No more apologies: My journey to flabulous fatshionista

I’ve spent most of my life apologizing for my appearance, for taking up space, for simply existing as a fat person. I apologized by only wearing dark colors (half of my wardrobe was black), by only wearing oversized clothing. I avoided prints, lace, sequins — anything that may draw attention to me, or Gawd forbid, make me look larger. I was constantly trying to compact my appearance and compact my personality. I would very easily become too visible, and consequently, too much — too loud, too emotional, too tall, too fat, too much. I did everything I could to blend in. I didn’t want to be noticed, because if anyone actually saw me, they would see I was fat and nothing else.

Looking at photos of myself was like my worst nightmare. Right there in front of me was the evidence that I was fat staring me in the face. I hated to have my photo taken, so I spent most of my time behind the lens. And when Facebook first launched, I would untag almost every photo of myself because I looked fat, and I just couldn’t have people seeing my fat documented on the internet (as if they somehow didn’t know I was fat until they saw my photo on Facebook).

It had never occurred to me that fat isn’t synonymous with ugly or unhealthy, or that fat people even deserve to be treated with respect. I was so used to being shamed for my body, that I thought I deserved to be bullied, called names and generally treated badly. I was fat after all, and that was seemingly the worst thing a person could be.

I didn’t dance. I didn’t sing. I refused to eat in public. I never went clothes shopping. I didn’t do much of anything because I was so afraid of the repercussions of someone noticing me and my fat body and putting me in my place as worthless.

Even when I greatly restricted my calorie intact, I was still larger than all the other girls. Of course, I realize now that my family is full of curvaceous big Amazon women. My mom and sister barely have an ounce of fat on them, but they wear a size 12/14, their figures nip in severely at the waist, and they max out at 5’11″. No amount of weightloss can undo those genes.

I was outraged when I first read a fat positive blog: Who did this blogger think she was suggesting it was okay to be fat? TO BE BLATANTLY FAT? To be so brazenly unhealthy? Being fat is quite possibly the worst thing a woman can be. Fat is undesirable to men, so a fat woman is consequently worthless.

I had to take baby steps to accept — let alone love — myself and to really understand how messed up my values around body politics really were. Society has a vested interest in policing bodies, dictating how we adorn them and use them, as well as which bodies are valuable and consequently what people are worthwhile.

Every time I dye my hair Jessica Rabbit red, it is a radical act. Every time I holler “Take my picture” at a dance party photographer, it is a radical act. Every time I leave my house dripping in sequins or wearing a bra as a shirt, it is a radical act. And, yes, every time I dance around on stage and rip off my clothes to the crowd’s roars of approval, it is a radical act. Because I am a fat woman who making a conscious effort not to hide.

So, I’ve decided to share my journey into body positivity by documenting my outrageous outfits, glamorous performances, plus size vintage finds and DIY projects. And here are some of my favorite fabulous fashions,  celebrating my appearance without apology.

Photo: A fat white woman with long dark hair wearing a silver sequin top, black pencil skirt and dark grey thigh hi boots. Google Images

Getting ready to celebrate my golden birthday in silver sequins at the Roseanne Dance Party hosted by The Qu at Parlour on Clark

Photo: A fat white woman with long red hair wearing a navy sailor dress. Google Images.

Wearing my favorite Chic Star navy sailor dress and pinup posing in my hallway

Photo: A fat redheaded white woman in the water at the beach wearing a black and white polka dot tankini. Google Images.

I never thought I’d let myself be photographed in a swimsuit, let alone post the photo on the internet, but here I am celebrating The Qu‘s anniversary at Hollywood Beach in a Torrid tankini.

Photo: A fat white woman with dark pink hair in a peach dress with a rainbow hem and a pink bike. Google Images.

Celebrating my Queer Quoir performance at the inaugural Chicago Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex Freedom (TGIF) Rally and Picnic in my favorite ASOS Curve dress with rainbow ribbon hem |  Kate Sosin for Windy City Times

Photo: A fat white woman dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid with a purple seashell and green sequin tail. Google Images.

Singing “A Part of Your World” during my burlesque performance of Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” at Making Out With Wes Perry and Friends at the Upstairs Gallery. | Mark Colomb

Photo: A fat white woman dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid with a purple seashell and green sequin tail. Google Images.

Starting my striptease to “Under The Sea” for my “Little Mermaid” burlesque act at the Salonathon Chicago IRL zine release party at Beauty Bar Chicago | Christopher Macsurak

Photo: A fat white woman wearing a silver disco ball bra with a sheer white tuxedo jacket, navy pencil skirt, white leggings and red boots. Google Images

DIY disco bra realness and thrifted goodness to celebrate Election Day 2012 at Nuts & Bolts DIY Dance Party at Township | Wes Perry

Crossposted to Thought Catalog.

Follow me on Instagram for my latest raw photos from the wild.

16 responses to “No more apologies: My journey to flabulous fatshionista

  1. Pingback: OOTD: Queerer Park dance party and studded bra tutorial « Plump Pinup Life & Style·

  2. Pingback: Friday links, 3/17/13 | Tutus And Tiny Hats·

  3. I feel so much of this. About feeling too much, yup. I had a shitty childhood because I was too loud, too fat, too intelligent. Adults really didn’t know how to handle me, so they belittled me for being fat. Sucks to be them.

    P.S. I effin love your hair!
    P.P.S. Following you now.

  4. Pingback: I wrote about fat positivity for Thought Catalog, and people have a lot of feelings about it | Plump Pinup Life & Style·

  5. Hi! I LOVE your page! Very inspiring! I am a voluptuous woman interested in starting a burlesque act. I have been very shy and have covered up my body. I love the fact that i can stop traffic with my beautiful ta-tas, but the rest of me stays pretty covered. What would be your #1 piece of advice for someone who was looking to love her body and ignore the haters?
    -Megan

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