Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What being a fat woman is really like...

There was a brilliant, in my opinion,  article published on the cosmo site a couple of days ago of the same title (link here), so a big gang of us plus size bloggers decided we'd like to give our answers to the questions asked. From my point of view, it's really important that our voices are heard and experiences are shared. Good or bad. I have literally copied and posted the questions and will answer as honestly as I can. You know me. 

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat? 

It pisses me off. I can't help but take it as a personal attack. That may just be me being a sensitive Sally, but when a woman, especially one who is a great deal slimmer than me says she is "having a fat day" because she has eaten an unhealthy meal or hasn't done some exercise that reflects on the assumptions she has about me and other fat women. Which sucks. 

How has your body image changed since high school? College? 

It has changed massively. I've always been a contradiction in terms, on one hand I would never let my size stop me from wearing what I wanted, doing what (or who for that matter) I wanted and I always thought of myself as facially attractive. But I hated my body, I was disgusted with my size because every day I was reminded I wasn't normal. I didn't look like my friends, or girls on the TV, I was verbally abused by people at school, or insults were hurled at me in the street. I was touched inappropriately by boys who thought I should be grateful for the attention because I was fat. But nowadays, I can genuinely say I hold my head high and have embraced my body and am unapologetically fat. 

Have you tried dieting? What happened?

I have probably tried every means possible to lose weight, from starving myself, making myself vomit, to diet pills and most extremely having a gastric bypass. I went from a UK size 32 to the size 22 I am today and even then I wasn't happy, I felt like the worlds biggest failure. 

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?

All my family are large, my parents, my paternal grandfather, my maternal grandmother, some of my cousins, so I would say maybe, but I'm not a scientist, so who knows?!

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy? 

No more or less than the average person. I eat not the whole a balanced diet. I love vegetables and cook every meal from scratch, no ready meals, but yes I do eat takeaway food at least once a month, I probably have cake about 4 times a week and I'm fucked if I'm going to apologise for that. People make assumptions all the time, people will condemn you for eating, no matter what you're eating. If it's "unhealthy" you get the "should you be eating that?" and if it's healthy people feel the need to congratulate you. FFS. 

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you're at? Have they always been?

My folks were so desperate for me to not turn out like them they restricted my diet and created my unhealthy relationship with food, it was done out of love and concern but it kind of backfired, and they have always been so desperate for me to be thin. But as I get older and as they grow to realise this is who I am and that I'm happy, they make less of an issue of it now. Mainly because they know I will tell them to fuck off. 

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people? 

Being a plus size retailer is always going to be hard because of the mere fact they have to lump us all in the same category. It means you're never going to please everyone. I think there needs to be a wider variety of brands who offer something different. Plus size brands try to be jack of all and just end up being master of none. Some of us need a fat Gap or Warehouse and some of us need Primark. There needs to be that variety. 

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How? 

I think there is less pressure on guys in the sense that if a guy is scrutinised for his weight it's in a  jokey way with his mates, but there seems to be so much anger around a woman being fat, like she's disgusting and lazy and let herself go and isn't attractive, I don't think guys get that as much, but they are still up against it. 

Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?

Of course there is. Fat people are viewed as being lazy and stupid, simple as. Surely if we had a modicum of intelligence we'd be able to maintain a healthy diet and we wouldn't have let ourselves get in such a state in the first place. On the whole we're represented in the media as headless, Greggs eating, dole bumming scum. Uneducated because we can't feed ourselves properly. This couldn't be further from the truth, I know countless fat women who are well educated, have high flying careers, or are business women, parents, and are articulate, literate, passionate women. 

Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight? 

No. I can't even elaborate. No.

What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?

Fat slag, fat bitch, fat (insert insult here). I had abuse hurled at me down the street, people purposely winding their car windows down to shout stuff at me. People stop in the street and berate me about stuffing my face when sat on a bench eating a sandwich for my lunch. I've walked in on a room of men I used to work with to hear them discussing who was going to take turns "on me" on the way home because the fat girl needed a good seeing to. Truly degrading shit. Some of the worst stuff though is the stuff dressed up as kindness or concern, like when people ask you if it stops you doing stuff, or whats it like to be fat? Like we're some kind of alien breed. 

How did you respond?

There used be a time I would go home and cry, self harm and it would set me off on a spiral of depression, eating disorders and drinking (no, really) but now I call people out on it, get all fat and up front with them. Some lad rode past me on a bike and shouted that I had a fat arse, I shouted back "I know, it's glorious isn't it?!" 

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?

My husband and previous partners are probably the only people who have complimented me on my actual form, my body. I can honestly say I don't think another girl has said I have a nice figure. Thin friends might say "I wish I had your tits" that kind of thing, or "you're lovely as you are" but I just don't think it's the done thing to tell a fat woman they have a nice figure because in most peoples eyes, we don't. Which is fair enough. I do get lots of nice compliments about my face/hair/clothes though and they are genuine, not those thinly veiled ones, like, "you dress nice considering your size" which you do also get frequently. 

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?

Only because I blog, in general most of my friends are thinner than me. 

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?

It hasn't. 

When you've been single, has your weight affected your dating life?

Nope, I never had any problems when it came to finding men. Sure there would be a lot who didn't want to sleep with me because of my size, but there were plenty who didn't care and I presume were just happy to get their end away. I've always been comfortable being naked in front of guys, it doesn't bother me. They obviously know what they're getting, I don't suddenly get thinner when I put clothes on, so it's no great surprise when I take them off. 

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women? 

No, it's not a fetish, it's just a preference. Just like when some girls say they only like muscly guys or slim, lean guys. 

Do you feel weird if he's only dated slimmer women before you? 

No, it's never been an issue, we're just people. What's happening in the here and now is what's important. I've never really been into this whole previous partner hang up. Who gives a shit who your current partner has dated in the past. You are who he's dating now. 

All these other fab ladies are taking part, I look forward to reading their answers too...

                                                                                    photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Fat fanciers...

This is not, as the title may suggest and probably disappointingly for some, a post about fetishism. It's about Gemma Collins and the likes of Gemma Collins. Celebrities of a chunky nature who are courted rightly or wrongly by plus size brands to sell us, the plus size consumer, a product. 

Gemma has been in the press again (I don't think there's a day she isn't) and surprise surprise, this week, she doesn't like being fat (someone has obviously been offered a fitness DVD deal in time for Christmas). 

I met her once. She was a bit of a twat if I'm honest. 

Gemma, just like every other person on this planet has the right to lose weight, that is 100% her choice, her body. That is not where my grievance lies. What I do have a problem with is these woman who tout themselves as plus size poster girls, saviour of the fashion challenged fatties who insist on constantly yo-yoing their opinions. You see it's not even their fluctuating weight I have a problem with. Claire Richards has quite obviously lost a lot of weight since she started her range for Fashion World which is fair enough, her body, her choice, but what Claire hasn't done (to my knowledge) is publicly declare her old fat body as disgusting/gross/whatever. Whereas her of the perma-tan constantly switches opinion of herself and her body and publicly vocalises that more often than I change my big fat XXXXL knickers. 

What Gemma has to realise is that every time she calls her size 22 body disgusting, she calls every other woman of that size or larger, disgusting. And to those who aren't as confident this could be a massive blow to their self esteem and self image. 

The sad reality is, Gemma was offered a probably obscene amount of money to pick out some hideous prints and put them on hideous dresses to sell to people who like the Essex kinda look. She took that money of course, who wouldn't? What she has failed to take into consideration is that the plus size market is an emotionally driven one, there is no way of getting round that. And the minute you renounce your fatness in such a scathing way, you insult pretty much half the nation. Well Miss Collins, I suggest you piss off back to Essex, take your diet pills, make your DVD and I hope for our sake you keep the weight off because I don't want a blathering idiot like you representing our community. 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Jean Queen....

You might have guessed I love jeans, always have done. I think New Look might have got wind of this because they asked me to take part in their Denim Challenge. They sent me 4 pairs of jeans in different styles so I could create some denim looks for their social media channels. 

I went for a bit of a preppy look with these amazing jersey denim jeans, yes jersey denim, they are a total revelation, they feel like a denim and are weighty like a denim but they move like jersey and are so comfortable. They're different to jeggings, they have more movement but are fully structured like jeans. Honestly, I love them, despite the furore on the New Look Facebook page over my alleged saggy crotch!! Ha ha!!  

Here I went for super casual, teaming the jeans with a simple monochrome leopard print sweatshirt and my beloved Missy Elliot trainers and super bright ASOS scarf. The jeggings are denim based, not a full on jersey legging with a denim look. Very comfy and I liked that they were lighter in colour! 

My final look (for this post anyway, I still have one more pair of jeans to take pics of) is, shock horror, a pair of bootcut jeans, and what's even more shocking is that I quite liked them. I haven't worn bootcuts for about 8 years but I kind of did a 90s look with the checked shirt and brown boots, which took me back to my Take That days. All I need was a kangol hat, but I think that might have been a step too far!! 

It's the big house move tomorrow so if I go AWOL you know why, but I'm hoping to have broadband on Thursday if all goes to plan!! Wish me luck guys!!!!
 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The seven deadly sins of Plus Size

Claire from Monkey See, Monkey Do and I were chatting on twitter the other day about those items of heinous fashion crime you see all too often across the pages of our favourite plus size retailers web sites. We all know how far Plus Size fashion has come in the past few years, but sadly there are still some corkers.

I will do a little disclaimer in the interests of fairness. Some of these items might be beautiful in your eyes, and are from brands I genuinely love, but in my opinion these are the items that set my teeth on edge and send a shudder down my well dressed spine!

1. Butterfly print. 
It's not even the print per se (although it is pretty rank). It's more the frequency of it. It's just always there, like every season, in vast amounts. WHY?!

Weeps a sad, butterfly flourished tear...

2. Bubble Hems. 
Oh bubble hem of doom, so bubbly and elasticated. 

Umm why?

3. Hanky Hem. 
Gypsy madness, there is no place for such a bonkers hemline. It's not big and it's not clever. 

Oh holy fuck. 

4. Cropped combats. 
The mainstay of middle aged women who are trying to be trendy. Add white socks and some sort of comfort shoe for extra sex appeal. 

Shit just got serious...
5. Cold shoulder/cut out tops.
Nothing says Janice Battersby quite like a cold shoulder top. I don't care how trendy they've got, nothing will convince me they are attractive. Sorry. 

No. Just no. 

6. Diamantes. 
No I don't need sparkly tits, my life is pretty sparkly as it is with out making me look like a reject from Strictly Ballroom. 

Time after time. 

7. Ridiculous motif tops. 
Nope. That's all I've got. 

Shit the bed. 

So it's all good pissing and moaning about what I hate, but surely any criticism deserve some kind of helpful recommendations. What do I want to see? And yes this is only me, you might think my nice choices are gross. It's all a matter of personal taste. 

Modern tailoring, strong shapes, bold patterns and colour. That's all I ask. I know it's some people's idea of hell, boxy shapes on a fat chick? Surely not? Well yep, that's what I like and that's what I'm forever seeking! 

Sp hit me guys, what's your most hated garment out there at the moment and what are you forever seeking but can never find in plus size? I can't wait to hear what you've got to say!! 

And don't forget to head over to Claire's blog to see what her most hated plus size clothes are!! 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

OOTD: Not another kimono?!?

I know. It's boring and I'll try and make this the last kimono for a while, but I HAD to show you this one!! Because, well, its cool!! I picked this up from ASOS the other week and its just aces. 

I headed out with my best friend today and our babies to one of those god awful soft play areas so I went for comfort, but of course I wanted to look stylish. Because this is really long too, it covers me up so I'm not flashing my bum crack every time I bend over to pick the kids up or run around after them! 

I wore: Black Tshirt - Love Label (old)// Kimono - ASOS Curve// Jeans - JUNAROSE// Boots - Simply Be// Necklace H&M// Glasses - Courtesy of Specpost

The glasses were sent to me by the lovely guys at Specspost, I'll be doing a full post shortly, along with the pairs they sent me, but safe to say, they are a new favourite!! 

Do you find yourself returning time after time to a similar style? Pieces that make you feel great but are maybe a little "safe"? I think I need royally kicking out of my comfort zone!! 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Half term happiness...

It's half term, Michael is busy at the new house trying to get it ready for next week, so it's just me and the babba. We've not really done much so far, pyjamas have been the attire of choice. But Michael took a break from wallpapering and we all headed off to the cinema to watch Tinkerbell (yes, thrilling, I know, it's no Frozen, trust me). 

I wore my new Tshirt dress from ASOS. Claire was right when she advised me it came up big, but I decided to keep it and go for the oversized look! It's a really understated outfit, but I was so comfy and felt great in it, so thought I'd share! 

I wore: Tshirt dress - ASOS Curve// Jacket - JUNAROSE// Bag - JustFabUK// Boots - Simply Be

We had a lovely afternoon, and nipped to the pub next door for dinner afterwards. It was a very welcome break from what seems to be utter madness at the moment!

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Monday, 17 February 2014

OOTD: Mustard and denim...

The chance to wear anything apart from a paint stained hoody and leggings at the moment is very rare, so when I finally managed to wear my January JUNAROSE picks I was very happy! Plus the sun came out this morning, the apparent calm after the storm.

I wore: Mustard Jumper - JUNAROSE// Push up Jeans - JUNAROSE// Leopard print brogues - ASOS (past season) - Necklace - New Look (past season)  

This is a really simple outfit, I wanted to try the Baykan push up jeans because I love my other JUNAROSE jeans so much I thought the promise of a bit of bum lift was rather appealing! Silly me forgot to get a pic of said bum, but I can confirm they certainly do give you a perky behind! I did find them to come up a little bit smaller than the bird slim jeans, so I might need some kind of sucky-in pant for comfort, but I'm sure after a few wears they might give. I chose one of the jumpers from the basics range. I went for mustard because it's one of those colours I love but don't wear enough of!

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Sunday, 16 February 2014

News and Offers Round Up - 16.02.2014

I seem to have had an influx of emails this last week full of offers and news, so I thought I'd share!

First up is Upper Street Shoe, you might remember I've blogged about them before. They offer a bespoke service whereby you design your own shoes, from the materials to the heel height and width. They also specialise in larger sized shoes so are perfect for you ladies size 7 and above. They're currently holding a private sample sale that readers of this blog can have access to, just click on the pics below!!


Next up is new luxury swimwear brand from America, Josephine Swim... perfect for any upcoming holidays. The brands philosophy is... a woman's size should never define or confine her swimsuit options.

My top pick is the Kenya bikini set, it's a bit gorgeous!


New York based Plus Size Boutique CurvaceousK, is looking for support. We all know how tough it can be to find great plus size clothing, even in America where there is a much wider choice. So anybody who has the guts to start up on their own deserves our support. Theres and indigogo campaign here or I guess just buying something from the online store would be great support! 

I love this maxi!


Finally the new SS14 collection is available from Australian brand Taking Shape. Launched in the UK last year, Taking Shape have opened a raft of stores across the UK and look to be going from strength to strength. You can see the range in store or online.

I love this casual summer look...

I've got some other bits coming up this week including the Cut for Evans, the new ASOS Curve collection and the SLiNK Boutique SS14 range. Check back for more news-y type stuff! 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg