Next up on our wonderful Woc Spotlight is Tara! It’s been a pleasure sourcing all these amazing bloggers of colour and having them talk about their stories and perspectives. Long may we continue to celebrate and champion our incredibly diverse plus community!
Tell me a little bit about yourself! What’s your background and when did you start blogging?
I started blogging approximately 1 year ago, I am putting together a bunch of giveaways to celebrate which I am SO excited about! I am a mixed race (South American and Jamaican) English Literature and Linguistics Graduate (BA Hons, MA) from London and I run a tuition company where I teach English, Science, Maths and French to a range of children and adults.
Writing was my first passion, I had started many projects from poetry to novellas before I began blogging. Beauty has always been a deep rooted passion of mine, but it is only when I became inundated with questions on my social media, that I decided to start my blog! I write about beauty products, conduct reviews and I also write about hair care, skin care, lifestyle, travel and plus size fashion too. I really want to get more into the plus size fashion world and am looking forward to putting together some new content.
What is it like for you as a British plus woman of colour and blogger?
It is…interesting. There are so many representations of different women. But mixed race, black, Asian and Plus size? Not really. In addition to this, I find the representations unfairly contrived and unimaginative. Brands and social moguls all seem to be the ‘acceptable’ version of plus size: great skin, not too many stretch marks (or edited out) no rolls, no back fat, no cellulite, no dark patches under arm pits or between legs….to me…that is just not life.
Who are your favourite British plus WOC?
Grace Victory is definitely my favourite plus sized WOC from the UK. She has an amazing message and isnt afraid to speak out on sore subjects too. If you are in a position of power, I always have much more respect for people who use it wisely.
What can the plus community do to ally with you?
I wish that the Plus sized community supported other plus sizers in more than just the fashion field, not just showing support for plus size fashion bloggers. If I see a plus sized, WOC, I do my best to support; whether they are in the travel, beauty, fashion, parenting… Regardless of genre. I will give their content a try and support through a like, a view, a share. If it doesn’t end up being ‘my thing’ then it is not the end of the world. I find the plus sized community do not branch out enough and read/explore the internet as much as they could and should!
What are the important topics we should know that British plus WOC are dealing with?
Brands are catching on, but people need to realise that plus sized WOC have NOT been represented for long, it is only in the past 1 – 2 years that we have been seeing ourselves represented in the media, in adverts on TV, in magazines etc. There has been a huge lack of representation for a long long time.
Celebrating plus WOC then, is not an attack on every other type of woman, it is simply a cry of pleasure and rejoicing that finally, people are acknowledging us.
There is also a damaging stereotype which projects a bad attitude or boyish, violent and unstable personalities upon plus sized women of colour, which disables them from being feminine, elegant, pure, simply beautiful like other women in the industry (acting, singing, modelling, blogging, beauty etc) It is almost like big women of colour need to have huge personality to be funny or outrageous, they can never simply be beautiful.
What are your hopes for the plus community and for WOC in the plus community?
I hope that there will be more opportunities for exposure for models, singers, bloggers and others who want to earn recognition for their talents. After all, there are some talented plus size women of colour out here! If our appearance is normalised, perhaps we will be considered for more roles than just the wacky friend or an extra with attitude in films, or an ‘alternative’ blogger.
How do you deal with insensitivity within the community?
Luckily, I have not had to deal with too much. But my only method of ‘dealing’ with insensitivity – people who protest that racism/prejudice or plus size/body bashing doesn’t exist, those few size 12-14 models who have an hour glass shape with no rolls or stretch marks who say that they ‘represent all’ plus size WOC – is to ignore it.
I know what is out there, for plus sized women and for WOC. I read Twitter comments. I see comments on Instagram. I hear when guys say ” You’re actually really pretty in real life” There is so much subtext to people’s compliments. So much hidden thoughts behind protests and choices from brands. I usually name and shame or share, but ignore in a sense, to conserve my sanity and self esteem. I do not want to taint my message of love and positivity with the prejudice of others.
How do you deal with targeted discrimination and racism, hate speech and prejudice within and outside of the community?
Again, similar to the last question, I choose to ignore it. I rise above all instances of discrimination but with social media accessible to many, now I share all instances and experiences to raise awareness on such issues.
In your dream world what opportunities would you like to see plus WOC bloggers having?
I would like to see more bloggers with DIFFERENT shapes and sizes model clothes, raise awareness about feminine points of interest; fitness, leisure, love, sex, relationships, fashion, beauty, hair etc.
What tips can you give other plus WOC? What helps and encourages you?
Follow inspirational women. Women who support women. Read body-positivity blogs, to help broaden horizons and help come to terms with insecurities and worries that ALL women have. Sometimes it is easy to think we are alone in our insecurities. I did. It is only when I saw on social media that other women had folds, other women had stretch marks, MANY women have cellulite that I realised I was not alone.