Title schmitle.

Outing yourself as a feminist on social media often erupts a tsunami or eye-rolling from Facebook friends who hit the unfollow button faster than a speeding bullet. Coming into your own, politically speaking, can be a real eye-opening experience.
Facebook is a beast of its own and is quite unique in that, for some, there is a real sense of obligation to have people you can barely stand on your friends list, lest you look like some sort of mean bitch; the loathsome, boring co-worker, the cringe worthy family member, the old schoolmate who you barely spoke to back then and for some bizarre reason wants to add you some 10 years later. Luckily Facebook has a wonderful tool whereby you can hide these people from your feed and for some time you forget they actually exist until one fateful day they pop up on a status touting their less than desirable opinion on a controversial topic you have decided to share.

I’ve reached a point now, after a few online skirmishes and the words “man-hating feminazi” being thrown at me from former acquaintances that I’ve made a decision to cultivate my online spaces to incorporate only people I can actually be bothered to speak to. It’s not so much a question of people agreeing with me, far from it. I am always open to changing my opinion and I appreciate anyone who can present their argument in a thought-out way that gives me a new perspective. But I am loathed to deal with people who argue just for the sake of arguing.
So it’s always particularly jarring when I engage with friends on Facebook and their friends turn on you. It’s difficult because you want to tell them to go jump but you have to be respectful to your friend who, for some reason, keeps these people around.

I suppose the reason for this post is more for a show of solidarity to those who, for their own reasons, aren’t as ruthless as me when navigating their social media spaces. (I have dramatically culled family members when they have been less than thoughtful, no one is safe.) It’s difficult to be taken seriously when you are politically minded, and a strong minded woman at that. It’s difficult to express yourself politically without someone trying to undermine YOU, not your argument, because half the time they don’t actually get what you’re saying just that you have the audacity to say it. It’s difficult to not apologise for speaking out because we tend to start out sentences with “sorry but..”

The best thing I ever did was decided that I wasn’t going to let anybody undermine me. I wasn’t going to let anyone mock me. Bully me. Silence me.
I want you to challenge me. Support me. Inspire me. Enlighten me.

But you will never bring me down.
Continue Reading

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 
Continue Reading

Sloth.

Not that I am the most prolific of bloggers but recently I have had no motivation or inspiration for anything. I’m still off sick from work and the financial implications of this are such that I am very limited on the things I can do. Going out the door usually means spending money in some capacity. Even if I’m not going into a shop if I want to go anywhere nice for a walk I’d have to drive to the destination first, which means petrol. Petrol costs money. Money I do not have.
It’s also quite isolating as I haven’t seen many people either.
So for the las couple of weeks I’ve thrown myself into my new Xbox game. I’ve spent considerable hours lost in another word with no motivation to rejoin my own.
But with that comes a huge sense of guilt. Mostly down to my inactivity. While I do feel the negative effects of it; fatigue and little appetite, there’s also a sense of shame insofar as I feel that as a fat person I am obligated to prove I am a “good fatty”. By this I mean, despite being fat, I don’t live the sedentary lifestyle that is wrongly presumed of fat people.

I see in many online disputes that someone makes hateful comments towards fat people there is a wild assumption that they are lazy and wilfully inactive, and in turn this means they are a bad person.
There are many things wrong with this arguement, and in my mind I know this, but I guess it shows how easily, and deeply, we as fat people internalise a lot of self loathing based on nothing but other people’s arbitary standards of humanity. 

Continue Reading

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?
Continue Reading

Ho, ho, HOLD UP.

I wanted to write a really helpful post about how to deal with the anxiety that social eating can cause as a fat person, over the holiday period. I really did. But I’ve come to accept that my only advice is getting that shit shut down.

I had my works Christmas meal a couple of days ago and I noticed when the dessert arrived it was like the fox in the hen coop. Suddenly there was a bustle at the table of people clammering to share their desserts, they simply couldn’t eat it all, and Oh! I don’t think I want it now. Hmm maybe. No!

To the point where I simply banged my hands on the table and told them all to eat their fucking puddings, or don’t, and to stop making a big bloody deal. I’m here for the sole purpose of eating with these people. I don’t need to hear this crap.

I know that, certainly as an adult, I’ve been very lucky in that I haven’t had anyone policing the food I eat at these gatherings. I’m sure there was the questioning brow and derisive comment as a young child, but if there was I’ve simply forgotten. But I know I am lucky in that respect and that this is a very real issue for many fellow fats this Christmas.

I guess the purpose of this post was for me to reach out, and to say that you don’t deserve to have your choices questioned, your body made public property for all to comment on. I fully appreciate that it is difficult for a lot of people to challenge this, for a lot of reasons. But as long as you realise that you are beautiful, you are worthwhile, and that these people and their negativity can go sit on chair of up-turned plugs, you’ll be ok.

I’ve always used humour as a tool to deal with my fat-shamers. Outsmart them. Embaress them. See how they like it. Chances are they’ll feel like a big pile of..Christmas logs..when being shown up in front of a table full of people and they’ll be less likely to do it again.

If you have one particular member of the family who is a repeat offender you could always appeal to their human side and speak to them before the occasion. Let them know how you feel. Speak to them afterwards and have some positive discourse. It doesn’t always have to be bad!

If you have a flare for the dramatics, as I certainly do, you can always just dump your dinner on their plate and leave with the gateaux.

But ok, joking aside, and I know this is a garbled mess of a post, but I need to say it again

YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS CRAP SO DON’T TAKE IT. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF IT’S FAMILY IN FACT THEY SHOULD BE THE ONES CARING ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS AND SUPPORTING YOU.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you have a great time and enjoy yourself. 

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Anniversary bliss

At the beginning of the month it was my 3 year anniversary with my partner. We’ve never really celebrated our anniversaries but this year has been an exceptionally tough one for us and I felt that it was an important one and we should celebrate it in some way.


After a night of pizza and bubbly (non-alcoholic as the boy is straight edge) we got up and headed on down to London for the night. Our hotel was smack bang in the middle of Leicester Square so everything we wanted to see was close by. We dumped out bags and freshened up, which was enough time to grab a bathroom selfie because I was loving my hair, before heading out. 


As we were heading to a show later that evening I wanted to wear something that was comfy but cute enough to transition into the evening. A couple of weeks ago I picked up the New Look Inspire tartan pencil skirt in black. As much as I adore pencil skirts I’m very belly heavy and it’s something I’m quite self concious about, so I tend to avoid them. What can I say? I LOVE this skirt. The material is thick withouth being heavy and feels comfy and secure on. The print is gorgeous. It’s a little more muted than a lot of tartan which makes it easy to wear with a variety of things. I opted for an old faithful long sleeve top for a more simple look. I teamed this with my old studded creepers, again from New Look. 
If I were to make one criticism I would say that it’s bobbled quite easily on the side where I wear my handbags and considering this is the third time I’ve worn it I was disappointed to feel the material. 

Here’s a later shot I took of the skirt when I got home to give you a better idea.



We headed over to the National Portrait Gallery and checked out some of the Tudor exhibitions and Grayson Perry’s phenomenal giant tapestry for the Who Am I? series. Sadly my back was hurting me and I needed to ration my spoons out for the trip so we had to cut the gallery time a little to fit the rest of the day in. We strolled around Covent Garden before heading over to our favourite veggie/vegan chinese buffet in Camden and had our fill on their all you can eat before walking it off round Camden market. 




Then it was time for our show. We made our way to Cecil Sharp House for an evening with one of our favourite bands, Moulettes. We’d seen them earlier in the week in Milton Keynes where, after chatting to them after the show, I was very kindly put on the guest list for the London show. Pretty rock nd roll, huh? The evening was sublime with the perfect mix of lots of Chrismas lights, beautiful music and a wonderful atmosphere. After the show we were kindly invited to join some of them in the pub where I got to have a beer with the bassist from Mumford and Sons. Only in London, right?




What a perfect way to spend a week. Eating in one of your favourite places, watching one of your favourite bands play and afterwards relaxing in the pub with them afterwards!

Hope you all had a great weekend! xoxo
Continue Reading

So Daring!

If it wasn’t already obvious I’m a budget kinda gal and right now money is tighter than ever. But sometimes you need a treat to keep you smilin’. For years I’d kind of avoided wearing lipstick. Even as a teenager I hated the feeling on my lips and ended up wiping it off after about an hour.

I feel ya, kid.

 

But since hitting my late twenties, and admittedly a little late to the gane, I discovered the joy of matte lipstick. I was treated to M.A.C Ruby Woo by an old boyfriend and now I haven’t looked back.
Of course my budget right now does not have room for such luxuries. But my problems were solved when Make Up Acacemy (MUA) introduced their Velvet Lip Lacquer into the MUA Luxe range. I was in love and for £3 it was a total bargain! Back when they first came out I picked up three from the original range; Kooky, Reckless, and Funk
But recently MUA brought some more shades out and I treated myself to Dare.

 

Image taken from muastore.co.uk

 

The packaging is nice and simple but looks good; a frosted glass tube and the branding on the cap in gold. The applicator is like what you would find with most lip glosses. Similar to a lip gloss when you apply it but it then dries matte.

 

 

 

 

Like most mattes I’ve used you have to put a little prep into your lips. A little exfoliation and some balm helps to create a smoother application. One thing I’ve found is that they can latch onto chapped skin and crumble. But once it’s on then it’s ON. It’s kiss-proof and has great staying power. But how does it fair with food and drink?

 

 
Image taken post-pasty destruction

In the photo I am pouting slightly to show that there was some smuging it wasn’t a great deal. It was nothing more than I would have expected and certainly less than a glossier number.

So while I wouldn’t recommend leaving it at home I think it’s just one minor issue compared to a lot of positives. The colour is rich and well pigmented, application is easy, comes nicely packaged and did I mention it was £3?! So cheap!

Are there any colours you love in their range? Have you tried them out? I’d love to know what you think!

Kerry.

 

Continue Reading

Taking up space.

Recently New Look announced that they would be pulling the Inspire range from a number of their stores across the country. The reason? To make space.

Understandably, and myself among them, many people were outraged and took to social media to make their feelings known. There was a some back peddling on New Looks part and some ranges would not be pulled, such as the Oxford Street store. However that’s all well and good for Londoners, but what about those of us in smaller towns with even less choice for shopping?

I’ll be honest, I slowly stopped shopping instore with New Look some time ago. Every time I went in I felt myself becoming angry for many reasons. Firstly, nine times out fo ten, the range of pieces is VERY limited, with some stores having maybe one or two rails on offer and often the rails were a MESS. Clearly no one was invested in making this section presentable and atractive. Which I suppose lends itself to the attitude that New Look seem to have towards the plus size shopper. I stopped going because I would legitimatly spoil my day.
Here it was obvious that this company, and many others, simply don’t care about fat people. The clothes are drab and thoughtless, the sections are hidden away and extremely limited, and often an unkempt mess mixed in with maternity wear and stuck at the back of the store.

Artists impression of a typical Inspire section

So when New Look made their announcement it was the final straw. I was baffled at how a comany can claim they need to make space in their stores when the Inspire range took up virtually no space anyway. New Look are happy to take our money but they don’t want us taking up space in their stores.

So what to do? Immediatly my thoughts turned to boycotting New Look. There are plenty of brands out there that have good relationships with their customers and actually care about the clothes they produce. But then I realised that as someone who is not exactly flush with cash my options suddenly became much less. Being fat is limiting, being fat and poor is something else. I live vicariously through the beautiful bloggers in their gorgeous Simply Be and Anna Scholtz pieces but the fact of the matter, for me, is that I’m stuck on high street. So am I really in a position to stop shopping in places that limit me when I’m already down to a few choices?

The sad fact is most of us who canot afford the more expensive brands are in a bind. We have to put up or shut up.

Continue Reading