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: