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Chatting with folks over on the Comfy Fat Facebook page lead to a conversation about fat musicians. Specifically, how the lack of representation of fat artists holds other fat people back from following their dreams of breaking into the music industry. But there totally has to be fat musicians out there doing the damn thing, right?
A quick google search of “fat musicians” gives us results like Kelly Clarkson and Mary Lambert, both of whom I’m personally a big fan of. However, these are two examples of plus size folks in the music industry who are on the smaller end of the “plus size” spectrum. They’re considered “fat” for Hollywood, maybe. But what about larger fats? Are there super-fat singers? What about medium-ish fats who we haven’t heard about? We want to celebrate those folks! Fat people are talented and skilled. We are creative and powerful.
And so, here’s a list of fat musicians who will truly inspire you:
Greyson Gritt is an indigenous, gender queer, plus size musician that I just found through the powers of social media. If you’re into the folk-rock-blues genre of music, you’re going to love this soulful Canadian artist.
If you’re into a more soulful country-rock vibe, you should check out Elle King. You may have heard her song Ex’s and Oh’s on the radio a lot starting back in 2015, but this powerhouse has a whole lot of other killer music to scope out too.
Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes
Y’all. I simply adore Alabama Shakes. I started listening to them a few months ago because my partner digs ’em. I had no idea their lead singer and guitarist, Brittany Howard, was a plus size babe! Their bluesy southern rock vibe always gets to me in my soul.
If you’re in the plus size and/or body positive community on social media and haven’t heard of Lizzo, you’ve gotta be hiding under a rock. Lizzo has been a force since her album debuted in 2013, but has gained tons of traction lately. She’s labeled as creating alternative hip hop music and we are so here for it. Also, she isn’t afraid to share her confidence with the world. I’m always down to support a plus size artist with a body positive mission.
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Part 3 of 3. The end. Bipolar 2 means I have episodes of “hypomania” and, for me, they usually look like this: a state of high wire creative-bliss of writing or high energy work flow. I live off little sleep and, because of the mania, my body mutes my hunger cues. Other than coffee, I don’t eat or drink. Slipping back into disordered eating is a HUGE cue. I don’t follow through on promises. I “don’t have time” to care for others. I lie. I hide things. I exaggerate. I’m irrationally impatient. I get sick easily from lack of self care and both my living space and body are unclean. I always beg the mania to stay because that’s where I do my “best” work. However, once the manic ep passes, I see that my work is sloppy. Songs that had sounded like the next big hit just hours before, when played back, sound like ramblings of someone on drugs. These manic episodes are ALWAYS followed by a debilitating depressive episode. This is the cyclical life of someone with BD2. It took me three years to learn how to handle my triggers, sense an episode before it starts, and manage it when it arrives. Medication helped, homeopathic remedies, meditation, herbs, and movement help but, hands down, the only thing that has helped EVERY time is my family and friends who love me. My support system is comprised of people who never make me feel like a freak. When I’m struggling, I just tell them, and they know what to do because we have been here before, and we can make it through again. There isn’t ONE drug that cures us all. There isn’t ONE therapy that fixes everyone. There is, however, one thing that is proven to help everyone: COMMUNITY. So, if you don’t feel like you have a support system around you (which, could be your MI talking), please know this: I see you and I am right there with you. You are not alone, even if your brain tries to tell you that you are. I’m literally making a record about this. About us. About the struggle and the fight and the light and the winning over our own minds. If you want to hear it, check out the link in my bio. I would love to give you this record for your toolbox. Use it when you need it, because I see you. Link in bio. #betheglimmer
Speaking of artists with a body positive mission, this singer-songwriter is an active member of the plus size and body positive community. Heather Mae uses her music to connect with people about queerness, identity, mental health, and self love. If alternative pop is up your alley, she’s a definite go-to. She’s also got a Kickstarter going on currently to help fund her new album. Ends 12/31/18.
Tina Halladay from Sheer Mag
Sheer Mag is an American rock group from Philly with a unique sound. They’ve got this ’70’s punk vibe that I’m super intrigued by. Their lead singer, Tina Halladay, is a plus size babe with a unique voice. Check out some live performances, for sure. Tina performs with such passion!
Okay, perhaps he’s not a larger fat, but definitely a thick boy. Nathaniel Rateliff is just one of my new favs. With a folk-like, vintage-y, rhythm & blues style, Rateliff surely brings something unique to the table. His voice is rough and somehow smooth? Check him out for some tunes you can’t help but tap your toes to.
FYI – these folks aren’t inspiring because they’re in the limelight despite their size. They are simply talented people that we rarely see in the media. And seeing is believing, isn’t it? The more we see fat people doing awesome things, the more we believe we are capable of doing those awesome things too. So get out there and take up space!
Who are some other fat musicians and artists you think we should know about?