“A woman wins by giving herself and other women permission – to eat; to be sexual; to age… A woman wins when she feels that what each woman does with her own body – unforced, uncoerced – is her own business.” – Naomi Wolf
Why begin Modish Maracas?
Firstly, I fell in love with the plus size blogger community and body acceptance movement and wanted in. Secondly, I felt that I could contribute to it - to influence my little piece of the world and hopefully be a point of connection for plus size readers from Adelaide, Australia.
This is my explanation post, the one to describe the ideology behind my blog and why I believe the way I do.
It began with a passion for fashion, beauty and writing (and music, hence the “maracas” part of the name), and I wanted a little piece of the Internet to be able to express that freely. I never set out with the intention of making money from my blog, or publicizing it. I just wanted to “put myself out there”. I never set out with the intention of having a niche plus size blog, either. To be honest, I had an idea for a blog post about Doc Marten shoes, and it grew from there.
As the posts have come together, it’s naturally gravitated toward a plus size focus, as though my entire life and who I am has led me to this, like it’s been sitting dormant and now is bursting to get out. Initially I struggled to come up with ideas for posts. Now, it’s pouring out of me. I didn’t realize I’d have so much to say on the matter.
I probably need to begin by saying that I have always been fat. I have never been slim. The smallest I’ve been in my adult life is a size 14-16. The biggest I’ve been is 24. Currently I’m an 18 (Australian sizing). I’m not going to go into the psychology and health history of why I'm a big girl. That’s no one’s business but mine. What I am going to go into is what life has been like for me, how it has changed over the years, and what my blog has to do with that.
There have been times when I’ve really struggled with the idea of writing a blog about me, full of photos of me. Me, me, me. Was I being narcissistic in doing this? This question no longer plagues me because this blog, and reading other plus size blogs, has taught me how to value myself, which is a major deal after 27 years of shame and guilt. As Naomi Wolf puts it, “A woman-loving definition of beauty supplants…narcissism with self-love.” This blog is not about bragging about how good I am. This blog is about me learning to love and accept myself.
If you are reading this and thinking, “You shouldn’t accept the way you are! You need to lose weight! It’s not healthy!” then let me answer you by saying this: No one really has the right to comments about MY health. I try to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly (but you'll only find real butter in my fridge). If someone were to follow me around and watch what I eat during the day, I would not be ashamed of what I put in my mouth. If there is any area of excess in my life - it's with alcohol, not food! I love wine. There are times when I make unhealthy decisions. I'm not ashamed of that either; it's a part of life and I don't waste time feeling ashamed of it. My goal is to be healthy, not chase after a number on the scales or the fantasy of being thin. Secondly, I have a mirror. I know I am fat and I have doctors to tell me about my health. I don’t need anyones diagnosis based on my appearance. Does being fat mean that I shouldn’t love myself or enjoy my body? If people are so worried about my health, they should remember that it’s easier for me to lose weight when I’m positive and happy than when I’m depressed and ashamed. Just because I am not a size 10, doesn’t mean I have any less of a life to live. Beth Ditto said,“I have no control over what people think of me but I have 100% control of what I think of myself”. This blog is about changing how I think of myself.
Retraining your mind is tiring. Years of my mother telling me to “suck in” when a photo was being taken, overhearing my father tell a family friend he was surprised I got the job because of my weight, having my brother announce to my year 4 class that I had joined Weight Watchers (and incessantly calling me “fatty boombah” - sigh), looking at another accessories stand while my friends shopped for clothes in regular shops, suffering verbal abuse from drunk strangers on Hindley Street…that stuff doesn’t just “go away”. It shapes who you are and what you think of yourself. But the worst voice of all has been my own. All my life, because of my weight, I have truly believed myself to be inferior to anyone slimmer than me.What a load of shit! As an adult, I consider it to be my responsibility to fix it. This blog is a part of that process.
What I really want for myself is to look in the mirror and accept what I see wholeheartedly NOW. Not later, when that roll of fat on my arm is gone, or when I reach that dream goal weight. Just for today, I’d like to look in the mirror and not see all the baggage I have carried around in my heart upon viewing my reflection.
Naomi Wolf wrote in The Beauty Myth, “The woman wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.” That’s what this blog is doing; I am challenging the world to truly see me!
Thanks for reading x