When I moved to England, the thing that surprised me most about British culture was not the commonly held belief that a two-hour car drive constitutes a day trip or the deeply rooted distrust of optimism, but rather the tight-knit community of British plus size bloggers. Coming from the States — where a two-hour car drive will only get you to the nearest outlet mall (if you're lucky) — it was pretty flooring to move to a country where everyone involved in the intersection of body positivity and fashion seemed to know each other. If you wanted to meet your favorite plus size blogger, you knew chances that they'd be at that clothing swap or runway show you were attending were high. If you wanted to grab a drink with said favorite blogger who lived in London while you lived in Manchester, you could easily meet at the halfway mark and only be traveling for 90 minutes max.
I used to assume that the reason the blogging community in the UK is so tightly-woven was down to geography. England is only about 400 miles in length (not much more than the length of Illinois), and public transportation options (the rail network, especially) are infinitely more efficient, IMO, than those in the U.S. (here's looking at you, NJ Transit). But these days, the American optimism in me thinks it's something more.
So many plus size bloggers based in England use their platform to discuss matters above and beyond just fashion. Through their clothes, they often tell stories about size acceptance, body image, literature, travel, cooking, and mental health. They're a huge part of why I never felt out of place in the UK — why I never felt like I was taking up too much space or being judged for openly professing a liking towards my fat.
At this point, we're all pretty familiar with the names of renowned American plus size bloggers — the likes of Gabi Gregg, Marie Denee, Nicolette Mason, and so many others — so perhaps we should take our sights across the pond. Compared to the United States' 319 million inhabitants, England's population of 53 million seems almost small. But there are just so many body positive blogger gems to discover.
1. Isha Of An Autumn's Grace
What first drew me to Isha's blog was actually her literary prowess. Mixed in with polka dot dresses and tapestry-printed poodle skirts you'll find book reviews and absolute honesty about everything from mental health to body image. Isha doesn't try to perfectly curate her images or words. She tells things as they are — even when "as they are" is difficult or uncomfortable.
2. Hollie Of Pretty Big Butterflies
If ever you feel like a dose of chic minimalism with a fix of brilliant statement jewelry and pink accents, Hollie's blog will be just the ticket. Besides stunning #OOTD posts, Hollie shares beauty reviews, wish lists, and recently a pretty awesome fat yoga post. She writes about dining in a way that's solidifying my future as a foodie, and that's incredibly refreshing to see from a plus size woman in a world that often tells us we should feel guilty for eating.
3. Nancy Of Sugar, Darling?
Combine Marilyn Monroe and Lydia Deetz and you have Nancy Whittington. Whether channeling summer goth vibes or all things pinup, Nancy is basically a queen. Her style is bold and unapologetic and kitsch and I'm obsessed. But amongst the hot pink sequins and H.B.I.C. tees, you'll also find incredibly vulnerable, powerful lifestyle posts aimed at mental health and happiness.
4. Bethany Of Arched Eyebrow
Whether she's blogging (or tweeting) about plus size fashion, body hair, sexuality, dating, feminism, or pizza, Bethany's sincerity and fearlessness when it comes to tackling subjects that make people uncomfortable is inspiring. She's unafraid of posting photos of herself with her tummy and tattoos on full display or underarm hair shining in the sunlight. It's that refusal to feel guilt over not conforming to societal expectations of "beauty" or "femininity" that make her blog a must-read.
5. Georgina Of She Might Be Loved
A self-taught MUA and purveyor of fashion and beauty as a means to empowerment and self-love, Georgina's blog is filled with beauty. Not only is she stunning to look at, but the message that fat women are just as entitled to trends and bold makeup looks as their straight-size counterparts radiates from every post. Let's not forget that her eyebrow game was on fleek before that was even a thing.
6. Stephanie Of Nerd About Town
Stephanie's fashion and beauty-related posts are often a mixture of street style and flower power, and the edgier vibes combined with traditionally dainty numbers basically result in a sartorial wonderland too lovely to pass up. There's something so down to earth about Steph's work. Maybe it's that she's not scared of pulling a funny face mid shoot. Maybe it's the fact that she can rock a flower crown better than just about anyone. Regardless, Nerd About Town is the perfect destination for laid back but empowering fashion and beauty.
7. Charlotte Of Apple Charlotte
Charlotte is a fashion designer first and blogger second, but everything she does has an air of fun femininity to it that just puts a smile on your face. For her final year of undergrad studies, Charlotte designed the Big Apple Collection, a 12-piece collection of plus size fashions featuring precious high-waisted shorts, pleated shift dresses, adorable capes, and other cutesy styles that Jessica Day would be proud of. Everything about her own aesthetic and that of her designs will tap into the manic pixie dream girl in you in the greatest of ways.
8. Lucie Of Fat Beauty X
If you love alternative fashions, Monroe piercings, neon hair, and fearlessness, Lucie might be just the blogger to turn to. Her lingerie and bikini snaps are always quite the body positive treat, but it's her penchant for unique beauty and her strong sense of personal style that make Fat Beauty X so special. Not to mention the fact that any person actively reclaiming the word "fat" and using it in such a positive context (like the name of a killer blog) is bound to be a pretty rad human being.
9. Danielle Of Danielle Vanier
Danielle's style is one of my favorites to follow because it's seemingly so ever-changing. One day she'll be nailing cool California kid vibes, another she'll be opting for total '70s charm or futuristic Barbie feels. There's no trend she's ever been afraid to try, and her bold beauty looks are always a makeup aficionado's dream come true. Danielle's not scared of breaking every single fashion rule in the book, and wearing a neon lipstick whilst doing it.
10. Em Of Terrible Tumbles
A go-to for the tall, plus size ladies out there, Em's blog is an amazing place for plus size fashion that leans towards the "in-betweeny" category. Her social media bio reads, "Gin banned shape throwing wrote for luck dancing karma believing carb eating starfish falling floozie," and that combination of words makes me want to be her best friend. Whether sharing #OOTD snaps, funny face selfies, or the occasional lingerie pic, Em is all about body positivity for every body.
11. Rosie Of A Rose Like This
Rosie's blog and social media platforms are usually a recipe for cuteness overload. A lover of tattoos, funky fashion, and all things vintage, she has this ability to make you feel like you've entered some kind of My Little Pony universe if My Little Pony was a haven for kitsch and amazing plus size princesses. Rosie never shies away from a bold print or fat positive accessory, and her blatant body positivity is always a pick me up.
12. Georgina Of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust
Serving us a mixture of killer pinup vibes, body positive fitness, Harry Potter obsession, and lingerie tips and tricks is Georgina of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. George was one of the first plus size bloggers I ever stumbled upon who posted incredible photos in her undies, and her honest reviews and advice when it came to bra fit and support were always a welcome part of my day. Her recent Lady Voluptuous collection at Lady V London is also proof that pinup fashion can be totally feminist and empowering, while her use of a good swear word here and there adds the perfect dose of reality and relateability to her shared posts and pictures.
13. Gemma Of Pink Gemma
Gemma's style often makes me feel like I'm looking at the sartorial baby of a Williamsburg hipster and Orange is the New Black's Alex Vause — which are, to be honest, two of my favorite sources of style inspo as of late. I met Gemma at a blogger event once upon a time, and was so taken by her vocal support of the intersection of not just body positivity and fashion, but body positivity and LGBTQ rights. She's also perfected wearing hot pink fluffy earrings, which is no easy feat.
14. Callie Of From The Corners Of The Curve
Whenever I see Callie upload a new photo or blog post, I wish beyond all might that I could teleport her to the streets of New York. Something about her style — perhaps her love of black on black or her arsenal of incredibly on-trend LBDs — evokes images I had of Manhattan before actually moving to the city. Callie trumps every single fashion no-no out there, wearing tutus, bikinis, jumpsuits, and mini skirts along the way. Even though she has a love for black on black, the outfits are never meant to hide or conceal her body. Everything is meant to empower.
15. Laura Of What Laura Loves
Laura's enthusiasm for beauty never ceases to amaze me, and her knowledge about all things cosmetics is enough to carry me through the rest of my life. What I love about Laura's blog is her use of color. From the neon greens to the pastel blues to the Barbie pinks, she wears clothing that demands to be seen. She's a beauty queen, and she knows it — and that's what makes her page pretty magic.
16. Lucia Of U Can't Wear That
When I first clicked on Lucia's blog, the words, "I'm so sick and tired of hearing what fat girls should and shouldn’t be wearing," greeted me. Preach, girl. Lucia's work is undoubtedly rooted in deconstructing all these "fat girl fashion rules" and proving that every single person deserves to feel sexy and beautiful and all-around wonderful in their clothes. Fashion shouldn't oppress — it should open doors and allow for creative expression. Whether she's rocking a Barbie T-shirt or a cupcake dress, Lucia's creative expression inspires my own constantly.
17. Betty Of Pamper And Curves
Pretty sure this picture and quote say it all. It's hard to describe Betty Pamper. Something about her is just so strong. She wears what she wants. She says what she wants. She embraces her body, and she never gives a damn about what anyone else has to say about it. Her alternative styling, love of mythical creatures, and incredibly cool retro accents make her not only fascinating, but one of a kind.
18. Debz Of Wannabe Princess
As it reads on Debz' blog, "From opinionated rants about size acceptance to shopping for a bargain and from nights out to crazy online dating stories — you'll read about it all here!" Her versatility when it comes to topics of discussion is incredibly refreshing, and her use of a good snack print dress gives me all the feels. Debz is all for reclaiming words that are coated in stigma and shame from people who don't really understand them, be it "fat" or "BBW." And for that I'll always be grateful.
19. Hanna Of Hanna Wears
Although originally from Finland, Hanna is a London-based blogger whose style encompasses the minimalist, the athleisure, and the chic oversized. She firmly believes that fat women should wear whatever they want, and her own outfits are embodiments of this mantra. Her posts often delve into how each outfit makes her feel and what memories they evoke, thus exemplifying the nostalgic and emotional charges fashion can hold.
There are many more women blogging about body positivity, size acceptance, and plus fashion out there who I'd love to talk about, including in England, but these 19 are a fantastic place to start. They remind me every day that the fight towards size acceptance transcends fashion, but that fashion is still a valuable and empowering tool along the way. Because of their stories (and their frilly tutus), I was able to live in a new country totally free of fear. And because of those stories (and frilly tutus), many women — and men as well — are able live in their bodies free of fear, too.
Images: Courtesy Georgina Grogan/She Might Be Loved; Danielle Vanier