This summer, an item straight from my dreams appeared on ASOS main range. A black silky oversized jumpsuit with a midi length and a deep V front. It was one of the more galling ‘why do thin girls get all the nice things’ experiences I’ve had for ages, given how perfect it is for me. I ordered it in the biggest size that the main range carries, and while it did sort of fit, I couldn’t comfortably sit down in it. RIP the dream, the dream was dead. UNTIL last week, when finally, the jumpsuit appeared in Curve. I put aside any resentment I had at the fact summer is basically over so why is Curve only now stocking a summer item, and ordered it instantly. And it’s everything I hoped for. It’s comfortable, it’s cool, it’s chic, it’s easy to wear. I’ve belted it on this occasion but next time will go without and see how that looks. Proof, I suppose, that dreams do come true…
On Sunday afternoon I had the most delightful time with my beloved babe Danie as we went for afternoon tea at Sketch, which is one of my very favourite things to do in London. The food is delicious, the decor is wonderful, the service is attentive, and it was a great opportunity for me and Danie to have a good catchup and a gossip over tiny cakes.
My lipstick was Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic, which made a nice glossy change from my usual super matte. And honestly, how great are my Black Heart Creatives earrings? (I now see that in the outfit pic, one had flipped around…) These were custom made for me but if you ask Charlotte nicely I bet she’ll do something similar for you!
And just look what a lovely time we had…
September is here, summer is o-v-e-r, and I helped to usher it on its merry way on Friday night with my summergoth outfit. I had two tasks on Friday evening: go to the theatre to see Bakkhai (starring the delightful Ben Whishaw!) and then DJing. I could only really dress for one, so obviously I chose DJing. During my wardrobe clearout, I got rid of various things I had theoretically bought to wear at my club nights or DJ slots, because what I really love wearing, I realised, is anything made of a mixture of black jersey and black mesh. Like this wonderful Junarose bodysuit, which I wore under jeans with a little leopard print accent.
Still obsessed with my new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (I wear the shade Luminous) that I’ve been praising all over social media. Friday night’s lipstick was MAC Sin.
The day before I went on holiday to Tallinn, I looked around at my room and thought to myself: “something has to change”. I had way too much stuff, and it was making my pleasant, well-lit room in a nice flat feel oppressive, and a place I didn’t want to be. I had spoken on Twitter before about my desire to sort my life out and stop being such a messy troll, and various people had recommended me this book by Marie Kondo so I downloaded it to read while away. The weekend I got home, I had a complete clearout. I got rid of 2/3 of my clothes, either selling them via Depop or sending them to the charity shop round the corner, and so far, I regret nothing. I took on my clothes, makeup and jewellery, and have turned my room into a tidy, manageable space. I’m not saying the book is life-changing, but it really helped me single-handedly dispose of so, so many clothes that weren’t right for me anymore. I was able to clearly and quickly establish which clothes made me happy (whether because they were beautiful or they really suit me or whatever) and which didn’t, and to be able to dispose of those that didn’t guilt-free.
One of the most important side-effects has been seeing what I kept and what I got rid of, and using that to inform what I’ve been drawn to since then. I realised, for example, that I don’t have any use for more than one short-sleeved formal dress. I can’t wear short-sleeved dresses to conferences or meetings anymore because of my tattoos that I’ve got in the past year, so keeping one I particularly liked makes sense for nice dinners etc, but I don’t need any more than that. I also realised that I don’t have many casual dresses, and given I generally prefer wearing Sensible Flat Shoes (just bought a pair of cherry red classic Dr Martens with birthday money, for example!), when I want to wear a dress it’s probably useful to have something casual rather than a whole wardrobe of chic wiggle-dresses that would be ruined with those kinds of shoes.
So! I’ve picked up this month’s Elle because it has a 20% ASOS discount code and feel like I’m in a really good position to know what I really want that will make a difference to my wardrobe. I’m currently down to only one pair of black skinny jeans, which will simply not do- especially in winter- so decided on a new pair of ASOS Curve Ridleys (which are just perfect), and various cool, casual tops and skirts. I threw in the striped dress because even though I don’t need it and am not going to order it, I love the boldness of the print and how blatantly it says ‘hell no’ to the wisdom that fat girls shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes. I was originally going to save the code to use on the pink shaggy faux-fur coat that’s going to drop in Curve sizes in September, but realised I have a lot of outerwear I already really love, and there’s no point in just continually adding to it. So yes, it’s extremely cool and extremely me, but I think my $ is better used on other stuff. Such as…
Although I haven’t committed to it yet, I’m also obsessed with this playsuit. I’m DJing at a party where all the guests have to wear white, and even though the performers don’t, this really caught my eye!
And knowing what my wardrobe / style interests are like, I would probably never buy this dress for myself, but it’s so gorgeous and such a beautiful colour that I had to show you lot, just in case anyone with a more ladylike dress sense has still got their 20% off code…
I often feel like I hear myself saying “that’s not body positivity”, and while I think it’s actually perfectly acceptable to criticise something without having a concrete alternative in mind, I do have a pretty clear view of what body positivity is. Not just ‘my’ body positivity, but what it should mean at the very roots.
As I perceive it, body positivity does not mean you are positive about your body, or positive about some bodies, or positive about the fact you have a body and aren’t a disembodied voice floating in the ether. It means radically repositioning how and what we think about which bodies are good and important and valid and worthy of praise. It means doing more than reinforcing the worth and validity of white, thin, cisgender, non-disabled bodies with no body hair or scars. It means reinforcing the worth of bodies that do not look or function like that, and refusing to strive for goals that necessarily privilege those categories, and more categories on top of those- they’re just some that came to mind very readily.
This is why body positivity should, no, must be a weight loss-critical space. Weight loss does not fit with body positivity because it reinforces thinness as a goal for bodies and rejects fatness. Importantly: all of this is done by our culture anyway. Lose weight if you want, for whatever reason you want, but don’t tell me I have to accept it as body positive. Weight loss and discussion of weight loss as a positive thing pervades and permeates so, so many domains of our lives, especially as women. Is it not totally reasonable to state unequivocally that body positivity is one space where it’s neither useful nor constructive to include it? I very, very infrequently describe myself as ‘body positive’ and instead prefer ‘fat positive’ but I’ve realised that in order for body positivity to be an intersectional movement that has truly useful aims that go beyond platitudes for the most privilege, I have to be part of a movement that highlights the areas where it’s failing and try to reformulate them. Destabilising thinness as a common aesthetic goal means rejecting weight loss as necessarily and intrinsically good, and should be a key part of any body positivity. Don’t tell me I’m body negative because I think it’s more important to praise and uplift fat bodies than massage the egos of people who are putting their energies into reinforcing cultural norms.
For body positivity to be useful and meaningful, it has to find ways to move beyond the very, very arbitrary categories of beauty and usefulness that our white western capitalist cis hetero patriarchy has pushed on us, not reinforce them.