Big Fashion

The Little Book of Big Babes, edited by Rachelle Abellar. Archive Six, 2015. 9781519121004.

bigbabesThis was only supposed to be a little 24-page zine featuring “fatshion” — fashionably dressed fat people who don’t hide themselves or their bodies. But there were so many contributions from amazing people around the world that it ended up being a full-color book with 213 pages! As the editor says in the introduction, “…choosing to be visible in a world that would prefer fat people hide their bodies is a remarkable act.”

The finished book is revolutionary: the sort of people you’ve never seen in Elle or Vogue wearing clothes that range from elegant to sassy to just plain loud. Some of the models design and market their own clothing lines, and even more are eagle-eyed thrift and vintage shoppers. Each photo includes details about the model, her style inspiration, and info on where she got her clothes. (The format is a lot like the Japanese Fruits).

I’ll be using this book to direct my shopping and as emotional support in the fitting room. As Jess Baker points out in Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls and Lindy West points out in Shrill, you can program your brain to see the beauty in fat women (and hate yourself less if you are one) by simply exposing yourself to more beautiful fat women. This book, full of spectacular fashion on people of all ages, colors, and gender expressions, is a great way to start.

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