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Monday, June 6

Why I’m not a fatshion blogger anymore




Hi! This blog kind of petered away over the years and I never really posted to say goodbye. I’m not blogging anymore, partly because I have a busy life and partly because I feel really uncomfortable with what happened to fatshion in the last 4-5 years. I wanted to leave a final post to say goodbye (and thank you), and also process these thoughts.

I liked this blog a lot when I posted here, I met friends that I still care deeply for and it was probably the first place that anyone told me that what I had to say was important and valuable. The support I got here helped me to feel confident enough to start writing zines, making music and producing countercultural *stuff* that makes me feel alive and full of energy and excitement. The words and pictures I put here were the first I’d expressed publicly in a long time, and that was a significant thing for me given where I come from and particularly how hard it is to write as a working class woman.

I started this blog because I read other blogs and I was annoyed at how much fatshion was centred around purchasing capacity and buy-in culture. I was on the dole and I had *nothing*, and I came from a working class background. I still liked clothes and I thought other people like me existed, so I started a blog. I still like clothes but I’m not as poor most of the time now.

I participated in fatshion communities for years before I started posting here. The livejournal Fatshionista community was the first fat positive culture I found. One of the things I liked about that space was the visibility of queer femmes, working class women and women of colour, which (with a few notable exceptions, you know who you are) are not the bloggers that have been picked up out of these spaces (I wonder why). I liked the bad outfits too, the rainbow socks and tutus and the age inappropriate clothing that got chewed out on Unfatshionista (the secret snark community). I liked seeing everyone, shoddy mirror pics and all, gleefully existing, wearing stuff and not giving a shit.

Signatures of success for bloggers have become the ability to assimilate within brand culture - having clothing lines, working for them, being sponsored by them, and acting as ambassadors for them. I can count on one hand the amount of bloggers I’ve seen show signs of having any sense of radical politics now. Brands adopt “body positivity” to sell stuff (sometimes even stuff to change your body). People have stopped reading blogs because they’re full of the same rhetoric as the brands we sat criticising on livejournal all those years ago.

Fatshion culture now still exists around a dichotomy of good vs bad fashion that makes me feel uncomfortable. There’s a lot of talking about breaking fashion rules, and maybe people are breaking the most obvious rules, but you’re still posting with your hands on your hips and your legs pressed together and in poses that hide your fattest parts. When I followed bloggers on twitter I regularly saw bitching about outfits that weren’t “good enough” – as if people who weren’t professionally photographed in flawless make up and on trend everything didn’t have the right to claim access to this space. Other people are regularly accused of being "too radical" or too hard on brands. This good/bad dichotomy and apolitical attitude about clothes is exactly why I needed to access fatshion spaces in the *first place*, and I resent it existing in them now.

When I posted here, people bitched about me on forums because I’m not pretty or conventionally attractive for a fat woman. Sometimes people zoomed in on my face and commented on the fact that I didn’t have perfect make up, or that I showed signs of sweating (oh my god). I was expected to be pristine in a way that I’m not, most days, and that’s okay. It’s okay to post pictures of yourself on a public platform without being “perfect”. It’s okay to celebrate your fashion choices when people call you ugly constantly. It’s okay to wear a bad outfit.

So basically hi, I’m still here, existing, wearing ridiculous stuff that I shouldn’t. Thank you for being here and supporting me, when I posted here all the time. I am archiving this blog (and encourage anyone to do this same) on the British Library’s Web Archive.

Here are some places you can find stuff I do and my writing now:

 

97 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say that I like you and your style. Wish you all the best! Love from Norway!

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  2. You have been ace inspiration. I have been grateful for your fashion ideas from your photos of your own outfits. I will miss your blog but major thank you for posting.XX

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  3. You have been ace inspiration. I have been grateful for your fashion ideas from your photos of your own outfits. I will miss your blog but major thank you for posting.XX

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  4. I love you, you are fantabulous x

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  5. I love you, you are fantabulous x

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  6. My inspiration comes from the likes of IG and twitter these days, not blog posts - ironic as I still blog, but hey. I think the rad fats have moved away from blogging because of the 'constant' stream of being accused of being negative all the time - and that gets draining without a support network.

    Keep on being awesome in whatever arena you see fit xx

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  7. You were one of my favorite blogs. I don't read or write anymore either, so I get it. Lots of consumerism that I was participating in and don't wish to any longer. Good luck with your other endeavors and thanks for archiving!

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  8. I'm sorry to see you go, I loved your blog posts for the fact that they were genuine, real and didn't try and force overly posed images of hidden fat in my face! I totally agree with where you are coming from and am so tired of the popular fashion bloggers who swoon over every item they review, kindly donated to them by companies they are working for, when you know full well that they would never where that outfit in real life, and you see them trying to sell it on pretty quickly. I am sick of seeing bloggers who sizes change with every photo, depending on the pose and the photoshopping used!I miss the realness and trustworthiness of original plus size bloggers. x

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  9. This is a great post, thank you. After decades of self loathing have literally just discovered the Fat People's Internet (how did I miss it on LJ all those years ago? presumably too busy feverishly reading slashfic about conventionally hot white men) and am finding it as lifesaving/changing/liberating as you'd expect. But am already (after, like, three weeks) starting to feel uncomfortable with some aspects of it, and this post very helpfully nails that feeling that I was struggling to put into words. It's helpful to know that there are divergent streams of fat lady fashion culture out there and I'm going to try and seek out the bits of it with a slightly more sceptical attitude to, uh, rampant consumerism. And also follow you on twitter it that's okay. Thanks again! :)

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  10. You will be missed. I came up reading rad fat bloggers AND fatshionistas. Of course we know success goes to the fat fashion bloggers whilst the rad fat bloggers are considered negative nellies. I do struggle in this environment, and appreciate people like you for existing and making me feel better about my existence. Your blog post comes on a day where I've refunded an advertiser's money and removed their ad from my blog as it didn't sit right with me. I'll follow you on Twitter. I always liked your outfits and your attitude.

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  11. Thanks for keeping it real for us! You will be missed!

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  12. you certainly are missed! i have always loved your style. keep keepin' on! <3

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  13. I really wish we could reclaim "fatshion". I really wish that we didn't feel we had to walk away, but instead felt that we could just say "fuck it" and do our own thing and talk about how we do it for ourselves, we do it for each other, we do it because it makes a difference.

    I do understand why so many people feel they need to let go. I just wish that wasn't so, is all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You were the very very first rad fat blog (or ANY blog of that nature) I came across thanks to a certain programme you were on. I never even knew this community existed, while I lived horribly in my fat hating small town mentality bubble as a fat female.
    You made my heart race as I read your posts in eagerness, I remember spending 3 nights awake just reading. I suddenly felt so invigorated, far less alone, but also knew I had work to do inwardly on myself.

    You introduced me to others who have also disappeared from the blogosphere over time. I was saddened I didn't know about you all sooner. I have checked in periodically to see if you'd return, & when I saw this post I won't lie & say I wasn't saddened, because I was - but I also understand why. As a reader, those thoughts & feelings you feel so passionate about are ones I have everyday. Those who started rad fat blogs after you left, have turned into model / brand hungry machines, swarming their blog & social media about diets, & flattering outfits.

    Those of us - like me, are left with very few options now. The entire scene has simply turned me off blogging myself. I would be hounded for being so opinionated - & I don't have the mental strength for that, much to my own frustration.

    I wish you nothing but happy, positive vibes Kirsty. Thank you for showing me so much, I'll always be grateful. Much love x

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  15. I'm sorry that things have moved in the extra-capitalist direction that they did. I always loved your posts, and will continue that love on Twitter.

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  16. After looking at many plus size bloggers I felt dissatisfied until I read your blog. I liked that you were more politicised with an original fashion aesthetic. It's disheartening to discover that there is body fascism even within the plus size online community! I considered blogging myself but was put off by the promotion of the "spend spend spend" mentality that seems to equal success for the plus size blogger. I didn't want to end up an advert for companies that manufacture clothing unethically. It was so difficult to find anyone with an angle such as yours. It's such a shame you've stopped blogging. I wish you all the best in all the other things you do.

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