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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

It's Got to be Real

Fashion has moved on leaps and bounds recently, and I would say that we are at an all-time high when it comes to body positivity. However what we are seeing isn’t the full extent of being plus size, it’s not a real representation.

Plus size bodies have never been more visible, with more and more plus-size models being cast in shows from Alexander McQueen to Micheal Kors. However, this is still a washed down version of bigger bodies. We are not seeing the actual representation that we deserve.

When it comes to the high street, the plus size models we see are at best a 16. I don’t and can’t relate to that, because that isn’t how my body looks. What we don’t talk about, the elephant in the room is that the industry treats us like we are the elephant in the room.

We see a sanitised abridged version of our fat bodies, I have never seen a double chin, rolls or anything close to a bigger belly. I wear a 24/26 I have rolls aplenty, a double chin and a belly that I’m not proud of, but it’s mine. Plus size clothes are a last-minute consideration and are not even shown to us on plus size bodies.

How are we ever meant to feel considered? The fact that we are bigger is seen as a dangerous subject. Morbid obesity isn’t healthy but most of the plus community are.

As a queer fat person, I have no role model, no one to look at that makes me feel accepted. It is incredibly difficult to deal with the feeling of being ignored, not accepted and not considered. Sometimes being bigger makes you feel invisible and sometimes you feel like the whole world is looking at you.

I thought about writing this because I styled the look, and thought I looked too fat. I don’t think this very often, but I did when I put the look together. I saw that the coat gave me an accentuated waist and I felt super uncomfortable. Not seeing yourself represented in the media, means that these moments of doubt and self-loathing creep into our everyday existences.

I also want to address that plus clothes are seen as a stopgap. This is not a temporary state, we are not all trying to lose weight. I want to invest in my appearance and there is a dire lack of quality pieces for me to buy. I am not buying to tide myself over until I drop 6 sizes, I want to buy a coat that will last me years to come.

I’ve seen this sentiment recently considered by the divine Bethany Rutter who has designed collections with Navabi, which offer pieces we can wear again and again. The tide is changing, but we need it to happen quicker.

To sum up, I want to see real bodies, people like me represented in the media and brands I interact with. I want plus size branding to be actually plus size, I want to see real bodies.

It's got to be real.

Shot by Rachel Pechey ​

Shop my Lewk

Roll Neck: Matalan (GIFTED)

Trousers: Unique 21 via ASOS Similar

Shoes: ASOS, Similar

Sunglasses: Chloé

Earrings: Zara


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