Fatshion and The Punch

A post by my fellow antipodean fat blogger, RandomQuorum, directed to me to this article on The Punch, ‘Fatshionistas are hip, but can they fit into the dress?‘ by Nedahl Stelio. The Punch (mmmm punch) is an Australian opinion site, owned by News Limited. Nedahl Stelio is a former deputy editor of Cosmopolitan and former editor of Cleo.

As RandomQuorum notes, this article is kind of a big deal. Stelio writes about New York’s Full-Figured Fashion Week, Beth Ditto’s line for Evans, and makes reference to the awesome Daily Beast article on our fabulous fatshionistas. Plus-size fashion is not a subject often covered by Down Under mainstream news outlets, and it’s truly amazing that Stelio did not feel compelled to note that all fatty fat fatties are riddled with disease and will die soon, if not sooner. (Predictably, the reader comments do. Australians are horrendously fat-phobic and the comments on fat-related news stories can be vitriolic.) So this is sort of a win for us. w00t.

But this is also lazy reporting. The article was published on 9 July – a good 2 weeks after FFFWeek – and yet Stelio writes as if the event has not yet been held. She also fails to mention the aaaaaaaawesome news that FFFWeek is looking into bringing their event to Australia.

In fact, Stelio completely bypasses anything and everything to do with Australian plus-size fashion. FFFWeek was in New York. Beth Ditto’s line has been released in the UK. The Daily Beast and Manolo for the Big Girl are US-based sites. No mention of the barren wasteland that is plus-size shopping in Oz. No voxpops from fat Australian women who have to navigate a difficult fashion landscape. No praise heaped upon the few plus size designers we do have. No pressure on the rest of our designers and retailers to lift their game and clothe the plus sized. This strikes me as a very curious decision for an Australian fashion writer on an Australian website.

Worse still, every quote that’s in Stelio’s article I have read before. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not naïve enough to believe that every journalist has engaged in hardcore primary research for every article they have ever written. But she’s written about things that don’t really affect Australian fatties (unless they’re willing to brave the weakness of the Aussie dollar and fork out AUS$15+ on shipping for Beth’s line) and she’s done a few Google searches for her material. Seriously?

I wanted to be excited by this article, Nedahl, but you have got to give me something to work with. Next time, drop me a line and I’ll give you all the Aussie Fatosphere voxpops you need! /shameless plug

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7 Responses to “Fatshion and The Punch”


  1. 1 Natalie 13 July, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I don’t trust a former Cosmo/ Cleo staffer to be sympathetic or even open to fatshion to be honest. They should come to us!

    Also! I wanted to tell you that a few of my friends and I started a group blog at Axis of Fat! I wanted to strengthen the Australian fat-o-sphere but didn’t know if I could sustain a whole blog alone so there’s my husband, and friends Zoe and Sonya (who writes No More Mumus as well!)

  2. 3 randomquorum 13 July, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I’m so glad someone else had the knowledge and energy to actually write something useful about this! I haven’t been back to check the comments on that post, and I have no intention of doing so, as I doubt it will be fun – why are people always so hateful?

    I absolutely agree that it is lazy reporting – but at least it is reporting, and at least the writer wasn’t hateful (which I found VERY surprising)! Hey, I’ll take what wins I can get at this point.

    Perhaps the Australian Fat-o-sphere is still too small for anyone to pay much attention or even know it exists. Or perhaps they’re not really interested in knowing.

  3. 4 eli 13 July, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I left a comment on the article. Mostly ranting at the comments, not even touching the poor timing of the article, or the vague disdain of the writer.

    I’m Eli.

    • 5 Frances 13 July, 2009 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Eli! You left a great comment on the article – I wanted to address the fat haters but they made me too angry. You said everything I wanted to.

  4. 6 bri 13 July, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Keep an eye out for the August edition of Cleo… yours truly was interviewed (they are doing an article involving Kate Harding and contacted me also). I am dreading that everything I said will be twisted beyond recognition though…


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