I have not posted since my last rant when instagram banned the hashtag curvy in mid July. There was the occasional tweet or instagram post, but my blog remained quiet for more than a month after my blogging schedule had been a little erratic for a while already. In the blog world this is basically an eternity and for the google algorithm basically unforgivable, however sometimes, if planned or not and no matter how much I love this blog, live will have to take priority.
Blogging – Not Quite As Glamorous As It Often seems
Most of us bloggers do unfortunately not have the seemingly glamorous lives that our blogs like to make you believe we have. The reality for most of us that next to the blog, we do have a day job, which for most of us is a full time job. Obviously we do also have usual other responsibilities , like looking after the household and garden etc. Responsibilities that everybody has.
Well, And Then Things Happen…
While all of us are busy enough with life just as it is sometimes fate likes to throws some additional things in our life, like a change of career plans, a new project opportunity that needs work & time, a personal health issu or a responsibility for a relative, loved one or friend that for whatever reason might need our support for some time.
We Are Redacting Our Lives For The Online World
All of these responsibilities and life’s little issues are often easily forgotten over the blogposts that show the happiest and most glamorous parts of our lives. We all like to do this. It would be amazing if all of our lives would be as fabulous as they look on facebook or instagram. It is also so easily forgotten how much time blogging can take, at times it feels like a second full time job.
Sometimes We Just Need To Take The Time
Sometimes, a hobby no matter how much love we have for it, has to be put on hold and we just really need to take the time for ourselves and our loved ones.
For now I do not want to go deeper into details why exactly I had to take this break. Generally I am very happy to share a very large part of my life with you here and am always happy to answer your questions but I believe some things should remain private. So I am very sorry for not having been around for the last few weeks,just let me tell you, I needed this time.
But now I am back! I am busy working away on catching up on a few things that have happened over the last few weeks and also have a few new projects in the works. What I am looking the most forward to though is meeting you all at the Curve Fashion Festival in Manchester this September.
Ok girls it is time for another rant. I know I am ranting quite a lot here recently but there is just every other day some thoughtless body shaming or other stupidity going on. So recently I just really have to vent… a lot.
Its Instagram, Again
So what has happened this time? This time it’s Instagram, again. After banning the female nipple, pubic hair peeking our of a bathing suit, women on their period and not to forget being one of the breastfeeding nazis (read more here). Not to forget to time and again take down bra selfies of women above a size 10 while those of skinny women are fine. It is now shame to get shame people based on their bodies once again, as they have now put the word #curvy on their blacklist, which will not allow you to search for this hashtag anymore.
So when you as a larger lady post your next cute outfit on Instagram you might need to reconsider what hashtag you want to use if you would like to enable people to find you… Words you can choose now I guess are:
By the way #fatf*** also still works, in case you would like to use thatLovely isn’t it?
Why #Curvy Matters For Plus Positivity
But let’s be honest most terms have very negative connotations. The word curvy is a word that finally was a positive word, a word that enabled someone that will have struggled with a very negative body image for a long time finally to start looking at themselves in a more positive light
The debate of what to call your body type when you have a few more kilos on you has been going on for quite a while. And admittedly some #curvy women might be a little more round or boxy and some people really get weirdly angry about people that do not sport a traditional hourglass shape and call themselves curvy.
Does this really matter so much to the rest of the world that the word curvy is getting a second definition if it helps a fair amount of people gain a better and more loving self image. While I personally have made my peace with the word fat and have no problem calling myself a fatty at times, it is still hurtful for many. I am sure the word curvy will have contributed to giving a lot of women out there a positive self image, they can identify with.
Official Reason For Ban – Nudity
So why have they banned it. A spokesperson from Instagram apparently stated that a lot of the images tagged with the hashtag #curvy contained a lot of nudity.
Just the fact that a lot of the images that contained this hashtag apparently also contained a lot of nudity to blanket ban it, while a lot insulting and bullying terms can still readily be used by the trolls out there to put people down, that is just not a jhourglassshapeustification and a completely wrong approach.
This Is What Instagram Still Allows
So let’s have a look at what Instagram in it’s endevour to reduce nudity still allows: like #dildo, #sextoys, #asses, #pornos, #bigfatass, #titsandass and #pornstargay, these are fine but #curvy clearly has to go.
Next to these sexual terms Instagram also allows you to search for an array of negative and insulting terms regarding overweight that are not only containing a lot of nudity (depending on the specific term in question) but also are used to bully people some examples are #obese, #fatf***, #fatbitch and #fatpig. Yay for Instagrams priorities.
So now let’s have a look at what happens on the other side of the weight range, ins specific: what happens when you search for keywords like skinny or thin. Shouldn’t those attract pretty much the same type of pictures and shouldn’t Instagram react in the exact same way here? Well yes to question 1 (some nudity here as well) but a big fat no to question 2.
Instagram obviously is aware that that these pictures are containing an amount of nudity as they warn you when you when you click on the hashtag that the results contain graphic content, so they are aware of the nudity here. However these terms along with other searchable terms like #ana and #mia are known trigger terms for eating disorders, which Instagram also seems to be aware off and solves with a link to an eating disorder site, but you can still go through and admire the thigh gaps and see all the images of self harm, diet tips and food diaries.
So bottom line is they do allow sexual terms, derogatory terms all aspects of the other side of the weight range, despite being aware with all the issues connected with those terms, while a term that has had body positive effects for so many people gets straight away banned? Wait can somebody please explain that for me? I am not sure I understand their logic.
Why Not The Same Type Of Warning?
For some clarification. I am not asking to ban keywords like skinny, but rather ask for same treatment for the word curvy. Couldn’t they have slapped another one of those content warnings on it? If you like even with a link to a nutrition page for help with weight issues if someone at Instagram is worried about the health of the posters.
Not sure about their agendy
The bottom line is, I am not quite sure what their agenda is here. I can’t believe that the ultimate goal was to decrease nude pictures and their accessibility. Firstly because of all the offensive terms out there that I can’t believe they have not approached before this one but mainly because there is a very simple and targeted solution if they really wanted to target nude pictures.
If It Is About Nudity Why Not Use Nudity Detection Software?
Monitor the keyword with a program scanning for images containing nudity would be the perfect solution… Captain Obvious. Yes these programs do exist, they were made to speed up checking computers of suspects for illegal pornography and the way they work is scanning images for flesh tones (a little more complicated but that is the bottom line). These programs are so good, they can do this even for black and white pictures.
Apply this, with a few employees who check the pictures that it spits out as blocked. If you want to go with even less effort directly block the images or warn the users that their image is going to be blocked within a few hours if they don’t submit it for a review and boom only those are are submitted for being falsely detected need to be reviewd even more time saved. There you go, a fairly non complicated and targeted solution found.
An Alternative Movement Is Already There
Luckily the body positive movement is alive and well and there is already a protest movement forming within Instagram that have come up with an alternative term. So you don’t need to use the words from the list above, use the tag #curvee. There are already more than 500 images with this tag and they are getting more by the minute.
What Do You Think
So what do you think about the #curvy search ban? What do you think about Instagrams approach and will you miss the term or do you think it won’t make a big difference? I would love to hear from you.
Ok everyone it is time to get your fashion rule book out again. The all encompassing fashion authority has spoken again. I mean I don’t really know who that is but the Oprah magazine sure does. How otherwise could they have given such definitive and clear fashion “advice”.
I guess you are now most likely sitting at the edge of your chair, with a sharpened pencil ready to add rule number 5,387 to your “Fashion For Fatties” rule book, right after the rule “Touching thighs are not acceptable”. So here it is:
You fatty should never, ever, ever so far as to consider wearing a crop top.
What The Magazine Really Said – But It Is Not Much Better
The Oprah Magazine (O Magazine), you remember Oprah – that woman that is usually all about empowerment, has published some fashion advice that is so negative it still baffles me hours later and that even though I have come across my fair share of outrageous fashion rules & tips in my time blogging.
The advice that is outraging the internet and me was an answer to the question “can I pull off a crop top?” Brace yourself for the actual “fashion rule” that was given as answer. “If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach feel free to try one.” Seriously? I almost fell of my chair.
The message is bad enough body shaming. We do see this sort of thing every day, what is particularly baffling about this one is not only in what magazine it was found but even worse how it was written. I am still not over the text in brackets and the exclamation mark.
This Is How Much I Care
Well thank you Oprah for this well meant advice. I will consider it, keep it in mind and do with it what I do with a lot of the before mentioned 5,387 rules in the “Fashion Rules For Fatties” Rule book, happily ignore it and to celebrate the day by getting my everything but flat size 24 stomach out.
I have to admit that despite all the body confidence progress that I have made since I have started blogging, thanks to trying so many things, daring to wear crop tops was still a pretty big thing for me.
You might think now, hey she recently raved about how much she loves bikinis, you are showing loads more skin when wearing a bikini, why is should this now be a problem. Well this is the thing with confidence, it is not always logical. And not only that, when wearing a bikini you usually go swimming, not to town or in a bar, people expect to see some sort of larger degree of bare skin which makes it a bit simpler. Crop tops are still partially one of the taboos for plus size ladies.
I did even leave the house wearing a crop top
Well ultimately I did dare to go outside in this crop top. And once again not dissimilar to when I wore the bikini, the world still turned and no-one was pointing with fingers at me. I wore this outfit (with less ankle braking heels) out to a work do and ended up getting so many compliments. Initially I left the house with a simple black kimono over this, so that I did not feel quite so naked and could cover up if I felt uncomfortable, but no need for that. 20 minutes into the work party that cardigan lay somewhere in a corner and me and my non flat belly were rocking the dance floor in my crop top.
Internet Do Your Thing – #Rockthecrop
Other than that, the internet has done what it does and exploded with outrage. Lots of amazing women of varying degrees of not flat stomach have shared fabulous pictures of themselves online. It is definately worth checking out the the hashtag #rockthecrop. Here is a selection of a few, but check it out yourself. 🙂
So either that was now a big ploy of the O Magazine to kick us all into “Hell No”-Mode and make us all wear crop tops in defiance or they are just the idiots they appear to be and they just gave a lot of women out there another set of body issues they should not have to worry about. Go get yourself a crop top!
I would love to see your favourite crop tops: Tweet a picture @GirlGeek85. #rockthecrop Lots of love
I really do love the range. It is bold, a bit edgy but not over the top or slutty. It has just a lot of fierce pieces, that are unapologetic for being plus size. In short exactly what the plus-size fashion scene needs more of.
As much as I love the pieces though, there is one issue with them. A very large proportion of the range are very close cut to tbe body, many of the dresses are in a bodycon style. Ultimately there is nothing wrong with this, but for some of these pieces you either have to be happy to show and own your “VBO” (Visible Belly Outline) or size up.
Big Body Confidence Steps – VBO A Step I Have Not Made Yet
For most of the range I would advise to size up, but as I am a size 24, which is as large as Boohoo’s Plus Size Range goes, my only option was to own up to my VBO. I have come far in my time blogging accepting myself and my body, owning my bare arms, strapless jumpsuits and even my very first bikini (the full post has been lost, but I’ll rewrite it soon)
However the VBO is just one of the things that has been a bit difficult for me to own up to and I (on myself) simply do not find attractive and a good style to wear out. This is not a generic statement, expressing that no-one should. If you are happy showing the world your VBO I salute you, please please do it. I personally battle with myself if it comes to this
So despite immediately falling in love with the Nadia Off The Shoulder Zip Front Dress* below in blue (which is also available in black), I had it lying around here for quite a while till I mustered up the courage to share it with you guys.
It looks really amazing on Nadia. On me though I was not quite sure what I thought about it. I loved it too much to send it back but was unhappy enough with it to hesitate sharing it with you or being ok wearing it outside. What do you think?
I am not too happy with the way it it at the moment and would not wear it on its own, but my issue is that I am at the very edge of their sieizes. If you are either happy with your VBO or able to size up, this dress will look absolutely stunning on you. And now the dress has even been reduced to only £12
A Sportier Look With The Nadia Embossed Hoodie
I hoped that help for my issue with the VBO would come from another piece I really from the Nadia Range, the Embossed Sleeve Hoodie. While it can be worn like your traditional hoodie, this one is quite a bit more stylish than the average hoodie and is perfect to give your favourite short to medium dress a more sporty look. In the campaign itself Nadia is wearing it with the Split Shoulder Dress (now reduced to £5!).
Ultimately I also added some leggings to the outfit. The dress it great to show of a nice pair of plus-size legs, but as short as this dress is, it will almost definitely lead to chub rub on said plus-size legs without a pair of tights. I personally am one of those people who don’t get away with wearing a dress without tights or leggings. A pair of leggings can also work with the hoodie transforming this dress made more for a night out to an even more sporty look, but see the two different looks yourself below.
Maybe I’ll soon be fitting in the dress a bit better. I am currently working on getting a bit fitter again after I have noticed that I am out of breath again a lot quicker and my blood pressure has gone a bit up. The additional exercise and looking a bit more after what I eat, has lead to some weight loss, and so maybe continuing the weight loss I might reach a fit with which I might actually be happy wearing the dress out.
What do you think?
Do you dare sporting a VBO? Do you think I should drop my insecurities and wear the dress out as it is? Do you prefer the dress with our without leggings What do you think about the Nadia range?
A few weeks ago France has made uber-skinny models illegal. Yes you have heard right. As a part of a clamp down on anorexia France decided to outlaw super-skinny models and so any designer sending a model down the runway that the government deems too skinny risks a hefty fine or maybe even prison time.
The french fashion scene is in uproar and everything else but happy about this and to be honest, neither am I. You all know I am all but happy with the current “standard of beauty” in the mainstream fashion industry, portraying being super-skinny as the only desirable body type. But outlawing a body type? Seriously?
The moment you think we are actually making steps forward concerning body positivity and size equality and then somebody does something like this in the name of fighting anorexia and unhealthy body image. The French have, in the name of the good cause come to the following legislation:
“The activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labor.”
These levels proposed are apparantly a BMI of 18.5 In practice this means that the model will need to present some sort of certificate that her BMI lies at 18 or above if she wants to work somewhere.
BMI? Are you serious? So not only are they taking body shaming to a whole new level by actually outlawing a body type, they are also using the worst and most unreliable measurement for this, that was never intended to be used as indication for an individual persons health.
BMI was never designed as a tool for judging any individual person’s weight—either by physicians or the general public, says Timothy Church, a professor of health at Pennington Biomedical Research Center […] but because of its straightforward math and distinctive categories [..] it soon took off.
To Keys’ [the inventor of the BMI] credit, he never intended for physicians or insurance companies to use this equation—but BMI was just too perfect. Because it was simply a math equation, it was quicker, easier, and cheaper to use than more direct and accurate measures—like the underwater weighing test […] and the skin fold measurements […]. – Mens Health “The Truth About BMI”
The BMI neither takes into account the difference of Muscle vs Fat weight nor how different ‘frames’ and builds can influence a persons health/look at a certain BMI.Obviously, the larger the BMI is the larger are the chances that this person is fat and the smaller the BMI is the larger the chances are that the person is unhealthily skinny, but that is literally all that it is.
Looking at extremes an athlete could for example have the same BMI as a severely obese person.
Looking at not so extreme cases, someone could fight overweight all their lives at a BMI of let’s say 27, when in reality they are perfectly healthy…
If you are one of those weight trolls who now wants to start in a rant that I want to believe that I am an athlete, you can put the keyboard down. I am under no illusion that I am a secret athlete. I know that my personal BMI is in the unhealthy range and yes, that I am fat.
But let’s get back to the actual topic. Where the inaccuracy matters most is in the less extreme areas, where it will make someone over- or underweight by only a few points. This simply can not be accurate. Not using this form of measurement. So setting exact ranges at the 0.5 level of what is ‘acceptable” or even ‘ILLEGAL’, well that is not just wrong but crazy.
Where I Agree With The French
I do agree with the French in one way though. We do need to do something against the wrong body image in fashion, fight anorexia but this is, in my opinion, really (really) not the way. This is just body shaming 2.o.
And while might be one subgroup in the plus-size community that might applaud this, the “Us Against Them”-crowd, that type that might have pulled or enjoyed the stupid “Skinny Bird Watching” stunt or that might post pseudo inspiring messages online that are nothing else but body shaming repackaged like for example: “real women have curves” or something similarly stupid.
However, things would not end there. Anyone who thinks only a little further knows who or what would be next after a law like this. After the skinny models have been banned from the catwalks, Jamelia will get her wish and anyone on either side of the ‘extreme’ is now not allowed to shop on the high street anymore and any TV program showing women with a BMI over 25 will also be fined or the director thrown in prison, as noone should believe that people like this exist, let alone could be happy.
Diversity Instead Of Shaming
I believe if we want to fight anorexia and in my opinion also obesity we should not upgrade to body shaming 2.0 but rather support true body diversity. (Check out Models of Diversity). Making people feel like they have to strive after some crazy number, may it be a BMI label or a size 0 to be attractive, for many women ends up in one of either two extremes. Anorexia/Bulimia destroying themselves striving for that goal or on the other side extreme unhappiness & low self-worth which in many cases results in loss of the desire/strength of taking care of oneself and leads to comfort eating and additional weight gain.
So as said above instead of upgrading our body shaming, we should promote body diversity as much as we can and this should not only concern weight, but also disabilities and colour. You can look however the fuck you want and that is no-ones concerns but yours. Your body is a dictatorship, no democracy. There is no vote on how you are “allowed” to look.
Other Ideas For A Law?
If France HAD to pass a law like this following their goal to battle anorexia an idea might have been maybe to stipulate a minimum difference between the models on the runway. I am spitballing here. I know the idea is not perfect.
In my suggestion the basic idea would be to request a difference of BMI points smaller when only using few models, increasing with the number of models up to a certain point. So for example 5 BMI points when using 2 models, 7 points difference when using 3 models and 10 points difference when using 5 or more models for a show.
There are a few issues that would come with this, it would complicate things, making it more difficult to find the right models and secondly using a standard clothing size for fashion shows would not be possible anymore. Ultimately I did not expect to come up with the perfect solution. However any solution that would be effective would make life in the fashion world rather more complicated than easier but I do believe we should probably value diversity more than convenience.
But the fashion world turns fast and the plus-size fashion world is no exception. So over the last months it has become fairly quiet around Missguided, well at least in regards of plus-size.
The fast fashion company has so far only concentrated at the lower end of straight sizes (going up to 14). Their first plus size range was, by the looks of it, only a test range, if a strong one, with approx 70 lines in sizes only going up to a size 24 so far.
The big question here was if the brand after an enthusiastic launch would forget about their plus-size customer, like so many promising other brands have unfortunatelly done before, leaving the range as an token range for the fatties to avoid being called fat shaming.
February 2015: New Pieces – Without A Lot Of Noise
Fortunately this does not appear to be the case. Well, at least there are a few positive indicators that this time it might be different.
Unfortunately there is no complete new range or big overarching new style at the moment, but one thing I do have to credit Missguided for is that after running only a very few months, they have looked at demand and, like a good fast fashion retailer does, not only restocked as it was selling out but also put a little bit of effort in and improved/updated a few lines by adding new colour options
Let’s Have A Look At The Range Update
Some of the pieces they have renewed were the wrap dresses that were very popular after the launch and quickly sold out in many colours.
The wrap dresses have not only been repeated in the original colours that had sold out they are now also available in for example khaki and grey.
There are some lovely new midi dresses. The below dress on the left in the grid has been added in black and in the green and also some other completely new dresses.
Tie Waist Skirt
Another new addition to the collection is the tie waist skirt which is expected to be a big trend this spring. A skirt I could not resist buying already and that will be on my blog soon in an #OOTD.
This skirt is basically a skirt that pretending to have a shirt slung around the hips. Sounds a bit weird when trying to describe it, but I like the look.
Trends At The Same Time For Fatties AND Normalos
The tie waist skirt is one of the examples where Missguided is really really promising for the future. I am not necessarily talking abut the style itself but the timing of the delivery of the style. If you have a look around through the sizes, tie waist appears to be one of their big upcoming trends that they have heavily bought into across their straight sizes.
Unlike so many other retailers out there, Missguided is not waiting till at least next season to finally deliver a trend in a plus-size version, but is delivering it at the same time for us larger ladies as wekk as in straight sizes. Although admittedly they deliver this trend only in one style for 18+ while in almost uncountable styles for straight sizes, but it is a start.
Where is the SS15 range?
After having been unsure, when first launching the range in November, of how it would resonate with us fatties, they should now have a much better idea of who their plus-size customers are and what we like.
This does make me wonder even more why it is taking Missguided so long to get their Spring/Summer range out. With it being end of February they might be a bit late to the market. Although I am still holding up big hopes for a banging collection
Extra 40% Off Sale While We Are Waiting
While you are browsing through the new items don’t forget to have a quick look at the sale items, as for a very limited time you will be able to get 40% all sale items using the code EXTRA40.
What do you think?
Which one is your favourite? Are you calling some of the new pieces your own? And for which retailer can’t you wait to finally announce their new SS15 collection.