Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My interview for the Colorado Daily!

I was interviewed by Katie Lindberg of the Colorado Daily for an article that she currently putting together about the "Fat Girl Fashion Revolution"...She also wanted to possibly interview one of my followers/readers, so if you are interested, please comment or email me at frugalistafatshionista(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Have you been chubby all your life?  Since I can remember...when I was 5, I had surgery and after that my appetite went from non-existant to beyond healthy ;)

If so, how was life growing up? Were you made fun of, did you have all skinny friends? How did you feel among your friends?  I did always have skinny friends, very rarely I hung out with someone by size or larger. I wasn't ever made fun of though...I was one of the lucky chubs that never got bullied, etc, and I still don't know exactly why. As far as how I felt, throughout middle school I always felt very "ugly duckling", just cuz everyone had already had a boyfriend, had their first kiss, etc. but it didn't stop me from actively pursuing boys LOL

How was high school for you? 9th grade was not memorable, to be honest, except for my first kiss. In hindsight, I realize that my first kiss (while I weighed 200 pounds at 5'4'' at and the age of 14) was the catalyst for my then-blossoming attitude of "I'm fat, but I'm sexy as hell, and I can have any man I want"...Kinda sad that it took a mans (boys?) approval for me to start feeling it too, but hey! Fake it til you make it, right? That was all I needed to get me going.

Is there anything in your life that has stuck out as telling you, as the
chubby girl, that you were “against the norms of society”?
Well, I guess the being the last of my friends to be kissed was all that I paid attention to then (duh! I was a boy crazy 12 year old!) but for example, I went to a school that was big on dancing, and I was always paired with the tallest, largest boy because he was the only one that could easily pick me up, so things like that (unspoken but still obvious things) were the "stigma" I experienced, since my weight was never outwardly mentioned as being a problem, etc. I was one of the best dancers there, so if I could move like that weighing what I did, who were they to tell me anything? Now, if that boy hadn't been there for me to partner with, I might have had a different experience. Otherwise, I was just as into fashion, make-up, and boys as my friends, so I never really felt "against the norm"...I was just a very frustrated late bloomer.

When did you first start accepting your body? Was there a reason, a specific event? *see above* lol Seriously though, my body acceptance has come in stages, and again I hate to say it, but perhaps because I was so insecure about specific things in my body, I started to accept myself in stages with every compliment from a boy I got. I live in Miami, and while it's the "South", in this city, it is NOT desirable to have meat on your bones, so hearing that was sexy, hot, beautiful, etc really made me FEEL it.
When did you first get interested in fashion and why? I've always loved to shop, though I never really was very stylish.  I went to private school my whole life and had uniforms till I was 18, so college really was where I started caring about what I wore. In the past three years, I became a freelance photographer, and my "research" is what got me interested in fashion in general. Only in the past few months have I become passionate about translating that love of fashion into a plus size wardrobe that I can feel good in. It's cheesy, but dressing well really does boost your self-esteem.
What stores/places did you first shop at that you felt were actually starting to accept the big girl population? Torrid and Old Navy have always been my favorite places to shop. starting back when Torrid was basically "Hot Topic Plus" and they sold only Tripp pants and corsets; now you'd be hard-pressed to find a corset there! LOL In college I was very into dressing punk, and Torrid had the abundance of plaid and fishnets I needed to feel whole. I also loved Old Navy for their jeans and basics, so for many years my wardrobe consisted entirely of a combination of those two stores, mostly because I was satisfied with what they offered, but also because I didn't know of any other options.
What kinds of things in the media and popular culture have you found as
inspiration that us big girls are finally starting to become accepted?
How do they make you feel?   To be honest, I don't know if we are becoming accepted...A spread here and
an issue there...it's a start, but it almost feels like affirmative
action, you know? Like, plus/real size models are an afterthought or a
trend...it's great to have that extra attention on plus-sized models,
but I won't feel like we've been accepted until we can see plus size
and straight size models in the same spread without a magazine
mentioning "see?! there's big girls here too!" Once models are models,
regardless of size, and there's a seamless integration, I'll feel like
we're getting somewhere.

Why did you start blogging? When did you start? I've had a blog since I was 15, and I've had about 18 since. I'm always blogging, always writing, so yet another blog didn't seem like such a stretch. I started blogging in general mostly for use as a diary, but it's so great to have an outlet that others can see and respond to, so a discussion and learning can ensue.

Did you have the topic of frugal fat girl shopping and fashion in mind when you first started? Well, like I said, I have a lot of blogs, right now I actually have a personal blog, a 365-photo-project blog, a movie review blog, and a blog featuring my photography work in addition to The Frugalista Fatshionista, but literally the minute I posted my first fashion related entry on my personal blog, I said "What am I doing? I have so much more to say about this!" So I started my fashion blog right that moment.
How many followers do you have on your site? Hard to say, really. 12 "followers" on google, but I know I'm on other bloggers blog rolls as well...on Tumblr I have another 38 followers, 76 on Facebook...but the more the merrier!

What kinds of things do you follow about fat girl fashion? Why do you follow them? I follow blogs like F*ck Yeah Chubby Fashion, Young Fat and Fabulous, Fat Shopaholic, etc so I can get inspiration for outfits and also hear from other fatshionistas about their shopping experiences, and to see how clothes I might be coveting looks on REAL bodies, not models. I also follow some straight size fashion blogs, like The Clothes Horse and Kendi Everyday, to draw outfit inspiration as well.
What do you think is coming in the future for us fat girl fashionistas? Do
you think the trend of acceptance is going to push ahead, or will the
skinny still remain the norm? I
hope the trend pushes ahead, and becomes a movement rather than a
trend! The thing is, it's up to us. Fashion is a business before
anything else. I always tell people that if you can shop in a straight
size store or department, good for you, it's your prerogative to do
so...but if you want more plus size options, DO NOT give your money to
a store or a department of a store that does not cater to you. If more
than half of US women are size 14 and up, that's a LOT of shopping
money, ladies! If we use that money to support plus size designers and
stores, the others will listen up and realize they can't afford to NOT
make plus size clothes. Most design schools don't even TEACH the
nuances of plus size design because it is NOT A PROFITABLE MARKET. That
makes no sense, seeing as so many plus size women are out there, and we
need clothes too. The power is in our hands. If we demand, they must
supply, for their own benefit. MAKE YOUR MONEY DO YOUR TALKING! This is
a great article that further explains my point: http://www.cleveland.com/style/index.ssf/2010/08/size_14_is_average_american_wo.html

(Sorry about the formatting, that was my fault...but I'm very excited for Katie to complete and publish her article!)

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