• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Fat is Beautiful

    Fat is Beautiful Zine

    Fat is Beautiful
    Crystal Hartman
    https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/artist/crystal_hartman
    crystal_hartman@hotmail.com

    Fat is Beautiful is one of those zines that made me punch my fist into air and say, “Yes!” I try not to let myself riled up about these things, but if I hear ‘it’s all calories in, calories out’ one more time… If was all just calories, then conditions like PCOS couldn’t possibly have ‘makes it harder to lose weight’ as a symptom.

    Anyway, not the place for a soapbox, Nyx…

    Fat is Beautiful is not a blind foray into ‘love and love alike’ (though they have their space, too). Crystal comes in firm, strong, and – even better, supported by facts and statistics.

    Mmm. Statistics.

    This zine is full of pieces that address the oft-touted health arguments against weight, facts about weight, calories, etc, and even the politics of facts.

    It was fascinating to me to have my own preconceptions challenged not by lecturing but by showing alternate causes to the effects that we are all but beaten over the head with. For example, fat people (yep, I am doing as encouraged and using the ‘f’ word) have more health problems. However, no one mentions how much is blindly blamed on weight rather than being investigated/prevented/treated.

    A recent study found that far women are a third less likely to get breast exams, gynecologic exams, or Pap smears.

    Something to think about. (Again, I recall my own experiences of non-treatment – even by a female doctor.)

    As much as this zine could have come off as a complete rant and nothing else, it’s actually educational and well-based in multiple resources that are listed in the back. (And, if you’ve been reading here for a while, you know how much I love it when a zine encourages me to further investigations outside the zine itself.)

    The Fat Liberation Manifesto is beautiful.

    My one nitpick with this zine is that some of the text has been cut off the edges of the pages to the extent that it did cause some pauses in reading to sort out exactly

    Even so, this is a great zine to remind yourself that you’re not alone and/or educate yourself about not listening to everything the mainstream media tells you about weight…

  • General

    Australian Postal Costs AKA Why I Don’t Do A Lot of Mail Art

    Wise Blood Mail Art 1

    I think it was the envelope from Fishspit that made me realise that I was missing out on some big mail art fun.

    That’s not to say that I hadn’t received beautifully drawn upon, stamped, embossed, coloured, washi taped, etc envelopes before, but his envelopes made me realise that cut and paste is alive and well in envelopes as well as zines. And, well, I really wish I could up my game.

    The obvious point of the matter is that I could up my game if I had more artistic skills when it comes to drawing. The not-so-obvious point of the matter that when it comes to adding so much as a sticker to international mail from Australia, it gets… annoying.

    The thing about Australian mail sent internationally is that it’s $2.45 up until you hit the 50 grams mark. After that? It jumps to $7.40

    I’m not here to talk about how utterly ridiculous the price difference is (grr) but rather to talk about 50 grams.

    50 grams is not that much. Not by a long shot. When you’re sending paper and maybe tucking a few stickers in there, it’s more than enough. But when it comes to a zine – especially a zine with cardstock covers – adding in a halfway decent envelope can quickly and easily send it right over the mark.

    I try to keep my zines at 24 pages or less because, after you put a cover on them, they are skirting that 50g line pretty closely. Add in the envelope and you’re screwed over in a hurry. I would love to send out my zines with sturdier envelopes for protection, but the sturdier envelopes would take up so much of the weight that I’d be lucky to put a mini-zine inside.

    I wish there was a middle ground between 50g and 250g that would let me make bigger zines and/or have fun with mail art. Alas…

    I don’t know if anyone had even ever wondered about Australian postage costs, but there you go. My ‘info rant’ for the day.

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