Last year, I launched my ‘FATshion Faux Pas Friday’ series which focused on tackling the fashion world and rewriting the rules of fat girl fashion. Fat women are told repeatedly to shrink, in size, in voice, in the clothes that we choose to wear – “hide yourself”, we are told, “make yourself invisible, so un-seen that I don’t even have to avert my gaze…” A year ago, fat women were still emerging from beneath our rocks, blinking bleary-eyed into the positive light that was now shining in our direction and ever since then, we haven’t looked back.
We’ve taken our new found body positivity and done incredible things with it. We are activists, advocates, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, models, artists and are smashing through the mainstream before it even knows that we’re coming. But still, there is a fight to be fought and the fashion world still sidelines fat women and the fashion choices that we make. So, a year on, I wanted to showcase my FATshion Faux Pas series once more, to show that fat babes are a fashion force to be reckoned with.
WEEK 1 | SUNS OUT GUNS OUT
Who’d have thought that arms would cause so much controversy? Fat girls have long toyed with the idea of donning a strappy top, or even a strapless top when the sun arrives – but inevitably, we always seem to end up reaching for our old faithful cardigan. But where does this stem from? It’s highly unlikely that we’re going to knock someone out with a rogue bingo wing, and I’m sure we’d rather not be swathed in layers of clothing on a roasting hot day, so why don’t we just embrace our arms? As if I needed to prove my point any further, here are some of my sensational body positive babes who look ravishing as they show off their arms…
WEEK 2 | LUSCIOUS LEGGINGS
Fat women don’t always want to hide our thick thighs in jeans or underneath a skirt, and let’s face it, some tops look better when teamed with leggings than anything else. We get our fair amount of stick for wearing leggings and there are countless memes out there likening our legging-clad legs and bums to a whole plethora of undesirable things. But why should that stop us? It shouldn’t, precisely. So pull on those leggings and let the waistband rest under your boobs, leggings are for all body types and no-one can tell you that you don’t look sensational.
WEEK 3 | POSITIVELY PATTERNED
Don’t draw attention to yourself, that’s what we’re told as fat women, right? We’re supposed to meekly accept our position in the side-lines ensconced in black because ‘it’s slimming’ and bow our heads to the floor. Proclaiming, no! Don’t look at me; I’ll make myself invisible to you. Why do we do this? We’ve been conditioned to believe that fat women aren’t allowed to take up space, physically or vocally, and in order to take up less space, we need to wear dreary colours and blend in with the shadows. But I don’t want to do that any longer. Fashion is bright and bold, and so am I. I want to be seen and to be heard! Patterns are considered a FATshion Faux Pas – but these beautiful ladies show that they are anything but.
WEEK 4 | BIKINI BABES
For so many years we are told that fat women should cover up at the beach, that we should don a t-shirt and shorts so that other people aren’t subjected to our cellulite, or thighs that touch, or wobbly tummies. But I don’t want to do this anymore, I want to feel the water against my skin and the sand between my tummy rolls. In a society where beach body ready campaigns are prevalent we need to do everything in our power to subvert the idea that only slim women can wear bikinis. So come on ladies, show me a beach body YOUR way.
WEEK 5 | GIVE YOUR FIGURE A HUG
We are so often told that people don’t want to be subjected to our lumps, bumps, muffin tops and big bums. So much so, that we are shamed into wearing baggy clothes, restricted to jeans and an oversized t-shirt or a dress with no shape. But as a fat girl making a stand, I proclaim that I don’t want to shield my wobbly bits from the world any longer – why should we have to avoid skin tight clothes or figure hugging outfits for fear of upsetting someone else’s idea of fat girl fashion? We shouldn’t have to stick to the prescribed and expected aesthetic for plus size women; there is no shame in breaking these boundaries, putting on a slinky dress and showing off the curves that you own.
WEEK 6 | THOUGHTS ON SHORTS
Women who have a thigh gap are encouraged to wear shorts, anyone else outside of this demographic are told to avoid them at all costs! We are plagued with ideas of fat shame when coming across women in shorts: no-one wants to see thunder thighs, nobody wants to be witness to some cellulite, well, more fool me if I wanted to wear shorts because it’s too damn hot for anything else… and, let’s face it ladies, some outfits just look better when teamed with short shorts. I think it’s time that we make a stand for shorts – I, and so many other women, are fed up of being dictated to about our legs.
WEEK 7 | FAT & FOXY
Fat women are told every day that we are not sexy and that sexiness is reserved for those who fit into societies ideal when wearing a slinky nightie or goddess approved day-wear. Where society is concerned, fatness is seen either as a joke, or as a fetish, but my god I bet there are a few people out there who would disagree with that. But what most people don’t realise, is that sexiness relies more on the internal feelings you have about your body than outside expression, it’s about about how you perceive your own attractiveness and how your confidence shines through. You CAN be fat and foxy, you CAN be fat and fierce, and what’s more – you CAN be fat and sexy. As if I needed any more proof, here are some babes doing just that…
WEEK 8 | CURVY COMFORT
Fat women are told to avoid baggy, badly fitting clothes at all costs with many people living under the illusion that if fat women have to exist in a public space, then they need to be presentable. But who gets to decide what’s presentable and what isn’t? Fat women are fully entitled to wear baggy, layered, misshapen clothes without fearing backlash. We don’t have to prescribe to the preconception that for a fat woman to be recognised, she has to be ‘well put together’ and fit in with society’s rules and regulations. So, here are some glorious ladies snuggling down and ensuring that they are curvy and comfortable.
WEEK 9 | NO RULES, NO PROBLEM
With the help of the wonderfully beautiful ladies who submitted photos to me, we have been able to subvert fashion ideals and show that fat female aesthetic is evolving and changing. This week for the final edition of FATshion Faux Pas we’ve taken a no-holds-barred approach to show that there isn’t anything that fat women can’t wear: we can show off our arms and tummies, we can wear short shorts and bikinis, we can wear baggy clothes or even NOTHING if we so wish (but that might get your arrested in public). Truly, fat women can wear whatever the hell they like without feeling belittled, demeaned, put down or objectified – so, for the final week of my ever-so fulfilling project, here are some beautiful babes wearing anything, everything, and occasionally baring all… because if there are no rules, there certainly isn’t a problem!