Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Those Cosmo Questions- Answers Of A Fat Grrrl

I have really enjoyed reading all the answers I have been reading to these questions and thought it only fair that I give mine after so many ladies have been open and honest. I managed to avoid the actual article as I don't read magazines. I hate all the body shaming, celebrity obsessed, sister hating propaganda so I refuse to buy into it. Especially when I can read about what real think on blogs. I know I am a bit late but I kind of ummmed and ahhhhed about answering at all but I was kind of interested to know myself.

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat around you?
I work with young people so this happens like all the time. It just concerns me because the young girls and boys I work with are experiencing a lot of peer pressure around them as we a media company and they can sometimes get lost in the image. I got a bit concerned hearing it all the time so we do a lot of focus groups around body image and have done a project which we want to expand. I want to help teach them that Fat is not a bad thing. Not to compare themselves to others all the time and that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

How has your body image changed since high school/college?
I had the fortune of finding riot grrrl in secondary school right when I was starting to hate on myself for being bigger than everyone else I opened up the magical pages of fanzines and came across 'riots not diets'. The words of bikini kill and lunachicks taught me it was ridiculous to conform to a stereotypical vision of beauty. I am not going to say everything was perfect I still wore grungy band tshirts, big shoes and ripped tights but I was very confident. I didn't really get it when boys were into me but that was more down to being a bit socially awkward and spending too much time in an all girls school.

Have you tried dieting? What happened?
Yes big time! My Mama took me to a dietitian from a young age but hey that didn't work out. I went to slimming world and actually really enjoyed it there but why should I have to pay £5 a week to be shamed when I don't lose a pound?

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?
I do have Polycystic ovary syndrome which is known to make women retain weight along with other lovely side effects. So I do put on weight just by sniffing a chocolate bar and have a lot of extra trouble shifting it if i want to. I have grown up around women dieting but I think some is definitely down to myself and a comfort eating habit.

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances when people have assumed you were unhealthy?
Ummm haha lets be honest. No. I do actually need to be a bit healthier lately I have been off the rails. Usually I love to dance, zumba like I know what I am doing, I walk loads and I really enjoy sports so was thinking of taking up something because it is an awesome stress relief for me. I used to ride horses in competitions when I was younger and actually get smirks when I tell people that now.

Are your parents supportive of the weight you are? Have they always been?
Growing up they were actually really shitty about it. The whole "You will never find a boyfriend like that" and so forth but these days my Ma is pretty fucking awesome. She encourages me to wear nice things and not give a crap about what others think as I think she realised that growing up she wasn't all that nice about it.My dad still makes jabs at me but he thinks he is being funny.

How do you think retailers could improve clothes for plus sized people?
Just because I am plus sized doesn't mean my pocket is. So please stop charging stupid prices. I seem to see the plus sized sections shrinking and I hate having to roam to the back to the limited selection especially after walking past a million cute dresses along the way. Just start making bigger sizes of the same clothes.It isn't that hard? I just want to be able to walk into a shop rather than always having to jump online 2 weeks before I even plan to wear the outfit. Saying that things are defiantly improving. Clothes are getting sassier, more fashionable and defiantly a lot cuter. Someone please make affordable alternative plus sized wear though instead of me having to jump on the dire 'rock chick' selection.

Do you think plus sized women are judged differently to plus sized men? How?
I genuinely think there is just as much pressure on men now too. Well at least among young men.They are taught they need to "get down the gym and get hench". They get more physically picked on and treated like it is cool to knock them calling them childish names. Among the older generation there is more stick on women needing to be thinner.

Do you think that there is an assumption made/stereotypes that exist about plus sized people? How do you respond to that?
People think that all we do is sit around scoffing chocolate and don't care about how we look because we have "let ourselves go". I also hate the assumption that nobody could possibly be romantically interested in us unless they have some kind of weird fetish. In fact that some people seem to think that being fat means you are not a valid human being. How shallow the world can be and how many amazing people they miss out on meeting and learning from.

Do you think there is ever a right way/time to express concern about someones weight?
This is a difficult one. I guess it comes down to health. If health wise the persons weight is really stopping them from doing daily things such as walk around and breath or just generally enjoy life then yes. Otherwise no who are you to judge.

What's the worst things people have said to you about your weight?
I had a boyfriend who refused to sleep with me because he said I was "too big" he soon got dumped. It wasn't even just about weight it was how he spoke about the situation and generally made me feel awful. He actually said he would not be with me unless I lost some weight.

How did you respond?
I proceeded to ask him if I had been in a car accident and lost a leg would he still be with me. His answer was no and the rest is history.

What have people said or do you wish they would say to compliment your body/appearance?
I genuinely get lots of varied compliments. I have had boyfriends who unlike the previous have told me they love every part of me that I hate, girls who run up to me to tell me they love my style and ask where I got my dress, people go crazy for my eyes and I always get a lot of compliments on my smile.

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?
I have friends of all shapes and sizes and I love them all. I have friends who have been fat and are now small and strive to stay that way. I have friends who have never been big but never been nothing but amazing to me telling me how beautiful I am all the time. I really am blessed with the best  friends. It would be nice to know some more plus sized hunnies for shopping trips without feeling I am dragging my mates into the depressing world of plus size high street fashion. So I have been speaking to lots of amazing bloggers :)

How has your weight affected your sex life if at all?
90% of the time it doesn't however recently when working away there were some things I couldn't take part in like horse riding and caving.... Lord no am I squeezing my fat ass into a tight cave that is just asking for some kind of comedy sketch show. Thankfully I was a prize horse rider when I was younger so I have had that experience and I do miss it. Caving I would hate anyway it makes me shudder just thinking of those tight spaces leading to who knows where.

When you've been single has your weight affected your dating life?
I am single and no not at all. I have plenty of men who show interest in me. After the horrible boyfriend it did make me more cautious about dating and had a big dent on my confidence for sometime but I seem to be doing ok. I am a terrible dater though.

Do you feel weird if a guy you're with only dates larger women?
No everyone has a preference so long as it is not a 'fetish' No feeders please. I guess in a way it makes me feel more comfortable if he has been with a bigger women before.

Do you feel weird if he has only dated  slimmer women before?
No he is with me now right? I guess at first I would feel nervous getting naked but doesn't everyone feel like that the first time they get naked with someone they really like?


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