Erm the wooden floorboards here were way too scorching hot for me to stand beyond this picture so I adjourned to the jacuzzi.
My eyes are always instantaneously attracted to anything vibrant and I knew I had to get this swimsuit – especially for those pretty straps!
Then it was time to cool off for a while ..
Followed by a few pictures at the lush greenery around the condo my folks live in
The pool was substantially more crowded today since tomorrow is a public holiday, there were some pesky judgmental onlookers – you know, those who stare at you from head to toe and regard you with a grimace – but after 2 years of shooting for swimsuits, I really couldn’t care less.
My existence as a fat woman of colour will always ruffle feathers and thats fine! Make a boa feather thingy while you’re at it 😉
I do not have outfits for Diwali this year and I have plenty of catching up to do with other posts so I know its weird to time this with Diwali but what the heck! Let a girl have some pool time.
My verdict for this swimsuit? Once again, this is roomy for my friends who are busty and the straps are not troublesome to wear, again there was no wrestles with this one piece. This is swimming lap approved as well for my water babies out there! Overall, this is a winner. Whether you choose to lounge in it, wade lazily, or get in a few laps.
Onwards to the Little Details
For makeup, I wore my Fenty Beauty foundation in shade 310 for the first time for the blog! I think I found the right match for my skin tone, and coverage is mild-medium. I personally love it, it works well on my combination skin. I didn’t highlight or contour, simply colour corrected and concealed my eye circles and the darkened areas around my face.
I found this bindi set in ASOS, and i chuckled “If the Westerners can wear these for their music festivals, why can’t I wear it for a swimsuit shoot?” I like the mermaid vibe it gives off and with the purple glitter on the eyes, It looked kinda Intergalactic to me for some reason and of course it gave off mermaid vibes hence the title!
Okay folks! My series for Moxi Blu swimwear is done and I hope you enjoy this post! Take care of yourselves and I will see you soon!
I bring you my first swimsuit post for 2017, which I know is totally not suited for Fall but its still hot as heck out here and I really wanted to catch up on swimsuits this year … given the injury did not allow me to enjoy swimsuit season earlier this year!
I was approached by Moxi Blu – an American swimsuit company that is fairly new, it has garnered rave reviews over this summer. Back when I was approached, I was still working through walking without crutches and I knew it was going to take me time to get a start on these swimsuit posts .. I had no idea it was going to take this long!!
Moxi Blu is not available internationally as yet, but when it is I will be the first to let you know! It is available in The USA and has major discounts on their swimwear right now.
Although it is a given, nothing and no one can really prepare you for the mental, emotional and physical rollercoaster a life-altering injury puts you through. Its safe to say I almost feel like a whole other Aarti now and I kinda like this new Aarti 🙂
Anyhoo! Onwards with the post! I received 2 swimsuits from Moxi Blu and I am featuring one of them in this post, followed by the other in the next few days.
Colour blocking will always be a winner in my books, and the mix of hot pink and light blue here really pops. It looks even better in person!
I call this look : Futuristic Mermaid 😉
I did not get a chance to get my tan on this year and I am happy to report I am nicely tanned thanks to the sunny skies yesterday, I love it!!
At first, I felt out of my element getting this shoot done because it honestly feels like it has been Ages since I have done a swimsuit post but luckily this water baby was just so happy to be standing sturdy on her two feet, getting my first proper swim lap since forever – the hubs had a hilariously tough time getting me to focus on the shoot because I submerged myself into the pool any chance I could get !!
….. Which is WHY the glitter on my face swirled away into the pool hehe and I look like this in later pictures lol! Ah well!
My verdict on this swimsuit : It is everything and more. The top is roomy and I recommend it to my more busty friends. The bottom was like second skin and did not roll down. If like me you are a swimmer, fret not – doing laps in this is totally possible. I speak from experience!
Now let’s get to the Little Details !
I like how the layer of pink beneath the blue cups for the top make for a pretty mix of colours when it has contact wit water.
The vibrance of the top lends to the colour blocking of the bottom, which is high waisted and really comfortable.
The clasp at the back is sturdy and I have to say, putting this swimsuit on was hassle free. I really don’t like wrestling with clothing :p Typically, I used to shy away from the back view of swimsuits or outfits that showed off my back but that is a thing of the past from this year!
Alright! On to makeup. This was so much fun! I feel i should have done a test run as to how much glitter I wanted on the side of my face lolol but I do not hate this outcome though. No foundation in this look, I did not see the point since I was going to swim right after (or in my case, during hehe). I decided with an aquamarine glitter look for the upper eyes, from my vegan glitter palette by Etsy store BKRCosmetics . Part of the reason why this post was delayed was because of my vision for the look. It took some time for the glitter palette from The US and the loose glitter from Germany to arrive. It was not very delayed but it did take a while. No matter, because I love the end product! The loose glitter is from Etsy store Projekt Glitter, biodegradable glitter in adorable plastic tubes in different varieties of colours, depending on the colour palette you’re going for! I really dig all things glitter, luminescent, iridescent, glowing and the past season has really shown us some amazing looks from fashion shows and bloggers involving all of my favourite things. Incorporating glitter with this look was so much fun! For the application of glitter, you can either go with aloe vera gel or get a glitter adhesive that is soft and not toxic to your skin. Mine was from Barry M, found it on the ASOS website. The gorgeous red lipstick is from NYX cosmetics.
And yes, removing loose glitter off your face and body is quite the challenge! I had no trouble at all with the glitter eye palette, a few face wipes was all it needed. I can safely say I am glitter free this morning!
Well I hope this was fun for you to read and view as it was for me to plan and shoot for! Really looking forward to the next swimsuit post, and the subsequent posts to come to celebrate Fall.
Its my 35th birthday. I woke up early and a voice kept urging me to write. I call that voice my voice of divinity and maturity. So here I am.
I promised to fill you in on whats been going on. It’s not going to be a pretty post, although it isn’t all gloomy. Lets move chronologically, shall we? This will chart my personal life instead of the professional. The latter I will leave for an upcoming post, after the super duper belated blog anniversary post 🙂
This I recall speaking of so I will keep it concise. I was in a bad place emotionally, like my heart was giving way. And my lungs couldn’t cope as a result, as if my entire system was in fight or flight mode. So one very early morning, I found myself rushed to the hospital for a stubborn asthma attack. I had undergone the whole nebuliser shebang a day ago, but I was in much more physical pain and distress than usual. I recall sobbing while breathing raggedly on my way to the hospital, afraid and feeling miserable. My ribcage was inflamed, I was administered the nebuliser 4 times and it took me a month to breathe easy again. After that scare, I threw myself into work and put my sadness on hold. I needed the distractions to keep myself going.
I was approached by Cleo magazine Singapore to pen an article regarding feeling bikini ready as a plus size woman, and roped in two of my body positive friends in the region – Rani and Ratna – who co-own The Curve Cult, a plus size clothing store located in Far East Plaza. We had such a blast! Getting dolled up, posing with glee, feeling amazing after the photoshoot. We felt a mix of excitement and apprehension for the reception our images and article would receive. Personally, I was in a good place feeling the positivity of the girls and the hope that we would be contributing to something special for our folks who needed a push towards feeling body beautiful, swimsuit/bikini beautiful.
When the article hit the newsstands, we were finally allowed to share our excitement across social media and post our behind-the-scenes shots along with links to the article itself. We were realistic about expecting a backlash from trolls, but we weren’t prepared for the massive backlash And support. If you backtrack to that period in the blog, I divulge all details about that period – the media circus, the mayhem and the immense outpour of solidarity.
It was astounding to receive a worldwide response from calling out Instagram for not being upfront about their trigger-happy fat shaming population and their lack of consideration for fat folks’ experience on Instagram as a result of the deletion of our posts due to violations we did not commit. And this applies to Facebook just as much. Lets not forget Twitter too…Le sigh. The media coverage, the comments, the blocking of horrid fat shamers and fat fetishists took a toll on us three. I reckon that whole celebratory feeling after the article was published? That feeling lasted for One day. My inboxes across social media were filled to the brim with accusatory, hateful, supportive messages. It took me three months after the publication of the June Cleo mag edition to really notice that FINALLY, the attention was manageable and not wrecking my sleep or anxiety.
See the thing about me is, although I enjoy blogging – I will never get used to being the centre of attention. While I find myself placed in platforms where I lead, I much prefer being a collaborator, co-worker and part of the collective voice than being presented to the frontline. I have a lot to say and much more to get done, I am no one-trick pony. Being a fat body positive advocate is one facet of Curves Become Her. While I have not yet posted as often about the other intersections I am a proud part of, they will be brought to your attention as 2017 unravels.
The first half of 2016 took a great toll on me. While I pushed on with work and maintaining a clearer set of lungs, it was work on autopilot.
Sometime in July, our 9 year old Yorkshire-Terrier Dash simply stopped being able to move one day. That first vet visit was a shock to us when we were told he was probably paralysed for good. We were in unchartered waters, absolutely gobsmacked. My Facebook Hive mind came to my rescue – Francesca, Brittany, Courtney – they helped me find answers and get a second opinion. I put my writing on hold, dedicating myself to keeping an eye on Dash. He needed help expressing his bladder, he refused to eat or drink so he was syringe-fed twice daily, he needed to be moved several times a day to avoid getting sores. He was on strict bed rest but there is a reason he is named Dash lol, so I had to make sure he didn’t get over his head with wanting to trot along with our jack russell.
Miraculously, he began to stand a month later. Then he began to take a few tentative steps and our vet was just as stunned as we were – what was up with this fella? We chalked it up to a bad back sprain, and moved on.
Somewhere during the time I was caring for Dash and having a serious case of writer’s block, I decided I had to take a break at the year end. My nerves were shot. I spent days in bed feeling fatigued and unmotivated to do anything. As a blogger, I knew how risky that decision was going to be for me. Out of sight, Out of mind – that is how the attention span goes for people following our body of work. But, I was counting on my 4 solid years of dedication to the craft and the formation, fostering of lasting relationships to be there when I returned. I set the start date of that break for November 1st and tied some of the loose ends with my Diwali posts and Halloween post. By Diwali-ween, I was ready never to see social media again.
Ohh but it took a while to get it out of my system. You get so accustomed to checking your emails-facebook-instagram-twitter-tumblr before even getting out of bed, you don’t realise you have a ‘problem’. What really helped was staying over at my folks’ place while they were on a week long holiday in India. Chilling with Archana (younger sister), catching up on sleep. But something did not feel right with my health. I began to spontaneously bleed vaginally after my first day there and my lower back was acting up – the latter being a very normal symptom due to my years of living with PCOS and Endometriosis.
It was a sunny Friday and I was looking forward to an afternoon swim when it happened. I got up from the balcony chair to place my plate after breakfast to the kitchen sink. And I was sieged by the most painful sensations down my back. Thinking all I needed was some muscle pain relieving ointment, I applied it and lay in bed elevating my legs. The pain spread to my shoulders, creeped up the neck. My face was flush with the pain and I was quite literally beginning to see stars. I don’t typically do this, but I called Su and told him he needed to come back home and bring me to the doctor near our place. Getting dressed, sitting in a cab, walking to the clinic felt like hell on earth. The physician administered a tramadol injection and chalked this pain up to a back strain. One hell of a back strain!
We figured the tramadol shot would ease the pain, but it did the reverse. The back spasms began to clench in and out per minute and that walk back to my apartment is not something I will be forgetting. I had to stop and start breathing heavily because I was ready to pass out from the pain. I lay down in my bed and found no relief. I was gripping the metal headboard of my bed, sweat pouring down my forehead, afraid I was going to black out. 15 minutes of that and we decided this was an emergency, we called for an ambulance. Waited in immense pain for another 15 minutes, was transported on a stretcher gritting my teeth and trying not to lose consciousness. I was immediately sent for an X ray, administered another Tramadol injection and more medication. We stayed on in the hospital for 10 hours. When the doctors felt I was able to head home, they finally discharged me. Throughout the hospital stay, I slipped in and out of consciousness just like I did during the asthma attack in Feb. Scary stuff. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Sciatica, just to let you know why this happened.
Unable to walk/sit/stand/lie down, it was a living hell for all of November. It took me a week after the hospital visit before I could walk (still in tremendous pain). I had to be seated to bathe, I could not eat without flinching, getting up from the sofa/recliner/bed was hellish. We reached out to my physiotherapist friend Aparna for an appointment to hopefully get some pain management. She has been a God-send. After reviewing my posture, asking pertinent questions about my mobility, she finally had some answers that I needed to hear. Back in 2004, my right foot’s nerves and achilles tendon were severed, followed by nerve injury to my left foot in 2006. Mobility on my right foot is tentative – while I am able to stand and walk, the immense damage to the foot has affected the nerves connected to my entire right side. Same goes for the left, although that situation is less intense. So this was a long time coming. And stress definitely exacerbates it.
As for the pain from my head to shoulders – thats all stress. Heaps of it, like putting the weight of the world on them. So I have spent the past few weeks since starting physio doing the necessary stretches, keeping myself un-sedentary and changing my furniture. The first thing Aparna made me get was a proper workstation, one that will ensure my back and neck are supported and my shoulders or hands will not hurt as much.
This has been so helpful and important since I primarily work from home. Previously, I typed away in bed or slouched across the couch. As I type away now, my neck, shoulders, back muscles feel supported and I have an incline on the laptop that helps keep the arms less tensed. Next up will be changing my soft couch to a firmer one, my IKEA recliners to sturdier armchairs. All in good time.
As I made these changes, our jack russell Schatzi began to worry us with her inactivity. She is your typical Jack Russell – hyper, leaping and bolting around, sniffing every spot like a detective, chasing our 2 cats. So when I realised she wasn’t doing much of her naughty shenanigans, it was definitely cause for concern. Turns out, she had hurt her back and was diagnosed with sciatica – face palm. What a pair we make Schatz. So while I tended to my back, I tended to hers. Let me tell you trying to limit and restrain a Jack Russell is like pulling teeth. Similarly, she wouldn’t eat or drink for a while because she was in pain. After going through all that with Dash, we were more aware of how to best take care of her.
After all of those events, when the hubster started his month long break I was so relieved. Just to have someone with me at home, caring for our pooches together while sorting my health out. I still had loose ends to tie up with the blog so I did my stretches, did my best to get my game face on and get two fashion posts done. It took a lot out of me with each post but I pushed on. I needed to start easing myself back into blogger/writer mode, and I have had a lot of time to think about my 2017 blogger/writer goals.
We were all geared to get busy with planning outings and having some much needed fun when it happened again. Dash stopped moving. Part of me hoped it was just another back strain, part of me knew this was serious. Our suspicions were confirmed – he has sustained hind leg paralysis. Dash is a rescue pet like all of our pets and when he lived on the streets, he was run over by a car. The other stray dog was not as lucky, he passed away but Dash survived. When we adopted Dash, it had been a few months since the accident. His vertebra was damaged and we were very careful with him. We always have been, and we hoped his mobility would be okay but it looks like its caught up with him as age catches up.
This time around there was less weeping and less helplessness. We are fully aware of our responsibilities of caring for our paraplegic dog, who bless his heart is such a darling fighter. We have taken so many measures to keep him comfortable and we will get him a stroller as well as walking wheels (doggy wheelchair) in 2017.
With our senior 15 year old shih tzu Hershey, we are very realistic about his condition. Old age has taken away his mobility completely so we carry him to and fro, just like Dash. At first with Dash becoming paraplegic, I wanted to bawl all day and not go for physiotherapy but I have to take care of myself because my fur babies depend on me. As a first time cat and dog owner, this has been a fast track learning experience. Emotionally I cannot even express how it has been, but we keep a strong front. Hubster and I make for an amazing team 🙂
Last week, my mom sustained fractures in both her hands and is wearing splints. This has been a challenging year for mom’s health and that has had me worried as well.
All things considered, it has been Quite a year eh? Lets not forget the amazing musicians and actors we have lost this year oh my goodness my heart – Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, CARRIE FISHER (just yesterday). The world has been in disarray with bloodshed, violence and that orange man with a toupe.
I spent the first hour of my 35th birthday crying because I was thinking back to how this year had been. After which I fell into deep slumber. Woke up and that voice said – Write. So here I am, for better or worse. Trying to do the best I can.
I don’t like speculating or over-planning a new year. Realistically speaking, I know there will be more hurdles to come for year 35. But just like 34 it will have good days and good times.
I know pain in all its variations intimately. I understand its purpose well. And all I can say at this point is:
Firstly, I have to thank you, dear readers. For sharing your stories after my previous post, for being so lovely and encouraging. For telling me to take my break even though I will be missed. Your words means so much to me.
Now, allow me to clear some things up that perhaps brought about some confusion:
When I say I am underrepresented, I mean that I feel the pinch of not being acknowledged in my own country and the region.
This isn’t about securing a few deals with big plus size fashion retail companies in the States or other countries in the West. This is about my sadness from being blatantly looked over because I am a fat woman of colour in my region. It saddens me that the fat phobia here is so strong that they would not look at me, a blogger, among the many fashion bloggers, because I do not represent their norm.
As sad as it is that some retail companies in the West will not ship to Asia, even stores in Australia – that is just a small part of the problem.
The problem is far deeper and less personal than being able to access more amazing plus size clothing or having to wait forever for shipping. No, that is not a big deal at all. And I am very grateful that I even have the opportunities that I have right now because of my location. Companies like ASOS aside, Indie companies & small businesses give me life!
When I say I don’t have a PR rep to help me, It means I don’t have someone who can help me with prioritising my time and helping me with reaching my potential.
I’m still learning, like the rest of you. This is something I have to do on my own and I am well aware of it. That does not pose as a problem. I only have two pairs of hands though, and somedays it feels like I can’t get off my HP or laptop and I wish I had someone to help me. But that’s okay, that’s not as big of a deal for me to be honest.
Comparison is the thief of Joy. This is why I do not partake in it.
Girl, if I was to compare myself to the bigwigs out there, I’d be Miserable! This is not about comparing myself to the more established bloggers. This is about finding my own place and being my own competition. The only person I compete with and challenge, is Myself. That’s how I will always roll. What upsets me is feeling invisible or shunned in Singapore and the rest of Asia.
This disillusionment stems from how flaky and unpredictable relationships can be in the industry and other communities.
It can be so confusing.
One minute you’re appreciating each other’s work and being friendly and Another minute they stop talking to you as if you did something wrong. I will never get that. I am the way that I am. I’m not saying everyone is like this..but it Does happen and the whole follow/unfollow or speak/ignore bit can get really confusing. Sometimes it feels like merely existing and churning out posts has some people disliking you, which is absolutely weird!
For most parts, I find myself blessed working with people who do no such nonsense and who are inspiring to work with.
Finances are tight. But I’m not going bankrupt over this.
I did talk about struggling with finances. Let me just say that I do not spend $1000 a month just for clothes, it’s not like that. I shop with a specific Budget but bear in mind that clothing aside, bloggers do have to fork out money for accessories, shoes, makeup and other blog-related stuff. I’m not broke. I just wish I didn’t have to keep buying stuff for the blog when I could be buying stuff for the home that isn’t disposable because let’s face it most of fashion & trends are disposable whether we like to admit it or not.
Honesty can rub people off the wrong way. It can also do pretty amazing things.
I know some people wonder why on earth I’m so transparent. I spent so much of my life hiding and not telling people what was really going on. I stopped doing so at 30. It is time to be open, transparent and accountable.
I don’t Hate blogging. It’s the reverse.
All those frustrations you read about me feeling limited? It’s because I enjoy this and want to improve upon it. When you’re stuck between a rock and hard place though, it’s tough. But that’s something I will have to work my way around next year.
Activism and Blogging has its Shadow Side.
Just like anything we do, any line of work we are involved in, it has its pitfalls. You struggle with compassionate fatigue at times. Sometimes it’s managing your schedule or getting shit done at a specific time. Sometimes it’s being unwell or wanting to rest but you’re fending off trolls, deleting comments and blocking accounts for half a day.
It’s Not all Doom & Gloom.
This break, is a good thing. It will give me the time to not look at my phone or laptop, trying to reply to hundreds of emails. I will get some respite from social media. None of these things I hate. I am emotionally exhausted this year and it makes blogging & activism that much harder. I need to heal.
Alright that’s out of the way!
I’ll be coming up with a fashion post soon, can’t believe it’s almost 2 weeks to the hiatus. Like I told you, I will not be completely MIA. There will be posts here and there, just not at the same frequency. So I’ll see you soon 😉 Much Love 💛
I have tried not to write about this for a long time because it tires me just to talk about it. You’re going to have to strip off the bandaid at some point though, so here goes.
So the 4th year blogging anniversary is coming up in November. Much like birthdays, anniversaries and New Year’s Eve, we tend to take stock of the year/s gone by. It’s a cause for celebration, reflection. It can be a helpful cautionary tale. It can be a source of motivation. Lots of mixed thoughts and emotions there.
I made a decision about a month ago: that I was going to take a semi-hiatus from blogging. From November 2016 to January 2017. You have to stop and take a break when you clearly are not being as clear-headed and creative, clouded by happenings that have stopped you in your tracks one too many times.
Personal life aside, it also is no walk in the park to be a blogger. No job is easy and this one certainly does have its many wonderful opportunities. But I am going to open up about the reality and what you don’t typically hear about. Blogging is an excellent smoke and mirrors game, if you know how to play it and want to play it. Some of us don’t want to though, I certainly did not sign up for that.
What propelled this confused space into a place to speak about my existence as a plus size person was a wonderful A-ha moment. The clothes I have worn, the posts I have written, the people I have gotten to know – my goodness if I could have saved those moments and feelings in a jar, it would be a colourful, energetic foam of joy bubbling forth.
My honeymoon period of blogging between 2012-2014 was wonderful. But I did not always feel welcome as a newbie. Some people were naturally skeptical of my intentions since I was new. The sad thing however is that some people still are skeptical even though I have been around for 4 years now. There are some who observe your work, but dislike you and do this cat & mouse game of following-unfollowing you on social media. They follow at first because they think “Ah well she’s putting out good work” and then they unfollow because “but I don’t really like or want to know her or want to give the impression that I like her”. I’ve seen this cat and mouse game play out so many times it makes me chuckle.
Then you have the – oh she’s got a decent following now so maybe she’s worth something. Here’s the deal: I may have a decent Instagram following, but I have 600 plus followers on my blog. I don’t see that as success. I want people to read my work, not just like a picture. I want to contribute so much more as a writer and activist, instead of stay in the public eye. I want to improve upon my writing and other skills, not just bank on what I’ve got going for me. People have tired of blogs now but this is the space I really feel comfortable in so I’m going nowhere.
It is sad that someone has to be someone who rubs shoulders with major players in the field in order to be appreciated. There are so many talented bloggers out there who quit because of this problem. Because they have been subject to the “You can’t sit with us” mentality by their peers. And as a person who advocates compassion and empathy with body positivity, I find that really saddening.
Blogging has taken such a toll on me. I constantly worry about new outfits for the blog, how to stay relevant, how to advocate to as many ppl out there about how they can be changing their lives by being kinder to themselves and their bodies. The fact is, my location does not help one bit. Singapore is a very fatphobic country, like many countries out there. There are blogging communities out here that will not give a shit about me because I am fat. Newspapers and magazines will not talk about me because I am a fat body positive advocate. Fashion week will not have me because they do not compute how a fat person can be fashionable enough for them. There Are plus size figures and advocates here who just do not want to get to know one another or they work in cliques. I tried reaching out to one or two bloggers about how much I loved their work and to find solidarity when I first started and I did not even get a reply. I tried applying for blogging positions out of Singapore, namely in the most popular blogging association in India, and they did not come back to me with a reply And they still ignore me to this date. Indian media is just the same. The Organisations that have actually interviewed me or spoken to me in Singapore and the region have been very refreshingly body positive or at least they were trying to understand it. But there is a massive snub that exists because I am not slim, politically correct or favoured by big names/companies.
For these reasons, I turned my attention online and blogged anyway because I wanted to do my bit even if it reached one person. The good news? People started to pay attention. Now let me affirm that this is not a pity party post or a bid to gain attention. This is a spotlight I am shining on what bloggers refrain from talking about.
All of this trying to network but not getting anywhere because who cares about some fat pipsqueak in Asia, is tiring. I don’t reach out to companies for sponsorships, for paid posts, for collaborations. It has happened organically – they have watched my work and reached out. Am I saying there is something wrong with putting yourself out there and speaking to these companies or people? No. But I will not do it, that’s just how I am. My merit is my work. If you like what you read or see, that’s great.
I did reach out to a plus size retail company once for a blogging and sponsorship opportunity – crickets, all I heard was crickets because my follower count was not substantial enough for them to care about someone like me. So I left it at that.
I work very hard at maintaining a good standard with my posts – be it on the blog or Twitter, Instagram, Facebook..wherever else. I have no help, I do this on my own. Day and Night. My photographer is my Husband who, bless his heart, obliges me. I don’t have a PR rep. I learnt how to apply makeup for my fashion posts. I learnt how to stand tall and keep my Chin up while people gawk at my size as I pose for the blog. I learnt how to make the distinction between my different areas of work – plus size fashion blogging, fat body positive activism, as a south Asian voice, as a woman of Colour, as a feminist, as a psychotherapist, as a mental health advocate. I stay up nights to speak with friends and followers who live across the globe because they mean a lot to me. I work through holidays, I get no breaks.
I have lost friends since I started blogging. That pain you feel when people you have known for so long come to misunderstand you and assume that you think you’re some big shot and you’re living a fake life with fake friends online. This ‘fake’ life has not been a walk in the park. These ‘fake’ friends understand how it feels to exist as a fat person, a blogger, a feminist. When I lost my circle of friends early this year, I did not want to continue blogging because it just made me so sad that this was what they thought about my work.
This ‘fake’ life has real trolls who will tell you you’re going to die next week and that they hope you will get a heart attack. People will come forward Everyday thanking you for the work that you do because they relate to what you’re saying. People will come forward Everyday to tell you that You should die for being fat and confident.
There has to be some sort of a balance you can strike, because if you don’t, you’re going to be sad and anxious all the time. This is what I am hoping to achieve in my next year of blogging. I am not going to quit, because this is Important to me. But I have to draw a line between my work and my quality of life.
I also have to be accountable for the mistakes made, the people I may have hurt in the process. I used to be a part of a weekly fashion blogging group but I had to pull out. I did not have the guts to tell them that the reason I did so was because some of the time, I could not afford what the weekly challenge required. Until now, I struggle with my finances because I worry about being relevant as a fashion blogger and so I buy new outfits every month but then I don’t get to do important things like buy stuff for my home or go to a specialist for a health issue or go on a holiday.
I’ve not gone on a holiday in 2 years. We can’t do so right now because our oldest dog is not in the condition for us to leave him with dog sitters. But aside from a holiday, I have other priorities like my home or my health. The hubster sees me frowning more than smiling and crying more than smiling because I feel angry that I am limited by his work time to get blog shoots done in different locations aside from that damn white wall near the dumpster below my block.
We work so hard and sacrifice so much because we want to make sure that our work means something. But it is upsetting when you’re underrepresented, given the cold shoulder and when you are given some attention it’s thanks to being angry at Instagram for revoking my basic right as a person posting on social media. Why does negativity sell so much? While there were thousands of you who were proud of my stance, do you see what I mean when I say, why couldn’t this have been about a really happy happening for me, a fat woman of Colour?
I thank my lucky stars that I have made some firm friendships in these circles because I would not be writing this without knowing they will have my back. I also thank my lucky stars that you will be sweet enough to tell me to get all the rest and solace I need.
I have made my fair share of mistakes as a person and a blogger but I don’t think that I deserve to lead the life that I am living. I have not been writing articles that I promised, and I have disappointed friends and colleagues as a result..because I am at a loss for words most of the time now.
People keep telling me “I’m sorry you’re so sad this year” and I feel bad that that is how I am projecting myself. I have lost my faith in the communities I am a part of, even if I do have friends in the communities. I do not trust them and am afraid of getting closer to people, even though some people are really genuine and sweet.
I do not want to remain in the clutches of this sad space where I don’t know my place as a blogger or a person. I am facing my demons head on now. It’s time to make changes.
What does this mean for my life as a blogger? It means I’ll be taking a break for 2 months effective from Nov. I may post once or twice but that will be the extent of it. I will return with renewed vigour, more genuine smiles and a different outlook on blogging.