Hello, hello, hello and HELLO!
My name is Kirsten and welcome to my blog! I have a blog!
Okay, okay, confession time. Over the years I have started several blogs, none of which I have kept up to date and then have fizzled out, only to be left on the shelves at the very back of the “unknown wordpress users” library. No more! This will be my turn-around. Or maybe it won’t. No pressure…. eek.
My name is Kirsten (I believe I’ve already stated that), I’m 25, bisexual, married, a stay at home human and puppy mother, and I live in the South West of England. I have a degree in English Studies, and before becoming a SAHM was an Office Supervisor.
I’ve been with my husband/best friend/weirdo Ell for coming up to 7 years and we’ve been married for almost 2.
Here we are looking dashing on our wedding day. Don’t we scrub up well? But, for the sake of verity, let’s choose a more realistic image:
Yup. Pretty much me being a weirdo and him smiling along with it wondering why he married me.
We also have a 3 year old daughter who’s pretty much the coolest, cutest, funniest kid you ever laid eyes on.
That’s her whipping while wearing a Star Wars top. Yep. That’s our daughter.
Reasons for starting this blog. Are you ready for the cliché? Okay, here comes the cliché:
I’m starting a blog because I have things to say. Yep. That’s it. Okay, maybe you need a little more.
I have struggled with my weight for years. I’m a stereotypical girl who has grown up big in a society that pressures us to be as small as possible. I have grown up under the direct influence of women who have been yo-yo dieters, and to whom size is/was everything. I want to make it very clear now that I place no blame on these women. The onus lies on a society and fashion and beauty industries whose standards and income are reliant on female self-hatred. In any case, I grew up hating myself because even though I ate a relatively HEALTHY diet (funnily enough, fat girls sometimes eat the same as skinny girls and still turn out larger) I did not look like the women who are placed on pedestals as the epitome of beauty and femininity.
This lead to heartache and mental health issues. It led to starving, restricting, purging. It led to attempts on my life. All in the name of beauty… or rather, what I (and most others) perceived beauty to be.
The constant struggle I had growing up was in my supreme love for women. Not only was society trying to push us into boxes of how we looked, but of how we THOUGHT. This is something that has only dawned on me years later. It is not enough for them to want you to hate yourself: they want you to hate other women. They want it to be so thoroughly engrained in you that FAT is the enemy. That not FITTING IN is the enemy. That fucking BODY HAIR is the enemy. It’s not good enough if you try to fit into these moulds, you have to make other women feel that way too. Of COURSE you should be shaming the fat woman sat in McDonalds. Of COURSE you should be shaming the woman with leg hair at the pool. Of COURSE you should be shaming that girl at school who doesn’t pluck her “unruly” eyebrows. Being anything other than skinny, bodily hair free, made up (but not TOO made up) is a problem.
I never felt this way, and for this I felt there was something wrong with ME. I would look at fat women and think of them in the same ways I did anyone else. I would notice them if something struck me about them- “oh, I like her skirt!”, “oh, her lipstick is amazing!”, but when people I interacted with wanted to shame other girls on appearance- on weight, on hair colour, on style – I never really got it. I was desperately trying to lose weight, desperately trying to look just “normal”, when I had fat women in my life who were gorgeous. Who I wish I looked like. Who I wish I was. This was at war with my weightloss. The thoughts clashed in my head every single day, and it took me years upon years to realise that all of that, all of the thoughts that coloured my days, were a product of clever societal pressure mixed in with mental illness.
I have taken time to work on my MH issues. I will never be fully there as it is an ongoing battle. However, I now know that my MH issues do not spawn from the fact that I am fat. They are not mutually exclusive. I am mentally ill and fat. I have been mentally ill and skinny.
I am now at a place where I have been fat positive for about a year and a half. How did I discover this? The influence of fat women. I became engrossed with plus sized bloggers and their lives, how they could be so happy and gorgeous and stylish in an internet world that was going to tell them they weren’t. That paved the way for me. People have never been attractive IN SPITE OF their size to me, they’ve just been attractive. I questioned my motives for following these women. Was it because they were different? No. It’s because they looked like me. They weren’t “waiting for summer bodies” to put on bikinis. They weren’t standing at the back of photos because they were fat. They weren’t promoting weight loss products or “BEFORE” stories. They were whole people. They are whole people. I wanted to be whole too, and it suddenly dawned on me that that didn’t come from looking how society wanted me to, it came from being unapologetically me.
So, a year and a half later I am here. It’s been difficult. Fat positivity has led me to fight more demons that were inside of me than I knew were there. It forced me to open my eyes to what was going on around me, how many abnormal behaviours society promotes all in the journey of “beauty”. It came to dominate my feminism. I’m aware that in terms of fat activism I am at the lower end of the spectrum. I’m a UK 18-20 which means, if I’m lucky, I can walk into some straight-sized stores and find something. But, it’s still not been easy in world where a 12 is plus size representation. Now I’m confident, and ready to continue my journey in public.
Come and dive in with me.