Archive for August, 2009

Women I Love: Crystal Renn part 2

I have had hundreds upon hundreds of people coming to Corpulent to look at my posts on Crystal Renn. So much so that you guys kicked the crap out of my Photobucket bandwidth and I had to upgrade.

I get it, OK? You guys want more of our Crystal, and because I am a gracious blogger (read: because I am also desperately in love with her), I will deliver.

DON’T SAY I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BONERS.

Crystal Renn for Anna Scholz S/S 2005

Crystal Renn in Glamour, May 2006

Crystal Renn for Torrid

Crystal Renn by Leda and St Jacques in Elle Canada, July 2009

Crystal Renn in Vanity Fair Italy, March 2004

Crystal Renn by Matt Jones

Crystal Renn by Matt Jones. This picture gives me strange new feelings.

Crystal Renn in LaVanguardia, Spain

Crystal Renn in Vogue Paris, August 2005

Crystal Renn in Italian Vogue, March 2004

Crystal Renn in Mao Mag #6

Crystal Renn in Teen Vogue, February 2006

What do you love about yourself?

Lilli at Frocks & Frou Frou, Sonya at No More Mumus and Natalie at Definatalie have started an online self-love trend, answering the question “What do you love about yourself?”

I think this is fabulous idea. 

I wasted my entire adolescence on low self-esteem, talking myself down and wishing that I looked nothing like me. I have had more than enough body hate bullshit for one lifetime. I am now rather arrogant and y’all should be too. Arrogance is a GOOD thing and, rather helpfully, it’s also really really fun!

What I love about myself:

  • I love my shamelessness. I’m outgoing and bawdy, I dance in public, and I wear loud clothing/accessories.
  • I love my skin. Thanks, Asian genes!
  • I love that I smile big, laugh easily, and that my laugh is a loud cackle.
  • I love my pot belly. Whenever my mum tells me to lose weight, I lift up my top and shake my belly at her. True story.
  • I love my butt. It’s big and proud and sticks out like a table.
  • I love my curly wurly hair.
  • I love that I am affectionate. I give awesome hugs.

Your turn! What do you love about yourself?

Fatshion on the Runway: The Rundown on City Chic

On Thursday, feeling terribly important, I went to my first fashion show. Not coincidentally, it was also the very first plus-size label to hold a runway show as part of a mainstream Australian fashion event. City Chic were unveiling their new Spring/Summer 2009 collection as part of the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival (not to be confused with Australian Fashion Week, which is earlier in the year). A big fat thank you to City Chic for kindly inviting me along to the show!

There was quite a fun vibe outside the giant tent (also known as the ‘Rosemount Runway’… it was a tent) as we waited to be let in. There were fatties everywhere. And we were milling around waiting for a fashion show that was targeted at us.

Some were obviously very excited about this, as they had made a real effort to dress up: full face of make-up, nice hair, good clothes, high heels. I, however, had gone to the show in my lunch hour. Sure, I was wearing my lucky yellow tights from We Love Colors and my wicked fatty necklace, but I’d still come straight from work. I probably smelt like old printer cartridges and disappointed hopes.

Once we got inside, I instantly I spotted an error in planning. The seats were placed close together with quite a narrow gap between rows. If you put on a fashion show for a plus-size label, fatties are going to attend. The thing about fatties is that we take up more room. You can’t organise the seating in the exact same way you would for a mainstream fashion label. The lack of space between rows meant I got to know some women extremely well as they nudged past me to their seats. I could see fatties squished into the front row, hip to hip and flibbety arm to flibbety arm. I was in a row that was half empty, so at least we were able to shuffle our seats around for a bit of extra room.

The show opened with one of Australia’s most successful plus-size models, Elizabeth Green. She is based in New York and has signed with Ford Plus.

Now, I’m not a fashion-y kind of person. I don’t attend fashion weeks, I can’t say whether a garment is channelling A/W04 Alexander McQueen, and I don’t really know anything about modelling. (I’m way into Crystal Renn, but that’s because she makes me sexually confused, not because I love her ‘craft’.) I figured models just walked down a runway. Whatev. But when Elizabeth Green strutted past wearing a gorgeous jewel maxi by Julie Beach, I understood.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

She’s fantastic. Some of the other models looked inexperienced; they seemed nervous or they looked like they were concentrating too hard on their walk. Green is supremely confident, and may I add, totally fierce.

I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes for the show. After the disappointment of the Full Figured Fashion Week runway show, I just assumed that City Chic would be trotting out the predictable display of jersey and floral maxi dresses. And there was a bit of that:

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Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

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Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

But that was far outweighed by the number of pieces that were firmly on trend and youth-oriented.

The bulk (teehee) of the collection was divided into two camps: bright spring dresses (‘Garden Party’ and ‘Formal’) and rock-inspired casual threads (the Ed Hardy line and ‘Rock Chick’).

The dresses were mainly bright, mainly short and mainly strapless. I don’t really wear cocktail dresses and I never wear strapless (looks terrible on me), so this part didn’t hold much personal interest. That said, I know this range will be popular, especially when our Spring Racing Carnival rolls around.

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Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Next up was the Ed Hardy plus-size collection, which is launching at City Chic next month. I’ve never been one for Ed Hardy. The tattoo prints and excessive use of diamantes always cried ‘Motorcycle Slag with her own Bedazzler’.

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Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

But then, of course, the bitches had to go and prove me wrong with THE BEST SKIRT EVER.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Super super super short and… is that acid wash? It looks like acid wash (help me out, I told you I wasn’t fashion-y). I am a massive sucker for the 80s heavy metal look and for showing off some leg, so I am crazy about this mini.

Speaking of minis, I read in this article that City Chic made a point of not dictating what they thought was suitable for their 18 to 28-year-old target market. According to the general manager, “if we do a skirt to the knee it doesn’t sell.” Love it.

It got better with the ‘Rock Chick’ range – plenty of studs, chains and zips. Further proof that the company are willing to let fatties dress for themselves was this outfit:

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

I was completely floored that they have actually made a sexy midriff top for fatties. TAKE THAT, MAGGIE T.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

This is Courtney Maxwell and she’s a total babe. She’s also the main model on the City Chic website, and got a huge reaction from the CC staff in the front row when she stepped out onto the runway.

I really liked the look of this crossover zip dress, but I suspected the fabric wouldn’t be all I hoped for. A look at the website confirmed that this is a polyester/elastane blend and I’m not willing to fork out AUS$149.95 for polyester.

What I am willing to fork out cash for is this:

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Photo by Justin Lloyd

Corazones Rojos started my love for slashed leggings. When I saw her wearing them in the Daily Beast picture gallery, I wanted to jump her for her outfit. With these gorgeous leggings, I don’t have to resort to assault and robbery! *high kick*

This outfit almost made me squeal:

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

The zip vest and studded jeans look like they were taken straight from a 1990 Motley Crue video. I am a shameless fan of 1980s cock rock, so this outfit was very very exciting for me. (Nikki Sixx, you have an open invitation to come live in my pants.)

Then came the evening wear which, like the cocktail dresses, has limited use for me. I’m sure fatties in Year 12 will be very excited by these options for their formals (aka ‘proms’, for all you weird Americans).

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

The grand finale outfit was completely unexpected and completely, utterly awesome. It featured a City Chic lace corset and couture skirt by Kamikaze, designed by Tealia Scott.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Plus. Size. Couture. And it looked amazing. Any designer that pooh-poohs couture for the corpulent can, obviously, go shove it.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Of course we all lost our minds when she tore off the skirt and strutted back past us sans pants.

End with a diva performance from chubby ex-Australian Idol contestant, Natalie Colavito:

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Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

There it is. The first big fat runway show in an Australian fashion week. It was good, but of course there is room for improvement; better quality fabrics (less polyester, please!) immediately spring to mind. But, after decades of sexless plus-sized clothing, this was a strong start from City Chic.

Pippa – the person behind one of my favourite blogs, Runway Revolution – also went to the show and posted a review, which you can find here.

City Chic has posted a bunch of videos onto their website covering the preparation, the show itself and the ensuing media coverage.

“Federal Government cracks downs on weight-loss industry.”

That was the amazing headline I saw on News.com.au today. I nearly fell off my chair.

WEIGHT-LOSS programs and products will have to prove they can help people keep off the kilos long-term as the Federal Government cracks down on the $414-million-a-year industry.

The Rudd Government’s Preventative Health Taskforce is understood to have called for the weight-loss industry to be regulated in a report handed down last month.

I’ve blogged about (some not so great) recommendations made by the Preventative Health Taskforce before.

The Taskforce provided the National Preventative Health Strategy to the Government on 30 June 2009 and the Australian Government has been sitting on it ever since. This happens a lot with reports written by external Taskforces or Advisory Panels – they are submitted to the government (federal or state) and then various Ministers sit on them for months. There’s no indication when the Strategy will be released publicly.

It follows growing evidence that diets may actually be adding to the obesity crisis as overweight people lose weight rapidly while following programs but quickly put it back on after they stop.

 Amazing, right?

The taskforce said that young women in particular were spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on programs to manage their weight.

Despite this, the nation’s obesity rate was climbing with more than 60 per cent of adults now overweight or obese.

Not only that…

 The Dietitians Association of Australia is backing the recommendation.

O RLY?!

The association said regulation should require businesses marketing a diet program to provide evidence to a panel of experts showing what percentage of those who used the diet kept the weight off two years after starting.

Chief executive Claire Hewat said a good diet would result in weight loss of about half a kilogram per week.

“If you can lose 5 per cent of your body weight you are doing really well,” she said. “Diets are not the point, it’s lifestyle change that is needed.”

Then the article puts the boot to the diet industry:

A Choice survey of pharmacy diet programs published earlier this year found they were successful at helping people shed kilos in a hurry if followed closely – but they did little to change a person’s lifestyle in the long term.

Many were so nutritionally deficient that dieters had to take vitamin supplements, while some counsellors selling the programs had just three hours training.

And then, of course, the Dietitians Association of Australia has to ruin everything with:

The association also wants national exercise guidelines reviewed because the 30 minutes of exercise a day promoted by the Government is good for general wellbeing but not enough to tackle obesity. 

 Let’s break that down.

Thirty minutes of exercise a day is good for general health, but won’t “tackle obesity”.

General health means nothing if you are still fat.

After the Chief Executive Officer of the DAA explicitly said “Diets are not the point, it’s lifestyle change that is needed”, the Association still believes that one’s fat – rather than one’s lifestyle – is at the root of all our problems.

How can that make sense to ANYONE?!

Alas. We were so close, so tantalising close to a mainstream Australian article espousing health at every size…

Women I Love: Fluvia Lacerda

Fluvia Lacerda is one of those women with unreasonable bodies: the sex face, the thick hair, the cute belly, the killer hips.

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Fluvia Lacerda by Lucas Pictures

So completely unreasonable.

Fluvia started modeling in 2003 when she was discovered by MODE Magazine on a New York City bus, of all places.

She also writes a magazine column in her native Brazil. In her own words:

I write about what I know, which is the struggles of being a full figured woman in a society (there in Brazil) where is difficult to find clothes, be accepted as a normal human being and so on. I hear plus size women in the US complaining about not being able to find pretty clothes that won’t make them look frumpy and unfashionable. Well, Brazilian plus size women don’t even have that option! It makes me cringe when I go there to see women either having clothes made because stores, in 90% of the cases, carry up to 44, which I think it’s equivalent to a US 12 (GASP!)- Or wearing clothes 2 or 3 sizes smaller, which is a complete NO, NO! It’s a market that still has a long way to go compared to most countries.

I hear ya, sister.

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Fluvia Lacerda by Nikki Gomez

Because of this culture in Brazil and her success as a plus-sized model, Fluvia makes for a fabulous size acceptance advocate:

I know how they [plus-sized women] feel – society in Brazil makes you feel like wearing a size 16 jeans is a national crime. Most women have known nothing but negative criticism throughout their entire lives, from parents, school friends and even work colleagues. It’s the innocent suggestions of a new diet to a mentioning a new high tech plastic surgery procedure. Therefore they have yet to comprehend the meaning of being happy with yourself, regardless of your size. When I have the opportunity to do an interview in Brazil I always try to bring points such as, as long you have an active life, try to work out at least half an hour every day and eat healthier, you should be more concern with your happiness and health rather than beating yourself up for not carrying the genetics of a size zero women.

Also, she’s a babe. Let’s observe, shall we?

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Fluvia Lacerda by Daigo Oliva/G1

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I cannot remember where I got this from, but this picture is way too good to not post. It gets me right in the pants.

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Fluvia Lacerda for Biluzik

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Quotes sourced from Plus Model Magazine
All unsourced pictures are from Fluvia Lacerda’s online portfolio

Don’t act like you’re not impressed

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If you look closely, you'll see the hole in the 'a' has been replaced by a tiny cupcake. Awesome.

Chickety check my new necklace!

It’s a custom made necklace by a lovely Kiwi girl called Kim Laurenson (always happy to support a fellow antipodean). She has an etsy store and a fantastic blog, both by the name of Cupcakes and Mace.

I am in love with this thing and can’t wait to wear it out. No, you cannot borrow it.

Fat Acceptance Taking Over the Aussie Media

Well, sort of. In a ‘one magazine at a time’ kind of way. But two fat positive articles in two mainstream Australian magazines in two consecutive months? That’s a major win for us. GO TEAM!

The July 2009 issue of Australia’s Shop ‘Til You Drop magazine (STYD) had an article titled ‘Size Matters’, which highlighted the never-ending battle that is plus-size shopping in Australia. It’s actually quite a good article, though I wonder whether STYD will be able to keep this up: the August issue listed only one plus-sized item in the entire magazine (a bandage dress by Flirt) and had two advertisements for plus-size brands available in Myer, one of Australia’s major department stores. Not a great effort for a 200 page magazine, but I suppose it is a start.

Here is the STYD article in full. Click the images for the high resolution version.

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The August 2009 issue of the Australian Cleo magazine provided a general introduction to the fat acceptance movement. Kate Harding of Shapely Prose and our own Bri King of Fat Lot of Good were interviewed. It even got a mention in the editor’s letter!

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Both STYD and Cleo are aimed at young women and both are owned by ACP Magazines. ACP has a huge presence in the media and publish a lot of our major magazines, so this is a big deal. These articles and the increasing visibility of fatshion in Australia signals that we are on our way.

Slowly but surely.

I am bloody excited.

EDIT: One day after I write this, and fat acceptance is being featured by Fairax Media on the Sydney Morning Herald website. Geeeez, we’re picking up momentum!


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