I have to say, I love being a plus size blogger. As hobbies go, I can't think of anything that I would be more suited to. I love that my social media feeds are filled with other bloggers and people talking about similar topics.
Let's stop segregating models by their measurements. Let's stop letting hip sizes dictate whether someone is model-worthy or not. Let's start finding more Maya's and Barbara's, and bring modeling back to what it's best at: discovering charismatic, unique and beautiful faces, that all women can aspire to.
As a chubby teenager I grew up without any real role models. Yes, I had teen idols and boyband crushes but I could never open up an issue of Sugar magazine and see someone like me staring back. Surrounded by thin friends and people who told me I should lose weight, it sometimes seemed like a lonely place. Thankfully I discovered the world of social media...
When I was smaller I was still insecure, things didn't come easier to me and I was told I was too skinny. In fact I was miserable but yet I keep thinking that something magical will come of losing weight, like all my shit would suddenly be together because I was skinny.
Whatever you think about the current state of the plus size fashion market, no one can deny that we have come along way. I remember when SLiNK began just five years ago I could count the number of plus size brands I knew on both hands and the idea that the likes of River Island and Boohoo would've launched trend focussed plus size lines a mere and lofty dream.
I don't think I quite comprehended the question when the BBC rang me for a comment. In a week where it felt like a tiny step had been made for mankind (the potential for brands to be financially punished for not cutting sugar out of their fizzy pop) I was genuinely being asked if I thought we should ban elasticated trousers as they might encourage obesity.
The collection is loud, fun and daring. The prints make a bold statement, like Beth herself, immediately saying 'I've arrived' in the most exaggerated fashion. This is no random collection. I felt Beth's energy and presence in every piece.
I decided that if I couldn't find models that I could relate to, neither could a huge portion of women. Size-wise I'm around the UK average. Where as fashion model's measurements represent less than 5% of the population. So it became my mission to try and promote diversity in the industry by showing that #everyBODYisbeautiful.
I had the immense pleasure to meet with my dear Beth Ditto this morning to talk about the launch of her new collection! Here's what went down...
Beauty is sourced from confidence to wear something that makes you feel damn good about yourself and self acceptance - to believe you're truly enough and be confident within yourself to show that to the world. It doesn't stem from fitting societal standards of beauty because if it did then I wouldn't be secretly wishing I looked as good as these plus size girls on Instagram.
You see, despite society's and the plus size fashion industry's preconceptions about the average fat girl, we are capable and ready for so much more. We are bold and bright and intelligent and worthy of dynamic communication and product and we want it now.
You know what... I have worn sleeveless dresses and got my fat arms out on very many occasions, and you know what - the world kept turning!!! Me wearing a dress didn't cause any big problems, no one died and my day panned out much the same.
Even if Tess IS unhealthy (I don't know her, I can't comment on her health) does that mean that she should be less employable as a model? When did we start judging people's right to employment based on the level of their health?
First we wanted more representation for plus size women in modelling. Then we had plus size women 'reclaiming' the term. Then we had a nineties pop star say she disapproved of stores selling clothes in 'unhealthy' dress sizes. Now finally we have people saying we should drop the term 'plus size' altogether. Where will it all end?
Dropping the word plus won't make a runway dress fit. The change for more plus models in mainstream campaigns and publications can only happen when the way sampling is done changes, actions and sample sizes here in this case will really speak louder than words.
Now I'm all for the modelling industry to be inclusive of all body shapes and sizes and I think plus size modelling has a valid and important role in the industry, but I also think that the average consumer these days is wise enough to know that skinny doesn't equal beautiful any more.