Monthly Archives: January 2013

Gorgeous People, Awesome Blogs

I know, that ‘awesome’ word gets used waaay too much, but I think it kinda fits in with this post.write something

It wasn’t until I started getting into blogging myself back in 2007 that I realised just how many people are out there writing their hearts out in an effort to brighten up our day, share their finds and let us in on their worlds. Fast forward to 2013 and the ‘Blogosphere’ has expanded so much that there’s something there for everyone, and some of the positive and plus size blogs are just amazing.

I’ll be honest, there are so many that I can’t even begin to follow and read every single one, but I thought I’d pick out a few of my gorgeous girl pals who I feel I already kinda know through their blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Sometimes I even know them properly!

The Curvy Fashionista: Marie Denee is a sassy fashion expert from the US who knows what makes curvy girls look sensational. Even though it’s an American blog, it’s a fabulous read and there are sections on body image, reviews, plus size designers and celebrity style. It’s definitely worth adding to your blog roll for a bit of inspiration and oomph if you’re feeling flat. And you should see Marie – she’s GORGEOUS.

This one is for the days when you feel a bit ranty, a bit fed up with fat-phobia and you want some ‘Hell Yeah’. Sign up to the website and you get a weekly email telling you why you should F*** the Diets, as well as an insight into the lovely Jen’s world, which sounds like a whole lot of fun to me. One of these days I’m going to make it down to Brighton and we WILL go for that drink.

If you love your fashion curvy and with a hefty sprinkle of individuality, you’ll love Hanna, who describes herself as a ‘Thirty Something Finnish Fat Girl’. She’s in charge of The Wardrobe Challenge, where she models the contents of her wardrobe as part of her challenge to wear everything in said wardrobe at least once. This challenge has been compounded by the fact that she keeps getting sent extra clothes to wear because her blog is so cool. I really love this one and I especially love her ‘Shop the Look’ at the end of every outfit post.

Not strictly about curvy girls but a surefire way to raise your sass to deafening volumes and work it, baby is Sassyology. I’ve had a bit of a girl crush on Lisa Clark (now Lister, since she married her hot Viking) ever since we met and she really is the go-to girl when you’re having a grumpy day and need a glitter-sprinkled kick up the behind!

I didn’t know whether to include this one or not…I do follow CeCe’s adventures on The Big Girl Blog as a Plus Size Princess in NYC, but she does talk about diets a bit. She also talks about a lot of good stuff as well, and she’s always entertaining, so I think she’s going to have to go in…

What Patty Difusa Loves is a fairly new blog but I’m keeping my eye on it because I think Patty is lovely, and because I know she’s bringing out a much-needed selection of leggings and tights for non-standard sized backsides very, very soon. Watch this space as I’ve been promised a pair to model for you (eek) but I reckon I’ll be dipping into my protesting overdraft to get me some of THAT. Patty also has the advantage of being invited to London Plus Size Fashion Weekend, and has promised to guest blog for Gorgeously Full Fat when she gets back – no, they still won’t give me the press pass, the rotters.

Finally, what’s not to love about Lauren, the Pocket Rocket? She’s a pretty well established fashion blogger and I really love her style. Her blog is packed with photos of Lauren wearing the latest looks, putting together outfits that look really funky and as she says, she’s ‘Fat but patently NOT unfashionable’. She’s an advocate of Health at Every Size, but the blog is fun and fashion-focused so there’s no political ranty stuff on there if that turns you off.

That’ll do for starters…There are so many great blogs that I couldn’t possibly mention them all, but these are some of the main blogs I keep up with…if you’ve got any recommendations for any more, let me know. Enjoy…

 

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Cast your votes…

I’d really, really love it if you would give me some feedback – it won’t take more than a few seconds and it will really help me with the Mad Fat Ideideas_womana…Thank you!

(PS: You can tick as many as you like)

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Help!

Business CardI’m always coming up with bright ideas – and with the help of my gorgeous, very supportive and actually rather clever fiance, I came up with another one last night.

How many of you have given up looking at glossy magazines because they just don’t have anything for you? Page after page of fashion designed for slim women, showcased on models that are quite possibly a size you haven’t been since Take That were on their first incarnation, and airbrushed into near-perfection (albeit with a few anomalies that make you giggle).

Me too. I adore fashion, I mean really love it, but when I see magazines exclude me from their fashion offering, it makes me feel as if they’re telling me I’m not the sort of person they want associated with their magazine, and they aren’t interested in my custom. Well, fine, I’m not really that bothered, and with the prices of glossies at the moment being a bit ridix as well, I can’t say that I lose much sleep over it.

I used to read ‘Beautiful’ which was produced by the talented Miss Sue Thomason, but I haven’t seen it in a while, so I got to thinking – what if I tried to do something like that myself? Would people read it?

The feedback I’ve had so far has been good, and one thing I definitely want to take on board is that if I want to appeal to woman who feel excluded from mainstream media, I don’t really want to make the magazine totally for, and focussed on, fat. Or plus size fashion and issues. I’d have to make it something that would appeal across the board but which had a definite focus on feelgood subjects, include plus size fashion and NO DIETS EVER.

I also hit upon the idea of doing a trial run as a section of Inspired Magazine – which would work really well as I’m the editor! If I get my research done (I will be going to London Plus Size Fashion Weekend, even if the PR is ignoring my requests for a press pass) I can make some contacts and get some great material for the magazine.

I’ll be plotting and scheming to come up with some great ideas for articles, and I’m really, really interested in your opinions. What would you like to see in a magazine that caters for all sizes? More/less fashion? Beauty? Pop psychology? Relationships? Food?

My plan is to get to grips with some of the free DTP software online and see if I can make a few electronic trial issues – see how they go and then approach people about making a print copy. But hey, I’m getting ahead of myself already…

PS: You can give me some feedback on what you’d like to see here…

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I’ve just pitched an idea to Grazia!

Kate-Moss-GraziaUK-January-2013OK, so I’m a big chicken. I’m scared of pitching feature ideas to ed-girls because I’m not so good at being ignored.

But I passionately believe that plus-size fashion and size acceptance are going to be hot trends in 2013, and to back this up I’ve just pitched an idea for a column/feature to Grazia.

I used to read Grazia religiously until I became disillusioned with the constant diet articles and fashion features that completely left me cold. I know a lot of curvy girls feel the same way about fashion magazines and refuse to buy them on principle. Since the demise of ‘Beautiful’ there’s nothing left for big girls anymore, so last night I was talking to some fellow plus size girlriends who thought I should create my own plus-size positive magazine. They were pretty damn convinced that it would fly off the shelves.

I wish I had the time, money and patience to create something like that! But I do have masses of ideas and creativity, and a passion for the subject…so I decided to go for broke and pitch an idea to one of the most upmarket fashion magazines there is. I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

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My Mad Fat Diary

My Mad Fat DiaryThere’s a new heroine in town….she’s witty, she’s intelligent, she’s a bit rude, she has great taste in music and she has a fab way with words.

She’s also fat, and has just come out of a psychiatric ward. Or left the ‘Mentals’ as she’d put it.

‘My Mad Fat Diary‘ which started on E4 on Monday 14th January is based on the real life diaries of Rae Earl, a sixteen year old, sixteen stone oddball from Lincolnshire who is absolutely desperate to fit in, get a boyfriend and just ‘Be Normal.’ She’s just spent four months in treatment – but her awful mother told everyone she’d gone to France “Well, we had to tell them something.”

We don’t really know why she was in treatment, but she’s covered in self-harm scars and is often seen binge eating, telling herself that it’s not a binge, she’s just eating. She’s fat, of course, and one of the things I really loved was that she’s neither a token jolly fatty or a miserable, self pitying buffoon. She’s just a girl. Who happens to be a bit fat.

At one point, after being coerced into trying on a bikini in a clothes shop, Rae is forced out onto the pavement with just an inflatable crocodile to cover her modesty when a fire alarm goes off. The resulting cacophany of “Minger” and other insults from passers by sends Rae spiralling off towards the psychiatric unit again, crying “I don’t think I’m ready for this” – I was impressed that despite the comedy, the writers showed just how freaking painful it is to feel that exposed, and to be ridiculed in public for being overweight. It absolutely does HURT. Fat people have feelings, you know?

I love the soundtrack…it’s set in 1996, one of my favourite music years. Critics love it because it’s a non-patronising portrayal of a teenager with mental illness. I love Rae’s sarcasm, I love her honesty and I really like the fact she isn’t a caricature. Definitely one to watch…

 

 

 

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Gorgeous and Full Fat

I finally got around to reading ‘Health at Every Size‘ yesterday. You know Hildawhen you have a book that you really know you want to read but you just never quite get around to it? HAES was one of mine.

Then I read the post I reblogged yesterday from Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein – and I knew I had to get on with it and read the damn book!

It made me angry, happy, determined and a whole misxture of other emotions. This is the science they don’t tell you when you’re being lectured about your weight at the doctors for the umpteenth time (and we all know you only went in for antibiotics for a throat infection). It’s liberating and it’s eye-opening.

Right from the start, Linda Bacon debunks the idea that dieting works. From the ways your body tries to resist weight loss – and it’s a crafty bugger – to the ways we’re misled by big business into eating foods that keep us fat, dieting, feeling shitty about ourselves and more. She even suggests that exercise isn’t the weight loss Holy Grail we’re led to believe. It might stop us GAINING weight and it’s undeniably a good thing to be as active as we can be, but it doesn’t make most of us skinny.

HAES also gives you a whole heap of figures contradicting the idea we’re all going to die young because we are a size 16 or more.

You’ll just have to read it for yourself if you want to get the full benefits. I think I’m going to have to read it again myself, especially the bits about how to stop dieting. There’s a lot in there that’s not entirely new to me – I have to thank Sue Thomason for introducing me to the idea that there might be a world beyond Slimming World in the first place. But for some reason the research, the science, the figures and the detail made it all feel real.

Women who followed the HAES advice were happier, no longer struggled with food issues (Amen to that) and improved their self esteem. But what about their health? Well there were no massive weight losses. The author says she lost a couple of stone but nothing major. But before you decide it’s not worth doing and search Amazon for 2013’s next diet best seller, read on. The women who followed the HAES programme had lower cholesterol and blood pressure and were more active than before they started the plan.

The control group of dieters lost a bit of weight – but gained it back.  Their activity levels, cholesterol and blood pressure all stayed the same or got worse, as did their depression levels. Half the dieters dropped out before the end of the study while only 8% of the women following the HAES plan gave up.

The dieters’ self esteem dropped. The HAES volunteers soared.

So no, they weren’t skinnier, but they were healthier and happier. And the dieters were neither skinnier, healthier OR happier. So it’s a no-brainer really.

Diets. Don’t. Work.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to get to the point where you just give up on the idea of dieting. I mean really give up. But you know what, it’s well overdue for me. I’m tired of it. The relentless pressure and bullying, the stress of trying to lose weight and busting a gut (last year I managed to lose a stone…but put it all back on again). We all want to be happy and healthy, so what if there is a way to be both without being in the BMI chart ‘acceptable’ range? I’m willing to take that chance…

 

 

 

 

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So eloquently put and absolutely spot on

whoever you want to be...

Unless you’ve been asleep for the first two weeks of the new year – and I wouldn’t blame you for going into hibernation – you will have found it well nigh impossible to avoid some kind of ‘New Year, New You’ patter. Most of it will have involved eating vegetables and renewing, or considering, a gym membership; even if you managed to dodge the endless magazine articles and blog posts about detoxes and diets, you probably have at least three friends who have signed up to some sort of fun run or charity event and are posting smug updates every ten minutes about their training.

But that’s okay. There’s no harm in a resolution to be healthier. It’s just that, for the most part, people don’t seem to have any concept about what healthy actually means. To most people,what it really seems to mean has nothing to do with…

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