Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year, New Goals

The other day on Tumblr, I saw a post that accurately sums up my feelings on New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s a link to the original source, which I highly recommend checking out.

Anyway, it got me thinking. Every year for the past, oh, twenty or so years, my New Year’s Resolution has always been “lose weight.” Everyone’s is. Even some years I didn’t particularly feel like losing weight, or didn’t even need to lose any weight, I made that my resolution, and then I sat back and did nothing because tee hee, no one actually sticks to that.

This year, I’m like, fuck it. This is the year I make some resolutions that are fun and which interest me enough to stick to:

Continue reading

50 Shades Freed recap Chapter 25: “My race is almost run.”

This is it. The last chapter of the entire 50 Shades of Grey series. I mean, there’s an epilogue, and a vignette, and the first part of the first book rewritten from Christian’s POV– OMG YOU GUISE THIS IS TOTALLY NOT LIKE TWILIGHT LIKE AT ALL–, but the chapters, the main part of the story, the horrible, crushing legacy of “love him ’til he’s well” is over. It’s… it’s over.

Continue reading

State of The Trout: Blog changes, policy changes

Hey there, all you lovely citizens of Trout Nation! I hope your December is going as smoothly as possible. But who are we kidding, at least a quarter of you are running around with scotch tape in your hair, screaming about the irregular strip of wrapping paper you can’t find a use for.

Recent events have sparked a new commenting policy change here in Trout Nation. I’m not naming names at this time, but I discovered a commenter leaving perfectly reasonable, inoffensive comments under one name, then logging into a sock puppet account to make homophobic remarks and, finally, to suggest all fat people should die so they wouldn’t have to look at them. Unfortunately, this person wasn’t better at covering their tracks. They know who they are, and I’m pretty sure I made it clear that they’re not welcome here anymore. But from now on, if I catch people trolling my blog with sock puppet accounts, all your future comments will be deleted, and if the behavior persists, I’ll hand out your real identity like that old hippie handed out communist pamphlets in my high school’s parking lot. If this gets really out of hand, we’ll go to full moderation, and I really don’t want to have to do that, as sometimes comments slip through the cracks that way.

Furthermore, the person I caught doing this is an erotic romance author. I advise you to cover your ass better if you’re going to act foolish on the internet; you wrote for a publisher that publishes LGB stories and routinely shows up at GayRomLit. If someone in the erotic romance publishing industry finds you running all over hell and high water saying straight women shouldn’t get turned on by LGBT stories, good luck.

In other news, sock puppet banning isn’t the only thing that’s going to change around here! In the beginning of the new year, my website, JennyTrout.com, is going to get an overhaul to remove flash and become more browser friendly. The blog will also be integrated into the site, and the name will change from Sweaters for Days to the name you guys so lovingly bestowed upon it: Trout Nation. If you’ve been googling “Sweaters for Days” to check the blog, this is your warning to bookmark the site. More updates on this as they become available.

Thank you everyone for being so patient while waiting for the next 50 Shades recap. December is a crazy time for most people, but I’ve had all sorts of deadlines on top of that, as well as some personal stuff going on, but there will be another 50 recap in 2013, this I vow! I was hoping I’d be done with the whole damn thing before 2014, but it looks like not.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has downloaded The Hook-Up. If you didn’t get it from Smashwords, it’s also available from Barnes & Noble now. I don’t know if it will become available at other retailers through Smashwords, but I know it IS at B&N. And to thank you for your support by doing the laziest thing possible, here is a link to an EXTREMELY white list of hot men over 50. Sorry, but I refuse to believe there aren’t any hot celebs of color over 50. No Denzel? No Trejo? Ken Watanabe and Benjamin Bratt have NO photos on the internet? Pfff, I say. PFFFF. However, this list is good ammunition for Neil fans to combat,”He’s too OLD to be the hero!” responses.

Everybody have an awesome holiday, even if you don’t celebrate it. Just have a really good day. And if your family sucks, please know that I, and your Trout Nation friends, care about you. Even if we’ve never spoken. Because that’s just how it works around here.

Jennifer Lawrence body shames you more than you might have realized.

An alternate version of this post can be found at The Huffington Post. To save my inbox, comments on this version of the post are closed, but feel free to move discussion to the HuffPo version.

Here are some quotes Jennifer Lawrence has made over the years, regarding her weight:

“I’d rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life.”

“In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress. I eat like a caveman. I’ll be the only actress that doesn’t have anorexia rumors! I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I’m invincible. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner!’ That was something I was really conscious of during training. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”

“If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet,’ I’m like, ‘You can go f– yourself.”

“What are you gonna do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”

Tumblr celebrates her in .gif as a paragon of quirk and body acceptance:

jlaw1

jlaw2

jlaw3

jlaw4

jlaw5

One thing that may have escaped your notice, in the orgiastic celebration of JLaw realness that is the internet, is that Jennifer Lawrence looks like this:

jlaw6

Let’s concede the point here that she is, perhaps, a size or two above the Hollywood accepted norm. Let’s also concede the point that it’s admirable, being the star of a movie franchise aimed at teens, that she is concerned about the effect a too-svelte appearance might have on her audience, who are already bombarded with negative body messages every day. I’m not making this post to attack Jennifer Lawrence. I’m making this post to attack the rabid fandom that has grown around her.

I’m not going to cover the fact that it’s fucked up that a girl like Jennifer Lawrence has to justify her perfectly gorgeous body to every single media consumer in the world. We all know that’s fucked up. Let’s focus instead on the fact that in order to appease our own self-doubt about our weight, we, the internet, have decided to ignore how body-shaming the entire image of JLaw, “Spirit Animal” to fat girls everywhere, really is.

First of all, consider her quotes. She would rather look chubby on screen, but like a person in real life. This is a message of positivity only for people who consider themselves chubby, and it comes at the expense of women who are thin. Maybe they’re thin because they’re sick. Maybe, they just like being thin, or they’re naturally slender. What this quote is saying is that these women aren’t people. I want to know, internet: at what percentage of body fat do women earn the right to be people?

I’m certain that a lot of my fellow fatties looked at that quote and rolled their eyes. We know that being fat doesn’t grant one personhood, because our alleged lack of self-control and dignity are directly linked to that body fat percentage. Fat people are not people. They’re fat people. So, what does that quote do? It’s not empowering to anyone but women who look like Jennifer Lawrence. And it’s not a coincidence that she just happens to be the Coke-bottle standard we’re told men should prefer.

So, consider all those .gifs at the top of this post. The ones where she talks about how much food she eats, how she loves McDonald’s fries. Would the internet have embraced those quotes coming from, oh, I don’t know…

melissa mccarthy

I’ve noticed a funny thing about Melissa McCarthy. Well, besides the obvious, that she’s funny. But I’ve noticed that when Jennifer Lawrence talks about her weight, she talks about how much food she eats, and how she’s never going to diet to be thin. And when Melissa McCarthy is quoted about her weight, this is what she says:

“I don’t really know why I’m not thinner than I am.”

“I want to be healthy.”

“I just don’t lose weight easily.”

“Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it a single thought.”

Because Melissa McCarthy actually is a fat woman, she isn’t allowed to make brash statements about body acceptance. She has to apologize for her body. Every single one of those quotes might as well have just said, “Sorry I’m fat and you have to look at me, everyone.” But it’s all she’s allowed to say, in the confines of our culture. If Melissa McCarthy had said, “If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet,’ I’m like, ‘You can go f– yourself,” the response will most assuredly not be, “How brave! How strong! What a good role model!” The response will be, “What a bad example, encouraging people to be unhealthy! We have an obesity epidemic! Open your eyes, fat is not healthy, sexy, or acceptable! How very dare she!”

Imagine if Melissa McCarthy had made so many public comments about food and McDonald’s. It wouldn’t be cute or funny, it would be schtick. Look at the fat woman, being human and hungry for something bad for her! How grotesquely humorous it is when fat people eat! When Jennifer Lawrence makes these comments, it’s acceptable, because her body is still pleasing to our cultural expectation of voluptuous, slim-waisted, long-necked female beauty.

Comments about how much food Jennifer Lawrence loves to eat further builds the unicorn-like mystique of actresses who maintain cultural expectations of slenderness while claiming that they eat whatever they want and never work out. Is it more damaging to a fat woman’s self-esteem to see a thin woman on a movie screen, or to see that thin woman calling herself fat and claiming her celebrated figure is the product of eating McDonald’s and hating exercise? I’m fat. I eat a lot of McDonald’s. I do exercise, though I sometimes hate it… so, why then, when I admit to these things, am I a public health crisis, and slender, beautiful women who say them are positive role models? I’m pretty sure you know where this is going.

When Jennifer Lawrence says it’s “dumb” to go hungry to make other people happy, she’s saying it with the carefree attitude of a woman who probably will never have to make that choice to conform. Yes, she might be asked to diet for a role. But a woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t have to shop for her clothes in online stores only, because no physical storefronts carry her size. A woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence probably isn’t going to have a stranger try to stage an impromptu intervention in a Pizza Hut because they’re so, so concerned for her “health.” If a woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence goes to her doctor to complain of an ailment, she’ll be offered diagnostic tests instead of a diet plan. Jennifer Lawrence can say it’s “dumb” to go on a diet, but Jennifer Lawrence might not be facing weight-related prejudice or illness. Jennifer Lawrence may never be forced to make the choice between going hungry to lose weight versus having a knee and hip replacement at thirty-five.

I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence has body issues. She is a woman in the U.S., after all. Body issues come pre-installed at birth. But simply feeling bad about your own weight doesn’t give you license to shame the bodies of women who are thinner than you are, or the choices of women who are fatter than you are.

What’s even more troubling is that this mythos of the body-image warrior that the internet has created for Jennifer Lawrence has allowed her to say some pretty shitty things without much consequence. As long as she’s the down-to-earth, quirky, “body positive” weirdo, we can let bisexuality erasing and transphobic comments slide?

The reason Jennifer Lawrence is allowed to be a body-positive role model to young girls and “chubby” women is because she is representative of conventional beauty. She is a thin woman, exhibiting the thin privilege (and I know how much people hate that phrase) of making self-conscious body remarks while the rest of the world rushes to assure her that she’s gorgeous. Jennifer Lawrence’s public image has been built on a foundation of fat girl drag. She can call herself fat in interviews. She can actually believe she is fat, if she wants to. But she is not a fat woman, and her experiences do not speak to the experiences of actual fat people, no matter how strenuously Tumblr works to make it seem so.

Happy Holidays, I got you some hot bisexual billionaires doin’ it.

The Hook-Up is now available at Smashwords.com! *

I want to thank everyone who supported The Boss and The Girlfriend this year. Whether you read it or recommended it or just quietly cheered from the sidelines, your support is so appreciated. And I feel totally inadequate giving you a short story as a token of my gratitude, because I know I should probably be hand-knitting you all really sturdy dish cloths or some other item my grandmother would suggest as a practical and appropriate gift that probably no one would be allergic to.

What I’m trying to say here, Trout Nation, is: “Have this dirty book.”*

*If you do not have a Smashwords.com account, you may be unable to visit the link or download the book. I’m murky on how their adult filter works. If you have troubles, just make an account and click the link again, it should work.

The Hook-Up cover try #1

After cancer put a year of his life on hold, Neil Elwood is finally back where he thought he belonged, at the head of his media empire. But when the job takes him to London and away from his girlfriend, Sophie, he begins to reevaluate his priorities.

Neil isn’t sure what to expect when Sophie suggests a one-on-one night between him and their lover, Emir. When the two men have dinner together, sparks fly, and Neil recognizes a rare opportunity to give sexual submission another try.

Though taking charge is all he knows, Neil is willing to obey, at least for one night. Under Emir’s command, Neil discovers a whole new side of his sexuality, and he learns that sometimes, surrendering control can feel so, so good…

Christmas is All Around! The Love, Actually twitter watch-a-long!

Love Christmas is all around me, and you know what that means.

Oh, yes.

to me you are perfect

It’s time for Rick Grimes to show up romantically on your doorstep with a low-tech slide show, folks. It’s time for the greatest Christmas movie ever. It’s time for Love, Actually.

Love Actually

In the spirit of Christmas, and the fact that I have a huge crush on like 70% of this cast, this time around, Trout Nation gets three chances to party. That’s right. I’ll be watching along three times, because this gives me a bullet proof excuse to see this movie three times in twenty-four hours. I’d like to see Mr. Jen argue with me about my alleged “obsession” now. Ha!

Here are the times and dates you can join in:

Saturday, December 14, 9pm EST (UTC -5)

Sunday, December 15, 1am EST (UTC -5)

Sunday, December 15, 3pm EST (UTC -5)

To find out if these times are gonna work for you, visit timeanddate.com. Then start your dvd or digital copy of Love, Actually and tweet to the hashtag #BillyMack.

And remember: this is the best Christmas movie of all time, or I will fight you.

Got a book out, Trout Nation?

Hey there, Trout Nation. It occurred to me, when twitter conversating with author Kelsey Jordan,  that many of you are also authors. And that’s fantastic. And I realized that, hey, I could be doing more to spread the visibility around. Since so many of you guys have pushed links to the Buffy recaps and the 50 Shades tragedy, I should really try and return the favor.

So this is the first “shamelessly promote your work in the comments” post. I’m going to try and remember to do these once a month. But there are gonna be rules:

1. One comment per author.

2. You must include a buy-link.

3. Don’t promo your book or put buy-links in replies to another author’s comment.

Pretty simple, right? Go to town!

Oh, but before you do, go check out this awesome interview and giveaway with the aforementioned Kelsey Jordan, who gave me the idea in a roundabout way.

The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch S02E07 “Lie To Me”

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will slice through her bed sheets as though her toenails were samurai swords . She will also recap every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with an eye to the following themes:

  1. Sex is the real villain of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer universe.
  2. Giles is totally in love with Buffy.
  3. Joyce is a fucking terrible parent.
  4. Willow’s magic is utterly useless (this one won’t be an issue until season 2, when she gets a chance to become a witch)
  5. Xander is a textbook Nice Guy.
  6. The show isn’t as feminist as people claim.
  7. All the monsters look like wieners.
  8. If ambivalence to possible danger were an Olympic sport, Team Sunnydale would take the gold.
  9. Angel is a dick.
  10. Harmony is the strongest female character on the show.
  11. Team sports are portrayed in an extremely negative light.
  12. Some of this shit is racist as fuck.
  13. Science and technology are not to be trusted.
  14. Mental illness is stigmatized.
  15. Only Willow can use a computer.
  16. Buffy’s strength is flexible at the plot’s convenience.
  17. Cheap laughs and desperate grabs at plot plausibility are made through Xenophobia.
  18. Oz is the Anti-Xander

Have I missed any that were added in past recaps? Let me know in the comments.

WARNING: Some people have mentioned they’re watching along with me, and that’s awesome, but I’ve seen the entire series already and I’ll probably mention things that happen in later seasons. So… you know, take that under consideration, if you’re a person who can’t enjoy something if you know future details about it. 

Continue reading