My experience with the creepers of the Internet, and why I continue to blog in spite of them…I started blogging specifically about plus size fashion for two main reasons – the first is that I am a plus size woman myself and as someone who has been fat all of my adult life I understand how difficult it is to find nice clothes for plus sizes in New Zealand that are reasonably priced. The second is that there was no existing dedicated independent plus size fashion media in New Zealand. A couple of stores have their own blogs (City Chic, Modern Curve for Ezibuy), but while they’re great, they’re not exactly inclusive of other brands (which is understandable – if you’re writing about how great other brands are, it’s not going to make your brand any money!). And so, I decided to step in to that gap.
You know what? I love it! I have never connected with something so quickly and easily in all my life. So much so that when I graduate at the end of this year, I’m going to be creating myself a full time job around my blog and fashion writing/photography. Because this is Meagan Kerr. To find out more about why I am writing about plus size fashion, check out this page.
When I started posting pictures of myself, I expected to get a negative reaction. Not because I feel negatively about my body, but because when I see photos of the plus size women I admire online, there is almost always at least one person who takes it upon themselves to say something nasty, and this made me kind of expect it. Surprisingly, I’ve never once had anyone make a rude comment about my appearance on my blog, facebook or instagram account. I think that’s awesome! Let’s keep that up please!
One thing I didn’t expect, however, was the number of creepy comments I would get from men. It’s like the internet version of cat-calling at a girl walking down the street, only worse. Worse because I can’t just walk away – it’s something I encounter every time I log in to my blog, my facebook account and my instagram. I noticed that I was getting a lot of traffic from sites I hadn’t previously known about (you know, the usual ones like facebook, pinterest, and other fatshion blogs). Being the curious wee mermaid I am, I clicked on the links to check out the sites that were driving so much traffic my way and found BBW (Big Beautiful Women) forums and tumblr accounts where people shared links and photos of “hot fat chicks” with other people who were attracted to fat girls. My goofy outfit posts were sandwiched in between BBW porn stars and photos of other fatshion bloggers who were being objectified and fetishised.
I have been attempting to write this post for two weeks now, and had kind of decided not to publish it until the other day, when one of my Aussie Curves blogger friends mentioned that she was experiencing the same problem. She said that made her question whether or not she wanted to continue blogging, and that made me angry at the people who are making her feel yucky about what was once a really positive experience for her. And I understand, I totally do – when I first realised that I was getting a lot of traffic from porn and fetish blogs (as well as unwanted comments), I wanted to take a step back. Heck, I wanted to run in the opposite direction! When I talked to my incredibly supportive boyfriend, I realised that wasn’t the answer for me. I’d previously read this post by Bronny from Fat Aus, and that helped me to realise that I wasn’t alone.
I created this blog as a safe space to inspire plus size women. To let them know that fashion isn’t just something fun for size 14 and under, it’s accessible to everyone. I want to continue to do that, and damned if I’ll let a bunch of creepy dudes take that away from me! I will not be harassed and made to feel anything less than fabulous!
If you’re reading this and you’re someone who has been on the receiving end of vulgar messages or have noticed traffic coming from sites that just make you feel yucky, please know that you’re not alone and I understand what you’re going through. When it comes down to it, you have to draw the line at what you feel comfortable sharing online, and know that it could be seen by anyone. There are a few aspects of my life that I choose not to share online, and I find that having those limits does really help me to retain some sense of a private life (despite sharing so much of myself online). Instead of dwelling on the gross stuff, I choose to focus on the wonderful messages I get from my supportive community on a daily basis, because when it comes down to it, you’re the ones I’m writing for. You are the reason my blog is so successful and you are the reason I will continue to write. Thank you for the kind comments you leave me, and the feedback you give me, and for taking the time to rad what I write. You make it all worth it.
Do you have an experience with internet creepers that has made you question whether you want to keep blogging?
If you’re reading this and you fit in to the “creeper” category, don’t bother posting your crude comments, sending your skeezy emails or messaging me pictures of your peen. I don’t want to see/hear it, and your comments will be deleted without me even reading them. You’re not welcome here. Stop objectifying me and my fellow fat babes!