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Plus-size Fashion, Privilege and The Scene With Alt Bloggers: Lilly Peppermint

 *Do not watch the video as marked by the asterisk, if you are triggered by issues such as weight,
eating, self harm, etc as it gives unrealistic expectations of diets (as
body-types are different it cannot guarantee you any particular bodily
change) and not so positive body imagery.

Bellow is the first interview with Lilly Peppermint of Clockwork Mice and Toy Spiders (here) in my series of Plus-size Fashion, Privilege and The Scene With Alt Bloggers. For
more information on this series or to see a list of all of all the bloggers that took part in this series please, by all means, click
(here).

Lilly, plus-size, fashion, Goth, blogger,
Used with permission by Lilly Peppermint

Q&A’s: 

Are there any online stores that you would suggest for
those that are plused-sized and/or alternative?

Frankly this is difficult to
answer as I don’t shop online for clothes for the very reason that my girls are
difficult to find clothing for that fits or is flattering in the right ways.
However a store that comes to mind is Black Milk, as they sell gorgeous
leggings that I am lusting after. Also, there are certain corset shapes that
particularly suit an hourglass waist, a beanpole figure or a curvy figure or any other shape and
corsets are pretty much adored by Goths of all genders. One just needs to find
the ‘ideal’ corset (if such a thing exists).

Could you give any tips for
gaining body-positivity, for accepting yourself or improving your mentality in
general?

Something that took almost
seventeen years to realise is that one simply cannot change the shape of their
skeleton, no matter how much dieting, purging, exercising or fasting. That
doesn’t mean that responsible eating and exercise aren’t healthy or encouraged,
but I definitely needed to be more honest with myself that I would never be a
size 10, as my skeleton just isn’t that shape.
Dressing clothes to fit your body
properly is also a good thing, rather than having to fit the clothes. What I
mean here is a well cut piece of luscious clothing such as a dress or shirt
made of a suitably lovely material can really make a difference about how you
feel, move and see yourself, nothing uncomfortably tight or pulling up in the
wrong places, and all of these really help to pep up your confidence, which is
of course a good thing. I don’t mean ‘women or men cannot wear x, y or z’ or
other BS reasons. Oh, and good clothing doesn’t have to be expensive, but
lately I’ve found that you really do get what you pay for quality-wise.

Do you think it’s hard or
intimidating being a plus-sized goth in what seems to be a subculture/s that
idolise models such as Razor Candy/etc that hold unreal expectations?

Razor Candi is gorgeous, like
most Alternative Models, but I don’t really know much of her outlook on life. I
tend to find that people’s attitude towards body shape, healthy eating and
nutrition affect me more than their physical size or appearance. A different
example would be Adora BatBrat. While I think she is very cute and I do like
her style, I don’t agree with her attitude to size, shape and what makes a
‘pretty girl’ and I do not believe that she has a healthy and balanced diet.
(For example this video.*)

Do you have any models,
artists, musicians you’d like to bring attention to? Preferaby in relationship
to body-positivity, plus sized fashion/modeling, inspiration etc.

What comes to mind is a quote
from Voltaire, from this video here.

“In the Goth scene, you could be a big girl, you could be buxom, you could be
curvy, you could be super, super thin. You know, that’s really not so much of
an issue. It’s not so much of an issue what body your parents gave you. It’s
more what you do with it and the aesthetics that you apply to yourself.”

Another writer who is
prolific in the scene would be Jillian Venters. She is also someone who does
not have a rail-thin physique and yet is always well dressed, confident and well
respected within the broader Goth community, both on the internet and in the
real world.

If you could give advice to
yourself as a younger alternative person on confidence and acceptance, what
would you say?

Please, remember that you
will grow into your body when you turn eighteen or earlier and to not feel
disheartened when you don’t meet up to the stereotypes of the Goth scene and
what is portrayed by women in general. Also, get yourself out of negative
situations as much as possible as these are unhealthy and destructive for your
mental and emotional wellbeing.

Do you
think the subculture needs to modify it’s outlook on plus-sized
models/musicians?

I think our society in
general needs to change their attitude now about how people are perceived.
Women are constantly bombarded with images, advertising and propaganda that
promote an unrealistic body image and the need to lose weight, not for health
necessarily but for beauty and sexiness. This has a deeper meaning that is to
do with objectifying women as secondary beings who exist only for the pleasure
and gratification of men, and need to conform to a single size in order to do
so. This could be taken further and whole essays could be written on the topic.

Of course, I don’t have a problem with being sexy or being a sexual being (I
would be a hypocrite if that were the case!), but I don’t believe that women or
men should equate sexiness with success.
The Goth scene seems to be one step ahead with this attitude. While sexiness
and sexuality are still considered to be desirable traits, for men and women,
we seem to have dropped the ‘Must be hot AND a size six’ ideology. At least,
that is from my own observations. It could very well be different in different
cities.

Is there
anything else you’d like to mention?

In my local scene there are
men and women of all shapes and sizes, (and ages!). I even know a lady who only
recently took time off events because she’s now 9 months pregnant. Most people
tend to focus on their own being and having fun with their friends than making
a scene and being a bitch to others. Those people do exist, and alcohol and
other factors can amplify the problem such as jealousy or aggression, or make
things worse, but certainly one is going to have a better time if they focus on
themselves and their significant friends rather than people who are
acquaintances at most.
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12 Comments

  1. July 13, 2013 / 10:17 am

    Loved reading this interview and glad to know that I am not alone in what I thought of the way Adora spoke in her video. Also glad to see mention of skeletal shape. Skeletal shape says a lot more about someones weight than a dress or jeans size ever will! Take me for example – I wear size 8/10 jeans and size 6/8 dresses, am of a borderline chubby weight and have love handles yet I know people who wear bigger pants/dresses who are skin and bones and have hips jutting out.
    Lilly actually isn't quite what I think when I think plus size [I assume her to be of a normal weight (she doesn't look any larger than me based on her photo to be honest) but naturally curvy] yet I have sadly noticed most alternative clothes are made for us lanky/willowy people in mind to the point of leaving out the curvier and/or larger women. However, I would not isolate the problem as exclusive to alternative brands… I have noticed many mainstream brands/designers tend to do this too. I used to be the fat kid for a while and found that most designer branded clothing would usually only go up to 12 or 14.

    • July 13, 2013 / 11:39 am

      She volunteered for the interview, but otherwise I'd agree. I wouldn't picture her plus-sized at all. I think it's mostly in the boob-age area. :3

    • July 13, 2013 / 2:09 pm

      Yes Sary would be right here. I'm not exactly 'plus-sized' except for le boobs, which are technically plus sized.

  2. July 14, 2013 / 11:40 am

    Yes, the Adora video is a little iffy in the way she expresses herself, it may just be a language difference problem, because she says she is not anorexic than says she likes to look it. I have read her montignac diet info because I was interested to know what it is and it is fairly similar to the low GI diet I was told to eat because of my family history of diabetes. Yes, it is healthy and you will lose weight with exercise, but unless you are naturally about 6 foot 5 or whatever height she seems to be, you won't look like that.

    I also agree that it is true, size issues are in every culture, especially pop culture, celebrities who lose weight immediately after babies are my pet peeve. Um, everyone knows you can get a tummy tuck along with a casarean, not that that is a healthy or good thing to do! 🙁

    A lot of my friends are what might be called plus size and let me tell you they look a damn sight better in corsets than me! I am so flat on top I only get the bottom half of an hourglass shape and the corset sits kind of wonky. Sigh. but I am ok with myself too. I think girls of all sizes look gorgeous in Gothic clothing!

  3. July 14, 2013 / 7:26 pm

    What a great post! I have been "normal sized" all my life and just the latest years gained lots of weight. I have to get even with how I look now, sigh….
    I totally agree that you can't hung up on the size of the clothes, there are big skinny girls and there are tiny fat ones, it's depends on their bone structure. And speaking of Adora, I know that she has a slim bonestructure, her mother is also very naturally slim.

  4. July 14, 2013 / 11:46 pm

    Sadly, Black Milk does not do plus size. There is a huge sadness in the fat scene, because Black Milk can't be bothered to make things for bigger girls. Woe is us!

    Also,
    I'd be glad to help with this plus-size series if you like?

  5. July 15, 2013 / 3:39 am

    Yesyesyes! That'd be awesome! Maybe drop me an email so I can get your email and send you the questions, or leave your email here. :3

  6. July 15, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    Positivity for all body shapes – thumbs up, Sary and Lilly, and everyone else wanting to be involved. I'm really looking forward to seeing some more of this!

    (boring bit: I've been getting myself down with all kinds of FF and thinspo silliness and seeing some inspiring goths-of-proper-sizes will be a great antidote)

  7. July 17, 2013 / 1:25 pm

    I like this :3 Body positivity is a good thing, because no matter what size or shape you are, you can still look wonderful 🙂 I'm actually on the other side of the spectrum and am often considered skinny XD However due to the ideals about what women apparently should look like, according to the media, even I have felt like I was 'fat'.

  8. July 26, 2013 / 5:23 am

    Are yes, I too am cursed with a skeleton that doesn't allow me to be slender.

    Also Adora is the exact same height as me, 180cm ^_^

  9. July 26, 2013 / 9:27 pm

    What you say about skeleton size is completely true. I did a human osteology course in the the spring and the difference in robustness and length of bones in the collection was astounding (especially considering that most were from the 19th century when people were generally somewhat shorter in stature and less well nourished). The difference was obviously most marked between men and women, but within the sexes there was still a wide range.

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