‘I’m sorry but she looks awful, no shape at all’
‘Sorry but white on large bodies is NEVER good… NOBODY WANTS TO SEE OUR BLUBBER’
‘No no no not horizontal stripes no no no’
‘This outfit does nothing flattering for her body type’
‘Makes her look like a barrel’
‘Like it or not, big girls have to dress their size and shape’
‘Pretty but you need to COVER your arms. Not a good look’
These are just a few comments I was able to quickly scrape from plus size brands’ Facebook pages, on photos of bloggers or otherwise non-models wearing the brands’ clothes.
One of the funniest or saddest elements of this is that half the comments are body-hating bullshit like that, and half the comments are ‘you should use proper plus size women to model your clothes, not size 14s’. Do these women straight-up not realise that this is what a fat body looks like? And this is what clothes look like on a fat body? Why would you repeatedly demand to see clothes modelled by women who look like you if the real fact of the matter is that you can’t stand to see those kinds of bodies?
It is so painfully obvious that all of this is motivated by self-loathing. Painfully obvious. I know we’re meant to feel sorry for people in this situation and just shake our heads in pity, but I’m still gonna call out body hate. Just because we can ascribe it to that tragic pathological condition, I 100% refuse to accept this behaviour as an acceptable way of dealing with it. If your method of survival involves tearing down others, then I’m not going to stand by it. If you hate yourself and your fat body so much you can’t deal with seeing fat on others, then step away from the keyboard and work on yourself.
I’m not a ‘nice girl’ 100% of the time, but if I promised to give you £1 for every time I snarked about another woman’s body, you would be poor as hell. Do you know why I’m not rude about fat women’s bodies? Or why I don’t feel the need to shame women who are slim? Or comment on whether or not your outfit is flattering (yes, friends, ‘flattery’ is deeply bound up in body hate)? Because I have no shame or loathing to project away from me. I like my body and myself so much that I can just do me, and let you do you. And anyone that can’t do that is categorically not dispensing ‘style advice’, they’re exposing their own shame and prejudices. I feel sorry for people like that up to a point, but when it comes out in a stream of poison and negativity, my pity dries up. Sorry not sorry.
How are we going to pull apart the misogynist, white supremacist, thin-obsessed, youth-fetishising layers of our society that rear their heads in fashion and media if all we have it in us to do is sit behind a computer and hate someone because they didn’t wear tights and showed their fat legs?
Did you know it’s perfectly possible to be a proudly fat woman and not slam women who you perceive to be a ‘bag of bones’? Did you know if you say shit like that you’re not in any way body-positive? Fortunately most people who read my blog are probably not the absolute bores who sit around leaving hate on plus-size brands’ Facebook pages, but I thought it would be useful for me to have a handy link to direct them to the next time they try to shame me or my friends or any fat girl who dares to contradict everything they thought they knew about horizontal stripes…
(as I typed this I realised I was wearing a horizontal striped t-shirt as pyjamas. Here is me and my horizontal stripes broadcasting body-positivity from bed)