Why does being fat make you invisible on the internet?
It’s a sad fact but the Internet is extremely segregated. Being any sort of marginalized human seems to cast a shadow on your content blocking many people from seeing you. This is something I experience both as a black woman and a fat woman. People tend to be most attracted to a magical cocktail of relatable and inspirational but, where does it leave fat women when the barometer of aspiration is a body type?
When we talk about inclusivity in fashion and beauty spaces much of the action taken looks like tokenism. One of the things I want to do this year is to build a bridge between stylish people of all shapes and sizes. It’s easy to look through a narrow lens where everyone you follow online looks like you and you relate directly to them. Or yet, only aspire to be like or be inspired by people you body worship but what if true lovers of style – at every size made a concerted effort to appreciate content and ideas from people who are outside of the the mainstream European standards of beauty.
This thought isn’t about thin people vs larger people because even within our respective size categories it happens. We look at others, analyze and dissect. Deciding which parts of ourselves are better or worse. Both thin and plus size women operating inside of a bubble. Fat women invisible to thin women because what could we possibly offer… and fat women either segregating because we don’t feel seen or represented are also guilty of ignoring women who are bigger than them, have a different body type or who don’t focus on outfits that are solely “flattering”. There are so many plus size women who have a developed sense of style that easily compares to that of some of the most sought after and highly paid thin influencers but what most often grabs eyes/clicks and attention is the salacious. Style, true style is ignored or misunderstood.
I’m lucky enough to have a great many stylish friends of all sizes (the gorgeous and talented Krystal Bick featured above being one of them!) who make me feel seen, respected and who can openly experience my gifts regardless of my size but they are not in millions – or even hundreds of thousands. My hope is to start a conversation so that we can all take a longer look at our behaviors and truly be more inclusive in the ways in which we consume and support content creators.
Thanks so much to Krystal for joining me on this really fun 80’s glam inspired shoot! I’ll be shooting with more women who inspire me and who’s content I love this year. To be continued…