The Ongoing Adventures of a Media Tart

I’ve been seriously low on blogging mojo, but here I am again. I missed you too, fatosphere.

While I was absent, I was featured in the winter issue of Peppermint magazine. Peppermint is a “green fashion magazine, celebrating eco and ethical style”. It’s the most positive women’s fashion magazine I’ve seen and I’m proud to be in their pages. This issue is still on sale, so go buy it – stare at my mug AND support an awesome independent Aussie mag at the same time!

The feature was called ‘What is Beauty?’ and asked a variety of women of different ages, sizes and cultural backgrounds exactly that question. This was my part of the spread:

My section says:

I had pretty low self-esteem throughout my adolescence. I grew up in a coastal town and all the girls there are tan, fit and blonde whereas I’m bigger, bi-racial and a completely different body shape. I wanted to look like someone that wasn’t me. While I’m actually bigger now than I ever was in high school, the one thing out of all of my ‘flaws’ I thought I could change was my size, so that’s what I attacked. I went on my first diet when I was 10 years old.

Those years were seriously bleak. When I was 18, I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t hate myself anymore. It has been an incredibly long process – I still have bad days sometimes – but seven years later I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a single thing about me. Not a single freckle and not a single gram.

The cultural messages on what is aesthetically pleasing seem to be more and more uniform. Perfection exists in such a tiny Goldilocks-style window (not too fat, not too thin, not too dark, not too pale, not too soft, not too muscular…) But truly beautiful people are not photoshopped. Inspiring music is not auto-tuned. Important art is not precise. We need to remember the appeal of imperfections.

A couple of years ago, I set up a tumblr blog called Hey, Fat Chick! Spending so much time looking at pictures of bodies outside the beauty ideal has blown my mind. It has helped me realise that there are no bad bodies. When beauty ideals are so prescriptive, making peace with your body is a revolutionary act. Smash the ideal. Never apologise for your body!

I feel most beautiful when I’m at home, in varying states of undress, doing something completely mundane with my boyfriend. Those quiet, unconscious moments are the most beautiful of all.

Here are a couple of extras from the associated photo shoot I did with Leanna Maione:

Coat: Second hand from Shrinkle on etsy (BEST PURCHASE EVER EVER EVER)
Dress: Asos
Tights: We Love Colors (Free shipping to Australia and New Zealand on orders over $30 with the code WELOVENZAUS. Offer valid until 31 August.)
Necklace: Dinosaur Designs
Belt: Second hand from GlobeAmaranth on etsy
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell from Solestruck


13 Responses to “The Ongoing Adventures of a Media Tart”

  1. 1 Deirdre 15 August, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Congratulations, Frances!!! You’re a real inspiration for me and many other people. Thanks so much for sharing that. ❤

  2. 2 Mark 15 August, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Very positive words!

  3. 3 AcceptanceWoman 16 August, 2011 at 1:31 am

    You continue to be awesome.
    Thanks for bravely forging forth as a fantastic media tart.

  4. 4 erylin 16 August, 2011 at 2:30 am

    love your style and love seeing you back!

  5. 5 Cyn 16 August, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Word word word word! I was just starting to have a ‘bad fat woman of colour’ day, but this has brightened it all up and reminded me what we all fight for. Congrats on all the media coverage you’ve been getting recently, and may you hopefully take over the world really soon! ❤

  6. 7 Marilyn Wann 17 August, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Love the fuchsia!!! You rock.

  7. 8 bloomie 18 August, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Yay! Much deserved and you are just so damn cute.

  8. 9 p49it 18 August, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Hey, you do the color block. Sweet!

    • 10 Frances 18 August, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      I’ve been colour blocking way before they gave it a name! This is the first time in a long arse time I’ve benefited from a fashion trend.

  9. 11 waituntilthesunset 25 August, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    That jacket is the coolest jacket I have ever seen! 🙂

  10. 12 Rach 29 August, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Just found your blog love it


  11. 13 taryn 20 November, 2012 at 10:00 am

    sorry to be the sole provider of snarkiness, but it continues to irritate me when magazines (whether for fatties or not) act as if “beauty” is the sole responsibility of women, while men can feel free to disregard their looks. since these magazines’ demographic is usually straight women, it implies that women can/do/should spend innumerable hours thinking about what makes them “beautiful” and then date men who will analyze their looks while not giving a crap about how they themselves appear. this seems incredibly one-sided as well as contributing to a subject/object situation (“he thinks i’m beautiful!!!!”/”she’s beautiful”, IMHO, seems rather one-sided). To me, all this situation does is allow more women (ie fat women) into the pantheon of “beauty” without questioning the nature of the female imperative towards “beauty” (or the straight/bi male eschewing of such in themselves) itself. i have had a straight male friend complain that their girlfriends never cared about how he himself looked and always keyed instead on how he thought of her looks. i have had another straight male friend confess that he liked fashion and looking attractive, but female friends told HIM that this was ‘gay’ and he’d never get a girlfriend ‘trying to be pretty like her’. a very beautiful male friend of mine is constantly rejected by women because he’s “too pretty” and is also told by people that he “should be gay” because he dares to be good-looking. analogously, two of my best friends are a lesbian couple, very physically attractive, and I have heard people DISBELIEVE their relationship because they “can have any man they want’ (guess what; they don’t want any man). i have sat at a table of heterosexual women where all of them spent all of their time analyzing the “beauty” of every woman they knew while admitting (when i asked why, if they were straight, women’s beauty was a more interesting topic than men’s beauty) that a man’s looks mattered little as long as he found them beautiful. When I asked about how this played in to sexual attraction, they claimed that they found their boyfriends’ lust for THEM attractive. Again, a subject/object dichotomy that seems to be further enhanced by magazines like this. Admitting fatties to the realm of “beautiful women” does nothing if the whole notion of beauty and gender isn’t interrogated itself.

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