Friday, 23 June 2017

Opinion: My Big Fat Privilege

Is my life as a fat woman easy? Not always. Am I judged and bullied? Sometimes. But have I got it as bad as some others? Not at all. 

You might ask how I know this. Well first of all, I'm near enough at the thinnest I've been in my adult life. 11 years ago I weighed over 24 stone and wore a size 32. Despite this, I was happy and healthy, but everyone around me told me I needed to change. In order to be happy I needed to be smaller.  So that's what I went and did. I had a gastric bypass and got smaller (Please note. Not a lot changed. It was my brain that had to change. Not me).

When seeking treatment for my newly diagnosed bipolar I was told certain medications wouldn't be suitable because there was a chance I could put more weight on. It didn't matter if they were the most suitable for my condition, they weren't suitable for my physical appearance. Previously when seeking treatment for what would eventually be diagnosed as the bipolar, instead of receiving psychotherapy for my depression, I was constantly asked about my weight in the sessions and eventually given hypnotherapy for my weight, the psychotherapist had concluded the depression was a result of my fatness and I was eating to fill an empty hole in my emotional psyche. 

In hospital after my gastric bypass, a desperate attempt to fit in. 

At my largest, I was constantly picked out for ridicule and abuse. Whether that be walking down the street, eating a meal or in the work place.  I was taunted, shouted at and even had things thrown at me. Men would date me in secret, not admitting to their friends that they were with me. 

Shopping options were limited, when I left school in 1996, the only shop I could physically shop in was Evans. There was the occasional mail order catalogue that would run to my size, but other than that I was stuck. I would would order clothes from America for special occasions and hope they would fit me. Despite this, I had a massive love of fashion and took great pride in my appearance. 

Although shopping options have improved greatly, the offerings available for a size 24+ are still meagre in comparison to those below. And I know that because I see my fellow size 24+ fats screaming for more. I see brands offer a plus range but then stop it at a size 24. 

As a now smaller fat I am all too aware of my privilege. 99% of the time I can get on a plane and fasten my seatbelt comfortably. I can shop the straight size lines in mainstream shops like Dorothy Perkins, H&M, all the supermarkets and Monki for example. I don't get anywhere near as much abuse in public now and men openly admire me and date me without question or mention of my size. 

Sadly the medical situation has changed very little. I am still denied treatments based on my size. Medication is questioned in case it will cause any more weight gain. A simple visit to the nurse or doctor regarding any non-weight related issue turns into a lecture on weight. I am questioned about my daily diet and activity. My blood pressure is met with an unbelieving shock, surely a fat woman's blood pressure can't be that good?! It is then taken again, just to make sure it's not a glitch in the system. My birth control visits normally include a lecture about strokes and blood clots and my imminent death. 

BUT despite all this, my point albeit immensely rambling is, I know that compared to my bigger sisters, I indeed live a privileged life. I am conventionally quite pretty and have a thin presenting face, even at my biggest I didn't have a double chin and my cheek bones were quite prominent. My shape is a smallish pear (I hate shape definitions, but to make my point...) I have a visible waist and am able to squish the excess skin and fat into a fairly flat appearance. My limbs have always been quite long and graceful. This gives me a certain level of privilege as a fat woman, I'm not 'podgy' or 'round' - I'm deemed an attractive fat, which rags me off no end, and is ultimately the route of the problem and the issue we've all been fighting. Who dictates what is attractive? What makes one fat 'better' than the other? 

Kiss my back fat

Why are we still to see a full and (forgive the pun) rounded representation of fat women? Where are the fat black women? Where are the round fat women? The chick with double chins, tattoos, short hair, short bodies, big bellies and wobbly arms? 

I know where they are, they're in the blogs I read, they're walking down the street, on holiday rocking bikini's and taking their kids to school. I know this because I see them every day in real life, but do you know where I NEVER see them? I never see them in magazines, in the films and TV shows I watch and fashion websites I visit. 

I don't know if that'll ever change. But until it that day, remember to read blogs and share them, compliment women you see on the street, support your friends and lift them up. That's all we can do. And that's pretty fantastic. 

VARIETY <3 - L-R (Clockwise) Sam, Lottie, Diana, Lucia, Charley, Debz, Elena, Kate, Em.

For other very good thoughts on small fat privilege, please read my ginger goddess's musings on Terrible Tumbles. 

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Style: Wood Watches with Konifer

Hello all! Sorry for the radio silence, those of you who follow me on social media will know I've been sunning myself in glorious Turkey. There's lots of summer style posts to follow, but first up I've got something a little different in the form of accessories. I've featured wood watches on the blog before, but this time I went for a chaps one in case you were in need of a gift idea for the men folk in your life. 

Yes that is the hairy arm of my hairy fella, sporting the gorgeous 'Navigator Black' style. It's a good chunky size in a delicious warm black/brown shade. Alex has been wearing it for a couple of weeks now and loves how lightweight it is, especially in the hot weather. He said it's nice to have the natural material next to his skin instead of a heavy metal or sweaty leather. 

It's also worth noting that because it is a natural product, it's hypoallergenic which is great if you have sensitive skin. The Konifer range is made from renewable wood sources so environmentally it gets a big tick too. The watch is priced just over a £100 so it's not cheap but I think it's clear to see the quality is outstanding and it's a beautiful investment piece that would make a truly special gift. 

The range also includes watches for women, unisex pieces and gorgeously crafted wood rings. I love how they're just a bit different and make a really special gift for you (treat yo'self) or someone you love. 

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** This item was sent to me for the purposes of review. All words and opinions are my own **

Friday, 2 June 2017

Style: Evans Floral Kimono

Hello! So last weekend we headed to Sheffield just for a bit of family time. It was absolutely scorching, I resisted the temptation to wear something simple as I do too often when it's warm. I wanted to feel a bit more put together so I wore this fab kimono from Evans.

This is actually supposed to be a plus size beach cover-up, but I just loved the colours so much I had to wear it as a duster type jacket with my jeans. I'm wearing the medium which I think ideally would suit up to a 22. The fabric is a soft crinkle fabric, really lightweight and airy. 

I teamed mine with a khaki top and jeans, I just love the way the purples and neon orange contrasts with the khaki tones. I felt proper tip top in this outfit, it was one of those feel good combos, easy to wear, relaxed but slightly smart. 

Those of you in the know will have noticed these are the glamorous railings of Meadowhall train station. I feature the most beautiful locations on the blog don't I? And the pics were taken by my ever talented 7 year old Pops. Thanks babba.   

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\** This item was sent to me for review, words and opinions are my own! ** 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Style: Evans Embroidery Magic

It's no secret I've been into the embroidery trend in a big way, I love the intricacy and texture of it, how it lifts a simple piece from standard to something quite special, and today's piece is no exception.  Now it feels like an age since I've worked with Evans, but I'm excited to say I've got three pieces from them to bring you over the next few weeks. 

The first though is this gorgeous denim jacket with embroidered sleeve detail. Now, I have a very old and very familiar denim jacket, which you've all probably seen a million times on the blog, I've had it since I was pregnant so it's knocking on nearly eight years old now, and although it is still very much loved, I felt it was time to add another denim to the collection and what a beauty it is. 

I went for a size 24 as I wanted a bit of an oversized look and a bit of a contrast to my old jacket which is cropped and very tight. I was really please with the sizing on this, it is obviously loose and roomy but it doesn't look like it's drowning me. 

The colour looks a little darker than the website, but it's a good solid denim not too light, not too dark and the embroidery is just so pretty with loads of scope to build outfits around. The softs pinks are perfect for the summer, they'll go with khaki, other soft pinks and of course as I've done here, good old black. The deeper pink tones are going to be gorgeous in autumn with burgundy and again khaki. 

In terms of styling, you really can't go wrong with a black maxi and cons, and teamed with a denim jacket, it's just a classic really. And I mean, the crisp packet at the bottom just adds to the whole urban vibe to the look (blogger fail hahaha).

I can't wait to share the other pieces with you, there really are some gorgeous items on the site at the moment, prints galore and colour abundant. 

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**This item was sent to me for review, all words and opinions are my own**

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Style: Elomi - Matilda

The sun is shining, I'm still the colour of a milk bottle but hey, who cares right?! Today I've got a lingerie set from Elomi to share with you, where you can see said milk bottle body in all its wobbly glory! The Matilda is an Elomi favourite and this coming season you'll be seeing it in more gorgeous colour ways. 

This nude set though is a lingerie drawer staple, it will go underneath most garments beautifully without detection. I wore this set all day and found it really comfortable, the fit is lovely and the fabric is soft and the bra gives the babs a lovely perky shape! 

I also visited the Wacoal group press day last week, of which Elomi are part of and got some lovely snaps of all the upcoming style for AW17, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peek! 


So many gorgeous styles to come I think you'll agree!! And watch this space, because in June I have so gorgeous Elomi Plus Size swimwear to showcase too! 
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** This set was sent to me, hooray for my boobs! But all words and opinions are my own! **

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Style: Joanie Clothing 'Bluebell'

Hola! How's your weekend gone? It thankfully brightened up here today (well it didn't rain, put it that way) so we headed down to the seafront for some lunch and a walk. Pretty perfect to be honest. And for such a lovely venture, I had the pleasure of wearing the bluebell chambray dress from Joanie Clothing.

There's not a tonne to say other than, it's ridiculously cute, I mean look at it. But seriously, it's a medium weight chambray (no stretch) so it's pretty much an all year rounder, it's quite short so personally I couldn't wear it without tights or leggings. Size-wise I'm wearing the 22 and it's spot on, it fastens in back with a feature zip, but I was just able to pop it over my head! 

As you can see it does crease a little due to the nature of the fabric, but I can forgive it that, because otherwise, it's just lovely, PLUS it has pockets so you know, it's pretty much perfect.

Joanie have some gorgeous pieces up to a 22, they did go bigger for a while but seem to have reduced that now. The XL in the t-shirt range I would say would fit a 24 comfortably, so don't rule them out all together and they do still have some of the larger stock left from last year, so they are worth checking them out if you're 24+. 22 and under though, you're good to go and ready to start shopping all their wonderful wares! I'd definitely say they are more vintage inspired more than full on repro, which is lovely, it's a bit cooler than your average boring retro get-up. 

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**This item was sent to me, which is bloody lovely for me. As always though my thoughts and words are my own, which is nice because I quite like them**