Plus-size Fashion, Privilege and The Scene With Alt Bloggers: Mary Rose

Welcome the renowned, or at least I think so, Mary Rose of The Everyday Goth (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).

Used with permission from Mary Rose

Q&A’s:

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

Unfortunately, while many Goth stores are starting to wise up to their
larger consumer base, they tend to be sticking to the XL sizes and not
any larger than that, so you’re going to have to think outside of the
box. My preferred style is influenced by Gothic Lolita (+cleavage, if
that can be believed) so stores like FanPlusFriend, Bodyline, and
Chicstar top my list, but I also have a growing interest in pin-up
styles and I’ve heard great things about Bettie Page Clothing.

But! It’s important not to forget the fact that mainstream stores often
have much cheaper plus-sized clothing in a wider selection. I do a lot
of thrifting, which is helpful, and many of the brands that I find
thrifted which have fit me in the past include Torrid, Forever21 Plus,
Target, Lane Bryant, the Dress Barn, Simply Be, and eShatki. If you’re
willing to wait for a sale, Modcloth also has some pretty great deals.

While items bought at these stores might not necessarily be the most
Goth, a little DIY goes a long way into making them more unique and more
spooky (bonus: modified plus-sized clothing items tend to look better
than too-small pre-Gothed ones.)

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

My advice would be to surround yourself with body-positive people.
Unfollow, delete, ignore, cut off all ties with people who put you or
other people of your size down. Instead, find role models and friends of
all sizes and shapes that are supportive of a body-positive identity
and culture. Find plus-sized people who do what you want to do (career
wise, fashion wise, life wise) so that you aren’t constantly unfavorably
 comparing yourself to skinnier people.

No matter how determined you are to love yourself, when people are
constantly tearing you down it’s becomes not only an uphill battle but
an uphill battle where people are throwing rocks at you from on-high.
But also, and this is important, don’t fall into the trap of putting
down skinny people to make yourself feel better. All bodies are valid,
all bodies are good bodies.

3. 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?
 

I think it can be intimidating but luckily I think the subculture is on
the path to acceptance of plus-sized Goths, which I attribute (like so
many other things) to a growing online Goth presence. In the blogging
spheres more plus-sized Goths have a kind of visibility in a way that
they did not have before. Instead of judgmental and potentially
fatphobic photographers who work for goth zines and such, any plus-sized
Goth can post a picture of themselves and get recognized for how
handsome or beautiful or striking they are.

I don’t think it’s right to demonize thin Goth models for holding unreal
expectations, because this isn’t just a problem with thin people. We
belong to a society that demonizes fat people and goes beyond excluding
them from fashion industries and has been consistently providing
substandard medical care for fat people (i.e. explaining away a symptom
of a potentially fatal problem by saying that it’s probably just caused
by being fat.) So, it’s a problem larger than just only seeing skinny
models in photos. But, unless someone’s going to start barricading the
streets, all we can do right now is showcase fat Goths as the wonderful
people we are, alongside our skinny fellow Goths.

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

The first thing that comes to mind is that post that went around Tumblr
for a while asking how any Goths could be fatphobic when our
patron-saint is a fat man in a moo-moo, accompanied by a picture of
Robert Smith. Snerk.

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

I’d say to her that she doesn’t owe anybody anything, especially in
regards to outward appearance. That took me a long time to accept in my
younger years and I think I would have been a much happier pre-teen if I
acknowledged that I was a pretty cool kid, fat and all, and that I
didn’t have to try to be “better” (i.e. skinnier) for anyone.

ALSO, and this is important if a little risque, that there are plenty of
people who are attracted to fat people (in a non-creepy fetishistic
way, I mean. Down with “fat girls need love too” slogans) so she can
stop freaking out about whether someone would ever find her attractive
enough to date. Because that’s just silly.

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

The attention that my post on Fatphobia in Goth garnered and the almost
completely positive response that I’ve been given for it tells me that
Goths on a basic level are more than ready to acknowledge plus-sized
models and musicians and role models.

What I think the subculture needs is to stop with casual fatphobia,
which I see more often than out-right intolerance. Phrases like the
aforementioned “fat girls need love too” which portray fat girls as
desperate objects of sexual fetishism need to stop (because, frankly,
I’m kind of sick of that kind of grossness as a Goth and as a fat girl.)

Of course, there are some people in the subculture whose opinions have
yet to change, but they are in the minority and can piss off, as far as
I’m concerned.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

This first one goes out to my alternative and Goth fashion designers in the audience, a quote from Tim Gunn: 

“Have you seen most of the plus-size sections out there? It’s
horrifying. Whoever’s designing for plus-size doesn’t get it. The entire
garment needs to be re-conceived. You can’t just take a size 8 and make
it larger.” 

Amen. (But that also doesn’t mean you get to charge us twice as much as you do for straight sizes.) 

Overall, though, I’m happy we as a subculture are making a move towards a
body positive attitude for all people. It really is high time we earned
the “goths are really accepting people” stereotype that we’ve been
touting for so long and yet not quite living up to.

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1 Comment

  1. July 26, 2013 / 8:09 pm

    I think it's such a good think to make people more aware of body positivity and that being 'fat' can also be beautiful :3 Every body is different ^^

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