opinions – bodylove

Dear thin friends, There are worse things in life than being fat.

Every day I came across posts, ads and articles that tell me life is better when you’re slim. Which hairstyle makes your face look thinner, which dress makes you look one size smaller, which sexual position burns the most calories (because yes, that is obviously what really matters), which household chore will help you lose weight, which exercises will make your body smaller, which pose is more slimming, which guilty pleasure food you should feel least guilty about (ehm, what?), that taking a bath burns calories and that people who sleep more tend to weigh less. The list truly is endless.

It seems like everything we do in life, from how we wear our hair to what we do with our spare time, revolves around weightloss.

 

So it’s really no surprise that all of us seem collectively afraid of being fat. Being fat is probably one of the worst things a woman can be. Even as kids, when we want to insult another girl, we call her fat. In fact, if you generally want to insult a woman, you either call her fat or your call her a whore (as a feminist, I actually have a lot to say about the latter as well, but one thing at a time okay?).

You may not believe it, because you pretty much NEVER see those examples around you, but being fat doesn’t actually stop you from having an amazing life.  Fat women have amazing lives all the time. Fat women can have great careers, excel at sports, have an amazing sexlife, shop awesome clothes, have a group of amazing friends and be amazing friends to others. Fat women date and have wonderful marriages, they travel, they go out and enjoy themselves. Fat women run marathons and lift weights and turns themselves into a pretzel at yogaclass. Fat women are capable of love and happiness and kindness and acceptance, just as much as anybody else.

Dear thin friends, when you say you’re afraid of being fat, you’re basically saying you’re afraid of looking like me. Like the worst thing in the world that could happen to you, is being someone like me. And I am telling you right now: there are worse things in life than that.

photography by Bart Peeters

Plussize ladies: put your money where your mouth is!

Nordstrom has stopped carrying Ivanka Trump’s fashionbrand. Nordstrom officially states it’s because the line wasn’t selling well (read all about it here), but I’m sure the heavy protests and boycot against Nordstrom as long as they were carrying this label had something to do with it as well.

“Ugh Marianne, politics? Really?” Can’t you just talk about fashion?”. Well, I hate to break it to you, but fashion IS politics. There are many women out there who just dress to be dressed and if that’s you, that’s fine. I’m not here to judge you. I do want to remind you though, that your money has power. What you chose to buy, has power. And where there is power, there is politics… The Ivanka-Nordstrom situation proves that. So even if you don’t WANT to be political, you’re voting anyway and that vote is counting for something.

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Over the course of the past 15 years, I probably spent thousands of euros on brands that were not really giving me what I wanted. As a plussize consumer, I’ve settled a lot. For brands who, year after year, only give me boring basics. For brands who make jeans that don’t fit me right. For brands who treat their plussize consumers like crap. But I gave them my money anyway, and with that I also gave them my vote saying “What you’re doing is great. Keep it up!”.

Read more: Why the new H&M video can go fuck itself

The past year or so, I’ve started thinking about this more and more, and decided it is time to put my money where my mouth is. So I stopped buying from brands that don’t give me what I need and deserve.

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Why is this important? A lot of us plussize girls are dissatisfied with the current plussize industry. We’re fed up with the lack of cute options, the bad fit and cuts, the limited sizing (yeah I’m here for you my sisters with a size bigger than 50!). But we go ahead and buy the stuff anyway. So then I turn to plussize brands and ask them “excuse me, why don’t you make more changes? Why are you not giving us what we want?” and their reply is simple: this is what sells.

And you know why it sells? Because you. Are. Buying. It.

So let’s all just stop. Stop buying jeans that don’t fit well, stop buying shirts that make you feel like a pregnant tent, stop buying clothes that are not really your style, stop buying the same basics over and over and over again, stop trying to squeeze yourself in a size too small because the biggest size of the brand doesn’t fit you. You deserve amazing clothes. You really do. And if it’s anything less than amazing, don’t buy it.

Put your money where your mouth is, and let your money do the talking. And if you do, if we all do… trust me, they will listen.