Friday, 10 May 2013

Fashion Feature: Plus Size Bloggers

Callie Thorpe of From the corners of the Curve in the new Evans campaign

As you may or may not know, I'm a Fashion Journalism student at the University of Sunderland - as part of one of the modules, I've had the chance to write some amazing pieces such as trend reports, street style posts and catwalk reports. The final assessment for the module was an original idea for a Fashion Feature for your chosen magazine.

My feature idea was to explore the world of Plus Size bloggers and their impact on Twitter, Blogger and the outside world. I chose to pitch my idea to Company Magazine as they have a large blogger interest in their target audience. So here goes, this is my feature on the lovely plus size bloggers:

We look at the rise in #psbloggers and their impact in AND out of the bloggersphere.

A new band of bloggers are showing women that they don't need to be skinny to be stylish.

While the fashion industry is ridden with wafer-thin models, these self-described plus-sized writers have taken the internet by storm with their “fatshionista” blogs, demonstrating how curvy girls can carry-off the latest catwalk trends regardless of their shape or size.

Two of the most popular are Fuller Figure, Fuller Bust's Georgina Horne and Arched Eyebrow supremo, Bethany Rutter - both of whom star in Clements Ribeiro's new campaign for Evans. These women are the new plus-size models, forget the "size 14" fashion industries idea of plus-size.

Plus size bloggers with designer Clements Ribeiro for Evans campaign

These ladies, who all run plus-size blogs online have demonstrated perfectly how their “Fatshion” blogs have enabled them to step away from the computer and into the style spotlight.

But it’s not only their blogs that have helped them on the rise to stardom. Twitter has been a huge part of the rise in plus-size bloggers as British blogger, Big Fat Betty tells us about the online community brought together by the hashtag she helped create: #psbloggers – standing for plus size bloggers.

The hashtag enables the girls to chat about things relevant to other plus-size bloggers, share their own page and talk to like-minded people as Big Fat Betty tells us:

I'm not personally interested in mainstream fashion that doesn't cater for my size, so having the #psbloggers tag means I can communicate with people with similar interests.”

When asked if she thought the #psbloggers hashtag was discriminatory against the larger bloggers, size 16, self-defined plus-size blogger, Becky Bedbug replied:

“Funnily enough, it seems to be the slim bloggers who have a problem with it! I think they’re trying to fight our battles for us, unaware that actually, we’re not fighting. The #psbloggers hashtag has been created by plus-size bloggers, not by slim bloggers trying to keep us apart. There are some things that only fellow plus-size bloggers will understand, and this is why I love the hashtag.”

The plus-size blogging community not only have their own twitter hashtag, but they also host their own blogging events, welcoming everyone who has their own plus-size blog.

Size 16 Becky from Becky Bedbug told us how she would feel about attending a Plus-Size event:

“I’d be nervous about this because I wouldn’t feel “plus-sized enough”. I know that’s ridiculous but when I look at the key plus-size bloggers from the states (such as Rachele at The Nearsighted Owl and Jes at The Militant Baker), I see them as such inspirational ladies and think “Would they accept me as plus-size too?”

So, the issue that once arose about plus-size bloggers feeling uncomfortable at an event with the slim fashion bloggers has now changed and the tables have turned to show that some #psbloggers, in fact feel too small to attend the Plus-Size events.

Size 16 Becky Bedbug tells us she fears she’s not big enough to attend #psblogger events

However, both girls admitted when being interviewed that they believe being plus-sized is a mentality and self-defined, with Betty from saying:

“Personally I class size 18+ to be 'plus size', because not all mainstream clothing companies cater to this size and above (TopShop stops at a 16, for example), but if someone below this size classed themself as 'plus size' or was above and didn't, then I wouldn't disagree with them as I said: it is self-defined.”

Betty from
(© James Lyon for Models of Diversity)

Betty’s example of the High Street leads us back to the earlier mention of the new Evans campaign using Plus-Size bloggers. A lot of #psblogger chats on Twitter tend to circle the issue, as the #psbloggers discuss how the high street does not cater for them at all, Betty told us: It's a nightmare! I'm very limited as to where I can shop on the high street.”

Fashion Journalism student Rhiannon added: “It’s getting better but plus-size specific shops such as Evans, only cater for the older woman despite their being a mass-market in younger girls for plus-size clothing.”

And it’s true, ignoring bigger women puts the fashion industry at odds with one of the biggest social trends of the last 50 years: the fact that people are getting “fatter”.

According to the Department of Health, in England, most people are overweight or obese. Statistics released by the government would appear to back this up, with 61.3 per cent of adults and 30 per cent of children aged between 2 and 15 either overweight or obese.

Blogger Becky, says: "I’m not advocating obesity. But some people are larger than others, for medical reasons or just lifestyle choices. So, ignore what anyone else says. Find those plus-size bloggers who inspire you and channel them. Wear what you like and have fun!

Hope you enjoyed the read!
Let me know what you think on the  topic and if you think the fashion industry is moving away from its thin ideal?

1 comment:

  1. As you may or may not know, I'm a Fashion Journalism student at the University of Sunderland - as part of one of the modules, I've had the chance to write some amazing pieces such as trend reports, street style posts and catwalk reports. plus size models needed