A few thoughts on plus-sized blogging

I read a lot of blogs.  Plus sized (I used the recent Navabi blogger competition as a subscription list), 40+ and then whatever others I find from blog hops and pinterest.  It’s interesting to see the difference in the styles and content of these blogs.  What has been striking me lately, however, is the variety of styles represented in the straight sized blogs and the LACK of variety in the plus-sized blogs.

There appear to be three types of plus-sized bloggers.  The first are young and a little wild.  They wear short skirts, odd colors, combinations that are just out there (often for the purpose of being out there), and have the guts to post them on the internet saying “look at me; I’m fat, and I dress however I want.”  Good for them.  While I will never be one of them, I respect their forthright approach and confidence.  I don’t get many outfit ideas from them, however.

The second type wear a lot of tight pencil skirts, tucked in tops and heels, would never be caught on camera in a pair of sneakers or yoga pants, only wear highly stylized jeans [also with stilettos] and basically appear to be trying to wear the plus equivalent of what’s in the magazines.  This style is tight, with belts (often in odd places such as just under the bust), sexed up (think cleavage, overemphasized chests, and extreme pencil skirts) and involves painful looking shoes.  This is also not a style for real life; in my life it’s barely a style for a couple times a year, and even at that it’s not one I prefer.  While a lot of these bloggers prove that this look can work on a plus sized figure, most of these outfits can’t be worn to work due to their tight, oversexualized profile.

The third type are the inbetweenies; the size 12-18 who can still shop at most straight size stores but who are told by the media that they are too fat for it.  This group shares a lot of style ideas with the second type and there is only one that I can think of that has ever been seen in sneakers.  Even when I get ideas from this group, I often can’t reproduce them, either because the clothing just isn’t available in a 22 or larger or because the profile requires a figure that fits the standard shape, even if it’s on the larger end of the normal spectrum [flatish stomach or made flat through shapeware, and hourglassish figure, proportions such that the pencil skirt appears noticably longer than it is wide, high cheekbones and no double chins, etc].  Again, most of the outfits fall into a very specific style realm, with a few going the slightly costume-y 50’s look that is so popular right now.  This is also the group that contains the most successful bloggers at monetizing their blogs.  This group  tends to chase the trends (often because they are getting the clothing for free from the companies, which is another discussion entirely*.)  Most of these bloggers also have photographers they work with, so their pictures always look perfect even if their looks tend to be of a type.

None of these types match my style, which is why I started this blog in the first place.  I look to skinny girls all the time for inspiration (as anyone who follows me on pinterest well knows).  But that is partially because the outfits that I want to be wearing and the styles that appeal to me are not represented in plus sized blogging, and often not in plus sized clothing at all.

When I read straight sized blogs, specifically many of the 40+ blogs, I see a lot more variety to the styles shown; you get fewer formulas (although those certainly exists), and you even get the occasional “what I wore to run errands” posts.  I crave that variety of looks and styles.

Honestly this is why I posted that picture from the dressing room earlier this week.  I know it’s not flattering.  What it WAS was real.  Really me, really wearing those trends, and really having them not work.  No stylist, no photographer, no layers of shapewear that would kill you to wear to work.  Just a normal fat chick wearing stuff that doesn’t especially work for her in between posts showing outfits that work.  Hopefully that will help someone else figure out what will work for them, or give them ideas that are completely different from the dominant meme’s in plus blogging these days.  But if nothing else, I hope I am adding some variety to the plus-sized blogosphere.

[Note: I didn’t link to any of the plus blogger types or include pictures here on purpose; I’m not picking on anyone and don’t want to offend.  The fact is that the plus blogosphere doesn’t represent me, but I respect ANY woman of ANY size or age who is willing to take a picture of herself and put it out there for all to see; it’s an act of empowerment, but also an act of courage to put yourself out there.]

2 comments

  1. Paige McNeal says:

    Very well stated. I think your blog is a breath of fresh air.

  2. Trisha Sander says:

    New(ish) reader here–howdy!

    “When I read straight sized blogs, specifically many of the 40+ blogs, I
    see a lot more variety to the styles shown; you get fewer formulas
    (although those certainly exists), and you even get the occasional “what
    I wore to run errands” posts. I crave that variety of looks and
    styles.”

    This is why I read the 40+ blogs, too. As someone who has just become interested in fashion, and being 40+ myself (and an “in-betweener”) I want to see what other REAL women are wearing, not the professional models in magazines and catalogs. Good post; thanks for sharing!