Monthly Archives: May 2016

On Fat-Shaming Wentworth Miller and Taylor Lautner in the Gay Community

I was inspired by a post I read by out gay actor Wentworth Miller last month, in which he broke down the things that were going on in his personal life at the time a photo was snapped of him that showed some weight gain. The photo was later turned into a cruel meme. He revealed in his powerful letter that he had been suicidal at the time the photo was taken. It is a visceral, emotionally raw piece of writing, and it is well worth a read.

A few weeks later, I saw another fat-shaming meme, but this time aimed specifically at the gay community. It featured young heartthrob Taylor Lautner from the Twilight Series. It shows a young and very fit Taylor on one side under the heading “Single Gay”, then the post-weight-gain Taylor on the right under the heading “Taken Gay”. The implication, of course, is that people take care of themselves and look “good” when they are looking for a mate, but once they pair off, they let themselves go.

Taylor Lautner Fat Shaming Meme Single vs Taken Gay

I reacted negatively to this meme, but I dismissed it as silly, and I saw it only in passing–none of my friends had posted it or shared it. Today, however, I ran into an updated version that an actual friend had shared on Facebook. The “Single Vs Taken” heading was gone, this time replaced by “When Twilight is finally over and so is your career”. In addition to the change in heading, an additional visual pun was added in the form of a fierce looking CGI wolf, compared to a very fat dog.

Taylor Lautner Fat Shaming Twilight Meme

This led to an exchange where I expressed surprise that my friend was stooping to fat-shaming, and a discussion that led me to understand that my friend thought my objection was because I didn’t know that the guy in the pic was Taylor Lautner from Twilight. I had actually been sort of puzzling this over in my mind, but the discussion clarified it for me: Is it possible that some people understand why fat-shaming someone like Wentworth Miller is wrong (because he is a well-respected actor and writer/director, and a valued member of the gay community), but they dismiss it when it is someone like Taylor Lautner because he is less respected, due to his stature as an actor and/or his association with the much-scorned Twilight series? Perhaps because he is young? Twink-ish?

In the case of Wentworth Miller, he spoke up for himself. The Lad Bible, the website that actually produced the cruel meme, took it down and issued a formal apology to Mr. Miller. I was not able to find any reaction from Mr. Lautner regarding the meme in which he is featured. The second meme, which hinges on his career being “over”, is also inaccurate: Mr. Lautner reportedly gained the extra weight that is revealed in his recent photos for a role in a movie. Extreme weight gain and loss in the service of a role is the province of serious actors (see Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull, Tom Hanks in Castaway, or Christian Bale in The Machinist). Perhaps the weight gained by Mr. Lautner is his stab at being considered a serious actor. Yet, due to his association with something frivolous and even girly like Twilight, many of his fans (and detractors), assume that the fact that he has gained some weight means that he must now be unemployable.

My take on the whole thing is this: It is not OK to fat-shame someone, no matter who they are. Whether they are young or old, serious or goofy, Well-respected or maligned, fat-shaming is wrong. In every case.

The Best Dishwasher for a Small Apartment–I Love this Thing!

When Idishwasher showing perfect fit on cart was looking for a new apartment in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, I saw many options at many different price points, based primarily on size and amenities. I consider a dishwasher a non-negotiable, must-have item, though, because I absolutely hate to do the dishes, and I hate having them clutter up the sink or counter. I had previously rented a beautiful vintage apartment that came without a dishwasher, and on that occasion, I solved the problem by purchasing a full-size roll-away dishwasher. I later sold it on Craiglist for almost what I had paid for it, when I moved to an apartment that came with a built-in dishwasher.

My favorite apartment, and the one I ended up renting, was not only the largest apartment I looked at, it was also the cheapest, mainly because it was vintage. Although it had an updated kitchen and bath, it did NOT have a diswasher. However, it was approximately $400 per month CHEAPER than the other options I had viewed, and I knew from previous experience that roll-away dishwashers work very well. Because the kitchen was somewhat small, though, I decided to go with a smaller, counter-top dishwasher. I chose the white SPT Countertop Dishwasher from Amazon (I paid the very cheap price of $219–it was definitely worth it to save $400 per month in rent)!  I had a few doubts about the thing, related to its quality and its size, but I have had it for six months now, and I can say without a doubt that I am very happy with it. The wash function works perfectly, just like a full-size dishwasher. It is about half the size of a normal dishwasher because it has only one level instead of two, but I live alone, so I really don’t need a full-size dishwasher (and if you have the space and think you would need a larger dishwasher, I still recommend the larger one that I had before).

faucet fitting

The Fitting on the Faucet

host attachment

The hose attachment

collar pushed down

The collar pushed down

If you are unfamiliar with this type of dishwasher, it works by attaching to the faucet in your kitchen sink. There are two attached hoses, one that takes clean water from your faucet, and one that drains the dirty dishwater into the sink so that it can go down the drain. There is an included faucet attachment that fits any standard faucet–simply screw off the aerator on the faucet, and screw on the fitting, and when you are  ready to wash the dishes, it is as simple as pushing down a small collar to secure the water supply/drain line onto the fitting.  There are four tension bearings in the collar, and when you release it, the tension creates a watertight seal to the fitting. After you have attached the hose, just turn on the water and you are ready to go!


It did take some practice to learn how to load the dishwasher most efficiently, but the instructions include a handy guide that does work if you follow it. The only thing this dishwasher cannot handle is a very large charger plate or platter. I regularly wash my 13″ by 9″ baking dish in it.dishwasher on cart

The one thing that I discovered after getting the dishwasher is that I did not like using it on my countertop. I hated giving up that space permanently. I searched around and found a cart that works perfectly with the size and shape of the base of this dishwasher (most carts are too narrow to support it levelly, which is important for the drainage)! The cart I chose is the Seville Classics Stainless Steel cart. It works perfectly with the SPT dishwasher, and I am very happy with having my counter back. The cart also comes in a sturdier medium size version with a bamboo top, and that would have been my choice if my kitchen were just a little bit bigger, since it has solid shelves and looks nicer.

NOTE: Please be aware that Amazon sells a “silver” version of this same item. It does NOT have a Stainless Steel finish–it is simply silver in color, in the same way that this one is white.