I’ve been buying holiday clothes. I know the UK has so far had a stonking summer, we’re off to even warmer climes soon and I’ve acquired not one but two tankinis. Despite lusting over the stunning attire donned by bloggers such as Danielle Varnier, Callie Thorpe and FullerFigureFullerBust I’m still not ready for a bikini – but I have no doubt that those days will come.
There will be a few off-the-shoulder numbers in my case as well, along with a light and airy bodysuit and a slinky little dress. The theme is cool and relaxed, with just a hint of cover-up for comfort.
So, with this new-found confidence in mind (provided mainly by my buddies who love me the way I am), I saw a lady texting by the side of the road this morning and it made me stop and think. She was wearing one of those floral smock things that the racks at some plus-size shops are often full of. Now I know the joy of a long t-shirt that hides lumps and bumps but this garment wasn’t doing her any favours.
Her shoes, on the other hand, were another story. Red slippers with tiny beads and sequins, stitched with aqua, deep blue, yellow, pink and green, they looked like something from a fairy tale. The creativity and joie de vie of her feet and her bodily attire didn’t seem to be singing from the same song sheet.
And I know why. It starts with shame – shame over showing your body and I’ve lived that since I was ten. Yep, ten. That’s a lifetime of shame.
This shame, fuelled by the ridiculous notion that producing well fitting fashion for over size 16s is enabling obesity, leads women to cover their bodies in shapeless smocks. This is the same rhetoric that declares that we’re normalising obesity – well I’ve got some news: take a good look around you, obesity IS normal. And if ‘they’ want to do something about it, we have to change the way we think about, talk about and look at big bodies.
Now I don’t hide the fact that I’ve chosen to drop a few stone – it’s hard work and it’s taking it’s time because I’ve had some massive changes to make but I’m doing this for health reasons, not because I want to adhere to the social norm and here’s why.
Shame comes from fear
Fear leads to doubt
Doubt feeds anxiety
This melting pot of negative emotions is hardly the place for someone to make a monumental change in their life. And they’re unnecessary, unfair and ultimately pointless emotions. Social norms of how someone should look and act are, like everything else, just stories.
Just stories. Don’t forget that
So, I pledge
- That I will never again wear floral smocks.
- That I will wade around in the hotel pool like a goddess.
- That me and my fat will be welcome wherever I go and if we are not, we won’t go there again.
Fancy a little inspiration for your holiday? Check out any of the bloggers mentioned above on Instagram, they’re worth a follow.
But the best thing you can wear is confidence
And remember shame has no place in your wardrobe
Have a most superb summer x