This past week has been full of buzz surrounding a few different things happening in the world of plus-size fashion. Earlier this week, myself and seven other amazingly beautiful bloggers (GorgeousinGrey, KellyAugustine, MargiePlus, EverythingCurvyandChic, Liz Black, Sandee Joseph and Megan Murphy) featured in a national Denim Lookbook for Fashion To Figure. Denim is undoubtedly the bane of a plus-size girl’s existence and so Fashion To Figure’s decision to show how real girls wear their denim (for under $40!) was a no-brainer. Obvi, I’m honored to have been part of it. I even had my little quote in a piece about it on Huffington Post and featured on Refinery29. Win!
I had so much fun shooting the lookbook with FTF but after the shoot I couldn’t help but wonder how people would feel about seeing ME as part of the campaign. I know what you’re thinking. As a blogger who has adamantly stood up and voiced my opinions on body image issues and plus size power in the past (like HERE), it seems almost comical that I would feel self-conscious about being featured in a campaign like this, right? But the feelings are real. Here’s why. I’m going to let you in on a secret. You ready?
I’m on the cusp.
There, I said it. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am NOT just plus sized and I am NOT just straight-sized either. I am in that awkwardly annoying state of being somewhere between size 12/14 and occasionally 16 which affords me the luxury of wearing straight sized clothing sometimes and plus size clothing all the time. The cat is out of the bag. I can wear both ASOS regular and ASOS Curve. I can shop at Zara (sparingly) and Lane Bryant. And though it may seem insignificant and unworthy of a blog post, I felt the need to point this out because it puts me in a very uncomfortable predicament as a blogger. For the sake of NOT being one of those whiny blogs about “why am I not like everyone else? blah blah blah” I’ve chosen instead to highlight that my personal feelings about being on the cusp have less to do with how I feel when I walk out of the door and more about how I am judged in the wonderful community of digital influence called Style Blogging.
One big headline to surface in the fashion community this week was the #BoycottingTarget campaign spearheaded by fellow fashion blogger Chasity Garner of GarnerStyle.
Chasity eloquently pointed out in her post that she was fed up with Target for not including stylish plus size options in-store, including the upcoming Altuzarra for Target campaign which will sadly only be available up to size 16. Aside from having an incredible sense of style, I admire Chasity for her honesty and her bravery with speaking her mind on all things style as a curvy girl. While I wanted to jump on the bandwagon with her, I suddenly realized I didn’t have a damn thing to say. Why? Because the collection does come in my size. Therein lies my quandary. I could weigh in and support wholeheartedly. But even opening my mouth puts me at risk of being outed as someone who doesn’t really belong in the movement at all. Should I care about what people would think? Probably not. But I do.
Psychologically, people have a tendency toward putting others in categories. We do it to actors, our favorite music artists, and readers undoubtedly do it to bloggers all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been quoted as a “natural hair blogger”, a “plus-sized blogger”, a “beauty blogger” or a “fashion blogger” when in fact I am not one of these solely. I blog about whatever the hell I want. Yes, they often fall under the aforementioned categories but I honestly don’t think one category defines all that I do here on LoveBrownSugar.com. Still, I nod and agree with a smile when introduced as an “insert category here” blogger because I know that’s what makes people feel comfortable. What makes people most comfortable is when someone is definitively one thing. Hence, there’s something unsettling about being on the cusp because it’s almost as if I don’t really deserve to be part of these conversations, let alone the one starting them.
Just like any other plus-size fashionista, when I walk into the straight sized department of a store, I get those “Girl what you doing here?” stares. Or, even better, the good ole “We only had a few size XL’s and they’re all sold out” line. But even more annoying is when I get the same “Girl bye” stares walking into a plus-size store. I can’t win.
Anyway, this post isn’t meant to start up any large-scale movement or to “demand change” in any way, but I’ve always wondered if there were other girls out there who are in that awkward space between plus size and straight, who feel the way I feel. Just random ramblings of a girl on the cusp.
Hit me in the comments section with your opinions. Are you on the cusp? Come forth and let your voice be heard. Please be nice – no snatching wigs allowed.