The Curve Fashion Festival 2015

I’m on a count down. Only three weeks until the Curve Fashion Festival in Manchester!

What’s The Curve Fashion Festival?

Well let me tell ya! CFF is a fantastic new event this year taking place at Manchester Central Exchange Hall. There’s oodles of plus size fashion related fun waiting for you with confirmed brands including Asos, New Look, Boohoo, and Evans as well a bunch of indie brands to name a few!

What can I expect there?

There’s going to be catwalks, celebrity panals, pop up meet and greets, shopping stalls from lots of fabulous plus size brands. Oh and did I mention there’s a campagne bar and afternoon tea restaraunt?

Zoowee mama! You said celebrity panalists. Who’s going to be there?

Tess Holliday, Hayley Hassellhoff, Style Me Curvy blogger Louise O’Reilly, and Nicolette Mason are but to name a few of the faces you’ll see!
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There’s a bunch of information about the event, including information about the venue itself and how to get there. You can find this, and more, at http://www.thecurvefashionfestival.co.uk/

This is a ticket only event! So don’t miss out and grab yours here: http://www.thecurvefashionfestival.co.uk/tickets2.html

I’m super stoked for this event. Will I see you there?
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You can find me on Tumblr & Instagram
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Wedded Bliss

Having been on a bit of a hiatus I’m snatching a quiet moment while visiting family up north. I guess it qualifies as my summer holiday? So, last week I attended by cousins wedding.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

After catching a gorgeous vintage bus to the church, a lovely traditional ceremony, and then a bus trip to the venue it was time for dinner, speeches and dancing (and a little bit of blubbing.)
There was a fancy dress box, a sweetie bar, and games which all made for a fantastic evening.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

A lovely summer wedding calls for lovely summer colours. This dress from Praslin has been sitting in my wardrobe since last year. I picked it up on eBay for about £30. 
The material is just gorgeous.  A lovely soft cotton that was nice and light and so was ideal for a long day to keep me cool. The dress is also fully lined. The cross over deep v neckline gave me plenty of room for my boobs. In fact a little too much room so for a little modesty in family company I had to get a couple of safety pins. 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

To complete my look I treated myself to a beautiful hair flower from Lady Luck’s Boutique. I had a real job choosing from the many, many amazing flowers but I figured a wedding called for big so I opted for the ‘Queenie’ Stargazer Lily and Cherry flower.  I also picked up a pair of their Oversized Round Tiki Bamboo earrings. I’d really struggled to find bamboo jewellery and these were the cheapest I’d found. Always a bonus!
My handbag was a real find! I discovered an amazing rockabilly website in Germany called Killer Kirsche, who stock so many handbags I’m now coveting that I’m pretty much set for the next 40 Christmas and birthdays. I picked up this adorable Kustenluder basket

Ruby Thunder, plus size

My biggest bargain were these hella cute espadrille wedges I got from eBay for £8.99 secondhand. Turns out they were Russell and Bromley who, if like me, you had no idea who they were retail for around £250+! My’shawl’ is actually an infinity scarf I picked up from Primark about a year ago for a couple of quid and voila! 

Are you attending any weddings this summer? 

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Skinny shaming or: not everyone cares about your diet, Mandy.

There’s been an article floating around my various social media feeds that I wanted to address.


“I was skinny shamed by fat friends!” declares Mandy Appleyard as she tells us that after losing her menopausal weight that she was “shamed” by her friends. Mandy’s definition of ‘shaming’ meaning:

“You’re such a skinny-minny, you don’t need to lose weight” and “Ridiculous! You’re middle-aged, you should be eating what you want now.”


So while not an overall nice thing to say the general idea here is that Mandy’s friends think she’s perfectly ok the way she is and she should feel free to eat what she pleases and not worry about it.

Ok, so anyone making unwarrented comments on your body is absolutely not ok, and those people need to know this. But this whole article feels like an opportunity for Mandy to rant about her shitty friends because several times throughout the article mentions how no one has congratulated her or given her a “pat on the back” as though these things are owed to her.

But what I really wanted to talk about was how easily this term “thin-shaming” is being tossed around and why I really don’t like it.

Thin-shaming, for one, is co-opting language used to describe the oppression faced by fat people. By making the terms similar it is suggesting that the experiences are the same.

They are not. Not by a long way.

As I said earlier, people making unwarrented comments about your body and what you choose to it are not ok. But they are in no way comparative to the systematic abuse and prejudice faced by fat people. 

Even before she lost her extra weight Mandy would not be what I would consider a fat person. So even before she lost her extra weight she could rest easy knowing that there isn’t a multi-billion dolar industry telling her that her body is wrong and needs to be eradicated. Mandy can rest easy knowing that she won’t be denied the chance to adopt or receive fertility treatment based purely on her size. Mandy can rest easy knowing she is less likely to be given inadequate medical treatment or misdiagnosed due to her weight. Mandy can rest easy knowing she won’t be less likely to be employed because of her size, or paid less in the job she has. She can live her daily life in relative ease in relation to her body because she won’t see bodies like hers on tv being used solely as a punchline, or humiliated on weight-loss shows. She will see her body size in every magazine, newspaper, and billboard. Mandy won’t have her body associated with negative personality traits like laziness, ignorance, and greed simply because of her size. Mandy can walk into any high street store and find clothes that fit that aren’t priced out because of her size.

Mandy says that she would “never call a larger person fat so why is it ok for them to call her skinny”

You know why, Mandy? Because it’s ok to be skinny. You’re allowed to be skinny. It’s encouraged to be skinny. It should be ok to be any size you want, but that isn’t the world we live in. You need to get back into reality and learn the difference between having your feelings hurt and being systematically dehumanized at every turn. 

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Steve Miller, can you not?

According to former-fattie Steve Miller, the irrelevant banshee of fat hate from Fat Families, fat people don’t have a sex life and are not found attractive.

I can only assume this wretched dullard has some book or some shit coming out soon and he’s being especially antagonistic. Maybe he got bored with his cancer rants?
I’m curious to know what Steve Miller *thinks* he knows about the inner workings of other people’s lives but considering he appears to barely have a soul I’m not sure he’s really an authority on anything other than to hate fat people because he hates himself too.

Like any fat-hater with a platform they are unable to tell the difference between correlation and causation. Sometimes being fat puts you at higher risk of certain disases, but this isn’t ever 100% of the case AND it’s not the cause. It can be related but that’s it. So scaremongering with providing no scientific evidence is pretty standard.

What’s interesting about this particular outburst is he’s trying to play on a lot of what the fat community works to improve on. Fat people ARE marginilised and kept out of mainstream media, and through blogging platforms and other areas, we work to improve our visibility. By using it against us to contradict us he thinks this somehow gives his bullshit any legitimacy. But it’s also a very real, very human element to it that he can use, moreso than trying to push the easily refutable ‘science’ he spouts.

However, my biggest issue with this is coming from both sides. Naturally people are firing back with their own evidence of relationships, babies, and excellent counterpoints. But why are we even indulging in this narrative that sex and desirability are at the core of our value and self worth? Why is it only when people find us attractive does that invalidate any fat hate?

Someone doesn’t find me attractive? Big fucking deal.

Some people aren’t interested in sex at all. Lets stop erasing asexual identities with these bullshit narratives. Stop giving creedence to this ridiculous argument. Fat bodies are already fetishized and objectified by those that do want to fuck us. In turn fat bodies are ridiculed and reviled by those who don’t. Stop both sides deciding that their fucking boners are worth shit.

Steve Miller, I couldn’t care less of you, or anyone else wants to fuck me because my sexual desireability isn’t the core of worth. What I think of myself matters more.

 

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A Plus kinda week.

I’m currently up north in the Lake District visiting family. The weather has been wonderful, the scenery has been breathtaking, and seeing my family after five months has been really amazing. I haven’t had much chance to be online aside from checking in on my phone. What a week to dip out of social media! .
This week we’ve seen Plus Size Wars hitting the tv, and like anything that puts plus size people in a remotely positive light, there is the usual furore. Then we had Jamelia, former popstar and now gob-for-hire on Looose Women (blergh), made some heinous comments about people in “extreme” sizes, noting “they” should feel comfortable when trying to buy clothes and in fact sizing that is less than a 6 and greater than a 20 shouldn’t be available in stores.
The plus size community fired back with Debz from A Wannabee Princess creating a hashtag #WeAreTheThey. You can find the original posts from her here.

The basic premise was that people like Jamelia want to talk about “they” without considering that “they” are real people. So this hashtag put faces to the anonymous people that were being spoken about with little to no thought or consideration.

The hashtag took off, and even made it into mainstream media. The plus size commnity really came together and made their voices heard. It was amazing to watch it snowball over a few hours. I felt helpless, hiding out in the middle of nowhere with barely any signal. I have been slowlyl catching up now I’m in a more signal friendly part of the lakes. Everyone’s pieces have been wonderful to read; sharing their heartache growing up fat, sharing their insecuritites and their own journeys to self acceptance.

What people like Jamelia seem to conveniently forget, when they preach about loving yourself but so long as you are “healthy”, is that health is NOT an obligation and it is certainly not a measure of worth. But most importantly is that when she, and people like her, talk about how people in these sizes shouldn’t have these things seems to think that we actually HAVE these things.
If people really knew how fat people were treated on a daily basis; how fat people are given inadequate medical care, less likely to get jobs, are physically abused, humilated, and used as a societal scapegoat for just about everything wrong, she would think twice before suggesting that simply by trying to live in peace was “gloryfying obesity”.

I don’t care if you think being fat is going to make my joints all fall off. I don’t care if you think that being fat will clog my arteries and stop my heart. I don’t care if you think that being fat will give me diabetes. I don’t care of you think that being fat is a strain on the NHS (have you ever bothered to ask WHAT the money is spent on?). Even if all those things were true (they aren’t) that is MY choice and you don’t have a say in it (No your tax money isn’t funding it.).

You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being because I am fat. You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being for anything.

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Rocketeer reporting for duty! Featuring Hell Bunny

So I’m a bit slow on the uptake (nothing new, right?) but I’m finally usting out my Curverella t-shirt from Nicky Rockets after purchasing it at Plus North in August last year. Shortly after the attending the event I injured my back and by the time I was up and about again it was jumper weather. So here it is and man I LOVE it.

The stall was manned by the simply gorgeous Betty Pamper, who was really sweet and helpful. She advised me on the best size to choose and she was bang on. It fits like a dream! I opted for the slash neck.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

The sizing is very generous with the material having a decent stretch to it. The fabric is high quality, as is the print ink. I love the tongue in cheek designs, especially the B-movie horror vibe. Perfect!
What prompted me to dig this little gem out was the recent arrival of my first Hell Bunny piece. 
I’d been on the hunt for a plain jacket with the weather warming up slightly. As with most of my endeavours into plain things I come out with something all singing and all dancing.

There’s nothing plain about this amazing Sadie 50’s Baseball Style jacket in red and black. 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

The fabric is thick and soft, the jacket being fully lined with its corrosponding colours. The colours are very rich and vibrant. There are two stitched designs which are excellent quality; one on the front and a huge back piece.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

As with all vintage repro I buy the biggest and cross my fingers a I try it on. It fits, but is slightly snug towards the bottom. It sits on my hips so if you prefer something longer this won’t be for you. I have room to swing my arms without any buttons popping open. Success!
Now I can grab a milkshake at my local diner and gaze scornfully at all the squares.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

Ruby Thunder, plus size

Jacket: Bought on ebay at MaggieAnn Vintage Store–4XL
T-shirt: Nicky Rockets (I can’t remember the size and there’s no tag. Possibly a 3 or 4Xl?)
Mini skirt: New Look Inspire via eBay
Leggings:Evans
Boots: Doc Martens via eBay.
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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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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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Obesity: the real cost could be your life.


I had the displeasure of trawling through celebrity choreographer and Loose Women panellist Arlene Phillips twitter after she posted a hashtag she was trying to trend: #fitnotfat. The usual apologetic diatribe you’d expect from someone telling fat people to “close their mouths” and “pick up a skipping rope.” Naturally, my heckles went up and I had a few choice words.

But after I calmed down, and with cup of tea firmly in hand, I started to think about why yet another hashtag, why yet another anti-fat campaign was rearing its ugly head. January is a loathed month for most fat people as our social media news feeds begin to clog with the “New year, new me!” mantras as people’s self-loathing drips like sweat at the newly joined gym.


Not that I feel it’s necessary but I want to preface this with a couple of things.
Firstly I am not claiming to be, nor have I ever claimed to be, a medical professional. These are my opinions, my thoughts, based off my own lived experiences and my own reading. It is very easy for people to scoff and undermine me because medical professionals allegedly know better than I do. But know this: doctors are people too and therefore will carry their own biases. Fat people are more likely to receive inaccurate medical care.
Twitter hashtag: #diagnosisfat

 My doctor thought it was appropriate to address the issue of bariatric surgery when I went in to discuss HIVES.
In fact that was why the BMI chart was created in the first place: by insurance companies and was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources.
I’m not saying that weight doesn’t carry risks. But what I am saying is question just how much risk, instead of what people are telling you because you can’t really be sure how much of their concern is pourely objective and factual. As you’ll read on you’ll see these figures being thrown at us are based off very old research models.
There are a lot of scary figures out there about what obesity costs the NHS. If there’s one thing that is going to put fat people in place is the guilt of pressuring a precious, and already strained, resource like our free healthcare system. Who would take you seriously then?
But I got to thinking, sure enough I’d seen enough figures in the billions, but I’d never seen an actual breakdown of the costs. WHAT was costing £4 billion? You can’t just say “obesity”. It’s a very vague term and tells us literally nothing.
David Cameron gave a speech where he stated that obesity was costing the NHS £4 billion a year, with an expectation of it rising to £6.5 billion by 2015. This figure coming from the Department of Health and estimated by Foresight report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-obesity-modelling-future-trends

I found a website hat stated the report was “..looking at current obesity and associated costs and sought to model future trends in obesity and its impact on health. Doing this, the study produced a series of cost estimates for obesity to the NHS, for elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) to the NHS, and the wider costs to the economy of elevated BMI. All of the projections are set at 2007 costs for easy comparison.”

Wait..hold up. There’s that horrible little word again: BMI.

HELP! IT’S THE ATTACK OF THE MEDICALLY INACCURATE HEALTH MODEL!

Immediately my eyebrow went up in a quizzical stance. If we are created a supposedly accurate report then why are we referencing a proven inaccurate model like the BMI scale?
As I continued to read the website it stated that : “The Foresight report goes into some detail on the associated conditions. For example, the note that: “The risk of developing type 2 diabetes, for instance, is some 20–80 (OK, anyone else think that is a huge jump?) times more likely for people who are obese compared with lean people. Coronary heart disease (which itself is slightly more common among obese people) is 2–3 times more common among diabetic men and five times more common among diabetic women.) Other health risks are also mentioned, such as strokes, many cancers, and osteoarthritis. “

Associated. Associated conditions. Herein lies the problem. Many people fail to realise that correlation does not equal causation. So while there is a risk factor, it is not fat exclusive diseases we are dealing with. The only thing that I can think of that is directly associated with obesity is mobility caused by a fat body, and even then this is only in extreme cases where people have become bedbound by their size.
Another thing I found interesting was that since that report was published in 2007 there has been no significant research into the economic costs of obesity, according to the National Obesity Observatory. So everything we are reading is based off an outdated model. These figures are also based on upon obesity levels where no action is taken to address the problem. So general and outdated still. Most research since has been based in the US and not from Europe.

So where does that bring us? I don’t feel any closer to understanding the real, factual impact of Obesity ™ on the NHS. Given that all of the reports used an outdated, inaccurate, and medically false mode in which to group people it gives it a crumbling foundation insofar as all diagnoses made in terms of health and diseases are based off an inaccurate guide. Simply put the bmi scale says you’re obese-you are “treated” for being obese (medication, surgery, healthcare initiatives)-NHS picks up the bill. But if the BMI is inaccurate then how much treatment is necessary?
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