30 July 2013

Over the Sea to Skye... In GabifreshxSwimsuits4All

FINALLY! The UK isn't the...warmest of places, but thankfully the gods of weather gave us a solid week of sunshine. This, of course, meant ROAD TRIP -- and my first chance of the year to fatkini-fy in GabifreshxSwimsuits4All.

You'll all remember that Gabi Gregg's swimsuit collection was beyond a hit (the galaxy bikini selling out overnight!). But I essentially stalked the website until it came back for a few hours and pounced. I couldn't resist splurging on the galaxy cover-up, the neon green bikini and the one-piece suit (photos to come on that one!).

I must say, I love bikinis, and I don't have any qualms with my rolls hanging out of them or my tummy poking through the front. I am who I am; I look how I look; and I will wear what I love to wear. In this case, space print and neon.

The final destination on my road trip was the amazing Isle of Skye in Scotland. It was one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen in person: green and mountainous, peaceful and serene, not SO touristy that you get aggravated within minutes, and home to the incredible Fairy Pools -- natural, crystal-clear lagoons. They aren't actually warm enough to swim in, even in summer, but we did anyway. And if you venture just far enough from the crowds, you will find totally secluded places where you can simply exist.

I felt so natural in Skye. I didn't have to wear make-up, I didn't have to strive for perfection (whatever that may be). I could just be. Hopefully that comes through in these photos.
Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size Model Plus Size ModelHad to pop the silly in there!
Get the look:

You can still purchase the neon bikini in pink: $68, Swimsuits for All

The galaxy cover-up: $19.98, Swimsuits for All

F-A-T: Trampling the Taboo

Plus Size Models

Since moving to the U.K., I’ve been really lucky. Things haven’t gone exactly, precisely, totally, 100 percent according to plan…but they never do, right?

I was pretty worried about the whole “making new friends” thing. I am not a social creature. Always on the more introverted side of the spectrum, I tend to worry about my lack of being able to communicate with most humans. Ironically, it’s the worrying that makes me even more awkward in social situations, so I end up not making any friends, but unsure as to whether this is caused by my natural introversion or my anxiety revolving around it. But anyway, one of the many reasons I have been lucky is because I have indeed made some friends: a handful of incredible plus-size women who I have really clicked with – and not just because we can actually share clothes, which is usually a rarity for me in my friend groups.

Of course, when you are with plus-size women, and you are a plus-size woman, body talk will come up. I imagine this isn’t a size thing; it’s just a woman thing. So a few days ago, when I had the pleasure of hanging out with two of the aforementioned lovely gals, one of them brought up the following point (don’t quote me on this verbatim as my memory on evenings filled with wine is never crystal clear):

I like my body. I like being fat. What I hate is when people say I’m not fat – when they lie to me. I know I’m fat, so don’t insult me by pretending otherwise.

I couldn’t have agreed more. It seemed like she was echoing thoughts I have had plenty of times in the past. I know I’m big. I like being big. So don’t pretend I’m not. The end.

But I didn’t always feel that way. Being “fat” or “chubby” or what have you, isn’t something you just love instinctually. We aren’t conditioned to. We are conditioned to think it’s wrong. But there is no way that that ideal can change unless we take back the word “fat” in and of itself. People still treat this little three-letter word as shameful source of embarrassment, so that in the end it is either shunned for being insulting, or conversely, used as an insult. The only way to change either of these preconceptions is to begin using it ourselves – to use the terms that those like Gabi Gregg have coined: fatkini, or that my friend Nastaran of Curves and I loves to use: fat-cropping (you can check her out rocking the crop top here). If we start using the word, if we embrace the word, if we don’t let it bother us when it is said in a derogatory way, then we can resume ownership.

I have known both friends and family in the past to be frightened of using the word around me – instead substituting it with words like “thick” or “big-boned.” I have no problem with these words. I am thick. I am big-boned. But I am also a bit fat, and that’s OK! There is no need to lie. There is no need to pretend. To be honest, I love the word, because it is real and true. It is descriptive and sensual. It paints a picture. It isn’t to be feared.

If someone were to describe me aesthetically, they may say that I have hazel eyes; I am tall; I have big ears; my nose is small – and I hope that they wouldn’t fear also saying I have a huge butt or that I have quite a bit of fat on my body. Because in the end, those are the things that make me up on a basic, visual level. The latter two are things that make a lot of us up – and there is no shame in that. And once we start embracing it, others will be forced to follow in our heavy footsteps.

RETURN NOTICE

Plus Size BloggerDear Friends,

First and foremost, I want to extend my sincerest apologies to you all for my hiatus from the blogosphere. It’s been a while since I’ve popped around, and all I can say to justify this is that I’ve been at a mental roadblock. As someone who doesn’t generally cope well with change, having two months of tremendous alterations has meant that personal writing has been pushed aside. Yes, I am ashamed.

Since I last wrote properly, many things have taken a turn, but now I’m ready to come back and re-join the fat pride movement and curvaceous company at full force.

Just to catch everyone up: back in May, I made the big move to the U.K – from New York to York. I get questioned a lot about this decision, and said questions are usually along the lines of, “How could you leave THE Sex in the City for the English countryside?!” Well, it’s simple, I prefer the English countryside. New York is a beautiful city. It has tons to offer in the way of its culture and its people. It’s probably THE best place in all of the U.S. of A. But it’s not for me. I need my privacy. I need to hear the silence. It’s only in silence that I can really get my thoughts onto a piece of paper, and let’s face it, you don’t get quiet in Manhattan. Some people think my move was simply down to falling in love with someone who happened to be from England, but it’s not the case. When it came down to it, I know he would have moved to the states if I had wanted, but I didn’t and still don’t want that. So…this transatlantic move is indeed a big part of why I haven’t been around. It’s tough to move all your things to a new place, get all those things settled in that new place, and come to grips with being a foreign entity in a new world. But I am happy. And that’s pretty big for me. I miss my close friends and family, but I am with new friends and family. I’m safe and loved and inspired by the breathtaking scenes just outside my windowsill.

In other news, I would like to announce my official withdrawal from the Miss Plus Size International pageant. As you guys know, I was accepted as a finalist early this year, and upon my arrival into the U.K. I met the administrators and 29 other contestants. I met some lovely women, who I now consider friends and whom I fully intend to remain friends with. But when it comes down to it, plain and simple, I am not meant for the pageant world. It isn’t me. I won’t go into this in detail, but I will say that it’s very easy to tell what is right and wrong for you. The hard part is choosing the things that are right, and saying goodbye to the ones that are wrong. I say it’s difficult because sometimes, the things that are wrong for you are right for others, and vice versa; and sometimes things that are wrong take a long time to become obvious. I felt I would be letting people down by leaving, but ultimately, I knew I had to do it, and I hope you all understand.

As for my journalism, I have an exciting project in the works. I can’t tell you much, but I will tell you that by the end of it all, I should have a collection of articles in book form! This won’t be for some time, but when it is completed, you will all hear about it! I am also now a contributing writer at VolUp2 Magazine, the baby of the beautiful Velvet D’Amour. Velvet is one of the most courageous, stunning women I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and I am thrilled to be on her staff. You may know her from her work wih Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano. If you don’t, I’m sure you’ll remember her from the “Feed the Models” photo shoot – looking phenomenallll in a tight red top and lace undies. When my first stories come out, you’ll know!

So that’s it for me, really. In September I will start my Master’s in Contemporary Literature and Culture at the University of York. I will work on my book. I will keep working in the pro-plus movement. For now, I’m back babies, and here to stay.

XOXO

Gossip Girl

JK…it’s just me.
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