Gabi Gregg, image via gabifresh.com.
The word “fatshion” – scattered over glossy editorials and applied to anything slightly meatier than the minus-, sample-sized norm – used to make me flinch and recoil. A ridiculous piece of fashion vernacular, it is just as, if not more, patronising than when people refer to Robyn Lawley as “plus-sized” or with the hashtag #BBW (“Big Beautiful Woman”).
A bunch of bloggers, however, is changing that. They’ve formed a ‘Fatshion’ community on Tumblr, posting pictures of themselves sporting the latest trends in big-girl garb and last month celebrated ‘Fatshion February’. With titles such as Fatty Unbound, Fuck Yeah Chubby Fashion, Fat Shopoholic and In The Thick Of It, they are taking ownership of the words “fat” and “fatshion” in hopes of removing some of their stigma.
These women (and the occasional man) are offering a fresh, independent perspective in the notoriously fat-loathing fashion industry. Their goal is not to be radical, or to look smaller or “flatter” or hide their curves, but to find clothes that actually look good, whether it be Wang or McQueen or threads by Forever 21+ and ASOS Curve.
They are working to create their own looks, tossing a previous generation’s rules regarding horizontal stripes, bold prints, bright colours and peplum hems out the window. And in doing so, they’re demanding more of fashion, for all women; making it feel like we all own it.
To say they are “body proud” or celebrating their size isn’t quite right. They’re merely accepting of their bodies and demonstrating that there ARE options for big girls, beyond mid-length, wrap-style dresses in “slimming” colours or pinstripe button-downs for some “office panache”. As blogger Gabi Gregg says, “I really do love fashion, and love being a voice for plus-size women, but I want to be known for being stylish and fashionable.”
The role these women play extends beyond blogging, too, with many hosting clothing swaps and resale blogs or online stores devoted to customers with an above-average BMI.
And just like that, these lady bloggers are doing more than Vogue’s worldwide Health Initiative ever did to normalise size diversity in fashion. Unlike Vogue, Elle and V, whose efforts extend to a reluctant yearly nod to “real” bodies via “shape” issues that, more often than not, do away with the garments to showcase their models in the nuddy, bloggers such as Gregg, Nicolette Mason and Sydneysider Hayley Hughes are drawing attention away from size and putting it back on where it should be – the clothes. If you look beyond the “fatshion”-filled titles of these blogs, their focus is not on the “fat” but on the fashion, pure and simple. Without the apologies. Without the curvy conversation.
See our favourite fatshion blogger looks in the gallery above and click through to their blogs below.
Gabi Gregg (homepage pic is from Gabi's blog)