the BIG BAD INTERVIEW
The BIG BAD was created in 2017 with the aim of bringing bigger, fatter, more authentic content to the fashion world. Our motto is ‘activism through aesthetics’, because engaging in fashion while fat is a revolutionary act. Body positivity informs everything we do here - just see for yourself!
What does body positivity mean to you?
To me, body positivity means never wondering whether I would look better in an outfit (or haircut) if I were thinner. It means no longer living in a hypothetical future where I’m skinny and happy. It especially means the elimination of diet culture in my life.
Thoughts on the many terms used to refer to fat women: curvy, thick, chubby, phat?
Honestly, I’m happy to be called any of those as long as at the end of the day people realise I am fat. There’s nothing more infuriating than finally having come to terms with this descriptor, and then having “well-meaning” friends take it away from you. Say something like, “it’s hard to find clothes for fat women” and they TRIP OVER THEMSELVES to reassure you you’re not fat, just [insert euphemism from above]. We need to embrace the adjective the same way we would call people ‘tall’ or ‘young’. Fetishising fat women with euphemisms isn’t going to liberate us - treating us like regular humans will.
It’s also always important to ensure that as non-black people of color or white people, we’re not using terms that aren’t made for us, such as ‘thick’ or ‘thicc’. These terms were created by fat black women for fat black women, are AAVE (African American Vernacular English), and shouldn’t be used regardless of how mainstream media has appropriated them.
What size is plus size?
Plus size varies vastly from region to, brand, to store and more. I consider plus size to begin where most stores stop carrying sizes. In Melbourne, that’s size 16-18. In Panama it’s around 14-16.
What’s the most flattering outfit a big girl can wear?
Question fallacy - this assumes big women need to dress to “flatter” themselves - aka appear different to how they are. The actual answer is “whatever they want to wear”, but often we’re at different stages in our self-acceptance journeys, and though your inner queen is dying to rock a body-con dress, your “society sensor” is undermining your decision. It’s such a judgement call in those instances, because personally I find that being comfortable with oneself is crucial. You’re much more likely to radiate in those worn-in sweats than you are in sausage casing, if you’re in a sweatpants mood.
Body acceptance journey sounds like a trip and a half! Where are you with it?
I’ve only been on the body positive train for a few years. I didn’t wear a crop-top until I was 24, at which point I never looked back.
Mainstream media is still significantly behind in its representation of diverse bodies, races and genders - which means we don’t often see ourselves represented. This in turn means that we spend an overwhelming amount of time looking at unattainable beauty ideal and wishing ourselves thin.
Here’s what I do to fight that: I get butt nekked every day, look at my body in the mirror - touch it, move with it - and express my gratitude for it. I find the places I love and release the others from my expectations. I allow my body to be.
Some days I still consider a range of surgeries - to lose fat, to lift my breasts. And when this happens I have to remind myself that the person I would like to look like doesn’t exist, but that this person, with belly rolls, love handles, and beautiful, saggy breasts, does! I don’t know that the struggle will ever be completely over, but that’s what the BIG BAD is working towards. Normalising fat bodies, showing us in all our glory - from naked to made up.
Are you going to keep doing self-interviews?
I read one by Pedro Almodóvar once - one of my favourite directors of all time - and it just stuck with me. I particularly appreciated when he asked himself THIS question, because until then I didn’t know he was the interviewer.
So my answer is yes: you can expect a lot more self-interviews, and interviews with other amazing, body positive babes!