Thaipusam holiday well spent with my friend the YB (read: Yang Best), Yong Yee. Awesome conversation, endless brainstorming, new ideas and heart to heart convo; while exploring good food across areas and culture; complete with an inspirational movie too (watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – so good!).
Update: This post is dedicated to one of the most inspiring persons and friend in the entire world: Jay Chandra Robert and the memory of his late mother, for whom I regret not to have met while she was alive. Stories told are my only connection to her – whom like my own mother and every other mother in the world – are the truest of inspirations. All good things that we are, are because of you. RIP Aunty.
I love new years. I love the idea of starting on a clean slate – how fresh starts always bring about positivity and good vibes no matter how vague your new year missions are. I’m figuring out, still – trying my best not to consume so much of my time pondering over mission and plans, instead to just let life take charge of whatever might come my way. Nevertheless, I still believe that I have to take control of my own life hence mapping out my new year with a couple of realistic, achievable goals are important. And I’m doing (one of) it – right now – with this first That Fat Tudung Party Girl post, 19 days into the new year.
So what am I hoping to achieve this year, with That Fat Tudung Party Girl? Would this still be a rarely-visited platform I get to only when I’m desperately need to pour my heart out with words? Or would this be the blog I envisioned it to be when I first set it up a couple of years back?
Back in college, when I was an active blogger, I had a blog called Rigid. I named it after a poem I wrote which was later turned into a song that my band and I used to perform a lot. I wrote mostly in Bahasa, writing mere bullshits like ‘what I did last weekend’, ‘how busy I was that semester’, ‘the guy I had a crush on’, etc. – I was simply trying to give people irrelevant insights into my boring college life. I think I was trying hard to appear cool with it.
It was a really bad personal blog, now that I think about it. But the period I was in when I kept Rigid alive (for about 3 years, I think?) was the time when I was actually most productive and committed. Keeping it running and building a small pool of avid followers turn new-found friends have helped me grew as a wannabe-writer/journalist (Note: I was studying journalism). Apart from the classes and the student’s life I was leading, blogging allows me to experience and explore new found connections in form of supports and encouragement as well as criticisms.
I mostly am proud of how committed I was to writing. Though I cared about having comments on my posts, I still remember how much prouder I was of myself just to be able to put something up – to let my voice be heard, no matter how irrelevant the topics are. Rigid was to me a commitment I have sort of lost when my priorities changed and identifying this fact about myself/my life is kind of really sad.
That Fat Tudung Party Girl is who I am now. I am that fat girl with the head scarf on her head who is carefree, confident, fun and loving. Some people asked me if I ever get a little touchy over the word ‘fat’. I said, no. I have embraced fatness for too long to be offended by it. Truth of the matter is, I never knew how it feels like to be medium-sized, let alone slim and slender.
Last year, The Star online published an op-ed by journalist Tee Lin Say entitled No benefit in being fat. Instead of playing a more positive role in reminding readers to be cautious of their health, Tee Lin Say went on an emotional rant that was simply disturbing. I remember that day very clearly. I was at work and just about to turn off my laptop – work was about to come to an end. It was director/author, Amir Muhammad who shared the article on his Facebook page. The fact that Amir Muhammad shared an article with the word ‘fat’ on the title says a lot about why I should gave it a read too and that one quick read somehow burned me. Yes, I could feel my whole body burning right there and then.
The next couple of hours wasn’t easy. I was walking with anger all the way to the LRT. Halfway to the destination, I started crying – sobbing in frustration, disturbed by miss Tee’s mostly ruthless words. Instead of going straight home, I stopped by KL Sentral’s Starbucks where I wrote my heart out in a blog post in response to the article: Let Tee Lin Say teaches you how to crush a girl. The post was written in one shot. That particular evening, I couldn’t stop sobbing, my face was wet and I couldn’t care less of the fact that I actually was in the presence of fellow Starbucks customers – some were looking at me, trying to figure out what’s wrong and perhaps, a bit disturbed.
Fast forward 24 hours later, the article went viral. It received coverage from a couple of sites and blogs and That Fat Tudung Party Girl exceeded its’ bandwidth limit and was immediately shut down. The site received about 100,000 hits within a day. I came across some really amazing individuals showing support with words of encouragement. I felt completely inspired by these great people and I was hoping to inspire people back the same. Of course, there were also a couple of backlashes and criticisms too which are always expected.
The post was a testament of why I shouldn’t think twice about running That Fat Tudung Party Girl and actually making it happen.
We’ve all heard about the usual scenarios over and over again: The stereotypes and perception, the bullying, self-consciousness, the many struggles… we’ve heard them all. Perhaps for some of us, these are the things we’re dealing with on a daily basis. These are our usual fights. Some made the choice to work on shedding down the kilos to become newly slimmed lasses. Some, like me, who loves it the way it is, choose to keep the curves heavy, thick on the skin, proving that these fatness are what made us fabulous in the first place.
Whatever the choice you’ve made or are gonna be making this year or years to come – whether you’re a plus size or just another petite-slim Asian girl – your choice is supposed to be about being happy and making a difference.
To me, being happy is about being comfortable wearing your own skin. It’s about what’s in the head. It’s about feeling beautiful and showing the world that you’re beautiful – and not in an arrogant way. Being happy is also about wanting the best for yourself – whatever the choice that be. If having two scoops of good ice cream per week would make you feel better, I say, why not? Or quitting the job that kills your soul for a freelance gig that you would actually love, then why not too? Bearing in mind that there will always be consequences to the options you’re taking – that extra sugar intake or the monthly mortgage you’ve been putting up with for the past couple of years – always remember to consider “happiness” and “love” while making your choices. Trust me, there are always something out there for you.
I have been struggling for the past two years – making bad emotional career decisions to being romantically heartbroken – I am for sure not the right girl to be telling you how to live your life or make your life choices, neither should you listen to me in return. I am writing That Fat Tudung Party Girl because I wanna have a platform that would (first) reminds me of who I am and why I am the way I am. This is my journey, my story, my fight, my search for that happiness I’ve managed to achieve and wanting to achieve soon. But most importantly, this is my way of telling the world that sometimes, accepting people’s choices to be who they are could possibly be the wisest thing to do. And I’m not saying in a way that you gotta ‘leave other people alone’ or ‘mind your own business’ for that matter. Individual space still need to be respected but that doesn’t mean you have to stop caring. And that is the (second) reason why I’m writing this site… because I care.
I welcome comments – whether positive or negative, encouragement or criticisms – for as long as these words come for a good place called love. Try to be conscious about what you say to people. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, don’t hate. If you don’t like what you’re reading, don’t hate. Don’t also keep it to yourself, you still have to let it out, but you gotta do it right. Explore that loveable and caring side of yourself and learn to be constructive. I am all for freedom of speech but let’s learn how to filter hate out of the speech. I had this problem before. If I don’t like something, I used to say my heart out and not thinking. For someone who is a plus size and have been bullied many times before that eventually led her to who she is today (a stronger person), I tend to be defensive. I choose to fight negatively instead of choosing to fight with love. And I’m gonna change that. This is the year that I’m gonna begin to change that and I hope you could be a part of this change with me too.
Okay, it’s already been too long a post. I do admit that there’s more that I wanna convey in this post but I think I’m just gonna keep them for future posts, you know, to keep this blog running. But to give a brief idea of what I’m gonna be posting from here on, expect inspirational write-ups particularly on the subject of body loving and being a plus size. I’m gonna also be sharing a lot of music-related stuff too as I am a resident music freak and a music writer for a couple of online publications. Ah, let’s not forget style, beauty and fashion content apart from other lifestyle and culture-related postings too. Hm, what else? I guess you’ll have to keep coming to this page for more.
On a different note, shout out to my designer friend, the talented Fairiz of Kraf Studios for That Fat Tudung Party Girl‘s official logo (more branding-related stuff, I hope?). What do you think? Go and check out his amazing works should you need any design stuff done.
20 days into 2014 beginning tomorrow. How’s yours been so far? Share it out.
Here’s my first contribution to (possibly) the coolest culture and lifestyle site to ever come out of Kuala Lumpur this year, GUMBALLmag.com where I review one of my favorite records this year – the Saint Heron compilation from Solange Knowles’ record label Saint Records featuring acts like Kelela, Sampha, Iman Omari, Cassie and Solange herself, of course. Be that awesome you and check it out here.
Here’s an excerpt:
To me, Saint Heron also feels like a forbidden love affair. The kind you listen to on vinyl, with dimmed light and some candles – the ones with the exotic scent. It’s the kind of record you listen to with an eccentric company or two – or at least those who bring out the eccentricity in you. It’s fresh yet familiar, inviting, seductive and steamy at the same time. It’s rich and complete… with great sensory pleasure. The more I try to translate these emotional and personal connections that I have as a music fan and lover of R&B with Saint Heron, the more I choose not to reveal and to actually keep this affair to myself.
All I wanted to do was to be honest, so I told him that I can’t never be that girl he expected me to be. I can’t be that girl whose idea of ultimate happiness is marriage and a five figure salary. Yes, I seek love but institutional love doesn’t necessarily will make me happy. At least not yet. I can’t never be that girl who pleases conventional expectations of society. That baby, will never be me and I choose to be me. So I (wo)man up and say, I’m setting my priorities straight.
Passion before anything. Passion before everything.
“We ain’t picture perfect but we worth the picture still” – J.Cole
I love hip hop and in the wake of all these – bullies, insults, fat girls speaking up, and err… face-reading ;p , here’s one of my favorite songs from one of the best young rapper out there. His flows are solid, he’s super fine, too handsome to resist and his words have substance – it’s the one and only J. Cole. This song is called “Crooked Smile” – a song about imperfections and how we all can still be a star. Taken from his critically-acclaimed sophomore record Born Sinner (Roc Nation/Columbia), featuring the legendary TLC (with remaining members T-Boz and Chili), I hope this would make your day.
For the words, click here.
This past weekend, I’ve been revisiting the goodness of Solange Knowles’ new-found sound via her 2012’s True EP. I have loved it when it was first released, made it to one of my favorite releases of last year but now that some of her words kinda resonate with my feelings (of the past few months), I felt a lot more connected to her. You can’t deny it, the girl is good.
But that’s not why I’m writing this entry. When I love a song wholeheartedly (in this case it’s “Losing You”), I will start searching for YouTube cover videos of the song. I love to see other singer’s or musicians’ take on the song and see if I could rock similar cover.
My search led me to this awesome cover of “Losing You” by British band Jakil whom — (i) I have no idea about; (ii) the cover somewhat has that ‘raw and organic’ feeling to it given that it was performed live in a kitchen; and most importantly (iii) the vocal is just too yummeh to be ignored. Give it a watch/listen:
Just in case you’ve never heard of Solange (shame on you if you don’t given that you definitely know her big sister Beyonce) or her 2012’s hit single “Losing You”, here’s the official video:
Now I feel like I should be making a cover of either “Losing You” or “Lovers in the Parking Lot”. I’m gonna see if Azhar is down with this.
I went through shit for being obese. I was recently hospitalised due to stress and my “unhealthy” lifestyle. My clothes are size 18. I can’t even fit most XL outfits (especially those produced with the Asian market in mind) and always have to settle with double or sometime the triple-X labels.
I admit, at times, being fat and obese don’t do me good. I sweat like a pig within the first 10 minutes of a dance class (and it was in an air conditioned studio). I get easily tired after 15 minutes of jogging or whatever sports that be. To the society, I am unattractive. I don’t make head turns. Quoting writer Tee Lin Say, when men look at me, their first thought was to run. Who wants to deal with a 600 pound baby elephant, eh?
If I was never hospitalised or if I had read this article prior to being warded, I would have published something equally nasty in return. Perhaps I’ll find a way to bump into you and spit on your face without hesitation. Hateful words of a stranger don’t affect me.
But I was surprised to see how crushed I was reading this. I, Nazirah Ashari, perhaps one of the most confident fat girls in the city of Kuala Lumpur – felt completely devastated by your monstrous and distasteful words. Your offensive writing resound in my head and for the first time in my life, I was broken by a stranger’s depiction of fatness.
Ms Tee, you know what you reminded me of?
You are one of those bullies who thinks they are too good and too superior by “society’s standard” that they deserve every right to talk to people the way you do in that disgusting article. You are the reason fat people like me gets hurt for things they shouldn’t be hurt for. Your hateful words made me rethink society’s perception of my fat self and I’m being honest when I say, for a few seconds, I am disgusted by my fatty nature. You are a reminder of a society so sick that they’re lost in the world of unreal designed-perfection and ignorance. To sum it all up, you are a bully. A monstrous one at that too.
I am a plus size by choice. Ah, the term plus size is too sympathetic. So let me rephrase that:
I am a fat girl by choice. For as long as I have lived, I have always been big in size. Always the biggest and one of the tallest in class and as I get older, my body doesn’t seem to shrink. I am not even embarrassed of that fact nor that I find myself incompetent, stupid, undisciplined or quoting you in this disturbing The Star article, “… have a lower social standing.” Ms Tee, please be known that I don’t give a damn about where I stand in the social scale.
I once was quite a healthy fat girl – size 16, active, was able to juggle a hectic part-time 8-10 hours barista job while studying. I maintained good grades and graduated with a first class degree. I was once a rather healthy size 18 lass who went on TV to talk about fat girls empowerment. I received messages and tweets from fellow young fat girls who was inspired by me. I made an impact. And I hope and believe I still am.
But what do you do? You are in a greater position to leave an impact and to inspire yet you did none. You disgraced the already-shattered name of journalism. You give bad name to nice slender individuals out there. You broke hearts. You crushed people.
You said, men, or people would wanna run away from baby elephants aka fat people like me. But do you know who never run away and continue dealing with people like me and my nonsense? My family and my friends – the people I love. Who needs shallow minded men or strangers when you have friends and family who cares and love you for who you are. Friends and family who are there by your side when you’re at your best and your worse. Friends and family whose take on the idea of being fat solely as being unhealthy, and every nag or advice comes from a good place called love. Friends and family who will never crush me. Never.
You know what, I’m still gonna let the old me use the magic words. Tee Lin Say, be very embarrassed of yourself, you’re such a disgraced and… fuck you very much.
This is my first out-of-boredom attempt at recording my #OOTD (Outfit of The Day) on a Monday. I was just on my way out for iftar with friends and while waiting for a friend to get ready, I decided to self-shoot. This is not what I wore to work as I just changed my shirt to that peachy loose top for a more laid back look.
The look for the day was inspired by two people: i) My SUPER boss and CEO, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin who came to our Business Unit for a dialogue. I remember when I donned the turban look earlier this year during a forum in Penang, he came to me and asked what kind of head gear style I was wearing and I told him it’s the turban and he said he loved it. ii) The very-talented Yunalis Zarai (Yuna) who have inspired a bigger movement for cool & chic turban style. Man, the girl is the shit and she is a trendsetter. Love her!
Obviously, I am a plus size so this video is specially dedicated to fellow thick chicks out there. I love dressing up but I wouldn’t call myself a fashionista cause I’m not. I get inspirations from all around but one thing I noticed is there are not many plus-sizers out there who are doing things like this, particularly in Malaysia (US scene have a lot of good ones, perhaps Malaysians can replicate that?). And I thought (after recommendations from friends too), why not I do it too? Perhaps I really should. It’s time for plus-sizers to show the world that we rock too, style wise.
Keep it real, curves.
Oh, oh, I would love to give credit to the extremely dope and talented A$AP Rocky for this awesome music. His LiveLoveA$AP is one of my favorite hip hop records from last year and this song in particular “Acid Drip” is my most favorite track of them all. Dig it, peeps.
All my life I have been wanting to find comfort in this thing called romance. All my life I seek for it in conscience and in hope. I’m not too sure why but that comfort seems very unlikely to come by though romance keeps revisiting in different forms. I’m not too sure if it’s a curse or simply cause the time has yet to come but one thing I know for sure is I haven’t been lucky enough to be rewarded such comfort. Soon, I hope.