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By rights, I should never let a photo like this appear on my blog. My un-dyed hair hasn’t been washed since Thursday. My dress is creased from a day’s wear. I’m positioned in a way that you can see my epic back bulge (I have more cleavage at my back than I do at my front). I’m only wearing a bit of mascara and eyeliner.

There are no accessories. No clashing colours. No mixed patterns. Nothing extraordinary.

I recently saw a question posed to Bethany on ask.fm that said most successful UK bloggers were boring and didn’t deserve their success. It was an emotional day (the day my dress launched) and I came away and cried. I’ve little doubt that I was one of the bloggers implied, and I don’t blame them.

The thing is, yes, I’ve done phenomenal things with this blog – but you’ll never meet anyone who thinks I deserve the recognition I get less than I do. I didn’t start blogging because I wanted success, free clothes, invites to events. I didn’t start my blog because I believed I dressed better than other women, or that I had an innate sense of style. I started my blog because there was a conversation, one that excited me, and I wanted to contribute to it. That’s it.

Over the years, I have battled with myself to not delete the blog. I see that there are far better dressed, more intelligent, more politically savvy bloggers arising, not to mention women who are far more attractive than I. There are many times when I feel alienated and outcast from the community. I recognise that I don’t have anything particularly unique to contribute, and I’ve thought about passing the metaphorical baton to the next generation and stepping into the shadows.

But I do have something to contribute. There is point to this blog. And when I remember it, after a while of the purpose getting lost, it’s so visceral and powerful:

I am contributing to the canon of fat bodies and providing a narrative of someone living their life while fat, in an age when we are denied our voices at any cost.

Not fat bodies and lives in abject misery. Fat bodies and people who, despite the attempts of almost everyone, don’t quite despise themselves. Those of us who should stay in bed, hidden, but who every day wake up and get on with their day the best they can.

That’s why I’m still around, even if I’m not adventurous in my dress sense. I hope that people can find my blog, and through me find blogs of other fantastic people, and begin to feel that they aren’t alone. And, I hope that if someone is starting to feel like they aren’t a good fatty because they don’t have coiffured hair or have gone out in a dirty top or whatever, that they can see me on just an average, slobby day and know that they are totally fine.

Or maybe I should accept that it’s time to close shop.


  • justjoannablog

    You have everything to contribute to the blogging community ! Without you i would never have my blog, i would never have the confidence to be adventurous in my dressing ,and i would never how owned a ice cream dress !!

  • Charlotte Bayes

    Lauren,

    I have read your blog for a long time, before we became ~internet pals. I don’t read a lot of blogs pretty much for the reasons you have stated in this post. I always thought that your blog was really well put together, professional looking (by that I mean not all in times new roman awful layout template thing) and your outfits and photos were always really inspiring. I used (and still do) book mark all the places you got your clothes and you introduced me to LOADS of places I could get clothes that would fit me and were my style other than evans and newlook and catalogues, places I didn’t know existed till you told me (your reader).

    I doubt highly that bets ask.fm question had you in mind, and if it did, fuck them, because I can quite honestly say they are very very wrong. I remember when you did burger queen and I thought WOW this chick fucking rules, and I still think this. Don’t give up one of the very few blogs I read. ILU

    Cuntis xxx

  • Sofia Martinez

    I actually happen to think the UK fatshion bloggers are quite a well dressed bunch, I guess it depends on personal preference… “I am contributing to the canon of fat bodies and providing a narrative of someone living their life while fat, in an age when we are denied our voices at any cost.” – That’s the most important thing to remember. The reward is getting to challenge people’s preconceptions about fat bodies and beauty. If you do choose to close up because you’re not enjoying blogging as much as you used to, that’s understandable.

  • Laura Wildey

    Lauren you have managed to voice in this post so much of how I feel about myself and my blog. Unlike you though I have allowed those feelings to take hold and have left my blog untouched for months. At one time it gave me so much joy but I felt I was uninspired and unworthy of showing off my so called style. I miss it. I wish I was braver like you and had more faith in my contribution. Maybe it’s time to get the camera out and start posing again!! You’re a voice for a lot of us fatties and continue to inspire me as you did when I first found your blog a couple of years ago xx

  • sara hook

    You are far from boring…you are a true inspiration to me, amongst many more I wouldn’t doubt. You are brave in your choices, from clothes to viewpoints, and hell, you designed a bright pink dress with yellow ice creams on after all – you can’t get less boring! I do understand that feeling of sometimes not living up to either other bloggers or even your own expectations and feeling flat and un-blogger at times. But you are someone that I really admire and use a yardstick often when I’m feeling not so brave but really should be. A ‘What would Lauren do/say?’ sort of thing. You have been one of my favourite bloggers for a long time, and your success is because your kind nature, strong sense of justice, warm heart and kick-ass sense of style shines through, no more, no less. You are amazing, and I hope this post ends up with a whole string of comments saying the same things.

  • kaytee

    I LOVE your blog, I love seeing your pictures and reading your posts. You are far from boring, if you saw how I dressed – then you’d get what boring dressing is!!! You are quirky and colourful and your dress design for Simply Be was very bold and unique with the ice cream pattern, not something I’ve seen anywhere in plus size fashion! And I absolutely LOVE this picture of you, it’s one of my favourites of you, you look naturally beautiful, relaxed and comfortable x

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/darkheartdesign Dark Heart Designs

    I have never commented on this blog and only just recently found it but I hope you stick around because it is wonderful for someone to show the world that plus size people are still that…people and every voice counts.

  • ToodalooKatie

    You look beautiful and always are! Keep doing what you are doing! We all love you! xoxo

  • Em

    When I’m stuck for clothes ideas, or just feeling pretty rubbish about how I look – your site is my first port of call and it’s always exactly what I need. Please keep going, I think I might be one of those people that you started writing for in the first place. Thank You!

  • http://sortlifeoutbuymilk.blogspot.co.uk/ Sian Morgan

    Boring? You? Nope, nope, nope. Honestly your blog is one of the first fat fashions ones I read and one that motivated me into starting my own blog, so to say your blog is boring or not an inspiration is bull. I bet loads of other bloggers were inspired by you to start their blogs too. Love that creased dress, love your unwashed hair and your back bulge because my clothes are constantly crinkled, my hair is usually askew and one of my biggest body insecurities is my back. So seeing all these things on you makes me remember that all of that is normal!

    Plus I’d say your style is awesome, quirky and interesting. I mean you designed a hot pink ice cream print dress and paired it with neon yellow accesories and a ice cream headband! Its hard to be bold and unique as a plus size woman because we have much less out there for us to remix, but you make it work for you and come out with a strong style. (Also comparing british and american bloggers is bizarre as our population is a drop in the ocean compared to theirs.)

    Your whole posts reminds me of this awesome quote from fatheffalump on the tumblr today,

    “I don’t see people who look like me in the media.
    Fat women are not represented in the media, unless it’s to vilify us.
    (…) If posting my selfie on my Tumblr or Twitter or blog gives someone
    like me some representation, as a fat woman, then it’s worth it.”

    You give fat women representation. On days when I feel weird about having a small chest I remember awesome fat ladies like you who are awesome and not busty. I’ve always said blog as long as it makes you happy. I hope all these wonderful comments show you that your blog is doing good things. :)

  • http://blogtobealive.com/ BlogToBeAlive79

    I think we all feel like that once in a while and for various reasons. It´s just not plus size blogs either. I tnink there is just way too much emphasis on blog and success/fame lately that people who blog for fun/political reasons/whatever aren’t taken as seriously as more ambitious ones. Anyway don’t give up. You’re lucky to live in a country where some plus brands care about bloggers and want to make a difference, it would be silly not to be a part of it. :)

  • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

    I sincerely hope you don’t close up shop! I’ve always so enjoyed your blog, your perspective, your photos, your sass, your rawness. Don’t let one stupid comment get you down; there’s a place for every voice on the Internet, & you should never feel forced to shut yours down just because someone says something nasty about it. Keep doing what you do, & people will read or they won’t – but if you shut down, it should be because you hate writing & just don’t want to do it anymore, not because someone else says you should.

  • http://kiddotrue.com/ ariel

    I don’t want you to go. And I know that isn’t the sole point of the post, but it’s the one I’ve immediately latched onto because this is all making me feeeeeel things.

  • Sussy

    Keep it up. We appreciate you!

  • http://cartoonfatshion.tumblr.com/ Lucy

    First of all, I disagree completely- I love your sense of style, and you’re not the least bit boring. And, even if you were- you have the point down perfectly; fatshion is not just about wearing clothes, it’s about showing that a fat person CAN wear clothes- and not even “look good”, but just BE. You’re one of the people who inspired me to get into fatshion and fat acceptance in general, and I’m sure you’ve done the same for countless others. Any jackass who thinks you’re boring shouldn’t be able to touch that.

  • sim

    I think I will shrivel up and die if I don’t own that dress – I LOVE it. Where did you get it from? :-)

  • SusieKline

    Actually I think you’re gorgeous in this picture! Keep up the great work!

  • Carol Nijbroek

    You look great, very cute and the dress fits your perfectly. What back bulge? I can’t see anything — no humps either.
    Btw, I love the dress — where can I get one too.

  • Becky

    Don’t you dare go anywhere! I just found you a few months ago and I LOVE your style. You and so many other bloggers have inspired me to accept my mid-40′s body the way it is and dress in what I love, and not give a flying fig about what anyone thinks. You are beautiful inside, outside and all over and I love your style and your perspective.

  • Louise P.

    I’m so sorry that other people have made you feel like this :(. You don’t deserve to feel this way at all. You do deserve the success you’ve had; you’ve worked hard to get to where you are today and inspire so many plus size women- including myself. People who’ve spent their entire lives being shamed and ashamed of who they are for how they look. Your dress for Simply Be is GORGEOUS and the people who’ve made jibes at bloggers successes are obviously just jealous. And that’s a little sad! They obviously don’t fully understand what you and other bloggers are trying to do for plus size women and plus size fashion. As for your photo above, I can’t pick a fault in it- you look beautiful! Really! I can’t see your roots (if you think yours are bad, you should see mine! Haha!), and I’d much rather see a real woman, rather than heavily air brushed, magazine-style photos. The dress is lovely, and you look really pretty. Please don’t stop doing what you do here, you’d be missed! xx

  • Olivia

    Don’t shut up shop! You are gorgeous, inspirational and one of the first blogs I started reading! You have mad style and your frank honest posts keep us all coming back. Who cares what other people think, we LOVE you. And you are such a positive voice in this community. Xxx

  • Claire Marchant-Williams

    Lauren, my lovely friend, and you have *got* to stop being so hard on yourself! Out if all the plus size bloggers out there you are one of the most loved. Hell I have women in the toilets at work raving about how lucky I am to know y in real life. To quote SATC “you don’t see what I do” when it comes to how you look. You are thé only person I know who looks super glam on a Sunday. You designed to the most beautiful and obnoxious coloured dress because you wanted to scream “look at me world, I don’t give a fuck for your fashion rules!” that’s far from boring. You inspire so many people and the picture of you posted today is fabulous.

    I want you to promise me one thing – that you will print out all the fantastic & supportive messages you have below and stick them around your mirror. Then I want you to read them every day until you believe you are what they say you are & we already all know – that you are brilliant and beautiful.

    I’m gonna hug you with one harm & slap you round the head with the other when we have the next PL3 meet.

    Xx

  • AlleyKitten

    Please don’t go.

  • Kata

    Do not even think about stopping. You are really doing a good thing, giving good example (that can be that a bad-hair day even) and encourage everyone to wear clothes that stand out and do not hide in black. (although a little black is always good)
    Keep going.

  • Anna

    Please don’t go! I have never commented before, but I check regularly, and I think that you have a unique voice and a refreshing willingness to both show and address the less glossy side of things. That is why I much prefer reading fashion blogs to magazines these days. And my choice of reading would be much poorer if your blog weren’t there any more. So don’t make the mistake to believe a negative voice more than the many positive voices you must get here on a regular basis. What a silly idea in the first place that one can not “deserve” one’s success when one’s success consists of having convinced a great number of total strangers (like myself) that it is worth their while to visit your blog regularly to see what you have to say. I can’t think of a more complete endorsement of the value of what you are doing.

  • wendy_cakes

    I think it’s safe to say from all these comments that you are valued and deserve your success! Of course I agree wholeheartedly with every one.

    The things I thought when I looked at that photo above are:

    Your hair is such a lovely colour it really suits you
    What a lovely pattern that dress is and how the maxi style is so current
    How the dress fits you really well – it’s lovely around your bust and the length is perfect

    (I didn’t notice creases or your back or that your hair was not perfectly styled!)

    I remember when finding something plus size and in style was a pretty difficult task, I also remember spending a lot of my teens living in black T-shirts and jeans because that was easy and black is flattering right?! Nowadays If I like maxi dresses I get to CHOOSE which colour and style I want to wear, Choice in a plus size environment who would have thought!

    My point is plus size companies take notice and expand their lines because of people like you who cry out for colours patterns and choice. People identify with you because you are a normal person, you have a job and a social life and a hobby and you do it all in your body, as you say you get dressed and leave the house every day, but you don’t just survive, you thrive. How many people can say that they have designed a dress with a major retailer? Out of tens if not hundreds of plus size blogs simply be chose you, yes the clothes are important at the end of the day they are all about making money. They chose you because you were capable and worthy of the task.

  • Verena

    I only found your blog a month ago and through yours I also found a lot of other amazing blogs. But I have to say your blog is my favourite of all. After reading one post I was so intrigued I actually scrolled through the whole blog right back to when you started. It inspired me to start my own blog. I love your style and when I saw your pic right now the first thing I thought was how pretty and relaxed you look. The dress looks gorgeous on you you. Every one of us feels cut off and alienated at some point in their live, especially when we feel that others are better or prettier than ourselves. You have soo much support here and as you can see in all these comments you have inspired so many people to do what they do.

  • debiparna c

    i am a new follower…your voice is necessary..you are not boring..i get inspired by other plu-sized bloggers. i am made to feel fat on a daily basis – by aquaintaces, by random strangers…i need people like you to exist on the net voicing your thoughts, dressing unabashedly wearing whatever the fuck you want.

  • Prosaic Nation

    Don’t go. I really like what you do, and even though it’s not rly relevant to your point per se, you ARE beautiful.

  • Rachel Honeysuckelle

    I sincerely hope you do not close up shop, you run a fabulous blog and it was one of the first blogs I ever read. Your blog continuously inspires me because I too am plus sized and I lived most of my life feeling like I didn’t have a voice or that I was suppose to see myself as a lesser person.

    You also have been so kind to me about my battles with depression on twitter and I am immensely thankful for it.

    You, my dear, are not boring and I’d sincerely miss your blog if you closed up shop. Don’t let the critics get you down, most likely they are jealous of the fact that your blog has done so well. You shouldn’t feel the need to apologize for your success in the blogging world to anyone, you earned it and you deserve it!

    I find it very refreshing to come across people posting on days where they aren’t feeling 100% (even though I think you look super beautiful in this post and I love your dress) because it is real and a lot blogging can feel staged at times. It would be impossible for anyone to be 100% every single day.

    Please stay. I would really miss your blog and your amazing posts if you went.

  • Jackie X Plosion

    I can’t even bring myself to wear something like that in public so my admiration for you and all you do is tops.
    <3

  • Ann

    I’ve never read your blog before, and I think the dress is pretty and you look cute in it!

  • sleepydumpling

    I left a really long comment yesterday but it seems to have disappeared. I hope you got to read it.

  • http://prettydressesandunistresses.blogspot.com/ PrettyDressesAndUniStresses

    I don’t know you, but I certainly know how lovely the fat blogging community is about you. So what if one person thinks that “the most successful UK bloggers” (which is obviously an awful lot of people) are boring. Clearly, all the people who follow your blog and have commented here don’t agree with that.

    I enjoy reading your posts, I like the pictures and genuinely appreciate being able to see other people being fat, wearing awesome clothes and not being ashamed.

    Of course it’s not time to close, because they’re still busy reducing the plus size sections in the high streets, hiding them in corners and generally trying to make fat clothing much less visible. I don’t want to shop online all the time, I do however want to see people like you online.

  • Katrin

    I remember finding your blog, back in 2009, when I just myself had started blogging. Just like me you where pretty new to blogging and I was in awe by your style, the way the dressed, your lovely sometimes a little grumpy face, that was so far from unauthentic superficial blogs. I am so happy that I had the chance of meeting you, and when I think back when we had lunch together I still felt someone excited by the fact that I was just sitting there with one of my fav bloggers, a person I look up to, and also still today I get this super excited feeling when you leave a comment.
    All I want to say is, that despite what you are thinking yourself or what others may thing of you and your blog, for me and for a lot of others you have been and still are an important part of plus size blogging and the community, you more than once contributed to it with wisdome and wise words, with a kick ass attitude and with lots and lots of awesome outfits.
    <3

  • bloomie

    Lauren you are one of my absolute favorite bloggers that ever, ever was. I don’t know why you would ever think you weren’t as deserving as you are – you helped pioneer fatshion blogging in England, none of which existed when I lived there in 2004/2005. You are a creator of this space and you kept it political and fat acceptance oriented even when others wanted to make it just about fashion. You are amazing. Please, don’t ever stop blogging.

  • Sarah-lee

    Id be devastated if your blog disappeared. I get really excited every-time blog lovin says you have a new post. Keep going, you’re inspiring.

  • http://theunlikelyhousewife.com Elisa

    oh sweetie, you are absolutely not boring! And it’s good to have variety, so there are blogs for every taste. There’s space for everyone in the blogosphere – definitely for someone as lovely as you are! Please don’t let things and obnoxious people get you down!

  • http://extralargeaslife.com/ Natalie Mulford

    I love you, I really do & think you are amazing. No one can make everyone happy all the time, and when I think of bloggers that I adore for their style, you come to mind in my top 10 worldwide. I love that you show the REAL you, and that everything isn’t absolutly perfect, if you’re actually wearing an outfit, it isn’t going to be 100% wrinkle free, we don’t always have the time or the money to have our hair looking pristine, and hey, we’re fat, thats just who we are. I love your blog and I don’t want it to EVER change, and if it does, that it’s your own personal choice.

  • Becky

    I don’t know that I can add any more than what’s already been said, but you really are very loved, very talented and really rather marvellous. If it’s any consolation, I worry every second of every day that I’m not good enough/fashionable enough/ edgy enough (of which I’m not) but like you, at an absolute basic level, I’m being a visible fat body if nothing else.

  • Buttercup Rocks

    Nooooo! Don’t even think of shutting up shop! You are not in the slightest bit boring. And bugger the jumped-up little pipsqueak who asked Bethany that question. Did they design a fabulous frock that, even as we speak, is being awesomely rocked on flickr by The Rotund herself? I’m guessing not. I suspect, like most self-elected critics, they’re all gob and no style or they’d be out there inspiring people instead of trying to take others down. Hell there are several fatshion bloggers whose style doesn’t float my personal boat, but I put ‘em on the blogroll anyway because I’m not the last word on fatshion and it matters to me that all our voices are heard. This is especially important in the UK where FA is barely a blip in the nation’s consciousness and sartorial choice has always been so limited. Keep doing your thang and sod the naysayers; there are plenty more self-loathing fat gals out there who will have their eyes opened to their own potential by discovering your blog.

  • Bev

    Hey, I’m new to your blog so don’t know and don’t care what you have and haven’t had. I’m a fair bit older than you so I know no matter what you say or do there’s going to be someone somewhere who has something negative to say. My mantra has always been “to thine own self be true”. Please keep blogging and I’ll keep reading. Let this nastiness roll over you. Remember what sticks and stones make break my bolnes but names can and will NEVER hurt me. Take care you xx

  • Car2964

    Two things, no three things.

    1. Don’t go. I love your blog and your sense of style. Gives me ideas and courage!

    2. People can be just plain nasty…jealous, mean etc. My fave saying (just about) “cutting off someone else’s head doesn’t make me any taller..” Seriously…people are mean and forget this truth for the 5 seconds their meanness makes them feel whatever the hell it is they feel.

    3. The only bit in The Great Gatsby that has stayed with me for the 30 years since I read it
    “they’re a rotten crowd”,i shouted across the lawn. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”. I know all of the other wonderful (also worthy) people who have commented hear will agree.
    :)

  • Kate Wooding

    Noooo! I love your blog! Plus your simply be dress is amazing! You are a total inspiration!

  • Rahs Roberts

    Please don’t give up, Lauren. This blog thing has come to me very recently and has made me feel about a million times better about myself, yours and Boombands are the ones I come to if I want to see a good looking girl wear *normal* everyday things -that I would actually wear. Day to day. To work. To the local pub. To do the school run. You have your own quirky beaitiful thing going on to make outfits mor exciting, but mostly I can adapt your looks to suit my needs. I don’t do fashionista ‘edge’ so much, I don’t have time for the vintage pin up look, and as much as I love me a big old flouncy frock, I definitely don’t have much call to wear one in my normal everyday life -going to work,swooping round Tesco and running about after my kids. Also while I do love some of the more political blogs and find them so refreshing, a lot if the time I just want a five minute pic heavy browse for style ideas! :)

    What I am clumsily saying is stay right where you are. We need you, yours are among the most valuable posts to my mind. You’re an inspiration. And you designed a frickin ICE CREAM DRESS- which is my new favourite dress ever :D

    Lots of love from a quiet lurkey non-blogger person x

  • Jasmine Kyle

    Funny I didn’t notice ANY of it till you told me!

    • Hayley Barnes

      Same :)

  • Jennifer Vance

    Aw,you are so adorable.I honestly love your dress (pretty please tell me where you got it?),and it’s nice to see a blogger who I can relate more to.I rarely wear makeup and often my clothes are wrinkled.This is the first post I’ve seen from you,but I hope you keep blogging. :)

  • Clare

    Personally I think you look very beautiful in that picture .. just as beautiful as you do in all your other pictures. There is something very warm and honest and organic in this.. I wish more people would show this side to them. There is nothing wrong in it, we all have days like this.. where our dress is a bit creased and our nails are a little chipped or our hair isnt at its “best” and that is perfectly fine, perfectly natural… perfectly awesome, just like you <3

  • Susan

    Honestly, we need you! More people out there saying: Hey, this is my body, I live in it and inhabit it and love it for all that it is and is not. But it’s not a moral battleground – and definitely not anyone else’s battleground but my own, and then by my own choice.
    And you’re beautiful. Stick around.

  • Jojobell

    Love this blog so much…we need you x

  • http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com/ Belated Bloomer

    You know what? The fact that your blog adds to the number of the unconventional-size minority of blogs is already a factor in implementing change. To see you in outfits, looking good, flaunting curves and talking about style has already made a difference in more than one person’s perspective of themselves.

    I get it. I go through the same process. There are a lot more people out there who might be more attractive (by who’s standards anyway?), more stylish, more trendy and whatnot, but your blog is about YOU. And by that, you already provide a unique voice in (to quote you) “an age when we are denied our voices at any cost.”

    Abi

    http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com

  • http://www.divadellecurve.com/ divadellecurve

    to be honest I like your sense of style, I like the fact that you are not trying to be someone you are not (like a supermodel), I totally identify you with the ‘blogger’ concept I have, which is someone giving an example of real life. Sometimes I wish you’d always take pictures outside with good light like you do sometimes, so your outfits are highlighted as they deserve, other than that, I appreciate your honesty when you write. There are always better and worse people in the blogosphere, but those who really count have personality and to me you’ve got that, at least this is what I perceive.

  • Lindsey Kay Disharoon

    No way! Don’t stop blogging. I just randomly found your blog and instantly love it. You have such a bold fashion sense; I love it! I want to be as bold as you.
    xoxo, Lindsey Dish @ thebeltedpear.blogspot.com