Body positive messages abound on the Internet, but when you're feeling down on yourself, it's tough to work up the energy to Google them. Lucky for us all, a Portland artist has come up with an ingenious way to remind us all to -- quite literally -- get comfy with whatever shape and size we are. We're talking body positive pillows.
Rachele Cateyes, 32, is a body positive and intersectional feminist artist. She knows firsthand what it's like to be fat shamed. She even self-published a book, How to Be a Fat Bitch, about what it's like to be a 300-pound woman. And just to add insult to injury, last year, a diet company stole an image of Rachele in a "fatkini" and used it for one of their product's "before" photos.
In August, Rachele had had enough. "By just existing as fat people, we are told that we're glorifying obesity," she tells The Stir. "We are harassed under the guise of being concerned for our health."
And so Rachele says she decided to "reclaim some of those insults and challenge the good fatty trope."
"My way of dealing with the harassment," she explains, "is to turn it into something positive."
When someone sent Rachele an online message, cruelly informing her that her size will put her in the grave before she turns 40, Rachele made a super-cute drawing that reads, "Dead Fatty Walking." She created other whimsical designs that somehow turn phrases like "Garbage Human" and "Obese Lifestyle" into cheerful slogans.
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Next step? Rachele turned those awesome sketches into ... throw pillows.
Check some of 'em out.
Since Rachele's been selling her throw pillows online, she's received plenty of encouraging responses.
"I usually get a lot of 'Amens' and 'OMG YAS,'" she says. "I do receive the occasional emotional email or message from someone that is really touched and it changed their day ... When someone is called a ham planet and they come across my page and see those words in bright pink, it takes the sting out."