Tuesday 20 October 2015

Role Models with Rolls WANTED

Girls today have a plethora of role models available to them, from pop stars, athletes, sports stars, and now bloggers. Ask any tweenager about their role model these days, and I'm sure Zoella and her ilk will be high on their list.

Which is great for the youth of today that they have a wide variety of bodies, to admire, to compare themselves to, to aspire to be.

But where are our, us Grown Up Women, role models? I've carved a path for myself without a shiny beacon to light my way. But others aren't so lucky - they stumble through a world filled with media shouting that their body type is wrong, their body hair is wrong, they are wrong. 

Brands like to pitch role models to us, presenting 'collections' with so call plus size role models. Ladies we should admire and aspire to be. 

We've had Gemma Collins, the Reality TV Star, bring out a number of collections with plus size retailers, before starting her own store (now in a shroud of controversy over an alleged 300% profit margin).

Gemma, however, is no role model for me. She is often lauded as a role model, and brought out at plus size events and awards to show us how happy and content she is as a plus size woman. And yet the next week the press with have her showing off new latest exercise plan, or diet regime, and she'll be talking about how ashamed she was, how much she hated being fat. Seems she's happy to make money from being fat one minute, but then ashamed of it the next. 

I can't imagine how having your weight discussed nearly every month in the glossy magazines must effect your esteem, your self worth. 

But I want my role models to be made of better stuff than Gemma Collins.

There hadn't been much in the world of collaborations, not until the Sprinkle of Glitter collection hit our screens (I've blogged about some of it here).

I wasn't really aware of her as a YouTuber, but I was happy to see someone who clearly appealed with a young audience, having a clothing collection with the plus size brand, showing that you can be fat and successful, plus size and someone to aspire to be. 

I wore my SOG dress to a Brownie meeting, and a few of the girls there said they had seen a few of her videos, and certainly knew who she was. I was over the moon to hear that my girls, aged 7-10 had someone to admire as they traversed their teen years. 

That was until I read this article, where Louise said she didn't like the term plus size, and felt her range should span to lower sizes as it's unfair that those a size 8 - 12 couldn't buy her collection. **sigh**

"I don’t actually like the term plus size. I don’t think I’m “plus” size, I just think I am a size. You wouldn’t look at Zoe and say she’s minus size. Zoe is just Zoe size and I’m just Louise size."

I think it's dangerous to do away with the term plus size - it increases the level of confusion, where you trawl through racks of clothes looking for those in your size, seeing what you 'could have won', but are relegated to the corner. And then you see Zoella wearing the clothes you were admiring. "Why can she wear that and I can't?" - that is when doing away with plus size becomes an issue. 

I am plus size, I have excess fat. I can't wear the same clothes as Zoella, or even SoG (who is a size 18) and it has taken 31 years to come to this realisation. I want more for the younger generations. I want them to know that while their fat doesn't define them, the term plus size does help them. It helps them find inspiration, and feel like they belong. 

The only role model I'm willing to accept is Beth Ditto. It's telling that the Beth Ditto collection for Evans from 5 years ago is still such a sought after collection, and my red and black chevron dress is source of envy for most!

But we deserve more. So I urge you to look at the plus size blogging community for your role models. We deserve role models with rolls, so we should become role models, for those still traversing the slippy mountains of body acceptance, to reach the summit of body love. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Monday 19 October 2015

Pinafore Wars

You know the old addage - you wait for one pinafore, and a few come along at once? No? You've not?

Well, it should a saying because that seems to be what has happened in A/W15 collections!!

When I first spotted this pinafore in plain black, I hopped to it, teaming it with my hot pink, lip print shirt for full impact!!!

I love the adjustable strap detail, meaning you can adjust to different bust sizes.

My one criticism is that it is rather short - a definite 'wear with leggings' category!

But the cuteness level makes it very worth it!!

The pockets are a great touch too. 

I opted for the 24 (so my size), and found the waist to be snug, and it sits directly on my waist, so if you're not as hourglass you might want to size up. 

I'#m looking forward to wearing this with shirts and tshirts alike, with leggings and my biker boots in the colder months.

I was rather content with this addition to my wardrobe, until the denim, skater skirt pinafore dress came out!!

I work in an office where there is a slightly more casual, casual Friday. I have found this to be my go-to basis for my 'casual Friday' outfit if I'm having a crisis of casual proportions! 

Again, I've found this to be a little short, but remember I'm 5'10 so short comes with the territory. The straps aren't as adjustable as the previous pinafore, and have had to cross them over at the back to make them a little bit shorter.

Again, I'm wearing a size 24 here, and the waist doesn't quite sit on my waist, but I feel the fit 'works' okay. 

One word: POCKETS.

My wardrobe has gone from being lacking in the pinafore department, to now having two! 

It's a shame that the first one can only be worn with leggings, as I would have liked it as a 'business dress' appropriate option, whereas I feel they are both casual, weekend pieces.

Much love, 

K x

Thursday 15 October 2015

Shaming Body Shaming

It seems that not a week goes by without a brand (plus size or otherwise) dipping their toe into the world of 'motivational' posts which end up perpetuating the idea that you have to shame one body type to praise another. We don't need clothing brands to preach at us with 'motivational' posts - just show us clothes!!

I'm not one to just roll my eyes and walk away, because it's not explaining WHY I unfollowed. And what's the point of talking about a brand (or a person) behind their back, if you're not willing to say it to their face? So yes, I do call out brands who share the body-shaming content in the guise of a 'funny meme', in the hope that they realise their mistake, and learn from it. 
Which is what led me to call out Pink Clove, when they shared this:

Shaming because it perpetuates the idea of 'good fat' - the hourglass figure, and that the boobs and the bums of the world are better than the stomachs and thighs. 

It was some time ago, but I still refuse to shop with Pink Clove because their response was to block people from their Facebook page, not to tackle the core issue with this post! I don't do this because I like an argument, or because I want to shame them into apologising, but because I want them to BE BETTER!

Next on the 'Kathryn's No Shop List' is Taking Shape. As if their Skinny Bird Watching wasn't enough at London Fashion Week, they then posted this, which gave me a headache, I eye rolled that hard!!

Some would say, the issue isn't with these images themselves, but with how they respond to them:

This is why I got involved with the awesome @radfatfeminist, and her brain child @shamebodyshame (called such because we couldn't think of a succinct name!). Because it takes more than one voice to comment and get behind a campaign.

And I really don't need to explain as to why my eyeliner game is struggling right now do I? (read the post here). We both might have taken the step to boycott the brands who we feel haven't redeemed themselves, but it's something we both came to the decision to do separately!! And we don't judge others who do continue to patronise those stores, but would like people to be aware of who they're buying from or working with. The rest is to settle with their own conscience. 

While Sharon and I are working on the finer points of @shamebodyshame (such as our name!) - our efforts aren't going unnoticed. Just this week, after a dozen or more RTs, Dorothy Perkins got in touch to let us know they're keen to improve and will take our comments on board. Sculptresse also stated they thought it was a funny meme, but will think about what they post in the future. It proves that calling brands out on mistakes like this is a team effort - it can't just be one acting alone.

We now have brands tweeting products from their Curve range, RTing posts from the psblogging community about the curve range, and I'd like to think that was a little down to the work of @shamebodyshame and the work Sharon and I have done, and will continue to do. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x