Fat Fashion and Positive Body Image – Setting the record straight

Fat Fashion and Positive Body Image – Setting the record straight
Carly Jacobs

Recently I’ve been receiving hundreds of hits from posts about body pride and plus sized fashion. I think I have been referred to as ‘curvy’ at least ten times in the past week. I’m not a tiny girl and I’m not in denial so I don’t find this offensive in any way. I’m happy for curvy ladies to find inspiration in me. To be honest though I have never really seen myself as much of an ambassador for plus sized women. I’m constantly on a diet, I haven’t eaten bread since 1999 and I work out religiously. You see, dear readers, my positive body image comes from physical actions not mental negotiation. I haven’t ‘decided’ to accept my body the way it is. I’m naturally a fatty boomsticks. I used to be quite…erm… festively plump. Like the Marshmallow Man or John Goodman. I was in my late teens when I accepted my sad digestive fate – I strongly suspect I was born with out a metabolism which means I have to work damn hard to look like a girl who enjoys a good feed. It’s just something that I have to live with. I have the proverbial size zero friends who live off cheese and wine and never gain a kilo but I’m just not built that way. 

 I do want to thank all the ladies that have been linking to me in their body pride posts and threads. You can’t fake good self esteem and I feel like I’m heading in a good direction personally if people are noticing it through my blog. I just really want to stress to my readers that I wasn’t born thinking I was hot shit. The reason why I have a positive self image is because I work at it. I eat well ninety five percent of the time, drink litres of water and I make sure I’m physically active every day. Believe me, I would love to eat pies for lunch and head home to a glass of red wine instead of going to the gym every afternoon but these are the sacrifices that I make so I can feel better about myself. I feel that people may have falsely labeled me as a girl who likes her wine and chocolate and proudly shakes her size twelve booty. I do proudly shake my size twelve booty – because I’ve worked damn hard to get it to that size. No amount of self encouragement will make you feel good about yourself if you continuously trash your body. Regardless of whether you are a size zero or a size twenty. I don’t stand in front of the mirror every day chanting positive affirmations and trying to love my cellulite. I get up and go for a run and eat a massive salad. Then I praise myself later because my cellulite is looking better.

Stay tuned for part two…

Love Lady Smaggle



  1. Showa59 13 years ago

    Really? People see you as curvy? Well to each their own when it comes to classifying. I read your blog casue it inspires me to be healthy, active, and creative!

    And I think most of the really popular bloggers are really skinny, so people are happy to see someone of a more normal size. In my humble opinion I think you are too thin to represent “curvy,” but then that gets into how we are going to define it.

    YAY for positive body image!

  2. Nadist 13 years ago

    Sweetie, I think you are gorgeous. I’ve never met you, so if I’m wrong, you’re bloody photogenic! And I think you are entirely normal-sized – I have never considered you bigger than average. And you have Truly Phenomenal Style. Absolutely inspiring. And I love how you exercise plenty and eat healthy, because I do too (dairy-free and a ton of dance classes etc). It’s just real life, to me.

    Love your work!

  3. Jen 13 years ago

    I love reading your blog – first time commenter though. I think its a really great post and get you thinking about body image and how you can improve your own. Its one thing to think you are fat and eat mc D’s being depressed about it all day and its another to get up and do something about it!! Go You 🙂

  4. Shannon 13 years ago

    I wouldn’t have classed you as curvy (in the ‘big’ sense of the word), just normal. Isn’t it funny that some people consider size 12 to be ‘big’?

    Great post though – I think a lot of people think ‘I’m size morbidly obese, but I’m too lazy to do anything, so I’ll just love myself the way I am’. Loving yourself is great, but not when it causes health problems. Like you, I have to eat healthy and exercise regularly to stay the shape I am, I have earned the love!

  5. Nicole 13 years ago

    Well I think you’re gorgeous, and that you’d be gorgeous no matter what size you are! And not nearly as strong-willed, I adore carbs. But I also walk a ton (I mean, to and from and around my campus, plus walking backwards around it when I give tours, and walking up and down four flights of stairs). Tomorrow I start going to the gym… at 6 AM. Not looking forward to it, honestly, but you’ve inspired me to at least make my lazy ass get out of bed in the morning and try!

  6. Scribbles 13 years ago

    Amen to all of the above, Lady Smaggles. As a toweringly tall woman with hips so wide that my gyno actually said “Any babies you have will just slide right out”, I’m resigned to never being a Size 10 (I may as well try and become 5 foot again)… but it doesn’t even mean I think that I’m shit-hot right now 🙂 I like to consider myself a work in progress 😀

  7. Claire 13 years ago

    Well said, Lady Smaggle.
    And for the record – I would’ve thought of you as ‘average’.

  8. niceandshiny 13 years ago

    Yeah, I’ve never though of you as curvy or anything, you look amazing! I can tell you can work out, I’m also one of those girls who works for what they got!
    Thanks for this post, it was really well written, entertaining, and just plain nice!
    Peace sista! <3

  9. princessnaea 13 years ago

    Mmm. As a closet ascetic trapped in a hedonist’s body, I have real problems with the idea that not taking care of your body can be waved away with the mantra of ‘good self image’. It’s a philosophy that leads to the erosion of all standards. The same thing could be applied to bad fashion. Or bad thinking. Or bad manners.

  10. Lady Smaggle 13 years ago

    SHOWA59 – Aw that’s sweet. It’s totally true though. I think I’m just a ‘non-skinny blogger’ which is kind of hard to put into flattering terms.

    Nadist – Oh thank you! It’s funny that you say that because I am actually really photogenic. I look way more average in real life. And it’s totally the life of a dancer. I think you learn really good habits through dancing.

    Jen – I totally agree. I think body is much more physical than mental.

    Shannon – It’s funny how ‘curvy’ is viewed as ‘I don’t want to say fat’. I think it’s unhealthy to accept ones body the way it is if it puts you medical danger.

    Nicole – Seriously if you can do it morning exercise will change your life. Mr Smaggle and I went for a long bike ride this morning and it was awesome.

    Scribbles – Oh we tall girls have it the WORST… At least child birth will be breeze!

    Claire – Thank you! Me too!

    Nice and Shiny – I can totally tell with you too! It’s all in the calves my friend…

    Na – You’re a closet ascetic? You do a bloody good job of hiding it. 🙂 Are you talking deprivation for peace of mind? Like buddhism and breatharians? That’s a little different to body image. My guess is when you reach that stage of inner bliss you wouldn’t have ANY body image. You wouldn’t be of your body anymore. Am I totally missing the point of what you’re are trying to say? My point is that the mantra of ‘good self image’ can’t wave anything away. You actually need to do something physical to alter your own perception of your body. Lets discuss this over wine shall we??? 🙂

  11. Gervy 13 years ago

    I don’t see you as curvy either – more as “normal”, if there is such a thing (would never have guessed about your secret marshmallowy past!) But I definitely see you has having positive self-image and promoting it in other women.

    I’ve only discovered the path to body confidence via exercise/healthy eating relatively recently, but I agree with you totally that feeling good about yourself has to come from what you do rather than just from “positive thinking” – what a crock.

    Looking forward to part 2. In the meantime, keep up the good work.

  12. Josephine 13 years ago

    Lady, that was beautiful xox

  13. x Miss Corrine x 13 years ago

    Lady Smaggle, you make my insides smile – you are AWESOME.

  14. Sal 13 years ago

    Right on. Although I think some of the positive mental reinforcement can be key, depending on how you’re wired, there is no better way to kick body-image-related issues out the door than to TAKE ACTION. I’m just like you – have to struggle every day and eat very little to keep myself from becoming the size of an elephant. And the work I do feels good, and I feel good because I look good.

    Preach the word, Lady. I’m right there in the pulpit witcha.

  15. Justme 13 years ago

    I find this post so fantastically inspiring, as someone who struggles most days with the way I feel about my body it is really nice to hear others have similar issues and who also deal with them in ways other then the “I am just not going to eat” method. I find it really hard that as an educated, independent and mostly happy 23 year old that I live in a society where as a short size 8-10 I can still feel really yuck about the way I look. I think this really hit a nerve because I am having a “fat” week, I will blame the canberra winter. Love your work Lady, keep it coming

  16. Emily 13 years ago

    I love this entry, it sums up perfectly what good body image is — LOOKING AFTER YOUR BODY!!!! It isn’t about size, it is about health — Thanks for the inspiring words, they are the best I have heard in a long time!!

  17. KD 13 years ago

    Well said! And you are gorgeous.

  18. hailey 13 years ago

    I get clarified in that category too. I 100% agree about the working out and eating healthy. I have had to devote myself to being healthy and active or would be 40+ pounds more again. That is where my confidence comes from, I have to work for it.

  19. Rebekah Westrum 13 years ago

    Most fashion bloggers all look the same to me; skinny, straight-haired aspiring models who dress just like every other aspiring model.

    You’re something special; eclectic, funky, brave. This blog doesn’t teach me ANYTHING about blending in or trying to be someone else, and that’s why I love it.

    • Rebekah 11 years ago

      Damn, why did I use my full name?

      I'm trying to google-proof my full name… would you mind editing out the last name of this long-time fan?

      Thank you. =)

  20. Ivy 13 years ago

    People see you as curvy? Wtf? lol. Now I’M curvy. And quite proud of it, too. Size 18, baby. But seriously, who the hell are these people linking to you for body image articles?? I’m like, shaking my head in disbelief.. I dont get it o_O

  21. Moxie 13 years ago

    Lady Smaggle,

    Your blog is an inspiration to those of us who are on the curvy/average side because you embrace and show off your curves. Most style bloggers are teeny little things, and while that’s fine and dandy, the average woman is larger/taller and it can be really hard to relate or interpret the styles for themselves without looking like a frosted cupcake or a walking fashion disaster. You on the other hand, just rock everything you wear, look absolutely beautiful, and show that you don’t have to be a size 0 to be fabulous.

    Much love and thanks to you, Lady!

  22. MizzJ 13 years ago

    For an avenue that’s supposed to be more “real” than the print style publications, I’d have to agree with everyone else who gripes that most fashion bloggers are sticks. Also, a lot of them over time become inflated with their own sense of self-importance. It’s refreshing to see someone who’s real!


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