Thursday, January 1, 2015

Why?

Darling readers,

Why start this blog? Why indeed?
Good question...

My entire adult life I have been overweight. It has varied - I have ranged from a (uk size) 16 to a 22 since I was about 18 years old. I was a fat teenager (always fun!) and I am now 30 and most definitely am a fat adult. The one overriding theme throughout was that I never managed to feel confident or comfortable in my own skin. I never felt desirable, or attractive. I always thought that I might be pretty despite my size -  hoping that my beauty might be able to shine through the fat (however, dimmed).

I spent years thinking that when I was thinnner / smaller my life would start. That I would suddenly be the best version of me. THis is not to say that I've lived a quiet, sad little life - not at all. But I always assumed that I would only truly deserve good things, to be loved, truly be beautiful, when I was thinner. How ridiculous!

Over the past few years however I have become enveloped in the supportive and loving community of plus size women. Reading their stories and seeing the pride women who look like me (!) take in their style, their bodies and the way they look has been a revelation.  

It started when I moved to London 6 years ago. A new, cooler climate meant my old South African clothes were no good and I needed to go shopping - but how do you begin to navigate the British high street when you nothing about any of the shops? This marvellous online collective of women who looked like me, dressed beautifully, understood the nightmares that can face the curvy shopper, had done all the research for me. I could see things on real people, things that were in the shops or online now - amazing! These women saved me from endless shopping trips sweating under flourescent lights and hating myself for not fitting into the offerings at Top Shop, H&M, Zara. 

That was my first foray into the world of fatshion blogs. I dipped in and out, as I learnt more about UK clothing, and when I felt like was in a bit of a style cul-de-sac I would return to these ladies, and inevitably be uplifted once more.

It was during one of these moments that I discovered the magnificent George of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. Her vintage style was exactly what I had been looking for. It was like someone had turned a light on in my inner walk-in closet! Now George has pretty much the most incredible figure with preportions that make my face do that cartoon thing where your tongues rolls out of your head and you have to roll it back up again... BUT her body was not so removed from mine that I couldnt see how perhaps I might be able to rock a similar style. 

I have always taken pride in the way I dress, enjoyed fashion and liked clothes, but I certainly allowed myself to fall victim to most of the silly fashion rules us bigger chicks are panned with - wear black, make sure not a lump or bump or shape is visible, floaty kaftan silhouttes are best, nothing too fitted, blah blah blah. So many rules and restrictions. But here was this buxom goddess (and others like here - Gabi Fresh of the magnificent fatkini, Callie of From the Corners of the Curve , curvy model and femme fatale Ruby Roxx etc) wearing clothes that ACCENTUATED and CELEBRATED her shape. And looking bloody FABULOUS while doing it. What?!

I was hooked. I liked these wonderful women on all of my social media platforms - imagine after years of constantly beinf bombarded with bodies that looked nothing like me to see the body positive images and messages they posted daily. It was a revelation. I constant onslaught of wonderousness. My newsfeeds became safe spaces which made me feel like I was part of a tribe. I realise this sounds like the rantings of a zealot, but I cannot describe the difference this brought about for me. Nothing externally had changed but I began to feel different.  

I bought my first Collectif Dolores Doll dress in 2013 (I now own five of that style alone - more on that soon) and I haven't looked back since. My wardrobe has become a vintage wonderland (with a grungey slant - I grew up in the 90s and my heart belongs to Kurt Cobain forver...I can't help it).

And so, I am on a journey. It's a journey that is taking me through self-acceptance and hopefully on to self love. It doesn't mean I don't wish to slim down - I would like to lose a couple of dress sizes as I believe that I would be more comfortable generally. But I no longer feel like I have to wait for that to happen. I am building a relationship with my body - connecting to it, instead of pretty much ignoring everything south of my neck. I have started to exercise and eat better (this is hard) which is also part of loving myself and wanting to look after myself.

So why am I writing this blog then? Personally, it is an important part of my journey - it felt like the right time to do it. That writing to you all might encourage me to be braver and bolder still in my choices.  
For me it's a way of giving something back as well. I want to be one more in this diaspora of beautiful and unique voices - these voices that aided me and supported me on my journey. I hope I can do the same for others. I also want to help flood the internet with more curvy bodies, proudly wearing beautiful clothes, and help shape fashion for plus sized women who are so often sold what people think will "flatter" them rather than what they want or what might make them feel good.

And so here I am. This blog will be very much a body positive space. A place of reflection for me, of sharing what I know and what I am learning, of adding to that ongoing conversation. I may occasionally digress and talk about other things I am passionate about - music, decor, make up and jewelry.  

And so it begins...
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