There is a new wave of style bloggers making an effort to prove that fat can also be fashionable. 'Fatshonista', 'fatosphere' and 'fatastic' are just a few of the words used to describe the increasingly popular online movement that celebrates fashion for the larger woman. Or 'fatshion', as they prefer to call it.
Helping to take the negative connotations out of the word 'fat' are women like Lesley Kinzel, a 35-year-old author who wears a US size 26 (UK size 30). Her blog, Two Whole Cakes, is soon to be turned into a book, and aims to empower plus-size women.
Ms Kinzel shares her style advice advice on the site, along with authors of similar blogs titled Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too, Curves to Kill and Thicker Than your Average Girl, which all impart the same mantra: We're fat AND we're fabulous, and you should be too!
Style secrets is not all these women want to share. With no desires to change their size, and with 60% of American women wearing size 14 (UK size 18) or higher, they want the public, and their plus-sized peers, to redefine the word 'fat', and most importantly, accept it. Ms Kinzel explained to CNN: "Learning to use the word 'fat' as a basic descriptor, stripping it of its negative baggage, was a huge part of my self-acceptance process. But I love the word 'fat' precisely because my candid and positive use of it often shocks people...it means everyone who hears the word 'fat' from me is having to take a moment to think about what I mean by it, and to resist the knee-jerk assumption that I must mean something bad."
Ms Kinzel also believes that 'fat' women are not represented as beautiful and desirable in mainstream media.Describing her adolescent years, she says: "I didn't have many famous examples of positive fat-lady representation. I mean, there was Roseanne. I loved Roseanne, but not because she was beautiful - I loved her because she was smart and tough and didn't take crap from anyone." Kinzel continued: "If we wait for television and magazines to do this for us, we're going to be waiting a very long time. So we do it ourselves."
Jessica Kane, creator of Life and Style of Jessica and owner of Skorch Plus Size Style Magazine, agrees with Kinzel's sentiment. "Some girls might see themselves as curvy, while others see themselves as plus-sized. I do embrace the word 'fat' because I am. It's not mean or spiteful, but a fact," she says.
With her blog, Ms Kane took control of this message in a way that mainstream magazines are often afraid to, for fear of offending. "The majority of women need to be represented, and blogs like mine that thrive with hundreds of thousands of views a month show that there are women who want to see more. We need the thin girls next to the big girls as well as the brown girls next to the white girls. Diversity is key," Ms Kane says. We couldn't agree more!
With blogging now often being described as "overrated", it's 'fatastic' to see it being injected with a new life, and one with such a positive message. However, writers such as Kinzel and Kane are not saying that being skinny or slim is 'wrong', they just want to get across that it's not the only 'right'. Neither beauty nor style comes in a certain size or shape and the time is more than ripe for this to be accepted in popular culture.
Are you feeling this latest fatshion trend? Tell us what you think in the comments section.