Tess Holliday: Not a role model.

When Jamelia recently made some bigoted and ill-informed comments about fat people (and thin people actually) the body/fat posi community took to arms, snatching up the hashtags and filling the blogosphere with a big ‘fuck you’ to people trying to police what people at any size can wear and how easily they access it. #wearethethey, spearheaded by Debz of A Wannabee Princess, took off. It was trending. It made some news outlets. I felt a swell of pride as our visibility, and our tenacity, punched a hole in social media for the day and we were all feeling pretty proud.
Days like that I love this community and I am overwhelmed by it’s power. But there are times when I feel so disappointed in it too.
In a Guardian interview Tess Holliday, an apparently much beloved figure in the plus size community, made some racist and ignorant remarks. When reacting to an incident during the shoot where a black man made some comments to her, she naturally reacted. However, her follow up comment is where the problem starts:

“I do admit that black men love me. I always forget that, and then I come to a black neighbourhood and I remember.”

As a white person I’m not much of an authority on racism, given that simply by my colour I benefit greatly from centuries of it. However, I am smart enough to know what this comment is extremely ignorant and perpetuates very harmful, racist stereotypes of black men. But these stereotypes, and this attitude of being the beautiful, white women that black men love, also deeply harms black women, whose bodies are criticised and sexualised to a much higher degree than those of white women.
What followed from Tess was a very weak “apology”, and I use that word loosely. It was the usual “I’m sorry you’re offended” line. But what was even more galling was how Tess tried to back pedal, claiming that she can’t be racist because apparently there were black people on set.
Not to mention the fact that she bemoans how she never asked to be made a “role model”, but she seems quite happy to use this pedestal placement to further her career.

 

If Tess is so against being pigeonholed a role model she might want to re-consider her new website banner then.

I have many issues with Tess as an advocate for the plus size community, but it seems one can’t criticize her without seemingly jumping on a hate “bandwagon.” I admit, Tess has been heavily criticized by concern health trolls and that’s simply wrong. People are criticizing her for the wrong reasons. Prior to this incident I found her hypocrisy at advocating beauty at all sizes with her #effyourbeautystandards tag, while fully subscribing to beauty ideals, most galling. But now she can say racist things and barely even apologise for it and there is virtually no repercussions for it.
I am really disappointed in the community seemingly just ignoring that this happened, save for a few headshakes and a bit of tutting. Where are the posts, the critiques, the hashtags? Why aren’t we as angry at a representative of our movement making unapologetic, racist, and ignorant remarks as we were at celebs making fat jokes?

We HAVE to do better than this. We don’t have to accept our lot simply because we don’t have much representation. We, as fat people, should know what it feels like when people make harmful jokes at our expense. We know what it’s like when harmful attitudes perpetuate negativity about us.

 

We must do better than this. We must.
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Cutting the Mustard

I’ve finally got round to plonking myself in front of a camera as I barely had a spare minute while I was away up north and coming home to the rain, and what a doozie of an outfit. I think it’s fair to say that this is a new one for me. I’d seen a few bloggers working the yellow and blue combo and I loved it. They are both colours I have never really worn before, certainly not together. But I’m really loving it. It’s so cute.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

I bought this dress from Modcloth an age ago as a payday treat. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The material is heavier than I had anticipated. I wasn’t sure about the sleeves on my arms but the more I’ve worn it the more I’ve come to like them. It’s super comfy and hella cute. This is something you could easily pair with other colours though I feel it needs very little accessorising.

Ruby Thunder Ruby Thunder
I love the simple detailing on this dress


What I am rather proud about with this outfit is the cardigan. I picked this up from Asda for £8 but I wasn’t keen on the colour and I had plans to dye it. 

Donning some marigolds I mixed up some Dylon Sunshine Yellow and added some Dylon Dark Brown and mixed until I got the desired colour. What I got was this gorgeous mustard yellow. I was super pleased because it has been a nightmare finding a mustard yellow cardigan in my size. So I went D.I.Y! 

It’s worth mentioning that the yellow dye was actually a machine dye I purchased in error but washed by hand and it was fine. You wash it in the machine anyway at the end!

Ruby Thunder
Ruby Thunder, plus size
I finished the look off with some navy polkadots. The sunnies are Primark from a couple of years ago but these cute ballet pumps I just picked up from Asda for a measly £6! Bargain!

Ruby Thunder, plus size
I think my outfit comes Vinnie approved!

I really loved trying out the dyes and I’ve turned my hand to a couple of other cardigans and some t-shirts for work too. With summer coming I can see myself being bitten by the home colour bug.
It’s a perfect way to revamp your wardrobe at little cost!

Do you love a bit of D.I.Y too? 
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Pyjama Project

I had been thinking for sometime about the fat-posi media I was consuming. As someone just getting into fatshion blogging I found myself following lots of blogs for inspiration and to find out the who’s-who of fat blogging. But I became more and more aware that I was seeing a lot of the same thing. Inspired by my last post, about the imperfections being ok, I realised that I was seeing a lot of polished, perfect images. High fashion, or highfemme-which are amazing in their own right and I’m super grateful they exist-but there was very little in the way of those who don’t subscribe to that either because they don’t want to or an unable to for whatever reason, and those people are important too.

So it was for this reason that I started the Pyjama Project. A submissions based Tumblr where fat people can submit images of themselves in their comfy clothes, baggy tees, ugly nighties, lazy day off clothes, face masks, messy hair–and be celebrated for being fab. It was pretty daunting and I didn’t exect much of a reception, but there has been some great support so far. I’m not exactly ‘tumblr famous’ or barely even a drop in the blogging ocean but I wanted to do my bit and I hope it doesn’t fall flat at the first hurdle.

If you’re interested in submitting you don’t need to have a Tumblr account. You can submit ‘anon’ and just leave any details you want like any social media platforms and the like.

This was my submission. Eeek!

Ruby Thunder, plus size

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Miss Match

Truthfully I had no intention of posting these photos. While I had planned the outfit in my head and was really excited to put it together, it didn’t translate quite how I had in mind. Things didn’t sit how I imagined, didn’t pair up as I’d hoped. My hair was messy, the day was windy and made everything blow around and ruffle out of place. I felt really disheartened.

Then I realised that that was exactly why I needed to post them.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

If I’m honest I’m not the most fashion concious person. I’m not one for spending time on my appearance. Mostly because the way I spend ym time doesn’t call for it. My job as a carer means that I have to wear a lot of stuff that I’m prepared to have pulled at, have various bodily fluids splashed on, keep me cool as I rush about in an already warm house, not reveal too much skin, and just be generally practical.

Ruby Thunder, plus size
Dang wind!
 
When I’m not at work I’m basically slobbing out on my pj’s. As I tend to work evenings there is little time for me to relax after work before bedtime, so I spend most mornings before work curled up eating toast and watching Steven Universe. On my days off it’s Dragon Age marathons.
When I started blogging here I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to achieve. I think I just wanted to be another fat body for fellow fat people to see in a positive way. A fat body wearing what they wanted, no matter what fashion media tried to say. Mostly because when I was growing up I had no such thing.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

But the fact remains that it’s ok if things aren’t quite right. This is more of a reflection of me. A little mix of this and that; a cheapy casual top with something a little more expensive in this instance.
I like to shop about and piece together what I can. Sometimes it means forking out a little more, like this adorable Modcloth skirt. Quality fabric in a vivacious red, with a lovely soft white underskirt. The skirt is very full but isn’t heavy.
Paired with a cute, and cheap, top from Primark. This is a pretty casual box tee with rolled sleeves. This is actually a size 20 (I’m generally a 24/26 on top) but it’s probably meant to be really baggy but if it works, it works. I love the cheesy tattoo flash pattern on it. For a fiver how could I not?!

Outfit details
Top: Primark size 20
Skirt: Modcloth 4XL
Shoes: Hush Puppies
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Colour Pop

This post is an unexpected lesson in confidence. Sometimes you shine without intending to.
It’s not secret that when it comes to fashion I’m about as lazy as it gets and having been off work for along time I’ve lived in my pajamas. Getting the motivation to get dressed and go out has been difficult. But challenge accepted and overcome the other day as I, unusually, put my hair up and slicked on some lippy before tottering out to run some errands.

Ruby Thunder, plus size
 
My trusty old coat. A love saga through the ages.

My outfit wasn’t anything special. Comfortable and simple black and white, with a little colour pop from my trusty Doc Martens, I wasn’t setting Vogue aquiver.

dress by asda, plus size, ruby thunder

Ruby Thunder, plus size

Leggings (as pants?! Heathen!) from Evans
Black and white striped dress from Asda (old)
Cherry patches added by me.
Boots-Doc Martens.

But for all it’s comfort and simplicity I got numerous compliments from strangers while out. I hadn’t really thought about it much but I think a lot of it is was down to the fact that I was just really feeling myself that day. I got ready and snapped a selfie for Instagram because why the hell not? The compliments and kind words sent me out with a skip in my step which seemed to carry with me for the rest of the day,

The power of kind words.

So the next time someone rolls their eyes and decries selfies as ‘vain’ and ‘shallow’ just remember how good it feels to feel good, and how that goodness shines out.

 
“Light attracts light. But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.” –Warsan Shire.
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OOTD: Pink because the boys stink (the devils in the details)

The weather has been really unkind to my skin lately; I’m dry and flaky as well as breaking out, not to mention I have roots for miles. What better time to pick up a camera, right? I guess if it feels right you gotta go with it.
So you know when you buy a piece of clothing and you think “Yup. This is the thing I’m going to wear for the rest of my life.” That’s kinda how it was for me when I picked up this gorgeous Pink Fluffy Jumper from New Look Inspire.
I’d had my eye on a similar one at Simply Be, but when I saw this reduced to £12 I had to make it mine.

Mmmm. Sooo floooofy
 
It comes in a lovely eyelash material and is much more vibrant than the website photo gives it credit for. Oh man is this thing soft. Angel hair soft. Fluffy kitten soft. Gatdang soft, ok? Not to mention warm. My house, being so old, get pretty cold at times and this has kept me more than warm and snug. Did I mention it’s soft?
It’s a nice length. Not too short (although I’d kill for this in cropped) and not too long. I’m not great with the whole “boyfriend cardi” look, I just kinda look like a kid trying on their mums clothes.
 

 
I put this with a simple pair of black skinny jeans (jeans whaaaat?!) and my black Demonia maryjanes. I’ve yet to master the fine art of taking full length pictures with my feet in.
The devilish details? Well, I figured because this is so lovely and vibrant, and with the busy eyelash material, I didn’t want to over complicate it. I stuck with the pink theme and minimal accessories. Cue these beauties: Tickled Pink Flamigo drop earrings from Black Heart Creatives.

I love Black Heart Creatives because they are so fun and adorably kitsch. But also well made and good quality. It helps even more that they are an independant business with excellent customer service. I had an issue with a previous purchase and they couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly. If you haven’t gotten anything yet, stick it on your list because they are a must!

I finished this look with pink brows, pink glittery eyemake up and pink lipstick (An early one from the Kate Moss range with Rimmel). Obviously 
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OOTD: Work goth;Chrismas party edition.

Sometimes the planets align and everything seems to fall into place.
This isn’t a sentence that could describe my year, however I did manage to find myself a little luck this week. Take a dress you’ve been eyeing for ages, add a half price sale and finish with a gift voucher with enough money to cover it all and voila! One Christmas party dress!

I spotted this Velour Skater dress in my local Marks and Spencers but given that I’ve been off work for nearly four months I’m pretty brassic right now. I managed to pick it up for half price. The dress is amazing! The quality of the fabric is excellent and the fit is a dream. It’s actually a size 22 so while it’s figure hugging (I’m a 26) it’s also pretty generous if it can accomdate me so well! As it’s a couple of sizes smaller it sits a little higher up my leg than what I’m used to, but it’s so comfy I didn’t feel self concious at all.

Feeling like a 90’s goth dream I felt it was only appropriate to wear my massive clompers from back in the day when I used to go clubbing in Manchesters alt-bars and clubs. With a whopping 5 1/4 inch platform my Demonia Dynamite Mary-Janes make me feel..well..like dynamite.

As it’s Christmas I cracked out my special sparkles, matching my green jewellery to my green eyeshadow.

 

 

 

Make up is Barry M dazzle dusts (the numbers have worn off but essentially a bright green and a darker green) and lipstick is Velvet Lip Laquer in Kooky by MUA. I finished this off with a large purple hair flower.

Hope you’re all enjoying your festive parties! xoxo

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