GUEST Blogger: Self-Acceptance through Fashion- It’s Not Your Mama’s Mumu
The word “fat” is still not music to many people’s ears. Not even to fat people. But it’s ok by me, and I’m fat!
Early in my blogging days, before I started dropping mad knowledge on fools, I posted about how plus fashion was helping me to love myself more. It wasn’t just that I made the decision to toss out the “skinny” clothes and buy ones that actually fit. It was the conscious choice to wear things that actually touched my body – hugged it, really. It was my way of saying “I’m trying to be ok in this body, so, fuck off if you don’t like it.”
With plus size designers popping up all over the place, it’s easy to get inspired. At almost 40, my style isn’t body-con dresses and stilettos anymore. It’s more flowy tops, distressed jeans, chunky jewelry, and flats. But I can still express myself and feel relevant in our burgeoning fatshion world. This is perhaps the thing I like most about being a fat shopper today – that no matter your taste or age, there are many choices to meet your style, budget, and placein life.
For many of us, we remember women of size having limited choices pre 2000’s. Think of what fat women had to wear back in the day. I think oversized and non-descript fits the bill pretty well. Mumus abounded in the 70’s, and not all of them were the modern interpretations we wear today. But lord knows I love a good mumu, when styled properly. But back then, they were meant to hide your figure and render you invisible and desexualized. There was little room for creativity.
So, what is it about a great outfit that makes us feel so darn good? Is it the adulation from friends, family, and co-workers? Or is it something deeper than that?
I think it’s a bit of both. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like compliments? I know I do. And they can lift your self-esteem if you’re just starting on your self-love journey. But to depend on them as a source of worth is both dangerous and damaging. I’ve come further than that in the last few years, but in a judgmental society that often feels like high school all over again, and it ain’t easy.
But, it does get better when we are willing to make different choices. After all, we can’t keeping doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I think they call that the “definition of insanity.”
These days, when I put together some of my adventurous outfits, I know I’m stepping out of the box and that the choices I make might raise eyebrows. But the satisfaction I get from going into my closet and coming up with a look that’s distinctly mine, is thrilling! Knowing that I can grab a kimono, or skinny jeans, or even a thrifted jacket in my size, empowers me. I no longer have to be a slave to limited options. I can express myself through clothing that speaks to me and the mood I’m in that day.
The lesson I want women to learn is that you don’t have to wear a midi skirt if that’s not your thing. And you don’t have to wear gladiator sandals to be cool. You can wear whatever the fuck you want and still be worthy. Play in your closet and experiment with a new style. There are NO rules when it comes to fashion whether you’re fat or thin. You may turn a few heads, but hey, that’s a good thing!
And if you’re not ready to embrace the word “fat” just yet, at least be willing to dress your body in a way that honors YOU. Trends are super fun, but that doesn’t mean you need to wear every single one at the same time. For God’s sake, please don’t do that. Take cues from fashion bloggers and then take some risks of your own. Define your own style and show the world that fashion and fat are not mutually exclusive!
I’m Pia — body lovin, rogue, size acceptance activist, writer, foodie, feminist, plus model, mixed fat chick, and cultivator of all things creative. I tell it like it is and hope to inspire women to love themselves through my writing. My stories are honest, vulnerable, and sometimes funny. I believe that life starts now — not 10, 20, or even 100 pounds from now, and that diet is a four-letter worf. When I learned to put on my big girl panties without apology, my life changed. Each day is an opportunity to free myself from society’s limited idea of beauty and worth. When I’m not waxing poetic on the right to take up space, I enjoy cooking, eating, dancing, entertaining friends and family, and hanging out with my adorable husband, who is also my best friend.