MUDKISS FANZINE

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 WE'RE LIVING IN A BOX - BY COCO FIERCE

Rewind to the Summer of 1999. I am a teenager at sixth form college and am desperate to be different. I spend my time wearing cords with ginormous bell bottoms; that the population of a small African village could hide inside and spikey dog collars from Pets At Home. I sit in the dark listening to System of a Down and Slipknot and memorise quotes from Kevin Smith films. I longed to stand out. So do all of my friends and we sit on the stage together in a college canteen, swapping anecdotes and planning this Summer’s festivals. People called us ‘moshers’ and I loved being categorised. But teenagers do, don’t they...but I grew out of this. It seems other adults haven’t quite matured past this though.

Recently I have noticed the amount of emails I seem to be getting from people on my modelling page telling me how great it is that I am doing it for the “plus size girls.” Many ladies may be pleased that they are seen as a role model but those two words make me want to shudder. As somebody who has struggled with their weight all of their life, I have fought really hard to lose a whopping 6.5 stone and reach a size 12 – a figure which I would hardly call “plus size.” However, in the modelling world, pigeon holing is the norm and if you are over a size 10 you are lumped into the plus-size category.

People may argue that as somebody who has her pictures taken in the public domain, I should have grown a thick skin and be able to face any criticism and negativity which comes my way. To an extent I agree, but this horrible body bashing is increasingly spilling over the waistband of social networking sites and it needs to stop. Last week, I discovered a charming Facebook page emblazoned with the title “Curvy girls do it better.” After recovering from the shock that somebody would actually be sad enough to waste their time creating such a sad page; I decided to have a trawl through the images of said “curvy girls.” I may get lampooned for saying this, but my observations told me that man of the girls on this site were dangerously overweight. So when has curvy been a byword for fat?

Curves are about proportions. Any lady can have curves, be it a size 8 or 28. If you have a ratio of at least ten inches between hips, waist and chest then you have curves. If not it is rolls. I am sick and tired of it being socially acceptable to make a naturally slim person feel terrible and like they are somehow not feminine or a real woman but if anyone dares to mention the fact that someone is overweight there is a riot. Don’t get me wrong, being big is no fun: I have been there. It has shocked me how differently I have been treated by people since I lost my weight and the assumption that all people who are over-weight sit on their backsides watching Jeremy Kyle all day drinking out of a bottle of golden syrup is a joke as well. Some people have a genuine problem with their weight and no amount of willpower, exercise or healthy eating seems to work. But surely making others feel small by insinuating that your “curves” somehow make you more attractive to the opposite sex can be slightly dangerous. When your husband or partner tells you that he “likes something to grab on to,” he is probably just being nice.

Another common myth that I see bandied about by those looking to give themselves a bit of validation is the alleged fact that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. Bobbins. She had a 22” waist, making her equivalent to s size 6-8 by today’s standards.

Let’s just stop pigeon-holing and stereotyping people. Like Mae West, the only carrots I have ever been interested in are in diamonds, not salad. Therefore I know I will never be this size 8 ideal but I do not need constantly reminding about this fact. I am not a role model for the plump generation. The fact of the matter is that I would love to be a size 6 myself but my modelling is about much more than my vital statistics. It is about me creating striking images. Something that anyone can do at any size...pigeon-holed or not.