Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fat Tuesdays : Solstice Intimates Part 3

Sooooooo, you might remember that well over a year ago, I began writing about how companies represent the sizes they sell. I wrote about how some people say that fat girls should "speak with their dollars," which means buy from companies that offer plus size clothes. I wanted to take it a step further and ask for representation from those companies. I have posted about a t-shirt company, an athletic gear company, and a lingerie company. Some of these companies have received follow up posts, which is what this post is. Today, I received a notification in my inbox that I had received a comment on a post written last September. I published the comment, and here is a screen shot of it:

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OK, so I am apparently "ridiculous" for wanting companies who sell clothing in my size to actually represent that in the models on their site. It's never been about me necessarily, although it is about me because I'm the one shopping and noticing and speaking up. I have yet to find any blog post or receive any comments or e-mails about how other people are doing what I'm doing. (But if you are, please reach out!) So, yes it's about me because I want to be able to see fat girls represented on websites who are trying to sell to fat girls, but no it isn't about me because I want other fat girls to feel comfortable shopping at stores who go the distance not only to sell clothes in our sizes but also use models that represent us. Target does it on the regular, why can't anyone else?

As usual, the answer is, "small business, no resources," because you guys, FAT GIRLS ARE INCREDIBLY HARD TO FIND AND IF YOU'RE ALREADY USING MODELS FOR YOUR PRODUCT IT IS JUST WAY TOO DIFFICULT TO FIND FAT GIRLS!!!!!. Right. Ok, go sell someone else that bridge.

Also, I am aggressive and egotistical because I told the business owner to send me free clothes so I could photograph them... Uhh, that's called getting paid to do work. If I were to do a commercial fashion shoot of one model in one location, I'd charge $200 for the photography and if I were modeling, I'd expect to be paid $100/hr. So, you'd have to pay me $300 just to do one self-portrait session with one look, which is FAR MORE than what one body suit or one bralette and panty would cost. That's not me asking for free shit, that's me giving you a fucking deal on photography and modeling.

(Anyway, if you pay attention to the video, I read a comment from the owner of Solstice Intimates, where she calls my photography beautiful, 'cause it is. So she and I agree on that matter.)

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As for the argument that Solstice Intimates is a "small business," whatever. She now has 132K followers on IG and several lines of clothing. Sure, that's not Target, but it's also not that small.

But anyway small or not, EVERY BUSINESS should start and end with integrity, so I call bullshit on that.

HOWEVER, since this hater brought to attention a post I don't even think about, a company who has blocked my IG (like I can't go look at them somewhere else), and clothing I don't even buy because I don't want it.... I went and looked around. And I am super pleased to tell you that Solstice Intimates now has REPRESENTATION!!!!

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First, they revamped their sizing chart to be more representative of what they sell and it now includes size 12/14, which is still on the small side, but more inclusive than a LOT of companies!!!!

Their Instagram has a better range of sizes represented. It's not as great as JBC Lingerie, my fave lingerie company, but it's far and away better than it was. In fact, the first really obviously "plus size" model, with a belly and rolls and everything, showed up just days after my follow up rant...

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Coincidence? You decide.

Their website also has representation in a few ways. The day after my follow up rant, their "diary" section of their website featured a post on "real women" that included a legit chubby girl...nice thighs, no belly rolls. Not too long after that, they posted about their nursing line and also started featuring pregnant and breastfeeding moms on their website and IG. Of course, the pregnant ladies are still thin, but it's representation of some sort.

Also, their website now has more ambiguous models. These are models who might look chubby, but probably are still "thin". Models who seem to have large thighs in one picture, but have a thigh gap in another. Models who might be sucking in to hide their belly. It's a poor man's representation of size diversity and it's tricksy. To the uninitiated, it looks like they feature a wide range of sizes, but in reality, those models could still be quite thin. However, what it definitely represents is a more realistic image of the types of consumers who shop online. Whereas obviously thin models look unrealistic to everyone, ambiguous models look like the people we all know. They might have what some would perceive as "flaws" just like all of us feel we have.

(I don't view non-traditional models of any size or shape as having flaws. I think ALL bodies are perfect.)

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That sort of representation is sort of a pain in the ass for a fat girl. 'Cause all us fat girls have friends who bitch about their bodies but can still buy clothes from any store in the mall, whenever they want. Using "real" women as models on any website is nice in terms of society's ideas about beauty, but when those "real" women are still straight size, it's not actual representation. Actually fat models are like actually fat women; unable to find clothes that fit in any store in the mall.

Thankfully, Solstice Intimates now represents actually fat women as well.

Solstice now has a red headed model who shows up quite a few times in their IG and is very obviously fat. She has big thighs, a big belly, bigger arms. She is the kind of "real" that many fat girls want to see...the kind of "real" that many fat girls can see and then IMAGINE their body in the clothes she's wearing. It gives us comfort and hope that we can buy something (non-returnable as this company is) and actually wear it. Unfortunately, she's much harder to find on the shopping section of their site.

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Nevertheless, there she is. Solstice Intimates has actual representation of women of size. As for the commentary from that anonymous commenter about women of color, that was never a question. Solstice Intimates has always used models of color. I never argued that they didn't.

So look, you can call me an asshole all day long, and that's fine with me. I'm not gonna shut up. In fact, calling me an asshole ensures that I won't shut up. When I piss people off, it is 100% because what I said is true and needed to be said. Call me names and hate on me all day long, I don't care. I will continue to publish your comments and call them out in blog posts such as this.

But as for the ridiculousness of my posts about Solstice Intimates, a big NOPE to that. Solstice didn't represent women of size and now they do. Not only do they feature "customers" (who conveniently have thousands of followers) in their IG stream, they also clearly have at least one "plus size" model who represents the largest end of their sizing and who shows up on their IG feed as well as in their ecommerce website. I officially support shopping with Solstice Intimates.

(I mean for you, probably not for this asshole who has been called many things and definitely attacked on her blog and her YouTube and generally doesn't like asshatery for which she still has not received an apology. 'Cause call me an asshole all day long, but I never attacked Solstice Intimates until the owner came to my blog and left a totally bullshit comment accusing me of not supporting her. I don't truck with that nonsense.)

*A NOTE* Lest you be angry that I use the word, "fat," it's my preferred term for myself and therefore how I describe other fat women unless otherwise directed by them.

The post that started it all.

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