Industry, News — May 4, 2015 at 5:01 am

The Dark Side of Body Positivity: Body Snark in the Lingerie Blogging Community

by

Korpulente Taille

In 2012, The Lingerie Addict became a Body Snark Free Zone. Lots of other websites have followed: in fact, most lingerie blogs proudly display Cora’s anti-body-snark free graphic and frequently declare that all bodies are good bodies. So why am I so depressed about the the body positive movement and lingerie blogging?

I don’t talk a lot about myself in these columns, but today I want to start with the basics as they’re relevant to some of my complaints: I’m 29 years old and a size 14. I’m a 34HH/36H bra size. While I like to think I am perfectly fine looking, I am not a part-time model. I do not have a traditional model’s body shape. I work as a marketing writer and a consultant for the lingerie industry, so I deal with bloggers both from a personal perspective and from a business one every day. I have been both a size 6 as a teenager and my current size (and everything in between), so I’ve experienced both sides of the skinny/fat coin.

All of this is to say that I am completely unlike most of the lingerie bloggers out there, including many of them who run blogs that are dedicated to plus size lingerie. Lingerie blogging, like most aspects of the fashion industry, continues to get younger and whiter as time goes on. It also continues to get both skinnier and more idealized in terms of shape.

At the same time, the body positive movement has become trendy. While some bloggers truly believe this, many bloggers feel compelled to pay lip service to it to make their audience feel better. I interact a lot with bloggers in many different facets of my life and I truly can’t count the number of times I’ve seen “body positive” bloggers freak out over having to go a size up in underwear sample (because they don’t want to be “fat” and “disgusting”) or talk about how they love plus size ladies but would just hate themselves if they gained any weight beyond their small size.

We live in a world where being body positive means starting your statement with “I love plus size women, but…” and then making whatever fat phobic statement you were going to make anyway. These bloggers are generally in their early 20s, white and wear small sizes — but they’ve figured out that jumping on the the body positive train is the one that will help them get more readers. This frequently leaves me frustrated on both a personal and professional level. When I have a client who wants to work with bloggers to advertise a body positive product, do I send them to bloggers I know are making nasty comments about plus size women behind the scenes? Or do I tactfully steer them elsewhere, to bloggers with sincere attitudes but generally smaller numbers? I struggle with the nasty hidden side of lingerie blogging on a weekly basis due to my job and I don’t have an answer yet.

The two most visible figures in the plus size lingerie blogging world are arguably Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and Tess Holliday, who recently signed a groundbreaking contract with MiLK Model Management. I know from experience that Georgina is a genuinely lovely person and Tess has a face that feels like something out of classic Hollywood. They are both doing something important for plus size ladies who are interested in lingerie, but as time goes on I can’t ignore the nagging question at the back of my head: where are blogs that show the rest of us?

I’ve talked before about why I feel compelled to post lingerie pictures online, both here and on my own blog. It’s not because I love my body 100% of the time. In fact, some days the ideas of posting pictures of myself in lingerie online feels really uncomfortable. But I think it’s necessary. Realistically, I don’t represent that much diversity from these other bloggers. I’m on the small end of plus size and I’m still fairly hourglass shaped. I’m not a model — even part-time. I struggle to keep lipstick off my teeth (when I remember to wear it) and have stretch marks I can’t get rid of. I vividly remember how much more people liked me when I was thin and struggle to maintain relationships from my childhood now that I’m heavier — at least without a fair amount of anger involved on my part. I hate the raised eyebrows I get when I want to order dessert in a restaurant on a special occasion. I hate that I eat fish four days a week and people openly assume all I eat is pizza and fried chicken. I am not alone in any of this, which is why posting underwear photos feels so important to me. I am the kind of plus size that is not society approved. I’m not in the “acceptable fat” category. I’m just fat and getting through life like everyone else.

I would love to see a world of lingerie blogging that genuinely included everyone: all races, all sizes, all ability levels. But it seems like, as the body positive movement becomes more popular on the surface, the playing field for bloggers shrinks. I used to feel like blogging was just a matter of being courageous and putting yourself out there, but now I feel like it’s harder than that. Would people really read a lingerie blog written by a woman in a wheelchair? Would they actually show up for a blog featuring ladies over size 20 who weren’t built like models? In many cases, I think the answer is no.

Original Content Provided by The Lingerie Addict

41 Comments

  1. Jeanna says:

    May 4, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Wow. This was such an insightful and powerful read. I hear what you say re: how hard, nigh impossible, it is to dismantle a system single-handedly simply by being true to yourself. It really does take numbers, and your comments on how easy it is to jump on the bandwagon and gloss over the hard issues are ones to take note of. Definitely one to read again in the morning after a cup of coffee.

    Reply

  2. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you for reading! I do think it takes numbers and I have no idea how we get there. I feel like all the discussions I see about plus size people and society are negative: health insurance premiums, taxes on junk food, etc. You don’t see people saying this stuff about a group like smokers or people with heart disease or whatever. Until we can become a society that sees everyone as having worth, no matter what they look like, I’m not sure we’re going to make a ton of progress.

    Reply

  3. denocte says:

    May 4, 2015 at 5:42 am

    This is so important. I’m average sized and have an eating disorder, which makes it sometimes really hard to not unconsciously slip bodysnarking stuff into my articles. I am bodypositive but I’m also sick – so to find this balance to not let nasty remarks about my own body slip and hence maybe hurt others is challenging.
    This article reminds me that I NEED to keep trying. thank you.

    Reply

  4. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I’m glad you found the article valuable! I didn’t mean to seem to vilify anyone. I certainly don’t succeed 100% of the time with the things I say and I don’t think having a slip now and then makes anyone a bad person. As a general trend though, I think we all as a society can do way better than we are now.

    Reply

  5. Quinne says:

    May 4, 2015 at 10:29 am

    This is a great piece. Thank you, Holly.

    Reply

  6. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks Quinne!

    Reply

  7. Kimmay says:

    May 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I love this article, Holly!
    I just spoke on a panel on body positivity at Smart Glamour with two plus sized women on the panel (one from Bustle), a plus sized moderator… and me: a half white/half Puerto Rican (but apparently VERY white to outsiders), size 4, 32D, 30 year old woman. I have been a body positive advocate since I was 19 after my first week as a bra fitter in NYC, seeing almost 100 naked women and learning how they talk to themselves, what “real bodies” look like, and what a waste of time negative self-talk is. That was when my own journey to love and nurture my own body started, and when I started encouraging others to love their bodies, too.
    Now that I’m running my own blog and business, I’m still spreading that message. And now that body positivity has become a sensation, I am constantly worried that because I’m not plus size, that I “can’t talk” about body positivity. It’s something we discussed in depth on the panel. It was an open discussion about who this movement is serving, is it just a trend, which demographics are the most vocal, is the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, what about men, what’s the connection to health, and how can we treat this as a journey instead of a destination? It was FANTASTIC.
    I also work in lingerie marketing and I’ve been approached by brands who see my messaging and want to jump on the bandwagon of body positivity and work with me. In fact, one company actually made a whole new line with a new brand name, knocked off three popular styles from other big bra companies, and touted a very inauthentic “we love curves” message. I was just starting out on my own and was so tempted to take their offer. Instead, I told them I was not the right person for the job. In reality, they were not right for me. I specifically try my very best to work with brands who are in alignment with my own messaging, whether I’m working behind the scenes or in the public eye for everyone to see. So I can totally understand steering your clients toward the right influencers and partners. Bravo and Hurray for you!
    I encourage everyone to love their bodies – every size. I don’t know if people will think that I’ve hopped on the band wagon. I don’t know if they’ll think I don’t “have the right” to discuss the topic. I don’t know if they know my history. I don’t know if I have to prove it. Perhaps, they just don’t know me yet.
    Thank you for opening this discussion, Holly!

    Reply

  8. Kimmay says:

    May 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I love this article, Holly!
    I just spoke on a panel on body positivity at Smart Glamour with two plus sized women on the panel (one from Bustle), a plus sized moderator… and me: a half white/half Puerto Rican (but apparently VERY white to outsiders), size 4, 32D, 30 year old woman. I have been a body positive advocate since I was 19 after my first week as a bra fitter in NYC, seeing almost 100 naked women and learning how they talk to themselves, what “real bodies” look like, and what a waste of time negative self-talk is. That was when my own journey to love and nurture my own body started, and when I started encouraging others to love their bodies, too.
    Now that I’m running my own blog and business, I’m still spreading that message. And now that body positivity has become a sensation, I am constantly worried that because I’m not plus size, that I “can’t talk” about body positivity. It’s something we discussed in depth on the panel. It was an open discussion about who this movement is serving, is it just a trend, which demographics are the most vocal, is the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, what about men, what’s the connection to health, and how can we treat this as a journey instead of a destination? It was FANTASTIC.
    I also work in lingerie marketing and I’ve been approached by brands who see my messaging and want to jump on the bandwagon of body positivity and work with me. In fact, one company actually made a whole new line with a new brand name, knocked off three popular styles from other big bra companies, and touted a very inauthentic “we love curves” message. I was just starting out on my own and was so tempted to take their offer. Instead, I told them I was not the right person for the job. In reality, they were not right for me. I specifically try my very best to work with brands who are in alignment with my own messaging, whether I’m working behind the scenes or in the public eye for everyone to see. So I can totally understand steering your clients toward the right influencers and partners. Bravo and Hurray for you!
    I encourage everyone to love their bodies – every size. I don’t know if people will think that I’ve hopped on the band wagon. I don’t know if they’ll think I don’t “have the right” to discuss the topic. I don’t know if they know my history. I don’t know if I have to prove it. Perhaps, they just don’t know me yet.
    Thank you for opening this discussion, Holly!

    Reply

  9. Kimmay says:

    May 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I love this article, Holly!
    I just spoke on a panel on body positivity at Smart Glamour with two plus sized women on the panel (one from Bustle), a plus sized moderator… and me: a half white/half Puerto Rican (but apparently VERY white to outsiders), size 4, 32D, 30 year old woman. I have been a body positive advocate since I was 19 after my first week as a bra fitter in NYC, seeing almost 100 naked women and learning how they talk to themselves, what “real bodies” look like, and what a waste of time negative self-talk is. That was when my own journey to love and nurture my own body started, and when I started encouraging others to love their bodies, too.
    Now that I’m running my own blog and business, I’m still spreading that message. And now that body positivity has become a sensation, I am constantly worried that because I’m not plus size, that I “can’t talk” about body positivity. It’s something we discussed in depth on the panel. It was an open discussion about who this movement is serving, is it just a trend, which demographics are the most vocal, is the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, what about men, what’s the connection to health, and how can we treat this as a journey instead of a destination? It was FANTASTIC.
    I also work in lingerie marketing and I’ve been approached by brands who see my messaging and want to jump on the bandwagon of body positivity and work with me. In fact, one company actually made a whole new line with a new brand name, knocked off three popular styles from other big bra companies, and touted a very inauthentic “we love curves” message. I was just starting out on my own and was so tempted to take their offer. Instead, I told them I was not the right person for the job. In reality, they were not right for me. I specifically try my very best to work with brands who are in alignment with my own messaging, whether I’m working behind the scenes or in the public eye for everyone to see. So I can totally understand steering your clients toward the right influencers and partners. Bravo and Hurray for you!
    I encourage everyone to love their bodies – every size. I don’t know if people will think that I’ve hopped on the band wagon. I don’t know if they’ll think I don’t “have the right” to discuss the topic. I don’t know if they know my history. I don’t know if I have to prove it. Perhaps, they just don’t know me yet.
    Thank you for opening this discussion, Holly!

    Reply

  10. Kimmay says:

    May 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I love this article, Holly!
    I just spoke on a panel on body positivity at Smart Glamour with two plus sized women on the panel (one from Bustle), a plus sized moderator… and me: a half white/half Puerto Rican (but apparently VERY white to outsiders), size 4, 32D, 30 year old woman. I have been a body positive advocate since I was 19 after my first week as a bra fitter in NYC, seeing almost 100 naked women and learning how they talk to themselves, what “real bodies” look like, and what a waste of time negative self-talk is. That was when my own journey to love and nurture my own body started, and when I started encouraging others to love their bodies, too.
    Now that I’m running my own blog and business, I’m still spreading that message. And now that body positivity has become a sensation, I am constantly worried that because I’m not plus size, that I “can’t talk” about body positivity. It’s something we discussed in depth on the panel. It was an open discussion about who this movement is serving, is it just a trend, which demographics are the most vocal, is the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, what about men, what’s the connection to health, and how can we treat this as a journey instead of a destination? It was FANTASTIC.
    I also work in lingerie marketing and I’ve been approached by brands who see my messaging and want to jump on the bandwagon of body positivity and work with me. In fact, one company actually made a whole new line with a new brand name, knocked off three popular styles from other big bra companies, and touted a very inauthentic “we love curves” message. I was just starting out on my own and was so tempted to take their offer. Instead, I told them I was not the right person for the job. In reality, they were not right for me. I specifically try my very best to work with brands who are in alignment with my own messaging, whether I’m working behind the scenes or in the public eye for everyone to see. So I can totally understand steering your clients toward the right influencers and partners. Bravo and Hurray for you!
    I encourage everyone to love their bodies – every size. I don’t know if people will think that I’ve hopped on the band wagon. I don’t know if they’ll think I don’t “have the right” to discuss the topic. I don’t know if they know my history. I don’t know if I have to prove it. Perhaps, they just don’t know me yet.
    Thank you for opening this discussion, Holly!

    Reply

  11. blue-peridot

    Kimmay says:

    May 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I love this article, Holly!
    I just spoke on a panel on body positivity at Smart Glamour with two plus sized women on the panel (one from Bustle), a plus sized moderator… and me: a half white/half Puerto Rican (but apparently VERY white to outsiders), size 4, 32D, 30 year old woman. I have been a body positive advocate since I was 19 after my first week as a bra fitter in NYC, seeing almost 100 naked women and learning how they talk to themselves, what “real bodies” look like, and what a waste of time negative self-talk is. That was when my own journey to love and nurture my own body started, and when I started encouraging others to love their bodies, too.
    Now that I’m running my own blog and business, I’m still spreading that message. And now that body positivity has become a sensation, I am constantly worried that because I’m not plus size, that I “can’t talk” about body positivity. It’s something we discussed in depth on the panel. It was an open discussion about who this movement is serving, is it just a trend, which demographics are the most vocal, is the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, what about men, what’s the connection to health, and how can we treat this as a journey instead of a destination? It was FANTASTIC.
    I also work in lingerie marketing and I’ve been approached by brands who see my messaging and want to jump on the bandwagon of body positivity and work with me. In fact, one company actually made a whole new line with a new brand name, knocked off three popular styles from other big bra companies, and touted a very inauthentic “we love curves” message. I was just starting out on my own and was so tempted to take their offer. Instead, I told them I was not the right person for the job. In reality, they were not right for me. I specifically try my very best to work with brands who are in alignment with my own messaging, whether I’m working behind the scenes or in the public eye for everyone to see. So I can totally understand steering your clients toward the right influencers and partners. Bravo and Hurray for you!
    I encourage everyone to love their bodies – every size. I don’t know if people will think that I’ve hopped on the band wagon. I don’t know if they’ll think I don’t “have the right” to discuss the topic. I don’t know if they know my history. I don’t know if I have to prove it. Perhaps, they just don’t know me yet.
    Thank you for opening this discussion, Holly!

    Reply

  12. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Bravo for working with companies who are serious about body positivity! I deal with this at work all of the time and it’s hard line to walk. I want to do my best for my clients, but I want to do it in a genuine way and not a way that adds to the screwed up mess that what body positivity + fashion marketing has become.

    Reply

  13. Silver Cat Tea Party

    Nicole says:

    May 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Body positivity seems to be limited to plus size women. I work out, stay in shape and maintain an athletic physique and when you look like me you get “you don’t want to get bulky, why do you care to have a body like that, or you’re skinny so it’s easy for you,” and I’m not skinny or bulky I’m healthy.

    Reply

  14. Ms. Pris says:

    May 5, 2015 at 6:05 am

    So, where is the part where this doesn’t happen to plus size women? Holly’s post was very clear about the fact that plus size women get comments like the ones you describe ALL the time. We get “Don’t do that, you don’t want to get heavy!” and “Why do you want to look so ugly?”
    I can’t believe it’s even necessary to explain this, but: The fact that you experience body-negative harassment does not mean that fat women do not experience it.

    Reply

  15. Ms. Pris says:

    May 5, 2015 at 6:05 am

    So, where is the part where this doesn’t happen to plus size women? Holly’s post was very clear about the fact that plus size women get comments like the ones you describe ALL the time. We get “Don’t do that, you don’t want to get heavy!” and “Why do you want to look so ugly?”
    I can’t believe it’s even necessary to explain this, but: The fact that you experience body-negative harassment does not mean that fat women do not experience it.

    Reply

  16. blue-peridot says:

    May 8, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    As far as I understood Nicole, she was not saying that plus-size women do not experience body-negative harassment, only that women of other sizes also experience harassment of this kind.

    Reply

  17. Holly says:

    May 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I think all women get nasty comments made about their body – it’s part of being a woman in our society, honestly. However, I think plus size ladies have it way worse than ladies in the standard size range. I know it’s not a politically correct thing to say, but it’s true. There was actually a long conversation about this on Twitter the other day.
    For example: I have a lovely friend who had health problems for months. She was plus size and various doctors refused to run tests or treat her. She lost weight, as recommended, but her health problems got worse. At that point, the doctors told her it must have been as a result of having been plus size before and still refused to treat her. She finally got treatment for her hereditary condition that had nothing to do with her weight after an expensive hospital stay where she nearly died.
    All of this is to say that I feel like when people say, “Oh, I hate when people tell me not not get bulky so it’s just the same as what you experience.” I get a little mad. Everyone gets stupid comments about their body. Not everyone gets refused promotions at work or medical treatment because of it. Fat shaming influences not just how plus size women are viewed in the media, but directly affects the access we have to things like medical care. Even if you are commenting on your own body, be aware that your comments carry weight in society as a whole and may contribute to this toxic environment for plus size women that we live in.

    Reply

  18. Holly says:

    May 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I think all women get nasty comments made about their body – it’s part of being a woman in our society, honestly. However, I think plus size ladies have it way worse than ladies in the standard size range. I know it’s not a politically correct thing to say, but it’s true. There was actually a long conversation about this on Twitter the other day.
    For example: I have a lovely friend who had health problems for months. She was plus size and various doctors refused to run tests or treat her. She lost weight, as recommended, but her health problems got worse. At that point, the doctors told her it must have been as a result of having been plus size before and still refused to treat her. She finally got treatment for her hereditary condition that had nothing to do with her weight after an expensive hospital stay where she nearly died.
    All of this is to say that I feel like when people say, “Oh, I hate when people tell me not not get bulky so it’s just the same as what you experience.” I get a little mad. Everyone gets stupid comments about their body. Not everyone gets refused promotions at work or medical treatment because of it. Fat shaming influences not just how plus size women are viewed in the media, but directly affects the access we have to things like medical care. Even if you are commenting on your own body, be aware that your comments carry weight in society as a whole and may contribute to this toxic environment for plus size women that we live in.

    Reply

  19. Holly says:

    May 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I think all women get nasty comments made about their body – it’s part of being a woman in our society, honestly. However, I think plus size ladies have it way worse than ladies in the standard size range. I know it’s not a politically correct thing to say, but it’s true. There was actually a long conversation about this on Twitter the other day.
    For example: I have a lovely friend who had health problems for months. She was plus size and various doctors refused to run tests or treat her. She lost weight, as recommended, but her health problems got worse. At that point, the doctors told her it must have been as a result of having been plus size before and still refused to treat her. She finally got treatment for her hereditary condition that had nothing to do with her weight after an expensive hospital stay where she nearly died.
    All of this is to say that I feel like when people say, “Oh, I hate when people tell me not not get bulky so it’s just the same as what you experience.” I get a little mad. Everyone gets stupid comments about their body. Not everyone gets refused promotions at work or medical treatment because of it. Fat shaming influences not just how plus size women are viewed in the media, but directly affects the access we have to things like medical care. Even if you are commenting on your own body, be aware that your comments carry weight in society as a whole and may contribute to this toxic environment for plus size women that we live in.

    Reply

  20. Silver Cat Tea Party says:

    May 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Wow! Such a powerful post! It’s messages like this and your courage to speak your mind that make me continue to admire and love your writing and your blog. I applaud you for having the courage to step up and call out those bloggers and society in general who plays lip service to embracing the body positivity movement yet which seems to do so all just to seem diverse or just to jump on a trend bandwagon. I think the body positivity movement is great though highly flawed. I’m with you and wish that the fashion industry would just embrace people as people in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, ages, abilities etc.

    Reply

  21. Becky Magson

    Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you!

    Reply

  22. SFYSSam says:

    May 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    There are some really interesting points here!
    You note that while many people claim to be body positive, they struggle viewing their own bodies through this lens. And while it’s sad when people lash out (like not wanting to go up a size in the sample underwear), it’s also..understandable. So much body hate is internalized, and it’s really tricky not to want to hold your body up to unrealistic ideals. I struggle with this myself, certainly. It’s far too easy to look at other bodies and see them as beautiful and acceptable while viewing my own as somehow lacking. But it’s important to take a breath and actually critique why these thoughts are happening and how voicing them may impact others.
    I’m pretty bullet proof now, but I used to get really down on myself when fitting after fitting women would complain about their “disgusting” big breasts.
    And I totally agree that rather that the public image of body positivity could be more diverse. I think one thing we can do is signal boost those voices who have a smaller platform. Any other thoughts on making the body positivity movement more diverse and more welcoming?

    Reply

  23. SFYSSam says:

    May 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    There are some really interesting points here!
    You note that while many people claim to be body positive, they struggle viewing their own bodies through this lens. And while it’s sad when people lash out (like not wanting to go up a size in the sample underwear), it’s also..understandable. So much body hate is internalized, and it’s really tricky not to want to hold your body up to unrealistic ideals. I struggle with this myself, certainly. It’s far too easy to look at other bodies and see them as beautiful and acceptable while viewing my own as somehow lacking. But it’s important to take a breath and actually critique why these thoughts are happening and how voicing them may impact others.
    I’m pretty bullet proof now, but I used to get really down on myself when fitting after fitting women would complain about their “disgusting” big breasts.
    And I totally agree that rather that the public image of body positivity could be more diverse. I think one thing we can do is signal boost those voices who have a smaller platform. Any other thoughts on making the body positivity movement more diverse and more welcoming?

    Reply

  24. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    This is a really great comment and I’m glad you’ve made it. I’m always cognizant that everyone has their own body issues and that everyone is obviously allowed to decide what weight/size they are happiest at. I have no problem with someone saying they don’t want to go up a sample size. I have a problem with that same person saying they don’t want to do it because then they’d be size X and would be a disgusting fat cow. Unfortunately the comments I see around sample sizes and blogging have the tone of the second response, not the first. Everyone has body issues and I sympathize with that. People shouldn’t project their issues onto other people and shouldn’t air them in ways that pass judgement on other groups or persons who may not feel the same way that they do.

    Reply

  25. SFYSSam says:

    May 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Oh man, I have way too many thoughts about this!
    Another interesting angle is how these issues intersect with the bra fitting movement (and I believe this is something I’ve seen discussed here before). As a bra fitter and someone whose life has been changed for the better by bra fitting I DO think bra fit is very important. However, those of us in the “expert” role should always be aware that our role is one of guidance and support rather than strict instruction. We know a lot, but we don’t know everything-and we can never claim to really know someone’s else’s experience in their body!

    Reply

  26. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I don’t envy bra fitters! They have a hard job and must run up against these issues all of the time. I agree that bra fit is really important, but everyone has different issues and bra fit has to take that into account.

    Reply

  27. Tori says:

    May 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    I also think body positivity is relevant to how we talk about bra fitting.
    For example, for many people in the US (and other countries, I’m sure) who are in the wrong bra size, being correctly fit into a bra is, as a trend, likely to mean that their correctly fitted size will be a smaller band number and larger cup letter.
    On its surface, this trend is neutral. But it’s often presented — perhaps without conscious intent from the people who are saying it — that smaller bands and larger cups are a nice “bonus” to a properly fitting bra size (since, you know, it suggests the person is now closer to the “ideal” of thinner with larger breasts).

    Reply

  28. Tori says:

    May 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    I also think body positivity is relevant to how we talk about bra fitting.
    For example, for many people in the US (and other countries, I’m sure) who are in the wrong bra size, being correctly fit into a bra is, as a trend, likely to mean that their correctly fitted size will be a smaller band number and larger cup letter.
    On its surface, this trend is neutral. But it’s often presented — perhaps without conscious intent from the people who are saying it — that smaller bands and larger cups are a nice “bonus” to a properly fitting bra size (since, you know, it suggests the person is now closer to the “ideal” of thinner with larger breasts).

    Reply

  29. Angela Friedman

    Tori says:

    May 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    I also think body positivity is relevant to how we talk about bra fitting.
    For example, for many people in the US (and other countries, I’m sure) who are in the wrong bra size, being correctly fit into a bra is, as a trend, likely to mean that their correctly fitted size will be a smaller band number and larger cup letter.
    On its surface, this trend is neutral. But it’s often presented — perhaps without conscious intent from the people who are saying it — that smaller bands and larger cups are a nice “bonus” to a properly fitting bra size (since, you know, it suggests the person is now closer to the “ideal” of thinner with larger breasts).

    Reply

  30. Cora says:

    May 13, 2015 at 8:45 am

    This is a good point.

    Reply

  31. Becky Magson says:

    May 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Think you need to get yourself over to my blog! I feel I’m very much one of those ‘in betweenies’. Although I’m hour glass I’m now a 14 dress and typically wear a 30GG/332G bra. I have jiggly bits and struggle with keeping fit because I have fibromyalgia and sacroiliitis, so I’m neither thin nor fat. I’d like to say I’m body positive but in complete honesty how can I be if I’m not 100% comfortable with my own figure? Or maybe that’sthat’s where the reality lies: honesty.

    Reply

  32. Miss Sophie Cake

    Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t think anyone is ever entirely comfortable with their body, no matter their size or shape. That’s one of the reasons I don’t buy this “body positivity is just for plus size women” line, because it really does and should apply to everyone. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, too, so I know that it’s hard to view your body through your personal situation and the lens that society puts it through. That said, if you make comments about other people’s bodies that are negative – even if you preface it with a body positive statement, then you’re not really being body positive. I’d actually rather live in a more honest world where people who thought I was fat and disgusting would tell me, because then I could at least figure out who was serious about the body positive thing and who wasn’t!
    I think everyone has bodies struggles, no matter your size or situation. I do think that dealing with our own body struggles and thinking about how we express those thoughts (and how they may sound especially nasty to a person who has another size or shape) is incredibly important.

    Reply

  33. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t think anyone is ever entirely comfortable with their body, no matter their size or shape. That’s one of the reasons I don’t buy this “body positivity is just for plus size women” line, because it really does and should apply to everyone. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, too, so I know that it’s hard to view your body through your personal situation and the lens that society puts it through. That said, if you make comments about other people’s bodies that are negative – even if you preface it with a body positive statement, then you’re not really being body positive. I’d actually rather live in a more honest world where people who thought I was fat and disgusting would tell me, because then I could at least figure out who was serious about the body positive thing and who wasn’t!
    I think everyone has bodies struggles, no matter your size or situation. I do think that dealing with our own body struggles and thinking about how we express those thoughts (and how they may sound especially nasty to a person who has another size or shape) is incredibly important.

    Reply

  34. Janet says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Great read and you are definitely right. Curvy Wordy and Tess Holliday seem to be the only lingerie bloggers who are genuinely body positive. Even Georgina has said things along the line of “If I’m not a size 14 on my wedding day I will just cry”!

    Reply

  35. karen T says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I think you are the acceptable plus size, acceptable seems to be hour glass shaped with a defined waist. It’s apple shaped women that aren’t the acceptable fat. All the images we are bombarded with of plus size models and plus size lingerie bloggers are hour glass women. Women who look just like regular models, only scaled up in size! Even then a lot of these women add corsets to try and make their hour glass shapes even more hour glassey!
    I would like to see plus size apple shaped women in their underwear. I would like to see the constant push for shapewear to give you “the perfect hourglass figure” gone! How about shapewear to make you apple or pear shaped?!
    I hate my apple shaped body. I hate it even more as it is fat and plus size. It’s much harder to be fat and apple shaped, you always look much fatter than others as your fat is not evenly distributed! The only way for my body shape to be acceptable is for it to be very thin, and for me personally, the only way I can see that happening is if I am struck down with a serious illness! How can women like me be confident and comfortable with ourselves when we are not represented, even by slimmer models or slimmer bloggers!

    Reply

  36. Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I agree! I have lots of privilege in this conversation, which I totally acknowledge. I’m on the slimmer side of plus size and have a shape that is far more socially acceptable than a pear or apple shaped woman would. Plus size models and lots of plus size bloggers are all the same shape, so I wish both blogging and advertising campaigns would start showing different shape options and how to dress them well.

    Reply

  37. Sweets says:

    May 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Ooooh, this is making me think lots of thinks. First of all, Holly, you have been a major source of inspiration to me, especially when I was approaching the time (a little over a year ago) when I decided to take the plunge and show my picture on the blog for the first time. Because you’re so, so right– it’s about representation. Models are beautiful people. Plus size models are beautiful people. But they’re not the only kinds of people in the world, and they’re disproportionately represented, and by writing the way you write and running the (wonderful!) photos you take, you are diversifying the lingerie landscape. I think about you a lot when I have moments when I feel uncertainty about publishing photos. Secondly, I think the representation aspect of body positivity is key: a blogger can absolutely look like a model and still be a powerful body positive force if they 1) reject body snark and negativity on their blog, both in reference to others and to themselves, and 2) amplify the voices of those who are currently under-represented. I love featuring brands who use diverse models and customer photos, and I love reading blogs by lingerie lovers of all shapes and sizes and ages and racial backgrounds. I’m very privileged in many ways– I’m fair-skinned, youngish, and able-bodied, so as much as I want to boost my own work, I also really want to boost and share the work of women who aren’t represented as often in the media landscape at large. I’m going to be thinking about this post for a while now, and thinking of ways to encourage broader representation both more consistently and more frequently.

    Reply

  38. Emma in France

    Holly says:

    May 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    For the record, I think you’re gorgeous (as do lots of my clients!). I agree that representation is so so important: we need to be visually showing the change we want to see and promoting writers, bloggers and models who are from those less visible groups. If we could all starting taking two days a month and featuring a brand or blogger who is outside the norm, I think things would get a lot better.

    Reply

  39. Sweets says:

    May 4, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I love that idea! I’m going to take a look at my editorial calendar and start researching that feature– that would be awesome!

    Reply

  40. Angela Friedman says:

    May 4, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Holly, this is a fabulous article. I’m really glad you’re being vocal (and personal) about these issues – I know that can be really hard in such a small and intimate (pun intended) community. You know I love you and your work, and I hope that if I ever make a misstep like those mentioned, that you’d call me on my shit! But hopefully I won’t 🙂 Thank you and thank TLA for the education and for keeping everyone honest. xo

    Reply

  41. Tamara says:

    May 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    This is such a great post Holly! I tend to try and hide my trouble spots when taking photos for the blog because I am uncomfortable with my apple’ish body shape, especially when compared to others. Sometimes I do feel like I am doing others a disservice by doing this because I know that not my shape is not out of the norm and it is underrepresented. I think it’s hard to find the balance between being comfortable with yourself and wanting to show others that other bodies exist.

    Reply

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