Saturday, October 30

I have been meaning to post about the Marie Claire thing for a while now, and how it makes me even more aware of the many different types of activism and their importance. I'm sure everyone has read about the fat-phobic article in general, and I don't want to give them more traffic so instead I'll just link to this article at Fatshionista, which gives background to those who need it.

I can't even begin to express my anger at this, but I think what I am more is incredulous that someone maintains that Kelly's opinion is anything other than a blind prejudice. Sometimes I almost can't believe that there is a general consensus that all fat people should be eliminated from public viewing - and in many ways I don't feel like we can blame one writer for this opinion - it's what we're told constantly, and ultimately what she is repeating is just what we are expected to feel about fat bodies that are not displayed with the ongoing connotations of ritual humiliation, shame, unhappiness and grotesqueness.

There's been an immense amount of commentary on the piece itself, and I don't feel that I can add to it (beyond just going RARGH WHY THE HELL IS THIS STILL GOING ON?) but what I do want to comment on is the role of activism in dispelling these myths of what being fat means as an experience to most people. I'm a believer in activism being a great many things, and I believe this because, whilst fat remains so intensely connotative and symbolic of doom, gloom, death, the obesity apocalypse and whatever we're responsible for next, every step taken by a fat person is a step made towards tearing these stereotypes apart. Activism is conscious and unconscious - to me it can just be walking down the street, it's eating in public, it's wearing a short skirt, or showing bingo wings or thighs that rub together, it's owning your body and claiming it as your own (rather than as a symbolic substance determined by others). It could be telling people your weight, it could be saying "fat" proudly, or kissing, or dancing, or cycling, exercising. It is about being in spaces that we are consistently told that we do not belong in, and owning them. It's about being exactly what we are told we are not - happy, confident, in charge of our bodies and not ashamed.

So, for every person that says that fat love is disgusting and repulsive, and that we don't deserve the pleasures and loves that anyone else who fits within the "normal" BMI categories does, I am so glad that the fat-o-sphere exists. I am so glad that for every headless fatty there is represented on the internet, there is also an empowered, angry and awesome fat person somewhere else. My fat acceptance began with the internet, it began with Fatshionista's flickr pool and led on from there, and without the constant stream of images of fat people being amazing and vibrant and so alive (and the people I have been lucky enough to meet in person, at conferences and events and clothes swaps), without the blogs and videos and photographs and media that runs against the mould, that constantly challenges what we are told to be, I really do not know where I would be right now.

Also, I think everyone should look at The Museum of Fat Love. I'm definitely fairly unromantic, and the be all and end all of fat acceptance is not just about romance fo me, but beyond the smug-coupledness, this still makes me smile from my heart.

/endrant

Wednesday, October 27

My first etsy listing!

I'm etsy-ing again! For those who don't know, I used to run an ebay store specialising in plus size vintage. I don't have the room to hold the stock anymore, or the time to list, but instead I'm going to try and list a few finds on etsy, both from my wardrobe and from thrifting excursions.

My first item is up, and it's a lovely 50s/early 60s rayon dress in a patchwork pattern. Best fit someone *slightly* smaller than me - it measures 46",42"52" and can be found here for $35.

Comfort Eating

I have been thinking about food a lot lately, not least because an awful cold has finally left me behind and I have my normal appetite back, and I am now eating more than toast and doritos on a daily basis. Yay!

I have been thinking particularly about comfort eating as a practice, and as a "disorder". This is largely because of aforementioned cold and eating a lot of junk food last week. I've never really understood why comfort eating is construed as always negative personally - for me taking comfort from food is a given, and I love nothing more than curling up with real stodge or sweet things when I'm having a down day. I don't understand why that is negative when it makes me happy - should I only eat food that leaves me completely indifferent instead? That's no fun.

I grew up in a single parent, working class household, and my dad Steve always worked shift patterns, so from when I was 13, I just used to eat whatever I could make myself. I never learnt to cook until the first year of university, though I knew how to sustain myself. I used to eat loads of processed foods, junk food and some really odd concoctions of my own making (one of which I still make now is a barbeque bean bake, which is essentially cheap sausages fried with onions, with baked beans stirred into and bbq sauce, then topped with mashed potato and baked in the oven. It's still my favourite comfort food dish, despite it's lack of any form of value!). Treats were McDonalds or cake from a bakery.

I left for university and met a lot of friends who already knew how to make amazing food. They introduced me to fruit and veg, good meat, proper bread and cake, and I loved eating this way. I stopped eating rubbish and I'm really happy to be a good cook now. I spent a long time trying to be just healthy - I think this was tied into feeling like I needed to be an "acceptable" fatty, who was at least healthy as some form of compensation for my unacceptability. I still cook well, and there are healthy treats I love, but I've also come to admit exactly how much I love junk food and comfort eating for the sake of it. I also feel that this part of my upbringing is part of me still, and I don't think I should be ashamed of this to appease people. Sometimes I'll cook a roast dinner for tea, sometimes I'll make something super fancy sounding (dinner on Monday was spaghetti with anchovy, chilli and garlic sauce, with garlic breadcrumbs and parsley garnish), sometimes it'll just be soup or pesto, and often it might be junk food. Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I ate an entire tub of Mackie's ice cream with toffee sauce - that was dinner. In the past we've also called lunch a box (or er two) of chocolate fingers dipped in cheap chocolate mousses. Sometimes we eat the food that you always wanted to when you were a child, but were never allowed to. Sometimes I eat breakfast for dinner. Sometimes it's chips and processed cheese sauce (processed cheese is my absolute childhood weakness - the more neon, the better), sometimes it's an entire pizza. The point being that it's fun, and I always think that food should be fun, and unruly, and oh so wrong-but-right at the same time.

I take a lot of issue with the "healthy eating" brigade, and sometimes I even have issues with HAES for the same reasons. I feel like too many foods are still made out to be bad for us, when in fact I find refusing to satisfy cravings to be much unhealthier in the long run. It's so much more liberating to allow yourself to eat the most excessive and luxurious combinations - just to let yourself go with it when you want it. Life is too short to spend it umm-ing and ahh-ing over calorie counts and too short to substitute out the double cream and roast potatoes you "shouldn't" eat.

And now... um, I'm hungry. /rant

Trousers! In case you can't tell, this makes me excited. I bagged these peg leg pleated numbers from the very online sale, and they are hands down the most comfortable pair I have ever owned. Work appropriate and not the cursed bootleg that seems to plague me when trouser shopping. I'd fully recommend them to anyone on the hunt for a similar style.

Rundown:
Lace shirt, £10 Primark
Cami, £4 Primark
Trousers, £14.50, Very.co.uk
Shoes, £15 Evans sale

Sunday, October 24


Another etsy score afoot for a larger fatty than me. This gorgeous gingham dress has a 52"+ bust, and a 48" waist, and is a bargain given how amazing it is for $56. Available here from Libbysweets.

Friday, October 22

Annie Hall trousers


This post is a fairly weak attempt to copy the "Annie Hall" aesthetic that was a serious obsession of mine for many a year. Sadly, I find trousers and shirts really hard to find in my size, especially as I spread a lot when I sit down - so my shape morphs considerably. I normally stick to my skinnies, but I scored two pairs of amazing trousers in the very.co.uk sale - these, which are high waisted, pleated wide legs in a grey pinstripe, and a black 40s-esque peg leg (the ones I raved about earlier in the year, incidentallly), both for bargainous prices.

Details:
Pussy bow blouse - £15.00, M&S via ebay
Grey trousers - £14.50, Very Sale
Brown loafer heels - £15, Clarks sale

And some inspiration pictures:

I think what I most love about Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, as opposed to the many re-envisionings of the look in fashion circles/street style and so on, is that it's actually a really awkward style. It's haphazard and ill fitting, and her charm comes out of this thrifty oddball-ness - rather than the very preened restyling of it that has happened since.
MMMMM...


Let's talk etsy. Is anyone interested in me posting things I find on etsy, thrifting wise? It's easier now, but I used to find it a real bitch to navigate and figure out where the stuff in plus sizes actually is. It's still not easy.

I generally search for any of the following.
- XXL
- XXXL
- XL
- "plus size"
- "oversized"
- Also, try searching for particularly "generous" items of vintage clothing i.e. "tent dress", "cape",
"kaftan" etc. You'd be surprised what's labelled as a kaftan or a tent dress which is actually a well fitting item of plus sized vintage!

I find just searching by size helps, though you have to be prepared to sift through all the results and this is time consuming. Also, search around your size too - a lot of people don't really know what "xxl" or "xl" means, so I've found things that fit me in all categories.

Anyway, someone who is a size or two smaller than me should score these high waisted stonewashed beauties. They'll fit a 38" waist, 48" hips, and cost $26 from Sabrosa Vintage. Awesome much? More fatties in inappropriately trendy items of clothing please...

Thursday, October 21


I'm still ill, yuck, and still attempting to go into work, so forgive me if this is a bit brief! Anyway, this shift from tesco is pretty awesome, and a serious bargain.

Dress - £5.60, Tesco
Tights - £2.00, Primark
Brogues - £20, Very.co.uk

Monday, October 18


Well, I feel rotten. I managed to get into work this morning thinking that I was just a bit tired, but ended up going home at 12 and feeling very guilty about taking sick time when I've only been working there for five weeks! I do hate office politics. Anyhow. I put on my brightest dress in an attempt to raise my spirits this morning.

Where I work is in a county council record office. There's no dress code, but everyone is older than me and very Sussex conservative, so I got a fair few "oh aren't you colourful" comments today.

Anyway:

Orange peplum dress, £5.60 Tesco online sale
Tuxedo jacket, Dorothy Perkins via Fatshionista sales post, £10
Black chunky necklace, £2 Primark
Boots, £39.50 Evans.

Saturday, October 16

New skirt!


This t-shirt is TEN YEARS OLD NOW. That scares me a bit. Anyway, I totally feel like dressing like a bit of a goth again of late, and I found my old combat boots again, so hello teenage goth times!

I bought this skirt from River Island on Tuesday, it was reduced to £10 and is pretty amazing I have to say. This is a size 16, but er, needless to say it's VERY stretchy. The skirt is navy, ruched with black panelling. A total colour combination faux pas, and that's why it's so awesome. There's also a similar dress in navy and lavender with embellished shoulders and shoulder pads, for £20, but I'm trying to be good and buy some wardrobe staples for now.

Skirt - £10 River Island
T-shirt - £5 Camden market (adapted by 14 year old me, with scissors!)
Combat boots - £8, Thriftstore UK on Livejournal

And this is what I do on my Friday nights apparently... dress up in different combinations of outfits and watch Nigella on iplayer... someone take me out so I can wear it like this instead!

Swimming costume, vintage from 21st century retro on Holloway Road (my favourite vintage shop EVER) - £20
Skirt, as before.

Now I'm off to see the new Psychoanalysis exhibition at the Science Museum, then see one of my best friends for the night in London. Yay! x

Thursday, October 14


Sorry, I'm way behind with posting!
Ah, it's been a bit busy of late. This picture is from last Friday, and I wore it to travel five hours to see my boyfriend. Ah, that sucks. Well, not the seeing of the boyfriend, but the travel.

This was the dress that first made me love the shift. I got it for £15 in an evans sale, and it was so amazing that I decided the fact that my upper arms were on show was irrelevant. And I'm glad I did, because it's one of my favourite dresses now. And shift dresses are often my staple.

Rundown:
Dress: £15 evans
Triple pearls: £5, New Look (I've had these since 2006!)
Boots, £39.50 evans
Mess, er... too many late nights and not enough cleaning.

More wordy posts to come, I promise! Kx

OH MY GOD

Come to this, all welcome:

Thrill! A rare UK screening of gang girl cult classic: She-Devils On Wheels
Delight! A supporting screening of the Chubsters film
Amaze! Cheap! Non-profit! Politically right-on! Under the Westway! Punk!
Plus! Chubster-style arsing around.

Wednesday 27 October 2010
8.30pm
Portobello Pop Up Cinema
3 Acklam Road, London, W10 5TY

www.portobellopopup.com

The Chubsters are a queer fat girl gang, though you don't have to be queer, fat, a girl or even particularly gang-orientated to join.

We love going to the pictures and we've teamed up with the legendary Cheap Date magazine and Portobello Pop Up Cinema to present a night of Chubster-related pleasures.

She-Devils On Wheels (1968)
Directed by exploitation king Herschell Gordon Lewis, She-Devils On Wheels concerns the exploits of The Man Eaters, the toughest and most preposterous girl gang on the planet. Chubsters will be happy to spot Pat Poston as the belligerent Whitey, she's fat, dykey, and mean as hell. Combining low-brow humour, cheap laughs, even cheaper special effects and wild women on motorbikes, not to mention a theme song that will plague you for the rest of your life, this rare screening is unmissable. Check out the trailer!

Plus supporting short, Chubsters (2009).

Portobello Pop Up Cinema is a newly established, non profit Microplex (as opposed to Multiplex) cinema and arts venue situated in the Westway underpass on the Portobello Road/Acklam Road junction – an area steeped in a long and iconic history of creative subculture. Admission to the cinema is on a pay-what-you-can afford basis, with a suggested donation of £4. Fuck yeah!

***

I suck and can't go, because I can't really afford London train fares right now. But OH MY GOD nonetheless.

Saturday, October 9


So,my internet still sucks. Hopefully I'll be back next week, but in the mean time I'll try and do a couple of brief outfit blogs and hope to catch up with my emails.

My most favourite 70s shirt dress! Bought from Traid at one of their £2 sales in 2006, in my second year of uni. I loved Traid! I worked in a call centre really close to Brixton centre, and I'd always get there early to have a rummage. But the best part about Traid was their £4/£2/£1 sales - which got me some of my bargains when I lived in London.

70s shirt dress - £2, Traid sale
Jumper - £7, dorothy perkins
Belt - £free, my stock
Grey socks -£2 Primark
Loafers - £17, vintage shop in Liverpool

Back soon with more poignant updates! x

Monday, October 4

Mum shorts

Okay, so these shorts are vintage, scored on ebay for about £15 (I never find vintage shorts, so they're a premium to me). They used to be dungarees but the straps were a bit too loose and so I never wore them. I cut them off and figure they work better now. They're wide legged with a high waist, pockets and proper "mum" style pleating. I'm sure there's haters out there, but I love them.

Lace shirt,£10 ish(?), primark
Vest, £4, primark
Shorts, £15, vintage
Tan belt, former stock, £free
Grey socks, primark, £2 for 2 pairs
Tights, primark £2
Shoes, £15, clarks sale.

While we're here, let's talk about Primark tights. Now, two years ago I discovered that Primark tights fit me PERFECTLY. Every fat, tall girl knows the agony of tights hunting - I had the answer! That winter I owned tights in every colour of the rainbow, some of which remain (like this pair).... then.... they made them LOW WAISTED. They no longer pulled over my bum. This makes tights shopping even more of an agony now. So I'm wistful for that one year with the many pairs of tights all for £2 each. Sigh...

Sunday, October 3

BLACK


So I'm big into black at the minute. I've spent many a year being as colourful as possible, but this fall I'm really getting into black items - well constructed items which give good silouhettes. I also can't deny the recent acquisition of some rouge noir lipstick and time spent actually getting to grips with the "smokey eye" at last definitely had something to do with this.

I scored this jersey dress with an assymetrical hem from River Island over the summer. It's a size 18 but super generous and has a comfortable body con fit on my frame. It's dressy and definitely a statement dress, but it's also comfortable and versatile. I wanted to wear some combat boots with this, but I seem to have left them somewhere, so my brogues had to suffice. I would love a pair of black wedges to team with this, but no doubt the hunt for a pair that aren't as uncomfortable as heels are for me will prove too much of a challenge.

Also, smokey eye!

Not a bad job I think. Undoubtably overdressed for a day of eating (pancakes with eggs, bacon and maple syrup for brunch, then japanese takeaway from pompoko and drinks with friends) but whatever, what else are weekends for?

Rundown:
Dress, size 18, £29.99 River Island
Black necklace, £2 primark sale
Tights, Evans
Brogues, £3, charity shop

And now I'm off to nurse a hangover and ogle vintage goodies.

Friday, October 1


Okay, so the less that is said about my hair today the better.

This skirt is the second pleated skirt I made out of the online pattern I posted in this entry. To make it, I bought a below knee length tartan skirt with an atrocious elasticated waist from a charity shop for £2. It's a lovely wool blend fabric so in need of being repurposed I felt! I simply cut out the waistband, unpicked the seams, and then used to fabric to make the skirt as per the pattern. It's ace! I don't think I'll ever tire of high waisted, pleated skirts.. .

I teamed this with a plain top, brown loafer heels, and a tan belt. I added a vintage scarf after taking this because I felt it lacked something.

Details:
Top, £free, clothes swap
Belt, £free, old vintage stock
Skirt, £2, repurposed old lady skirt
Heels, £15 clarks sale.