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,