Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Back in September I attended the Curve Fashion Fest in Manchester. So Fabulous were holding a competition to win an outfit just by choosing something from the rails and having your photo snapped in it. Sadly I didn't win it but I was excited to find this Faux Fur Shawl Collar Wrap Coat (phew!). They didn't have my size at the time but it still looked pretty cute.
I wasn't able to get my paws on it until just recently, but luckily we got a second wind of cold winter weather so I didn't lose my chance to wear it. I have been pining for a fur trimmed pea coat style for so long, but most brands like Collectif and so forth don't even acknowledge anything close to my size.
The coat itself is a lovely soft wool and fully lined. It's actually a little more flurry looking than the photos suggest. I don't personally like the belt that comes with it. I feel a bit like a link of sausages in it so I choose not to wear it with it. The faux fur collar is super soft and I feel like a real luxury bitch in it.
I did have to size up. Mostly because, while it fit great on top, the bottom buttons were straining and I didn't think they'd last too long. Plus I wanted a coat to actually cover me if I was forking out for a new one! It meant I did have to compromise on a nicer fit on top but at least it's not snug.
My only disappointment with it is that while the fur collar is detachable (hooray, you can create different looks!) some of the buttons that held it on have come off already and I've only had it a few weeks. Disappointing for the money you are paying. But it IS a fixable issue, if you've got the teeny tiny needles to sew them back on.
Thankfully I didn't pay full price for it as it has been reduced but it's a lovely warm coat, and it looks fab. I'm really pleased with it!
Wednesday, 6 January 2016
New Year, Same Old Diet spiel: Is it time we ditched the tired tropes? Trigger warnings for diet talk.
“Every weight loss program, no matter how positively it’s packaged, whispers to you that you’re not right. You’re not good enough. You’re unacceptable and you need to be fixed.”
― Kim Brittingham, Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large
Fat acceptance and body positivity for some is a hard journey. For some it comes suddenly, for some it can be a life time of work. Discovering the body positive movement saved me. It saved me from the years of self-loathing, the decimation of my self-esteem, and helped me re-discover myself. But it also made me appreciate how complex body issues can be, especially as a fat person whose body is highly politicized and reviled by society.
Social media has provided a means for those in marginalised bodies to share and connect where mainstream media has deeply lacked. Navigating this can be a minefield, however.
Recently on my Instagram I found myself coming across many accounts using body positive tags, and importantly tags created by fat people, on weight loss posts and I’ll be honest, it got my heckles up.
It’s a hotly debated issue whether you can actively lose weight and claim to be body positive. I feel that the two are not mutually exclusive per se; you can advocate for people to be respected and loved regardless of size. But I draw the line at using fat positive tags for weight loss posts. I also resent how, when using said tags, there is then the use of health as justification for this.
Dieting, in of itself, is fatphobic. Despite scientificevidence that suggests long term weight loss is impossible for the majority it is still a practice that is actively encouraged. Why is this?
Many people explain that they are losing weight to be “healthier”. This is a fatphobic statement, suggesting that fatness equates to poor health. It is assumptive and wrong. Thinness does not equal health. You don’t need to lose weight to be “healthier”, nor do you need to lose weight to work on your fitness. There are plenty of fat people in the world who involved exercise and fitness regimes into their lifestyles. There is a difference between making healthy goals; i,e walking more, drinking more water, taking more supplements to "I want to be healthy so I will lose weight."
Health is different for every individual and there are many factors to consider, such as mental health and chronic illness. Using the size of your body as a framework for something as complex and individual as health is ill-considered.
Personally, if people want to lose weight, that is entirely their choice. But when you are actively participating in fat positive/body positive spaces I think you need to examine your reasons why you choose to participate in diet culture, a culture that actively oppresses fat people; a culture that is used to humiliate and degrade fat people and to eradicate fatness. Consider that assumptions about health in relation to fatness don’t come from nowhere and that we can all be influenced by a fatphobic society.
There's an increasing attitude within the BOPO/fat-posi movement that when people make criticisms of diet talk within these spaces they are somehow being “negative” or insensitive to other people’s personal journeys or lifestyle choices. Critiquing the content within our own movements is not negative, it’s necessary. We do not move and grow if we can’t examine our own contributions and the ideals we uphold. Weight loss may be a choice but it is unfair to ask these spaces to reassure people that they can stay comfortable in their “choice” to uphold fatphobic ideals.
It’s unfair to use fat positive media circles to promote yourself, while systematically upholding the idea that thinness is the standard for beauty and health.