Unusually, it’s incredibly easy for me to pinpoint when I decided to create this blog. Like I said in my last post, I am not obese or anorexic – but that doesn’t mean that weight doesn’t affect me too. My brainwave came when I discovered, quite through chance, an Australian model named Robin Lawley (you can go to her website here). Scrolling through Twitter one day I saw a picture of her doing a swimsuit shoot with a list of comments underneath where people were slating the fact that she was called a ‘plus-size’ model. She is actually a UK size 12 – 2 sizes smaller than the overall UK average.
I couldn’t get over it! Not only had she been labelled ‘plus-size’ when she clearly just had a healthy and happy figure, but the normally ruthless public were defending her cause and finally recognising that models didn’t have to be a specific size. This was unknown to me. People weren’t calling her ‘plus-size’, ‘big’, ‘large’ or even ‘tall’ but could instead recognise that she was beautiful and happy in her own skin. Or in this case, her own swimsuit.
The positivity was contagious. I had to know more. A quick google search later I found her website and her blog called ‘Robin Lawley Eats’, a blog about (yep, you guessed it), food. I started to look at other plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Jennie Runk and I became enamoured with this world where these beautiful women weren’t judged on their size anymore. It was idyllic, it was eye-opening, and most of all it was incredibly inspiring.
I almost wish, amidst all this positivity, that I could say I am writing this blog in hindsight with a clear mind and acceptance of my own body. Unfortunately, as many people who have let weight become far too entangled in their lives will know, that is not so easy. I still wake up everyday and hope that my stomach will be flatter, poking and prodding at it in the mirror. I still become horrendously frustrated when I can’t exercise because my perfectly balanced routine starts to fragment. And most of all, I still can’t bear the thought that I’ve put on weight.
Despite all of this it became increasingly clear to me as I learnt more about the plus-size modelling industry that, like it has done with so many other of my concerns, writing could help to crack the monopoly that weight has held in my life for nearly 6 years. I realised that it could potentially break me out of my permanent 12-year old mindset that saw me go from a relatively untroubled child to a girl who couldn’t bear PE because it involved getting changed in front of all of her much skinnier friends. I knew that I had to give it a try.
This idea struck a resounding chord with me on stumbling onto that picture of Robin on Twitter and I have to say it’s exciting to be turning it into a reality. The truth is, I know that I’m never going to become a plus-size model. I may be the right size, but I haven’t got the insanely natural good looks that need to go with it (no matter what my mom says). However, the ideology that these stunning women give out is one that I’m slowly learning to come to terms with; that I can be a size 10 or 12 and not be considered ‘above the norm’.
That’s why I started this blog. Because the solidarity that I felt with those models is something that I can’t move on from; something that I can’t forget. So. instead of pushing away the possibility of acceptance, as I have for so many years, I am finally choosing to explore it. After all, as these beautiful and inspirational women have shown me, the only person who actually sees me as fat is myself. Now I’m hoping to change that, one post at a time.