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Confession: I Still Have Occasional Body Image Issues That Are Exacerbated By Fatshion Blogs

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. on June 5, 2014

Sometimes I find fatshion blogs to be fun and inspirational.

And sometimes, well, not.

I often recommend that clients look at more body positive blogs, especially ones with images of fat people. It’s a way to recalibrate your brain so that fatter bodies seem more like what they are – normal.

The Adipositivity Project: 2013 &emdash; (I’m not a big fan of the idea of normal, but often realizing that your body is normal rather than gross, weird, and abnormal is an important step in your body love journey.)

After practicing serious, radical body love for about 7 years now, I rarely see an image that makes me feel bad about my body. But loving your body is often like peeling an onion, and though I’ve peeled away nearly all of the layers of body hate, I noticed that there’s a little, annoying part of the onion left. Maybe it’s only 1% or less of that onion, but it’s there.

I realized that I have a weird issue with my body shape, and that fatshion blogs seem to exacerbate it every once in a while.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a sort of “upside down” triangle shaped body. My hips and waist are essentially the same size. This makes it really hard to keep my pants from falling down (seriously, this is no fun). When I wear tights or leggings, I have to tuck them under my bra in order to keep them on. When I try on pants, if the waist fits, there is literally a foot or more of material in the hips and thighs. The size that would make sense for my thighs is about 6 sizes smaller than the size I wear in tops. Most dresses that fit my top half have feet of extra material in the bottom half. I’ve tried getting my clothes tailored, but the cost ends up being exorbitant because I want to tailor pretty much everything.

My body has been like this forever, so I don’t think about it much and I’m used to working around it. But every once in a while it really gets to me.

I even tried to start my own fatshion blog, Fatshionable Apples, but I haven't done much with it.

I even tried to start my own fatshion blog, Fatshionable Apples, but I haven’t done much with it.


Fatshion blogs sometimes exacerbate my annoyance, because although the wonderful folks who run these blogs look way more like me than magazine models, they still don’t seem to have the challenges I have with clothes.

I don’t know what the answer to this is, but I thought I’d share it because I can’t be the only one!

Plus, I think it’s good to be transparent with you all. I love my body, don’t denigrate it, don’t hate it (anymore) but I still run into these little, uncomfortable parts of the onion (there’s that metaphor!) now and again.

Do you have similar body shape issues or issues with fatshion blogs? If so, let’s chat about it in the comments section below!

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Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen June 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Oh Golda, I *TOTALLY GET THIS.* I am constantly disappointed by how I imagine south-of-my-waist is going to look in those wonderful SWAK and Kiyonna dresses (and, ohhhhh, how I dream of a fatkini…). Because I do love my body something fierce, but I absolutely find that fatshion mirrors those Pear-fats, or at least people who are fuller through their thighs and butt. I have fuller hips, but then my body dips back in immediately for smaller thighs, butt and legs. I feel a little silly when I wear anything not A-line, because I end up looking like the number 8 on top of toothpicks. :P It won’t keep me from feeling fantastic, but I *would* love to see more fatshion visuals geared towards apples and bottom-sparse gals.

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Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. June 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Yes!!! I feel you! If I don’t wear A-line I feel silly, and then I think I like the A-line stuff and then notice that it’s not flaring at all and it just looks like a ton of material for no reason.

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ceph June 6, 2014 at 9:21 am

I love petticoats under A-lines for just this reason. Plus they make me feel pretty!

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Notblueatall June 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Yes! I see a variety of body sizes, but not necessarily body shapes. I see lots of tall and lots of hour glass, even some apples and pears, but often they are tall as well.
My issues are of the short-pear nature, but I have had to go out of my way to stop reading fatshion blogs all together because I found it triggered that reaction in me, like you mentioned.
I have even held back posting my own outfits and things over the past year and I think this is partially why. Although I also fall into addictive shopping habits, so that’s the other bit.
How can we support each other or better welcome/represent all shapes/sizes?

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Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. June 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Interesting that you’ve run into this as well. So you hold back and posting images of yourself so as not to trigger others? I don’t know what the answer is but I’m glad you’re asking it!

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Deathfat Princess June 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I for one often refrain from posting pictures because I just feel so ridiculous. I know my body isn’t wrong but it feels wrong. And this is super petty, but it sucks to not get any positive feedback.

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Lauren June 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm

This is probably the biggest issue I have with learning to love my body: I have SUCH a hard time finding clothing that fits well! I’m short (5’3″), extremely short-waisted, and have a butt and thighs that are way smaller than what seems to be the average body type that plus size clothes are manufactured to fit. So, like you, I end up with pants that are pulled up to right under my boobs that still have a crazy amount of extra material in the butt and thigh area. I used to be able to find jeans that fit well when the “super low-rise” thing was popular and I was a few sizes smaller, but right now it’s impossible. While I understand that there is a greater/more pronounced variety in body shape for plus sizes and that it would be difficult for stores to carry that many different cuts, I wish they could at least make an effort to provide a little variety in the cuts they do carry. It’s really frustrating sometimes to have my only option for decent-fitting “business casual” bottoms to be Old Navy yoga pants. Not that I don’t love yoga pants, but it would be nice to have “real” dress pants that fit. But I am now able to recognize that it’s not my body that’s the problem – it’s the selection of clothing available. So that’s a step in the right direction.

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Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. June 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I’m just sitting here nodding my head! I tried on pants the other day that I almost bought because they looked semi-okay if I pulled them over my belly so that the waist was about an inch below my boobs. I find Old Navy to be super annoying because they supposedly have “straight cuts” and when I try them on they’re are still so big in the hips. I don’t get it. I used to wear the super low rise jeans at my waist too. I think as I got older I got a little bit more of a butt and that stopped working for me. It sounds like your body is a lot like mine. I’m 5’4″ and half, which probably makes things just a bit easier for me. I feel for you!

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sonia June 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm

This piece is really interesting Golda. I understand the onion metaphor.
Personally I have come to accept my voluptuousness, which was one of my biggest issues (you know the fact that my boobs, somewhat look bigger than my head). And I have learned to accept it, love it, and feel great in my clothes. In great part because of your kick ass and honest approach at coaching. But yes, I do have that sort of feeling you have with certain things too. Personally I feel pretty bad when I find my self excluded form some stores, you know the kind that doesn’t carries clothes for my personal measurements either in their “regular” sizes nor the plus section. so I´m to voluptuous to fit in their regular sizes but too small to be considered in the plus section. That kind of stuff make me feel excluded, just like stores that wont carry size 12 or 14. I feel like I don’t fit anywhere. Not to mention that I still have to see lots and lots of slim models while shopping online, because even if 12s and 14s are to far of those models, we are not considered part of the plus sections of many stores. So sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if a dress that supposedly cuts at the waist is going to turn into an empire waist once it is on me.
As for pants, those little tricky things, I wonder if there is any women who can fit in some pants an feel she haves no issues with them. I have the opposite problem, if they go past my thighs and butt, most probably the waist is going to be too big, not to mention too long because I’m just 5’2 1/2 and as you know, for most manufacturers we short people do not need clothes. :/ so yeah I pretty much tailor stuff too! because of course a mini dress in me, is a knee lenght dress

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Jessica Lynn June 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I definitely get it. For me the issue is my short legs and the fact that I carry much of my weight in my belly. Many times, even when you see a truly “plus sized” model, and not the size 8 some stores try to claim is a “plus size” she’s shaped to have the traditionally sexy hourglass curves. I don’t. I have very little waist definition, narrow (for my size) hips, a flat butt… like you, it’s just the way it’s always been. Even when I was briefly BMI chart “thin” I had a belly (so all the kids and my family still called me fat).

I’d probably have your issue, Golda, if I didn’t have my stomach to fill up the excess material.

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Jessica Lynn June 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I definitely get it. For me the issue is my short legs and the fact that I carry much of my weight in my belly. Many times, even when you see a truly “plus sized” model, and not the size 8 some stores try to claim is a “plus size” she’s shaped to have the traditionally sexy hourglass curves. I don’t. I have very little waist definition, narrow (for my size) hips, a flat butt… like you, it’s just the way it’s always been. Even when I was briefly BMI chart “thin” I had a belly (so all the kids and my family still called me fat).

I’d probably have your issue, Golda, if I didn’t have my stomach to fill up the excess material.

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Jessica Lynn June 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I definitely get it. For me the issue is my short legs and the fact that I carry much of my weight in my belly. Many times, even when you see a truly “plus sized” model, and not the size 8 some stores try to claim is a “plus size” she’s shaped to have the traditionally sexy hourglass curves. I don’t. I have very little waist definition, narrow (for my size) hips, a flat butt… like you, it’s just the way it’s always been. Even when I was briefly BMI chart “thin” I had a belly (so all the kids and my family still called me fat).

I’d probably have your issue, Golda, if I didn’t have my stomach to fill up the excess material.

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Bruce Sturgell June 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I definitely get what you’re saying. Fatshion blogs take a specific ideal and try to turn it on its head by showing people with a “non mainstream” body type in a similarly favorable way.

Still, they don’t always do a great job of showing a variety of body types. I run a big men’s style site, and what you’re talking about here is an issue I think about quite a bit. It’s difficult to balance, mostly because I run my blog and I’m only one guy with a pretty mainstream (yet large) body. I tend to be the model you see on the site.

We get a lot of photo submissions, and they feature gents of different sizes, wearing the things that make them feel good. It allows us more diversity within our pages. I don’t want people to feel excluded from what we’re trying to do with Chubstr.

That said, I think there’s a lot of room to feature people with more of a variety of body types on my site in particular, and I’m going to make strides to try to do that as we move forward.

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Shannon Emerick June 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for this post, Golda. I really do appreciate your transparency and I do agree that there are always bumps in the road to body image positivity, even in the HAES community. Even in the body image community, people may also still focus on a specific “ideal”, whether it’s hourglass or only large up to a certain size. I hope to see more of your fatshion blog because I think it could add great things to the community!

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Bruce Sturgell June 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I definitely get what you’re saying. Fatshion blogs take a specific ideal and try to turn it on its head by showing people with a “non mainstream” body type in a similarly favorable way.

Still, they don’t always do a great job of showing a variety of body types. I run a big men’s style site, and what you’re talking about here is an issue I think about quite a bit. It’s difficult to balance, mostly because I run my blog and I’m only one guy with a pretty mainstream (yet large) body. I tend to be the model you see on the site.

We get a lot of photo submissions, and they feature gents of different sizes, wearing the things that make them feel good. It allows us more diversity within our pages. I don’t want people to feel excluded from what we’re trying to do with Chubstr.

That said, I think there’s a lot of room to feature people with more of a variety of body types on my site in particular, and I’m going to make strides to try to do that as we move forward.

Reply

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