Tuesday, 28 August 2018

'You Have The Right To Remain Fat' by Virgie Tovar Review*

Do you know who Virgie Tovar is? You should! If you want to learn about real body positivity, and fat positivity, she's a true shining star to turn to. Tovar is an author, an activist, and all around badass. She edited 'Hot & Heavy : Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion', was a plus size editor for Buzzfeed, and founded Babecamp. Babecamp is a 4 week online course to 'Lose hate, not weight', and is designed to help you break up with diet culture. Tovar is someone I am so grateful I discovered when I first realised there was a whole plus size community online that felt they deserved better and deserved to take up space. She has been liberating and life changing for so many people, so when I heard she was publishing a non-fiction book, 'You Have the Right to Remain Fat', I could not wait to get my hands on it.

From the very first page, this book feels radical. 'A call for the death of fatphobia' shouts from the inner sleeve (which by the way doubles as a handy bookmark, it's the little things), and Tovar continues to smash through fat politics, demanding change, whilst also managing to be warm and endearing. She talks of teenage years and a young adulthood that are all too familiar to those of us that are fat, punishing ourselves for not achieving the impossible. I have to give a particular shout out to the chapter 'Internalised Inferiority and Sexism' which really got to me, addressing the ways women and femmes are diminished that they don't even realise.

This book may be small in stature, but it is mighty and powerful, the book you didn't know you needed but that will change your life.

If you are just beginning your journey to self acceptance, I cannot recommend it enough. You'll read things that you never thought you'd see someone dare to put into words, things you thought but never uttered. There are so many stories I recognise myself in, and I'm sure most women and femmes, fat or not, would see themselves in them too. Truths leap out from every page and shake you into realisations you didn't think you were allowed to have.

Tover manages to write a book that is both an essay that is educational but accessible, whilst also revealing societal truths through tales that will be oh so familiar. You'll see yourself, and how to break free.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

*book was gifted to me for review purposes. In no way does this impact upon my opinions which are entirely my own.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

In Memory of G

On the 22nd of July we woke up to a truly devastating phone call, the news that my beloved Grandfather, known affectionately as G, had suddenly passed away. He had been ill for a long time, but we had all expected him to stubbornly fight away for more years to come. Sadly it was not to be.

G was a man who fitted more into his life than most people could possibly dream of. He lived in and travelled to 54 countries, he learnt Arabic, Portugese, conversational Mandarin, and more I probably have no idea about. For years I've used G in many internet arguments, whenever people would say that older people should be forgiven for their prejudices because they were a different generation I would talk about G and how he always strived to be a better person. Liberal and open minded, accepting of everyone, and wanting the world to be a better place for all.

I knew two things almost immediately. That I wanted to be a pallbearer, and that I wanted to speak at G's funeral. Both things terrified me, but I just felt I had to do them. G spent the later years of his life using a wheelchair or electric scooter, and I would often be the one pushing him along as we adventured. If I could help him on his travels in life, I was determined to help him on his final journey too. Delivering a eulogy at a funeral was something I had never even considered, but I felt totally compelled to. I wanted to be the last of the family to speak, because I knew what I wanted to end on was just right. I found a strength I didn't know I had to speak, and was so proud of my Mum and Auntie who also spoke, and my Dad, brother, uncles and husband Stu, who were also pallbearers. We did G proud.

'I want to end on something he and I read online and thought was beautiful, inspired by a piece called 'You want a physicist to speak at your funeral'. It's a piece of writing about how to deal with loss and grief as an atheist, and find comfort in the world. In the Laws of Thermodynamics, the first law states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, instead, it can only be transferred. G was a man of science, and he loved this. Over his years his energy has transferred into everyone he's ever met, and everything he's ever been involved in, a little piece of him is in all of us who loved him. His energy hasn't gone anywhere, it's simply a part of us all now instead. I love you G, thank you.'

In G's memory, we have set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Kidney Research UK. G spent the last year of his life on dialysis, and the teams who helped with his kidney disease were incredible people.

It was my absolute privilege to have G as my Grandfather, and I miss him so much. Every time I hear a Willie Nelson song I'll think of him always.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Tie Dye Dreams

How often do you see an item of clothing you love but hate the colour? It happens so often for me. I don't like navy or brown tones on me, and I can't wear white. I am far too clumsy and untidy to wear white! I recently saw a white dress on ASOS that I really loved the shape of, but was put off by the white. It had a wrap waist and adorable tortoiseshell buttons and was very me, except for the white colour.

Fast forward a few days and I'm peeking at one of my favourite blogger's instagram accounts, the awesome CurvyWordy. She's sharing some new trousers she's dyed in a variety of different colours, totally genius! And then it hit me, I needed to order than white dress and I knew exactly what I was going to do with that dress.

Dress - ASOS Curve (in solid white only)
Tie Dye done by To Dye For
Sunglasses - Quay Australia
Necklace - Sugar & Vice (custom)

I sent it off to 'To Dye For', a company I'd come across as music festivals who make fantastic tie dyed clothing. I'd been really impressed by the fact that they carried up to a size 26 as standard, at festivals, something I've never seen before. Usually at music festivals plus sizes are a total no go zone, but they made the effort to bring every size with them, which is amazing for an independent company. My husband owns two tie dye hoodies from them and they've washed really well and are still as bright as ever, so I knew they were up to the task.

 I checked with the company that the material of the dress was suitable, it's 100% cotton so it was perfect for dyeing. Synthetic materials don't take dye as well (which I didn't know), so I had picked well. I decided to opt for the black rainbow tie dye option, they have a great range of patterns and I'm seriously tempted by the nebula pattern next.

As soon as I opened the parcel containing my dress I was in love. The colours had come out so vibrantly and beautifully, it was all I could have hoped for. The colours pop so well against the black, I love it. It's really comfy and light because it is cotton too, which makes it perfect for this heat wave that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I've popped a vest top underneath it for these photos, which is the black panel you can see. It's quite a low cut dress and I have a smaller chest with no real cleavage, so I sometimes put a vest top under lower cut dresses as if I'm going to be seated they can tend to gape a little on me.

Every time I wear this dress I get compliments, and I love knowing that it's totally unique. I would most definitely send off more clothes to be dyed by To Dye For. Even in the height of festival season the dress was back in my hands within two weeks which is really impressive.

And finally, I just have to share with you my new Troll 2 inspired Nilbog necklace from Sugar & Vice. I am still so into that film and I people are always so confused when they ask me what it says. 'Nilbog? That's goblin spelled backwards!'

For me, this is a perfect summer outfit, and I'll be wearing it to the next festival I go to for sure.

Much love,
Kitty xxx