Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes

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I am a fat person. On an almost daily basis I am told (either in person, via social media or through mainstream media) that because of my size I am not acceptable to society. I’ve heard it all – well-meaning family members expressing their concern about my cholesterol, people telling me I’d be so pretty if I lost weight, having a stranger whisper “Weight Watchers” under her breath as she walked past me in a department store, and comments about whales when I’m at the beach.

After years of hating my body, following ridiculous diets and pushing myself to exercise until I was physically ill, I read Dr. Linda Bacon’s book  “Health at Every Size” and discovered that fat doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy – something I should have known for years, being that I’ve never once had my fat adversely affect my health – blood pressure low enough to be comparable to an Olympic athlete and perfect results on all possible blood tests. Reading “Health at Every Size”, I learned a lot about my body (including the fact that constant dieting was actually the cause of me gaining weight) and began to love myself for who I am. This was a huge turning point, both for me personally and for me as a blogger and a photographer.

For the final project of my degree, I wanted to create images that portrayed fat women in a positive light, because it is very rare that you see anyone over a size 16 in any form of media not being criticised for how she looks (despite the average body size in Australia and New Zealand being a size 16) or in a story along the lines of “I was fat and hideous and then I embarked on x crazy diet and now I’m slim and beautiful”. Everyone needs to have positive role models, and through my blog I hope to be one of those positive influences that tell women that no matter what their body size it’s okay to love yourself and that it’s possible to find nice clothes for bigger bodies.

Welcome to the Fat Babe Club!

Welcome to the Fat Babe Club!

In her TEDxTALK titled “Why It’s Okay To Be Fat”, Golda Poretsky from Body, Love, Wellness spoke about the need to love and accept oneself – I think that this is an extremely important message and one that I am a big advocate of. This is the perfect lead in to my project, because I want to empower women to love themselves and celebrate their bodies through their clothing choices.

With this in mind, I decided that I wanted to create a body of work that encouraged and inspired other women to love their bodies. I wanted to challenge the “fashion rules” that society seems to dictate.

Don’t wear sleeveless tops. Don’t wear pencil skirts. Satin, bikinis, stripes, fitted clothing that highlights your body shape, loose clothing that doesn’t highlight your body shape. Don’t wear white. Only ever wear black.

I chose to challenge these so-called rules through a series of images where my subjects wore the things that they were told that they shouldn’t wear – figure hugging, skin exposing clothes that celebrate their full figures.

Soon, I’ll be sharing some of the photos with you. I hope you find them as beautiful and inspirational as I have! If you’d like to be part of this project, please get in contact with me here.

x Meagan

Meagan wears:
Spirit Tankini (worn as bikini top) from Postie
ASOS Curve High Waisted Leopard Print Bikini Pants from ASOS
SXUC Pippa sunglasses c/- Sunglasses Shop

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38 thoughts on “Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes



    • Thanks lovely! I am so much more comfortable with myself now than I was a year ago – can’t wait for summer, I’m gonna be a beach babe!




  1. Pingback: Aussie Curves: Swimwear | This is Meagan Kerr


    • Thanks Laura! I recommend ASOS and Chubby Cartwheels for swimsuits, but I think there are a whole bunch of places in the US that sell them! Sadly, there is nothingin New Zealand :(


      • Sounds like a good marketing idea! There’s a couple of girls who sell at a local Wellington market and I think they make to order – the togs are approx $300 which is probably a bit much for some (a lot of) people.


        • A swimsuit special is in the works! $300 is absolutely outrageous for a swimsuit, so I’ll put together some that are sassy and affordable.




  2. This is great empowerment for women of every size. I do have to say however one must walk in caution to promote hey its okay to eat what you want as long as you love yourself. Time and time again I see women who are just not have a healthy ratio with their weight and height. They just scream “Im healthy my doctor says so!” I Love myself therefor I can eat what I want and continue to live this lifestyle with out any consequences in the future. .. I don’t believe a size 0 is healthy either. There is a very thin line between loving yourself and just promoting irresponsibility of not living healthy period.


    • Your comment started off really positive, but then it went seriously downhill. Who are you to pass comment on someone else’s health? You are not their doctor, you do not know their medical history, and let’s be honest – their health is none of your business. What someone chooses to consume is their business and theirs alone. If someone is fat, people seem to think that they have every right to police what they eat, and it seems to be a common misconception that if you are fat you should be on a diet, because the ultimate goal is to be thin and “healthy”. This isn’t true – not everyone wants to be a size 10 or whatever beauty standards dictate. Size and weight do not define how healthy you are. You can be slim and healthy, or slim and unhealthy. You can be fat and healthy, or fat and unhealthy.

      Please do not start “concern trolling” here, this is a body positive space and any kind of shaming will not be tolerated.


  3. I must say I’ve always had an issue with how the word ‘fat’ has become virtually a swear word these days. I remember times when I’ve casually called myself fat in a conversation, not to put myself down but simply as a fact…. I was fat, its a fact, so why can’t I say that I’m fat without everyone around me becoming super awkward as if I’ve said something terrible? I didn’t have an issue with being fat, I wasn’t ashamed so why is everyone else so sensitive about it? I don’t see why calling someone fat should be any different to calling someone tall….. the negative connotations associated with the word fat are ridiculous.


    • I agree Helen! I think that fat is an appropriate word to use to describe fatness! It’s descriptive, just like tall, blonde or pale. However, I understand that because people have given the word negative connotations, not everyone is as comfortable with it as us. This is why I think it’s important to use it in non-negative ways – to illustrate that it is just a word.
      xM


  4. You are amazing. Such a fashion inspiration. I am a very curvy girl myself and constantly battle to be accepted in my fashion choices. I would love to meet and sit with you and go shopping with you!1


    • Thanks Rachel! I am hoping to travel more with this project (when I can find the funding for it). Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog, and I will update here with my travel plans.

      xM


  5. Pingback: Fat girls and stripes | Change One Woman


  6. thanks for standing up for us curvier girls. Awesome to see such a positive project and I hope you get more awesome promotion. All the best for your future



  7. Hi Megan you are truly inspiring. If you need a big black woman (parents jamaican although I was born in London) and you are in the Christchurch / Selwyn area then please give me a shout. I have spent my life combating fat hate so look forward to joining forces. Keep doing what you do and thank you.


    • Thanks Nishel! I hope to travel down to Christchurch to photograph people for this project at some point next year, so keep an eye on my blog for travel dates! xM


  8. Hi Meagan, you look beautiful and in particular, I LOVE your bikini top in the top picture of this article. I was wondering what brand it is and where I can get one. I’m big busted (F CUP) but small backed (about a 10-12). Does this bikini have a tie back? If so, I will be so excited! I like buying bikini tops from the curve ranges as they have lots of boobie room for us curvy ladies but the tie back means I can adjust it for my puny little ribcage :P I also love the leopard bottoms you are wearing, do you think they would flatter my shape? I’m a lot bigger down bottom than up top…size 14/16. So I often get self conscious about that….I feel I’m out of proportion, but I’m getting better at accepting myself. I’d love to be able to wear those bottoms, they look amazing on you and I really like the cut of them!!

    Thank you so much for doing this blog. It has helped me to accept and love myself more. I’ve had a long history with body dysmorphia and seeing beautiful woman like yourself rocking your curves and not worrying what others may think is very very inspirational to me. It helps me to love myself. You are really a shining light in our society where we are made to feel hate for our bodies if they don’t match whatever the current trend is.


    • Thanks Imogen! I’m so glad I can be an inspiration to you.

      My top in this article is from Postie, but it’s actually a tankini top that I’ve tucked up to look like a crop top. It doesn’t tie at the back and I can’t think of any great ones that do for small backs and large busts, sorry! The bottoms are my favourite ever and I love the cut – I think they’re super comfortable! High waisted swim briefs are en vogue at the moment, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a pair that fits with a pattern you like!

      xM


  9. Hi Meagan. I have been a fan of your project for a while but this is my first time commenting. I must say I love, love, LOVE what you are doing here and am so happy to see such a wave of body-positive things like this on the internet recently. I have been FAT as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, it was the worst thing ever. I came home from school crying almost every day because another kid had made fun of me, saying I was going to get stuck if I tried to go down the tube slide. Then junior high came around… the school dances were a nightmare. Boys would say “He wants to dance with you,” and point to one of their friends as a cruel joke. He would immediately express his disgust with a reply along of the lines of “Omg ewwwww, no I don’t!”. Needless to say, by the time I hit high school, my self-esteem was shot. But at some point along the line, I started accepting it as who I am and not being disgusted when I looked in the mirror naked. One day in my Sophomore year, some kid on the bus oh-so-cleverly goes “Hey, you’re fat”. I looked at him and said “Honey, I already know that. If you want to upset me, tell me Taco Bell closed down.” Everyone on the bus thought my comment was hilarious and the bully was an idiot. That was the moment when I realized I didn’t have to hide in the shadows or pretend like I’m not fat (which so many big girls do, I just don’t understand it). I could be who I am and Hell, even be proud of it. I’m still not as comfortable with my body as you and some of these other gorgeous girls are, but I think it’s more because I’m extremely modest and care more about comfort, not because I’m fat. I feel like I would still wear mostly jeans and t-shirts if I were thin. My boyfriend LOVES fatties, and he wonders why I don’t wear bikinis and miniskirts and stuff. He says I should be just as entitled to wear those things as skinny girls, and it’s not fair that me showing the same amount of leg as a skinny girl is considered a lot more… offensive. I don’t know, I’m working on it, and maybe one day I will find myself strutting around in a bikini, all 360 lbs of me.


    • Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for taking the time to write! I think that your experiences (sadly) are similar to a lot of us other fat people – some people can be such insensitive jerks! It sounds like you have a great guy there who is supportive – it’s so good that you have someone awesome by your side. And you know what? You’re entitled to wear whatever you like – if you are a jeans and tee kind of gal then rock them! You don’t have to show more flesh just to “prove” that you love your body, you can do that regardless of whether you’re wearing a leg-baring mini or a comfy jeans!

      xM


  10. You are such an inspiration to me! So great how you are doing this. It is fantastic for ladies of all shapes and sizes to know that they can love there body the way it is and not have to fit society’s bullcrap rules! Keep doing why you’re doing beautiful!



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