Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Opinion: The Big Fat Plus Size Debate.

So. I recently entered the Marie Claire search for a 'Curve' columnist, sadly, I didn't get shortlisted, but I thought I might share my entry with you. Partly because well, it's written, so somebody may as well read it and partly because I've seen a tonne of discussions flying about today regarding ModCloth's decision to integrate their plus offering into their mainstream, which is all well and good, but until their whole range covers all sizes, it seems like a bit of an empty gesture. Why are we so desperate to lose the plus...?

Fatty, Fat, Plus Size, Chunky, Chubby, Big, Large - All words I fucking love and am happy to be described as.


To plus size or not to plus size, that is the question. This is the debate that's been rumbling on for more time than I care to remember! Everywhere I go, I get asked “are you offended by the term plus size” I mean how does one answer that? How can I be offended by the only thing I've ever known, by the title of a community that saved my life?

You see, let me give you a brief history.

Hi, I'm Becky, I'm a plus size woman, a fatty, a chubster. When I left school, aged 16 I was a size 16. For many years I battled with my own body image and confidence. So much so, that at the age of 26 and a size 32, I decided to have a gastric bypass. So low was my confidence, that I felt having a life threatening, life changing operation would be the answer. To cut a long story short, it wasn't. With every pound I lost, what little confidence I had also slowly drifted off. Seven stone later and I found myself at a very low point, with a history of eating disorders I felt myself slipping into old habits, desperate to kickstart the weight loss that had plateaued. It was then, by sheer chance I stumbled upon the plus size blogging community. Right there on my laptop were women who looked just like me, unapologetic, fashionable, confident fat women. Slowly but surely, with every blog post I read, I started to look at my body in a different way. Inspired by these women, I started my own blog. With every full length picture I posted I started to relearn the confidence I'd lost and build a new found confidence I'd never known the likes of.

I made myself a promise, I would never be disrespectful to my body again, I threw out my set of scales, and as a mother to a beautiful little girl, I made that decision for both of us.

So how do I feel about the term 'Plus Size', am I offended by it? My goodness no! How can I be? In it's basic terms, it is merely a descriptor and until every high street store and online retail carries sizes 6-32, below and beyond we will always need 'plus size'. Until someone comes up with a better term, what else are we supposed to use? On a deeper level, it's a term I use to identify with others, with women who, because of their size have a certain amount of shared experience. Who know what it is like to live as a larger woman, who have suffered at the hands of a cruel society who see fat as the enemy. And these are the women who I walk with every day. Every time we share a selfie or a picture of our outfit, every time we leave the house with our head held high we make a statement. Plus size women deserve to be treated with the same respect as our slimmer sisters, we deserve access to well fitting, stylish clothing, we deserve to be represented fairly and accurately in the mainstream media.

We're not looking to overrun the thin world with our gloriously big bottoms, no, we just want to occupy the space we deserve, with dignity and respect. Viva la Plus Size!



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5 comments:

  1. Great post. One thing that stuck out to me though is about gastric bypass. I think so many people think that it will be the quick fix magic cure and it clearly isn't. It is a whole lifestyle change and I'm certainly not ready to give up chips.....
    Is it any wonder though that so many people are reaching for that when the media is constantly telling us how wrong our bodies are?
    I am relatively new to reading plus size blogs and they have been an absolute saviour and revelation! I'm not sure my bank manager likes you all though. Too much fashion inspiration!

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  2. So much respect for sharing your story, I am still not at the loving myself stage but I agree the PS community has helped me no end not to hide anymore and except who I am.
    xx

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  3. Love the colours. xx
    www.assessorise.com

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  4. A round of applause and a swooping bow!

    C xx
    http://curvygirlthin.blogspot.co.uk

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Thank you for your comment, I love reading what everyone has to say! B x