Two years ago today, Forty Fat and Fabulous was launched! What once felt like an absurd idea… a thing my friends kept encouraging me to do, but I was quite terrified to begin… has become a passionate source of pride. I mean, may never have national recognition or followers in the thousands, but this little blog (and Instagram following) has become more than I ever really dreamed was possible.
Writing this blog has given me a place to express myself in a way I never knew I needed. It has empowered me to love my body more fully. It has helped me encourage other women of size, especially ordinary girls like me, to live their truth and love themselves more. It has made me more confident in meeting and speaking to new people. Most of all, this blog has given me a voice, when I felt like my voice didn’t matter all that much. It may not cut through the noise, but for some people, an honest, ordinary, sometimes awkward voice is what they need to hear.
Along the way, I have had the chance to connect with some incredible bloggers, creators, movers, and shakers who are making the world a better place to be. It has been encouraging and inspirational to learn from so many talented people, both online and in St. Louis. I’ve participated in Plus Positive events like Curve Watch and Curves & Waves. I’ve attended some awesome events with Fashion Group International St. Louis. Plus, I have met so many Fat Positive bloggers and Instagrammers that have helped me make my pages much stronger.
I’ve had the chance to collaborate with, and model for, several St. Louis creators and makers, like Argaman and Defiance, Collections By Joya, Happy Camper Clothing, Cuffs That Inspire, Blooming With Joy Tea, Alison Hoenes Design, and the Love Will Foundation. These partnerships have fueled my passion for shopping and supporting local brands. And I have visited hundreds of local shops, restaurants, and breweries that have inspired local readers to try something new.
I’ve had the opportunity to do many fun and empowering photo shoots. Most of what I post is shot by my husband on an iPhone. While he’s definitely improving, professional shoots show up so much better on my feed. Most of these have been in collaboration with the incomparable Under Grace Photo by Michelle Ross.
I’ve had the honor of being a brand ambassador for A’Beautiful Soul, and had great conversations with their marketing team. I’ve been able to help shape the brand into a space that is safe and honoring for Plus and Mid Sized bodies. So much good is coming from this store and I hope that we have a long partnership.
I’ve been excited to see my photos reposted by some of my favorite brands! Somehow, it feels like a huge honor when I see that Unique Vintage, Loungefly and the like use my images. I always feel like my cool factor goes up, and I see a mild bump in traffic and followers.
And most recently, I had the weird responsibility of blowing up the fat girl internet by being the one to find out that Loft was canceling their Plus Size line. It was quite strange and surreal to see my avatar showing up in People, on Yahoo, and referenced in posts from bloggers that I have respected for years. I mean, it’s not a happy thing, but I am glad that my voice was able to speak up on behalf of Plus Size customers and let a major national brand know that we will not be cancelled silently.
Though Forty, Fat, and Fabulous… both the blog and the Instagram… may always be small, I am so proud of what I have created and accomplished in just two years. I want to see it continue to grow and be a safe, welcoming place for middle aged, adventurous fat women… and their allies. I would love to carve a path of inclusivity for women like me. I want to boost local St. Louis brands and help grow their followings. Ultimately, I hope that I continue to provide a slightly new perspective, and an authentic, interesting voice that brands want to listen to.
Thank you for reading my blogs over the last two years. Thank you for liking and sharing the thoughts of my heart. Thank you for supporting me every step of the way. None of this would be possible without you!
Here’s to even bigger and better things in year three.