Fat Gals Can Have Nice Things Too

Published November 21, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I’ve just spent a couple of hours doing something I often do on a Sunday morning – reading fatshion blogs.  I have a folder in my Google Reader labelled “fatshion” and I save them for times when I can sit back with a cuppa and just flick through them, looking at the photographs and reading the stories about where these amazing fatshionistas wear their gorgeous outfits, where they sourced them from, what kind of shops they love, how they put together outfits and just general stuff about their lives.

It never fails to make me feel good about myself.  I gave up reading magazines (except for Popular Mechanics, Discovery and the occasional tattoo mag) about 18 months ago, maybe a little more.  I’ve not missed it at all, and my wallet has certainly been happier.   When I first started out with my first few tentative steps into Fat Acceptance, I really never bothered with fatshion.  I had never bothered with fashion before, because I’d always felt excluded from it as a fat woman, and found it depressing to look at clothes on bodies that bore no resemblance to my own.

But then I found Tumblr, which led me to the awesome Frances and her tumblog Hey Fat Chick.  She threw open the doors of fatshion to me and once I started, I couldn’t stop.  I found myself pouring over fatshion blogs, tumblr accounts and the Fatshionista flickr group.  I found myself looking at the clothes and seeing myself wearing them, rather than some model who had been airbrushed and photoshopped into oblivion that made it clear that I could never wear those things.

Before long, I started to notice a radical change in myself.  Instead of just dressing in whatever I could find to fit me in the shops and never thinking about it again, I started to look for ways I could interpret the trends and styles that the fatshionistas were sharing.  Where once I would only buy clothes that I needed to function, I started to want things simply because they were beautiful, and because they expressed something about me.  Then I did something REALLY radical… I joined the Fatshionista flickr group and started posting my own OOTD (outfit of the day) photographs!  Guess what?  The world didn’t end!  Nobody laughed at me and I got some lovely compliements about the clothes and styling I was wearing.  Then I went on to start posting my own OOTD posts here on Fat Heffalump!  JAW DROP!

I never would have believed that I would get into clothes and accessories and fatshion at any point in my life.  I thought it was something I wasn’t allowed to do, because I am a fat woman.  In my teens I swung from only wearing what fit me (shorts, t-shirts, leggings) to clothe my body, to finding the most anti-social styles I could wear to try to scare the world away (goth, punk etc).  In my 20’s, I mostly did the grunge thing, because jeans, a band t-shirt and a flannelette shirt with Doc Martens was a nice uniform that I could wear and fit into.

These days, I’m discovering a deep, strong love for all things femme, and for lots of colour.  I only wish I could still wear high heels, but they don’t seem to like me any more, and I don’t have time in my life for shoes that hurt!

Nowdays I find myself compiling folders and using tools like Pinterest to catalogue my inspiration and put ideas together, based on the fatshion I find online.  If you had told me I’d be doing this a mere 2 years ago, I’d have told you that there was NO way that would ever happen!

So which fatshion blogs do I love?  Well, I follow a pretty long list, but how about I give you a few that really stand out for the kind of style I love?

I’ll start with the lovely Georgina from Cupcake’s Clothing.  Oh how I adore her style.  It’s romantic, fun, feminine and whimsical.  Her photographs are beautiful and I love seeing cute clothes and accessories on a body that is far closer to mine than anything I see in magazines.  Look… adorable…

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Adorable I say!

Another one I really love is A Well Rounded Venture.  Her style is classic and chic, and she does bold colour so well.

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Then there is Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion.  Lauren has a cute, feminine style that always fills me with joy when I see her posts and pictures.  She also loves leopard print, which makes me very, very happy!

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Representing for the Aussies, I really love Too Many Cupcakes.  She has a sunny, fun, upbeat style, and seems to ferret out the most amazing accessories.  Love her work!

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The US has lots of great fatshionistas too of course, one of which I love is Bloomie from 30 Dresses in 30 Days.  Bloomie rocks a dress like no other, and has a smile that could blind you for a mile.

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There are dozens more and I could make the world’s biggest blog post sharing them all with you, but these are just a few examples of the ones I love.

I really want to thank all of the fatshionistas out there for doing what they do.  I know a lot of them think they just post pretty clothes and stuff on the internet, but the truth of the matter is, what they do makes a difference.  Their visibility and love for fashion, clothing and styling is not only inspirational, it’s activism.  Fat women being visible is the very pinnacle of fat activism.

What about you?  Do you have any favourite fatshionistas?  Maybe they’re ones that I or other readers haven’t heard of before.  What is your style?  Do you indulge in fatshion and fatshion watching?  Share your fatshion loves in the comments!

15 comments on “Fat Gals Can Have Nice Things Too

  • Back in the late ’80s and ’90s, I was known in science-fiction fandom as a fatshionista, before I’d ever heard the term–I think before it existed. In fact, a critical moment in my turning to fat acceptance was trying on an outfit in a store and thinking “I look pretty good–maybe I don’t have to lose weight to look good.” I call this the clothes-horse path to fat acceptance.

    The fatshionistas community on LiveJournal is active and a great source of ideas, though if they *don’t* like your OOTD, you’ll know it.

    • Yeah that’s why I don’t bother with the LJ thing – to me it often goes against Fat Acceptance in the criticisms they offer. I am much more aligned with the Flickr community.

  • I love the fashion blogs too!!! These ladies are gorgeous and inspirational. Thanks for linking to some new ones that I hadn’t visited yet🙂

  • I’ve never really been into fashion and yes, in large part that’s because I felt that I couldn’t be, or wasn’t allowed to be. So a big part of learning about FA has been, for me, rethinking how I feel about clothes and fashion and dressing my body. On the other hand, I think I know that I’m just not a fashionable (or fancy) type of woman, and that’s okay too! So fatshion blogs aren’t something I read a lot of. But I’m excited about some improvements I’ve made to my wardrobe of late and that’s happened because of the great work that fatshionistas do. These days when I see a fat woman rocking her outfit I have an almost uncontrollable urge to go tell her she looks fabulous and ask her where she gets her clothes… haven’t done this yet, for shyness, but it might happen! Thanks for this post Kath and also for introducing me to A Well Rounded Venture. Hadn’t seen that one before and I think she must be the person who looks closest to me that I’ve ever seen on the interwebs anywhere. And I like her style too. How exciting!

    • She’s on Twitter too, I’ll hook you guys up when I have a minute.

      And PLEASE tell fatshionistas that you love their outfit! Ever since random people started to compliment my outfits, I’ve realised the value of having some positive interaction with strangers. Before the only notice I got from strangers was to call me a fat bitch or other nasty things, so when someone says “I love your shoes!” or something like that, it’s bloody radical. I’ve never had that before. So now I make a point of saying so when I see someone rocking something I like. It’s wonderful how people just light up when you compliment something they’re wearing.

    • I like your point that fat-acceptance can also mean realizing that you are positive about how you look, and even want nice clothes, but you’re not necessarily a fatshionista. This discussion here made me realize why I didn’t get the approval I expected for an OOTD on the LJ group and why these blogs aren’t *exactly* my thing: I love fulfilling my own style, but style is much more personal than fashion & my priorities and those of a fatshionista group may be very different.

  • awesome post. I recently decided to stop buying all gossip mags (my kryptonite) because I got so very sick of seeing the same body type touted again and again as the ideal. one of the better decisions I’ve made in me’life! love, love, love all of the fabulous blogs you referenced. I’d add “Young, Fat, and Fabulous” to the mix, as well as “Le blog de Big Beauty.” absolutely inspirational stuff, gorgeous pics, yum all around.

    • Hi Miss C.

      I have removed the off-topic part of your message. I appreciate that you wish to draw my attention to something but it’s not what I wish to focus on here.

      Firstly because I have made it clear that I am challenging myself to focus only on the positive news this month, secondly because I trust that other FA bloggers are quite capable of taking on these subjects while I’m taking a break, and finally because if something crosses my path that I would like to take up, I will do so.

      I am more than happy to support other people’s projects and campaigns, but I don’t really want them brought here off topic and dropped on my comments with the suggestion that I get involved.

      I know your intentions were good and you’d like to bring the issue to light, but it did make me feel very uncomfortable and I know that if I allow it once, everyone will come out of the woodwork wanting me to take up their causes.

      I’m also very bothered that someone would bring such a hateful thing here in a space that I am trying to create some positive energy. To be honest, it has upset me that my lovely positive post about fatshion has been dragged into drama about the Biggest Loser.

      I thank you to respect my wishes and please feel free to blog/tweet/facebook about it yourself if you wish to raise awareness, rather than dropping it on me.

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