'Always Turn the Light Off Before Fucking,' and 9 Other Tips For Fat Girls

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Lauren Colton
Mary Lambert releases her book of poetry, 500 Tips for Fat Girls, Saturday at the Fremont Abbey.
Singer-songwriter Mary Lambert jumped on our radar earlier this year for her collaboration with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on the track "Same Love," and she's been been keeping busy ever since. In addition to releasing her debut EP, Letters Don't Talk, playing shows around Seattle and stopping by The Ellen Show, Lambert found time to compile a collection of her original poetry, set for release Jan. 19.

Entitled 500 Tips For Fat Girls, Lambert's collection offers an honest, sometimes scary look at the things we deal with on a regular basis -- things like body image, equality, depression and rape.

"It's one of the most important things to me as an artist," Lambert says. "It's sort of my MO: [talking about] gay rights and women loving themselves."

We recently caught up with Lambert to discuss the project, and to address some of her, um, advice.

"This book is called 500 Tips For Fat Girls and I still can't bring it to myself to call myself fat," she says. "I am a bigger girl, or thicker, or curvier, but never fat. Fat has a stigma to it, whereas 'curvy' has sensuality and beauty in it."

1. Always be ready for rejection: "Why should anyone be ready for rejection? This is more a statement about self-deprecation, where I think a lot of people with self-image hang-ups come from. They don't feel worthy because they don't fit standards of beauty."

2. Always be prepared to be left for the [thin] ones: "This is somewhat a reality for me. I can't count how many of my exes broke up with me and started dating smaller girls. This is also a twisted, delusional way of thinking, but often feels more realistic than coincidental. Obviously, I'm coming from my own perspective here."

3. Be funny: "Being funny in this sense, means to deflect any real issues you're going through, by means of humor. I always think back to 4th and 5th grade, when no one really liked me, but I made everyone laugh all the time, often making myself the butt of the joke so I could make friends. I guess I still do that. Especially being someone who's manic-depressive, I've found that sometimes the funniest, loudest people at the bar, have some serious turmoil going on underneath their jokes."

4. Laugh at yourself, you cannot afford to be quiet and sad: "Don't take yourself too seriously. The wording is what changes the context. 'You can't afford to be quiet...' I mean to say, that in society's terms, you're already at a disadvantage, so you have a lot of making up to do. Which, seriously, screw that."

5. Learn to drink heavily: "I'm a bartender. I drink a lot. I drink a lot less than I used to, but when I was in the peak of my love of drunkenness, it was often to self-medicate how much I hated who I was. I at least could stand myself when I was wasted."

6. Become obsessed with your art: "If there's anything that's gotten me out of a pit of recklessness, it's been creating. I've always been a writer, a singer, a musician. I decided if I was going to screw my life up, I could at least document it. I'm also obsessively analytical, and have to process my issues a hundred times over. Writing is just another way to process. I think if I couldn't write music or poetry, I would literally explode with frustration."

7. Always turn the light off before fucking: "I think anyone that turns the light off before having sex, is scared of what their partner may see of them. I think a lot of people are guilty of doing this, and it's often for their own insecurities, rather than preserving their partner's 'fragile eyes'. Although, I remember sleeping with someone who had never been with a thicker girl, and they literally said, 'Your body feels way better than it looks.' OH THANKS."

8. Always smile: "This is to comment on women's roles, in general. However simple this two-word phrase is, it carries a heavy weight. In particular, I think of the women I know who find themselves suppressing honesty for the sake of their male partners. This line was intended to conjure up imagery of 1950's housewives."

9. Call the shit covering your bones something creative, like "curvy," or "a little extra": "I've online dated in the past. Online profiles ask for your body size, which can be informative, or, depending on how you feel about it, terribly dreadful. Women who are bigger have to spin their weight to make it appealing in a lot of ways, but in many cases, for themselves. This book is called 500 Tips For Fat Girls and I still can't bring it to myself to call myself fat. I am a bigger girl, or thicker, or curvier, but never fat. Fat has a stigma to it, whereas 'curvy"' has sensuality and beauty in it. The line itself definitely has bitterness attached to it because of the place I was in when I was writing the poem."

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