Archive for May, 2010

OoTD No. 10 – I Love Colours

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Sydney loves colours too. The Opera House is being lit up every night as part of the Vivid Festival.

I’ve been in love with We Love Colors tights since stumbling upon their site last year; to date I’ve bought nine pairs in black, white, scarlet, turquoise, yellow, royal blue and violet. So when We Love Colors contacted me for a review, I jumped at the chance.

We Love Colors offered to send me a new pair to review so I decided to try the pair I’ve been a bit apprehensive about: the splash footless tights in #7001. Lord knows why I was apprehensive about them, as the mess of colour is right up my alley. Sydney has been cold (well, cold by Sydney standards) and rainy so I decided the pair the tights with my snugly woollen jumper dress.

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It’s hard enough to find coloured tights in Sydney (Australia tends to be a bit conservative when it comes to fashion), let alone in plus sizes, so We Love Colors is solid gold for me. The size chart is very reliable; I am 5’8″ and 210 pounds so I wear the C/D in the plus size range. The tights have an extra panel at the back and this is a godsend for the well-endowed in the arse area (like myself). They come up extremely high – mine go all the way up to my bust – which prevents them slipping down over belly rolls and completely eliminates muffin top. However, you must buy the nylon/lycra blend; the cheaper, nylon only pairs sag around the ankles and knees.

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How sweet is this necklace? The Boyfriend got it for me for my birthday. He's a keeper.

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AWESOME NEWS FOR ANTIPODEANS: We Love Colors, in recognition of the southern hemisphere’s seasons, is offering free shipping to Australia and New Zealand on all orders over $30. This offer runs all winter long – from 1 June to 31 August – just enter in the code WELOVENZAUS at the checkout. It goes without saying that my tights collection is going to be absurd by the time spring rolls around.

Dress: Country Road
Necklace: Gift
Gloves: Tie Rack
Tights: We Love Colors
Socks: Holeproof
Boots: Dr Martens (I know I’ve been wearing the heck out of these, but they’re so useful in this inclement weather. Plus they look UH-MAY-ZING.)

OoTD No. 9 – Happy birthday to me!

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On Saturday 22 May 2010, I turned 24. Happy birthday to me! To celebrate me and my birth, the Boyfriend and I had a night out in Kings Cross: piles of Spanish tapas and tempranillo at Kika (I cannot recommend that place enough) and cocktails with a view at the rooftop bar of the Kings Cross Hotel.

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I wear a lot of men’s tshirts. I’m an XL or XXL in women’s tees and they always fall too short on my torso, whereas I’m a M in men’s tees and they generally fit like a dream.  This PLUR-esque tee by Religion was a perfect addition to my wardrobe.

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Jacket: LA Vintage
Men’s tshirt: Religion from Asos
Skirt: Supre
Bag: Asos
Tights: We Love Colors
Socks: Holeproof
Boots: Dr Martens

Obesity really is disgusting…

A new study, to be published in the International Journal of Obesity, has found that negative attitudes towards ‘obese’ people are based on an emotional response of disgust.

Previous research into negative attitudes towards fat people had centred on perceived controllability of body weight. That is, fat people were blamed for being lazy and lacking self-control which led to negative attitudes in the wider community. However, even when a person’s beliefs about the cause of obesity were shifted, their attitudes towards fat individuals were not impacted. This suggested that the weight bias was not based in logic, but in emotion.

As Dr Lenny Vartanian - who led the new study – states, “Although the scientific community acknowledges biological, behavioural and social contributors to body weight, a common belief in society at large is that one’s body weight is almost infinitely malleable. The problem with this idea of willpower is that we chalk it up to a moral weakness.” What’s so interesting about Dr Vartanian’s study is that it indicates the association between weight and morality is borne from the emotion of disgust and may help explain why negative attitudes towards fat people are so difficult to change.

The research involved three studies. In the first, 300 American university students completed questionnaires asking how favourably they rated various social groups and how much they believed being part of that group was under an individual’s personal control. Participants rated obese people, along with 15 other groups, including African Americans, smokers, lottery winners, welfare recipients, drug addicts, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and people who were elderly, homeless, rich or religious. Finally, they were asked to rate the feelings of disgust they held towards each group.

In general, the social groups rated most negatively and with the highest levels of disgust were those perceived to have an element of personal control over being a member of that group. Obese people were among the most negatively viewed groups, on par with homeless people (which is incredibly problematic, but that’s a rant for another day) and politicians.  The only groups rated as more negatively and as more disgusting were drug addicts and smokers.

A second study with 125 different participants from the same university used the same questionnaire, except that the term “fat people” was used instead of “obese people”. The results were identical.   Finally, in the third study, 99 students from an Australian university completed slightly different questionnaires but again with an identical result to the first two studies.

So how can this be changed? If no matter how much we hit people over the head with HAES, we will still be seen as disgusting, what direction should our activism go in?

My preferred solution: bust the beauty ideal. Dr Vartanian states in his article that “disgust [is] related to a process of moralization in which preferences are converted to moral values.” Smoking was all the rage 60 odd years ago and the results of this research indicate smokers are now one of the most disgusting population groups in our society. Similarly, as the size of the female beauty ideal has wittled down over the past few decades, negative attitudes towards women that lie outside this ideal have increased.

We fat bloggers are regularly accused of normalising obesity. As it turns out, normalisation may be exactly what we need.

OoTD No. 8 – A pox on your muted tones

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After an unexpectedly long summer, it is finally starting to cool down in Sydney. This means that winter fashion has well and truly taken hold – my city has become a bland sea of black and grey.

I bloody hate that about fashion; the idea that brights are for the warmer months and muted tones are for the cooler months. It’s depressing enough that there’s a chill in the air, that the days are shorter and that my skin has become a dry scaly mess without me dressing like someone died. If anything, I need to see more colour to distract me from how long I have to wait until summer rolls around again.

A pox on your muted tones, winter collections. Shove this outfit up ya.

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I have been waiting weeks for it to be cool enough to show you this amazing jacket from LA Vintage. I’ve been after an 80s leather cropped biker jacket for as long as I can remember and I finally have one in my pudgy little hands. I’ve mentioned my soft spot for cock rock before and this jacket screams early Mötley Crüe. Needless to say, I love it.

LA Vintage are the only online vintage retailer I’ve seen that offer a plus size section. (If anyone knows of any others, please tell me in the comments!) Unfortunately, it is for the inbetweenie rather than the deathfat; the bust, waist and hip measurements only go up to 50 inches. That said, they also have a fantastic accessories section and it’s impossible to be sized out of a super cute handbag.

Jacket: LA Vintage
Dress: French Connection
Tights: We Love Colors
Ring: Dinosaur Designs
Socks: Holeproof
Boots: Dr Martens

Plus size models protest Australian Fashion Week

(L-R) Ivina Sotnikava, Kaila Conklin, Belinda Morgan, Kate Hislop, Mackenzie Sipos and Natalie Wakeling. Pic: Renee Nowytarger, Source: The Daily Telegraph

The Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) is over for another year, but it didn’t pass without controversy. Plus size models from BGM Models – who must have a fantastic PR department – protested outside the main venue over the complete lack of plus size models in this year’s events.

After all the attention plus size fashion has received in the past twelve months, Australia seems to be – quite embarrassingly – falling behind the rest of the Western world. As BGM agent Darrianne Donnelly states, “While the rest of the world is embracing women with curves, Australian fashion is going backwards. The public wants to see themselves, in all shapes and sizes not just size 6.”

(As an aside to BGM Models: I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but can you please lay off the whole ‘REAL WOMEN’ angle? You don’t advance one group of people by tearing down another. To imply that straight size models are not real is just another way of dictating what women should and should not look like. That’s exactly what we’re trying to get away from.)

Organisers did not make official comment, instead deferring questioning to individual designers as they are responsible for the model casting for their own shows.

First of all – because I have seen this incorrectly reported on other blogs – plus size models were not featured at last year’s RAFW. Last year’s City Chic fashion show was held during the 2009 Sydney Fashion Festival. They are two completely different events (though it is sponsored by the same company) and RAFW is The Big Deal – it is the exclusive, industry-only event.

Though that’s the point, isn’t it? Plus size consumers are given a free, public show in the less prestigious runway show yet continue to be snubbed by Australia’s top designers in our premier fashion event. It smells just a little bit like tokenism.

It is interesting to see how little impact the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image may have. In October 2009, the National Advisory Group on Body Image – which was established by the Australian government in March 2009 – submitted the Proposed National Strategy on Body Image to the government. Among the recommendations is the Code of Conduct on Body Image, which recommends using “a diverse range of people that are appropriate to their target audience. When considering diversity, particular focus should be given to including a range of body shapes, sizes and ethnicities”. The report is currently under consideration by the government, and they are due release their response this year. You can read the complete report here or, if you’re lazy, a summary of the recommendations here.

The key word to take note of is ‘voluntary’. It is up to each magazine and fashion label to sign up to the Code of Conduct and abide by its principles. However, with Australian designers so reluctant to use plus size models, we must question what a voluntary code could achieve. With no incentives or punishments, and with seemingly no champions in our fashion industry, I do wonder how we can move forward.

OoTD No. 7 – Elegantly Wasted

A whole new fashion world has opened up since I discovered the wonders of bodycon. My savings account is in serious danger as so many straight size items are available to me now that I no longer care how obvious my belly looks in them. For example, I picked up this awesome, straight size, black jersey dress (for half price!) a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure I look a bit more bulgey than the designer of the dress intended, but I love it and I love how I look in it (read: it’s comfy as hell and it makes my arse look spectacular). It’s fun being unapologetically fat.

Its shortness and tightness make this a bit of a date outfit. To dress it down for a lazy weekend, I paired it with some high tops and my gold skull necklace – both purchased on my recent trip to London.

Since we (the Boyfriend and I) took these late on a Saturday night and since I was in an outfit I’d quite happily wear to a club, we decided to parody those ridiculous ‘trashed out model’ photo shoots you see all the time in Vice Magazine.

Dress: Agent Ninetynine from General Pants
Sneakers: Nike Air Royalty High Premium from Foot Locker
Bag: LA Vintage
Skull necklace: Lazy Oaf
Ring: Dinosaur Designs


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