Australian Women’s Weekly Photo Shoot

Published April 30, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Well, what a day I have had!  As I mentioned in my previous post, today was the day that I met with the team from the Australian Women’s Weekly (AWW) for a photo shoot to go with the interview I recorded a couple of weeks ago.

I’ll be honest, I was as nervous as hell.  AWW is a big deal.  It’s an absolute juggernaut in Australia, a cultural touchstone that sails right down the centre of our society.  Everyone knows it, 1 in 4 households purchase it, and even more come in contact with a copy somewhere – be it one belonging to a friend or family member, a copy in the doctor’s office, the library, or just browsing in the aisles of the supermarket.  I believe it’s really important that we get our message in these incredibly mainstream places – the more people we get to, the more fatties will start to think twice about allowing the world to beat them into submission.  There is of course always a risk with mainstream media, but it’s one I’m willing to take.  So long as I stay true to myself, then I’m happy to throw myself into this and reach out.  It’s scary, but I think it has to be done.

So yeah, I was awake at FOUR AM this morning.  Totally wired, really nervous and just gobsmacked that this is where my life has taken me.  I caught the bus into town fairly early (I like to be early – that’s my thing) and had a leisurely breakfast in a little cafe I like in town before catching the bus out to Newstead where the studio that had been hired by AWW was located.

I am so, so glad that I was allowed to bring Lauren and Isaac (Gurrieri and Brown, from Griffith University) with me today, to get all meta and photograph the photography, because not only did we get some more shots for the project we are working on, but I had two people whom I feel comfortable with, and who kept me focused on what really matters to me.  I can’t thank Lauren and Isaac enough for being there today – and there was a moment when Lauren and I had a quiet chat between shots that just helped me so much.  I was feeling quite, I guess sensory overload – all the lights and noise and scents and unfamiliar clothes etc was doing my head in and I was forgetting to just be me, and Lauren really brought me back to where I needed to be.  I think the best photos will be those at the end of the shoot, because I was able to have my head in the right space.

Also, Lauren has provided me with a few photos to share with you all here.  Thanks Lauren!

Now, when the stylist Tanja Mrnjaus called me a few days ago and asked me what clothing label I would like to wear on the day, my first thought went of course, to Autograph Fashion.  Not only because I have a good working relationship with them, but also because a) they cater to my size, when so many don’t, b) they are clothes that I actually do wear every day myself and c) I know they are trying very hard to get it right for their customers.  So we arranged for Tanja to contact them, I popped into my local store and picked a few things I liked with my fave fab Autograph lady Michelle, and then Tanja worked those into “looks” that Autograph very kindly loaned us a wardrobe of clothes to shoot in today.

Clothes by Autograph Fashion

AWW really went the whole kit and caboodle with this, hiring a fashion stylist (Tanja), a very talented hair and make-up artist Abigael Johnston and photographer Alana Landsberry, and booking a half day in a studio.

Abigael started making me up and she really went all out.  It was an awful lot of makeup in “reality” – the iPhone shot I took shows just how much I had on, but of course that doesn’t show up in the magazine shots.  She really focused on my eyes and I even got to wear mink false eyelashes for the day!  She had some beautiful lip colours she mixed up for me too – the first one was such a gorgeous, rich old-world red that I wished it came in an actual lipstick, but she had a secret formula for that one.

Because my hair is very short and bright purple, she just gave it a bit of volume and texture for most of the shots, and then when I wore a cocktail dress at the end, slicked it back more to change the look.

Abigael starts work on the hair and makeup.

I really enjoyed working with Alana, the photographer.  She was fun and while a lot of it felt really silly and made me feel quite… weird, she was very perceptive and could see when I wasn’t into something.  But for me, the best part of the day was when Tanja came back from a nearby cafe and told us she saw some amazing graffiti inside it, and perhaps we could do a shoot in there.  So we all traipsed down to the cafe, Alana asked the owner and they were amazing – they let us move their furniture around and take over a little room that was all painted up with pink graffiti of cupcakes and uber-femme art.  They even made us the most wild concoction of a milkshake in purple and pink that we used as a prop.

All in all it was loads of fun and I think it will be a really positive, joyous set of photos of a fat woman in a major magazine.  That’s always a good thing!

Oh what?  You want to see some photos of the final looks?  Well, I’ll give you one as a little teaser (you’ll have to save the rest for the article in June/July!)

Check out the colours of that milkshake!

32 comments on “Australian Women’s Weekly Photo Shoot

  • Have you ever seen a kids tv show called Phineas and Ferb? Well I’m a little too into it than is natural for a 35 yr old childless woman, however in one episode they sing a song called ‘Fabulous’ and guaranteed whenever I read your blog or see a FB link or tweet by you the song pops into my head because to me you’re fabulous and that has inspired me to see myself as fabulous

  • That image and the existence of a purple milkshake in the universe will combine to make me a veeeeerry happy Twistie today!

    You look mahvelous, dahling!

    And yay! for good friends who keep us centered in the midst of chaos.

  • This is so so exciting, and I’m so happy that you got to do it! I love the photo at the end, it looks so you, if you know what I mean? 🙂 And purple milkshake? Yes please…xxx

  • i’m so pleased to hear that you thought to/were able to bring your crew along with you!

    having friends at my back makes the whole world possible – and sometimes i forget that it’s ok not be “strong enough” to stand alone in a new space

  • Kath, you absolute diva. The dress and shirt are fantastic, and the makeup is absolutely perfect. You look like a queen.

  • Ah Kath, you’ve done it again. Bought a big old smile to my face on what was looking like a pitiful morning! I love this article. I actually work as a manager in an Autograph store in Rockhampton Qld. Whenefer I get chatting to a customer and discover they feel abit depressed about themselves I jot down your blog address and tell them to go have a read. I have had my ladies come back and thank me! You are a true inspiration and I thank you.

  • So awesome! I love the picture at the end – your vivid hair, the brilliant blue of your scarf, and most of all your great big smile! You just look like you’re in your element in front of the camera.

    Do you know if the pictures will be posted somewhere when the issue comes out so those of us on the other side of the world will be able to see them?

  • That last photo just seems to be so authentic to you.

    I do not buy women’s magazines as a concious boycott of them due to their negativity and the way they portray women. But I definitely will be reading your story in a library copy of the magazine. Congratulations for reaching such a pivitol moment in your advocacy.

  • looking forward to reading the article …by the way you look FAB ..i love that blacka nd white dress

  • I’ve never in my life bought AWW and I’m not a fan of women’s mags in general (for similar reasons to Lyfin) but I’ll definitely buy that month’s edition. I might even buy a couple and leave them around my workplace! You look like you’re having a great time.

  • I am so glad that I looked early for your blog. I have just read the article attached in my local paper and was “pissed off”:
    [link redacted]

    Thank Dr. Oz for making my morning a downer, and Thank you Kath for bring me back up!

    • Hi A Brady – thanks for your kind words but just a heads up – I’m not allowing links to negative articles in this space. Let’s focus on the positives here ok?

      • OK– no problem. Dr. Oz can not compete with that photo. It is colorful, joyful and natural!
        Love it.

  • Ooh. Sparkles, stripes and purple hair! There is nothing about this that doesn’t make me happy. Really looking forward to the article – also wishing you a good move and rapid ankle health.

  • Hi!

    I have only been to this blog once before (and so of course I forgot to come back and check it out again) but came again today and wow! Seeing the pic of you where you’re getting your makeup done, I thought, “That’s what I look like!” I don’t see many women built like me/my size and it was so good to see “me” looking so happy and lovely and gorgeous. I often wonder what I look like to other people, and now I know I look good, cuz you look great! What a wonderful smile you have. 🙂

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