifts.

    I guess my point is that even if Christina were darker and more readily associated with her Latin roots, she would still be criticized for her weight – by all sorts of people regardless of their own ethnicity.

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