Some Differences

Over the past year or so, I’ve been criticized for being far too negative about the “fat community”. I’ve been told that the people in the community have spent most of their lives facing negativity, and that the idea of someone from within doing the same thing is hurtful and insulting.

I haven’t lost any sleep over that yet.

My feeling is, that if you are doing or saying something negative to hurt the perception of the community, or living up to the prejudices that the rest of the world holds about fat people, I’m gonna put your feet to the fire.

Since I’m trying to be more encouraging however, I’m going to try to balance my critiques with more positive messages as well……..you know, in an effort to keep the scales balanced.

Let me introduce you to Gwendolyn Ray of Columbus, Ohio. Last month, Ms. Ray was accused of assaulting her 5-week-old infant son, and her bail was set at $500,000. Here’s the article that reported the story:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A mother accused of assaulting her 5-week-old infant son is arraigned Saturday. Just a day earlier she took to Facebook calling herself “unfit.”

Gwendolyn J. Ray, 23, was arraigned in Franklin County municipal court Saturday morning represented by a public defender.

Ray entered a plea of not guilty and was given a $500 thousand bond. The judge ordered her to stay away from her son.

She is facing charges of felonious assault and felony child endangerment.

Ray was arrested by Columbus police after her infant son was transported to Nationwide Children’s hospital in critical condition on Friday for numerous injuries.

In a Facebook post on Friday, after her son’s injuries, Ray refers to herself as “unfit”in a mis-spelled post saying, “I knew it all along im an unfit mother i was not mad for this i failed at being a mother on so many leaves im giving up [sic].”

Just 24-hours before that post Ray described a desire to find “the right man” for herself and her son asking “Where are you Mr. Right?”

Ray’s Facebook page shows a sonogram and several pictures of her son. Her profile picture features a shot of her with her son next to her.

According to facts presented in court, Ray is being accused of allegedly slamming the infant into a leather-like sofa with wood framing.

NBC 4 spoke by phone with a friend of Ray’s who lives in Michigan. Jessica Ballard said she met Ray while they both lived in Paducah, KY. She described Ray as a good person who had worked very hard to get her life together. According to Ballard, Ray had recently moved back to Columbus right before the birth of her son and had started to attend church.

Ray is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 21, 2011.

Link to the actual article is here.

Ms. Ray, for those of you who may not be familiar with her, is known in the BBW porn industry under the names “LA Gurl” and “SugarPear”.

Yup, that’s her at her “other” job, when she’s not being a mom. Ms. Ray has modeled for websites like MercedesBBW.com and others, where the pay structure for a model not owning or partnering in their own website is anywhere from $20 to $50 per photo or video set. Someday I will write an entire blog about the exploitation of fat women by the black BBW community, but now is not the time. Let’s just say for now that Ms. Ray wouldn’t have been able to retire on that money.

So how does someone go from being adulated by so many FAs to ending up in jail for allegedly beating the hell out of her kid? I have some theories, and some of them center around previous blogs that I’ve written about BBW porn, and how some webmodels end up confusing their product and their real person. I think that once the boundaries between the two become unclear, it becomes increasingly difficult to deal in the day to day realities, which would include holding down a real job, and being a good mom. Now, while it may be a bit presumptuous on my part to connect the dots from BBW web model to child abuse, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility, While it’s quite obvious to me that there may emotional issues going on here, putting your ass all over the internet for $20-50 isn’t helping anyone’s emotional well being, in my opinion.

Hell, child abuse is child abuse, and if what she is accused of is actually true, then Ms. Ray has now joined the ranks of stand up citizens like Jerry Sandusky and Bernie Fine. Of course, she has/is the bigger ass.

One can only hope and pray that the infant will heal from the physical and emotional scars of the wounds, a direct result of her alleged abuse.

On to happier things.

From an article that appeared in the UK Daily Mail on December 7th:

Flicking her bright red hair back, she swings up onto the pole, her thighs gripping the metal while the the audience cheers in applause.

At 252 pounds, LuAyne Barber – stage name Lulu – is not your average pole dancer.

But her ample body, a U.S. size 22, does not hold her back from the lifts, spins, slides, stands and grips that define the dance form’s athletic routines.

Instead, the 5’4″ Hanover, Maryland local is perhaps one of the most active in her pole dancing community, regularly competing against the toned, lithe bodies of her peers, since joining the circuit three years ago.

The 26-year-old, who works at a car dealership by day, has been pole dancing for five years, having taken up the unusual hobby in 2006 after having a baby.

As a former competitive cheerleader and dance student, Ms Barber was no stranger to the stage – but she still had to sum up a lot of courage to strip off and take a pole dancing class.

She told Closer magazine: ‘I’d always wanted to try it, but I was worried about what people would think. But when I turned up for my first class and everyone was in stilettos and tiny shorts, regardless their different sizes, I felt a lot better.’

She recalls how, when younger, she did not eat well – and though she wasn’t teased at school, she soon became ‘ashamed’ of her body.

The ‘poling’ classes changed her outlook: ‘I was instantly hooked. It was the first time I’d felt sexy in years.’

Writing on her site, Team-Lulu.com, the mother-of-two says she balances training on the 8-foot metal poles with her family life. She even has a practice pole installed in her home.

And while Lulu has gained something of a fanbase and has a YouTube channel dedicated to her increasingly ambitious moves, her husband, plumber Will Brown, 29, remains her number one fan.

Will loves my dancing. I’ve always been curvy. I’m not going to let my weight stop me doing what i love,’ she told the magazine.

Wearing a skin-tight leotard and five inch red wedge heels complete with calf ties, the red head is every part the pole dancer – but that doesn’t stop her from standing out because of her body shape and size.

Ms Barber told the magazine that dancers have called her fat and that she looks like a ‘beached whale.’ Her new found pastime saw her weight drop, only to creep back up since the birth of her second child.

Unperturbed, the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome sufferer has turned her hobby into a charity venture, too, with proceeds from Battle of the Pole Dance Studios she organises helping to raise money towards PCOS research.

The dancer, who is yet to win a title, runs workshops and writes that she ‘is not giving up her dream of becoming pro.’

Kudos to Ms. Barber, who is flying in the face of those who doubt that all fat people are lazy, and can’t partake in activities that the rest of the world takes for granted. Take a look at this video, and tell me that the woman is not in what one could consider good physical shape, not just at HER size, but any size.

The astounding difference between the two women is based on one of them using their size as a means to an end (and if guilty, paying the price for it), and the other disregarding her size in an effort to reach her own personal goals.

UPDATE
The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday July 3, 2012 12:28 PM

A Franklin County judge gave a West Side mother the maximum prison sentence today for slamming her 5-week-old baby against a couch and breaking his back.

Calling Gwendolyn J. Ray’s actions “horrific,” Common Pleas Judge Julie M. Lynch sentenced the 24-year-old to eight years in prison for the injuries she caused to Isaiah Ray on Nov. 11.

“You tortured that baby,” Lynch told her. “If society accepts that … then we’re barbarians.”

Ray, of 4541 Belvedere Park, pleaded guilty on May 30 to one count of felonious assault. She had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in January, but a psychologist determined that she was not mentally ill at the time of the offense.

Her attorney, Mark Collins, said Ray had been molested as a child and “just couldn’t deal with being a parent.” He said she has mental-health issues.

Ray made a brief apology as one of her sisters sobbed behind her in the courtroom.

Lynch said the latest report from the baby’s doctors says that the child, now eight months old, probably will be a paraplegic. Besides a broken back, his injuries included bleeding on the brain, broken ribs, lung damage and damaged arteries in the neck. Ray told police she picked the baby up by his legs and swung him against a couch.

Ray could have been sentenced to probation.

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One thought on “Some Differences

  1. Almost immediately upon publishing this particular blog, I received a private message from a webmodel, who took exception to the portrayal of Ms. Ray. In her words “your attempt to connect this woman to what we do is a shot at so many of the webmodels that you are friends with! Are there paysite models who aren’t good people? Sure, but it’s not the majority of us. You should be grateful to us, for all we do for size acceptance.”

    Well, let’s start with the connection between Ms. Ray and the others. From what I’ve read, Ms. Ray didn’t belong to the electricians union. She was/is a webmodel, just like you. To answer your point, you’re right, many of the girls treat their paysites like a business, and they are hard workers, with ethics. Without going into a whole other blog, I will say that the mix between good and “not so good” is around 50/50. So for me, your generalization doesn’t work.

    With regard to size acceptance, I think webmodels just by having websites, do NOTHING to further fat/size acceptance. You can keep kidding yourself, but what you do isn’t size acceptance. It’s porn, and I’ve never met a guy who was motivated to march or lobby for fat rights after he got done rubbing one out to the latest paysite update. You want to see size acceptance within the structure of the fat aesthetic? Look at Adipositivity. THAT is about fat acceptance. YOU are about porn. Nothing personal, but it is what it is.

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