Smoke Screens for Fat Shamers

Last week, plus size model and self love campaigner Tess Holiday flew to the UK to take part in The Curve fashion Festival. During her time in The UK, the Daily Mirror published a piece slamming her for claiming that she is healthy despite being ‘clinically obese’. In true Tess fashion, she didn’t turn a blind eye and posted a scathing retort on her Instagram feed, to which she has 1.5million followers. 

Now as someone who regularly writes about body positivity I know I need to state outright that I am not promoting obesity, nor am I claiming that Tess’s weight doesn’t come with its share of health risks. But I have to say, I’m getting really fed up with how the media, and the general public. treat fat people and fat women in particular. 

I’d like to know when it became acceptable to dole out respect based on weight. At what point in time did it become ok to be openly derogatory of a person just because they’re fat? The typical answer to this question is that the disrespect is born of a so called concern for the persons health. Codswallop! 

I could write a thesis on why the widely accepted assumption that thin means healthy and fat means unhealthy is intellectual laziness at best, but that’s not even relevant. The crux of the issue is this; it is not acceptable to be disrespectful of someone just because you think they are unhealthy. It is not acceptable to diminish a persons achievements, successes and value just because you think they are unhealthy. It is not acceptable to publicly mock that person on a national platform just because you think they are unhealthy. And if you’re going to insist on continuing in your role as The Health Police, you’d better start slagging off the health of thin people too. Only then will I believe that your so called concern for Tess’s health is genuine and not a smoke screen for fat shaming. 

Oh wait, I forgot. Only fat people can be unhealthy. Silly me. 

Trend Alert! Velvet from Forever 21

Velvet is set to be one of the biggest trends of A/W17, but it can be a tricky one, if only because it lies outside most people’s comfort zones. But you guys know by now how I feel about comfort zones right? Get out of your comfort zone ASAP! It’s nothing more than a trap that stops you growing and keeps your dreams at arms length!

Life is for living and that doesn’t change depending on your size. Whether you’re a size 8 or 28, you deserve to love what you wear, you deserve to play with fashion, experiment and try new things. 

If you’ev never worn velvet before, why not take the pluge now and pick up one of the pieces below to update yuour wardrobe for A/W17? 

Forever 21 have a great range of velevt pieces online right now for really affordable prices. I’ve selected my favourites here for you to check out below. 

Enjoy! x 

Velvet Cami, €24, available here

Crushed Velvet Dress, €18, available here

Velvet Bodysuit, €16, available here.

Crushed Velvet Dress, €18, available here.

The River Island Coat of My Dreams 

This morning I decided to pop online and see if I could find any nice coats and the first one I stumbled across was this absolute beauty from River Island. This coat has everything I was looking for; wide collar, great length, tie waist and bang on trend. And the price is right too!

I absolutely love a tie waist coat. Not only are they super warm, cosy and comfy, but they can be dressed up or down really easily. It would look equally bomb teamed with distressed boyfriend jeans and trainers, or with a dress and killer heels. What more could you ask? 

You can make this beauty your own today for €114 here, but please don’t snap them all up yet! I can’t afford mine until next week! 

Winter Homewares That Won’t Break The Bank!

OK so maybe I’m being a bit premature with this post, but I just love winter! And packing away my summer homewares to replace them with winter ones is only one of many reason s why. 

I mean, who doesnt love fluffy cushions, faux fur blankets, twinkly lights, cosy slippers and mugs of hot chocolate? It can’t just be me! 

Anyway, if you are like me and love prepping your home for winter, here are some really cute and affordable bits and pieces I’ve found online that will have you curled up in a snuggly ball of happiness, hot chocolate in hand, X-Factor on the telly and counting down the days to The Big C (but won’t break the bank)! 

Enjoy! x 

H&M Home Washed Cotton Duvet Cover Set, €49.99, available here

Zara Home Feeds Blanket, from €22.99, available here.

Dunne’s Stores Home Fowers in Glass, €8, available here

New Look A5 Black Lightbox, £12.99, available here

H&M Home Velvet Cushion Cover, €7.99, available here

Zara Home Faux Fur Cushion Cover, €22.99, available here

Asos Curve Crushed Velvet Mini Robe, €37.54, available here

Desenio Bradshaw Poster, from £9.95, available here

IKEA FADO Table Lamp, €12, available here

H&M Home Candlestick, £17.99, available here

New Look White Unicorn Slippers, £15.99, available here

H&M Home Patterned Rug, £79.99, available here

A/W17 – Transitional Pieces to Get You Through The Season 

Autumn has well and truly arrived and with the shorter days and colder nights comes the need to replace crop tops with cardigans. 

Now is the time to start stocking your wardrobe with transitional pieces that you can easily wear today, and just as easily wear in three months time. Think layers, dresses with tights, ankle boots, and knits. 

I’ve pulled together some of  my favourite transitional pieces from plus size brands here to give you some inspiration!

Enjoy x 

Asos Curve Yellow Sweater Dress, €24.32, available here

Forever 21 Plus Size Overall Dress, €18, available here.

New Look Wide Fit Floral Embellished Boots, €54.99, available here

Boohoo Plus Natalie Lace Double Layer Midi Dress, €27, available here

New Look Curve Check Cold Shoulder Shirt Dress, €34.99, available here

Asos Curve Borg Denim Jacket, €64.86, available here

River Island Bronze Block Heel Wide Fit Chelsea Boots, £40, available here

New Look Curve Pink Cable Knit Cardigan, €39.99, available here

River Island Plus Dark Pink Faux Suede Biker Jacket, £60, available here

Asos Curve Check Midi Skirt, €43.24, available here

Forever 21 Plus Size Ribbed Dress, €25, available here.

New Look Curve Grey V-Neck Ribbed Jumper, €14.99, available here.

Asos Wide Fit Act Up Studded Boots, €47.30, available here

Portugal Look Book 

I know we’re pushing into autumn and A/W 17, but just in case any of you are jetting off for a September vacay, I thought I’d put together a Look Book post where you can find my favourite looks from my holiday, and find links to my favourite pieces, or similar. 

Let’s start with swimwear! 

This white crochet and mesh panel detail swimsuit is from New Look. I picked it up at the start of the summer online, and I’ve gotten loads of wear out of it over the past few months. I know some people can be wary of white swimwear on pale skin, but I just loved it too much to care! 

It’s out of stock now. But here’s a very similar piece, also from New Look. 

€34.99, available here

My blue and black bikinis were both from Boohoo. I have to say I’d heard Boohoo swimwear was bad quality, but I have to disagree. Both fit really well and supported The Girls as well as can be expected. I have no complaints to make at all. 

€22, available here

€27, available here

Next up are my favourite dresses from my holiday, and from the summer overall. 

This Asos orange bardot neck jersey midi was so incredibly comfortable to wear, and I loved the bright colour. It’s definitely one that I’ll pull out again for S/S18! 

€33.78, available here

I also adored this white midi with crochet detail from New Look. It has straps on the shoulders but I tucked them underneath for a Bardot look. It’s perfect to show off that sun kissed glow and was really light and comfy in the heat!

€44.99, available here

Dramatic Weight Change; Time to Think About the Why! 

Some thoughts I’ve been having around weight loss and weight gain on my holiday… Musings, if you will! 

We tend to see weight as a problem, the problem. When somebody gains or loses weight, we look at that as the problem. But we never really wonder why. 

When somebody gains or loses weight rapidly, it’s an indicator of far more than the amount of food they’ve been eating. Sure, we often wonder how they’ve lost or gained it. We regularly speculate about their eating and exercise habits. We’re always very interested in the how but not the why

I gained about six stone in a ten year period. The how? I binged on shitty food. The why? I was battling self loathing and depression. If somebody lost six stone in the same period, the why is equally important. 

Why is that person losing so much? What’s going on inside their brains to result in such dramatic weight change? What demons are they facing? Are they sitting at home crying every night? Do they hate who they are? Are they having suicidal thoughts? Are they self harming? Do they have anyone to talk to? What help do they need? 

These are just some of the questions we should be asking when dramatic weight change occurs. But we never do. 

I wish my family would ask themselves these questions when they look at me, instead of always focusing on what I eat and how often I exercise. Maybe then, they’d realise that I am not my weight. Maybe then, they’d realise that I am more than just a number on a scales.

Responding to Fat Shamers… What’s The Point of Preaching to the Choir? 

I recently spoke on my Instagram stories about how a cousin of mine had fat shamed a girl on TV in front of me, and how upset it had made me. To be honest, the word upset is an under statement. I was enraged. 

Fat shaming others in front of fat people, is like slagging off blind people in front of other blind people, or taking the piss out of black people in front of other black people. It’s not acceptable. End of. 

Unfortunately, I felt too emotional at the time to respond to my cousin in a way that wasn’t agreesive, so I took myself out of the room until I felt calmer. Having had a bad temper in the past, I used to be a huge hot head pre-counselling, I’m glad that these days I can anticipate my temper and avoid losing it at people. But I do regret missing an opportunity to explain to my cousin how his comments made me feel, and why he should be more conscious of what he says in future. 

It got me thinking. What’s the point of my Instagram? Why do I post regularly about body positivity and self love? My followers know what those two terms mean. They follow me after all. I don’t need to convince them not to fat shame, or explain to them about how fat shaming makes me feel. I’m preaching to the choir. 

But what about the other people, like my cousin? Shouldn’t I be spending more of my time trying to convert them? Shouldn’t I be taking advantage of every opportunity to make the people who’ve never lived in fat bodies aware of the effect their words have on us? 

The answer to these question, obviously, is yes. So I’ve decided to start by emailing my cousin and explaining to him how his comments made me feel, in a way which will hopefully not come across as aggressive but will make him think twice the next time he fat shames, no matter who’s around. 

My Life Long Love Affair With Lush 

Since I was a teen I’ve only ever used Lush products on my skin. I remember the moment my Mum took one look at my face, narrowed her eyes in scrutiny, and said ‘it’s time to start taking care of your skin’. Just a few hours later my life long love affair with Lush had begun. 

I could write a 2,000 word post on why I love Lush products so much, but I won’t do that to you. Instead I’ve narrowed it down to 5. 

1. Lush don’t test their products on animals. Need I say more? 

2. Lush don’t use chemicals. All the ingredients in each product are natural ingredients that can be easily found in any health food store or online. I love reading through the ingredients on my products and seeing lists of oils and escemces and extracts. Surely chemical free has to be best when it comes to our skin? 

3. When it comes to bath bombs, no other brand comes close to Lush. The range is enormous, and there’s always lots of novelty bombs brought out for occasions like Christmas or Easter. Depending on the bomb you use, they can be incredibly moisturing, relaxing and all round amazing. 

4. Lush staff are second to none when it comes to customer service and product awareness. No matter what store you shop in, I can guarantee that if you look even the slightest bit lost a member of staff will be by your side offering help before you can say ‘almond butter’. And not in an annoying, get the eff out of my face kind of way, but in a very sincere way. Go to the staff, tell them what you’re looking for and sit back as they run around gathering samples for you to try. 

5. Lush is a very philanthropic company. They partner with a wide range of organisations on the local and global level. They’ve recently come under fire for not being body positive enough, prompting what I thought was a very sincere apology from the company’s ethics officer. But that incident aside, I like the feeling of knowing that I’ve invested my money in something worthwhile. 

So that’s it! My 5 favourite things about Lush. I plan to post my Lush skincare routine here soon, including a list of the products I use. But in the meantime, if you like the sound of Lush but haven’t given their products a try, get onto their website here and try a few out. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. I’ve never been! 
Sarah x 

Holiday Esstenials – The White Dress & The Cold Shoulder 

For the third addition of my holiday essentials posts, I’ve gone with an absolute staple for any summer vacay. 

We all know that feeling when we slip on something white over your freshly tanned, sun kissed skin, that just makes us feel like a supermodel! 

I’ve found this beauty on NewLook’s website just this week. I’m surprised but delighted that they’re still bringing out such gorge summer wear so late in the season. 

I love that this dress also ticks the cold shoulder trend too! The crochet detail is so pretty. And the length? Spot on. It’s definitely a steal and is already on it’s way to my suitcase as I type! 

NewLook Curve Cold Shoulder Midi Dress, €44.99, available here

20 Things That Are Hard AF When You’ve Got Depression.

Last night I came across a post on Instagram which highlighted the glamorisation of the #selfcaresunday hashtag. It really made me think about the way we talk about self care, and I realised that I haven’t been very forthcoming when it comes to talking about the daily struggles I faced during my depression. 

So in the interest of breaking down the stigma around mental illness, here’s a fairly exhaustive list of the things that were hard AF for me during my depression. 

  1. Brushing my teeth
  2. Changing  my bed sheets
  3. Washing dishes
  4. Opening post
  5. Answering the phone
  6. Showering 
  7. Doing a grocery shop
  8. Changing my underwear
  9. Changing my tampons
  10. Hoovering
  11. Paying bills
  12. Getting my daughter to school on time
  13. Going to family events
  14. Brushing my hair
  15. Wearing deoderant
  16. Walking my dog
  17. Taking out the bins
  18. Cleaning the toilet 
  19. Doing laundry
  20. Putting clothes away at the end of the day 

Holiday Essentials – The Wide Leg Trousers 

For part 2 of my Holiday Essentials feature, im talking about a summer staple for any plus size girl; the wide leg trousers. 

There are three reasons why every plus size girl needs a pair of these babies in the summer months. 

1. They are super cooling and comfortable in hot weather, especially if you opt for a jersey pair.

2. They prevent chub rub, the arch nemesis of all chubby chicks. 

3. They’re very easy to style with cute vest tops or body suits, sandals, heels or trainers for any occasion. 

So all of the above in mind, I’ve been on the hunt for a nice pair for my two weeks in Portugal. And I’ve found them! These beauts are available in a floral print as well as kiaki and are super lightweight Jersey. 

Kaki Palazzo Pants, €22.99, available here

Get in my suitcase!