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Where did the role models go?

These days when I read the paper (well the app on my phone) there always seems to be an article about a once fat celebrity who has now slimmed down, leaving us with very few plus size roles models and people in the public eye who are flying the fat flag. I find this quite sad, younger girls will assume that slim is the only way as even people who were once happy in their skin (such as Dawn French, Nigella Lawson and Pauline Qurike) have given in and conformed to the pressure to be slimmer. This is why I feel on-line communities like this are so important for girls, it shows that fat acceptance exists, even if its not in the public eye and gives us role models we are can actually relate to.

Dawn French:

Pauline Quirke:

I wrote the above blog back in 2012 - 5 years ago and think i need to revisit it.

A lot has happened in those 5 years, more and more brands have started doing plus size, the plus size community has grown bigger and stronger, and we've had proper role models emerge from it, people who seemed to be proud of who they were, fat and all. Yet there seems to be a trend recently of some of the more visible fat people out there admitting to weight loss surgery and citing health concerns as the reason (cos you know, us fatties are unhealthy and are all going to die young) and it is playing back into a narrative that you can only be happy, successful, loved, accepted, healthy, if your body occupies less space. 

It is also irresponsibly promoting the idea that weight loss can fix all your problems and make you look amazing, but it doesn't help with the emotional side and can create lots of health problems as a result, which none of them seem to be talking about. If you can't love yourself as a fat person, you won't love yourself as a thinner person. 

Gabourey Sidibe

The woman who shut down trolls in the most amazing way after receiving horrific backlash for how she looked at the  Golden Globes (AKA the audacity to be on a red carpet and not be thin) recently revealed she has weight loss surgery and cited health concerns as the reason 

Mama June

A lady who always encouraged her daughter (Honey Boo Boo) to love who she was, no matter what she looked like, has had a dramatic transformation and cites revenge on her ex partner as the reason. 

Melissa McCarthy

She was always so positive about her size and i loved her for that, and she proved you could be a leading lady in Hollywood without having to fit in....or so i thought 

Ashley Nell Tipton

I was really shocked to hear about this morning  that Ashley Nell Tipton has has weight loss surgery and is banging on proudly about it on social media (and what prompted me to update this post). She won Project Runway designing clothes for plus size women and was someone a lot of us saw as empowering and really understood the needs of the plus size market, a voice inside the fashion world. She has cited health reason for her weight loss. But don't worry "she will still design rad clothing and accessories for plus-size women" - oh so you are happy to make money off me, just not look like me. 

What kind of message is this sending out to fat people? And girl young girls who are struggling with body image?

There has been some great posts on this subject and i thought i would share a few:
Internalised Fathphobia is Still Fatphobia
Dear Virgie: Ashley Nell Tipton’s Weight Loss Surgery – Wtf?