What ‘plus size’ looks like according to 5 retailers

So, there I was, fresh off the boat (and by boat I mean Qantas Airbus) from Australia, ready to sink my teeth into some good old British high street shopping (and by high street I mean not outside, not on a street, and definitely inside my bed).

“I’m back in the world of next day delivery”, I thought to myself gleefully. The sheer size of Australia means waiting 3-5 business days for something (on a good day)… AND there’s no post on Saturdays. It’s as though they think I plan my outfits in advance or something. Anyway, primed with my MasterCard and ready to plonk a hundy in my cart (£100 for those who need translation), I scrolled through the likes of Asos and Missguided with a grin from ear to ear. Until I saw this. APPARENTLY PLUS SIZE MODELS ARE SKINNIER THAN I AM.

Now this struck a nerve with me in particular as I spend most of 2014 on a treadmill shedding the lbs. Despite slowly but surely tronking my way through enough hamburgers to pile 11lbs back on in Australia, I was still proudly stomping about in a good dress size or two less than pre-treadmill love affair, so I still considered it a mild victory. That was, until I saw myself exposed to some slender little filly with a great big plus sign plastered across her face on a website. And not just ‘a’ website. The shock of the first exposure lead me to explore a few other similar sites, and I didn’t like what I saw.

‘Sizes 16-24’ they claim. Funny that, did you haul the clothing in at the back with a giant bulldog clip as you photographed it on this size 10 rack of ribs I see before me? Why are brands taking the credit for providing a plus size range, yet promoting the clothes on a girl who is far from the size range? Here’s what ‘plus size’ looks like in five different UK online retailers:

ASOS CURVE: Claiming to cater to the curvier lass, the Curve range comes in at a size 18-30. Which is why it obviously makes total sense popping this LBD on a girl no bigger than a size 12. Exhibit A. SHE PRACTICALLY HAS AN EFFIN’ THIGH GAP.

AsosCurve

 

MISSGUIDED PLUS: Probably the worst of the bunch, these cheeky little buggers have slipped this olive skinned stunner into a teal tea dress claimed to be for a size 16-24. As suspected, not a thunder thigh in sight. *crys into size 12 jeans*.

MissguidedPlus

BOOHOO PLUS: Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, OH HELLO BOOHOO. This little chica is wearing a crop top (YES, A CROP TOP) and maxi skirt and claims to be a size 16-24. Well. Let me just crawl into a hole and weep, then, because if that’s a size 16, then I sir am Camilla Parker Bowles.

BooHooPlus

NEW LOOK INSPIRE: New Look faired slightly better in my assessment of their choice of models for the Inspire range for women sized 18-32, but there of course was one or two stragglers. Presenting the furthest thing from a size 18, ladies and gents. Chunky knees? No. Bingo wings? No again. Yet here I am rocking both, thinking I’m a size 10. Well, more fool me. Here she comes:

NewlookPlus

H&M+: Ah, the Swedes. Known not only for their tasty (if not somewhat horsey) meatballs and creative furniture naming skills, they also spat out our old fave H&M. Our go-to guys for a pair o’ leggings or a quickie outfit for a last minute night out, and oh, oh, YEAH YOU GOT IT IN ONE – an inconceivably slim ‘plus size’ model. Their selection of girls for their +18-28 range was commendable, but it what have we learned today? It wouldn’t be a plus size range without an absolute corker of a skinny bitch in there would it. As promised, here she is. Probably a creative who sips skinny capps while painting on her balcony WEARING SIZE 12 CLOTHING:

HMPlus

Food for thought, women of the world. Before this post gets completely misconstrued and I get trolled for hating on plus size women, that’s totally not what this is about. It’s about retailers supposedly supporting positive body image by providing a plus size range, and then totally wrecking it by using models that fit a size that the range doesn’t even carry. Sort it out!

Love (and now probably doughnuts) always,

Coco x

Safe Journey Home

“Next waiting”.

I scuttled up to the border control desk, patted my passport and boarding pass down on the desk and looked up. “How was your time in Australia, darl?” uttered the Aussie-as-they-come teller. “Great, thanks” I replied, choking slightly on my words; the goodbye behind the departure doors still freshly forming that wrenching lump in my throat that I knew all too well. Bleary eyed and puffy as a Pokemon, I looked up and caught Aussie-as-they-come teller’s eye. “Safe journey home, miss”, he muttered, donning a slightly crooked grin on his face that sort of said ‘enjoy the 24 hour flight to freezing winter’.

Home. Safe journey home. As I picked up my maroon passport with those lions so dear to my heart plastered across the cover, I retreated. Home? What a fool that man was. I live here now. And then I realised. No I don’t. There it was staring me in the face. I’m leaving my ‘home’, to go ‘home’ (the somewhat obnoxious inverted commas being the operative and soul defining punctuation in that sentence). Here I was patting myself on the back for making a life for myself on the other side of the world, feeling excitement – albeit sewn with sorrow – to be heading back to the UK for Christmas. I’ve got two homes now – the words I’d been foolishly serenading my days with. It wasn’t until Aussie-as-they-come teller wished me a safe journey home, that I felt like I’d stripped myself of a home. Suddenly neither place felt like the ‘h’ word, and it made me wonder – what makes a place a home?

With the woman to whom I owe my entire existence, my Mum, on one side of the world, and the person I love on the other, I found myself literally torn between two places. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hardly the first time I’ve felt torn. This was inevitable, and a somewhat familiar feeling – but never before like this. My solid allegiance to my home country of England had always reigned strong in these situations. Sure, Melbourne was fine, but it’s not home. But when you’ve been in a place with a person you love for so many months, you create a routine, a day-to-day existence, and a soft spot for the things that make it what it is. Every step closer to comfort in that place, takes away from the comfort of the old place. And so I’m asking, can you call two places home, or does every extra ounce of love for one unstitch a part of your love for the other? You feel like you’re cheating on one of the places by missing the other, yet we can’t go about our lives longing for another place, either. How do we juggle a love of two homes? Is it two homes, or are we actually a wanderer, seeking validation and confirmation of one decision?

A sombre thought to ponder, fellow nomads. I apologise. Upbeat and humorous sequel to this post to follow. Promise. Spoiler alert – I’m going to review an American reality show that I found called Dating Naked. (Don’t panic. It’s clean.)

Love always,

Coco xx

homessign

22 things your English friends say when you live in Australia

Okay, so while I’ve taken somewhat of an absence from the blogosphere lately – attributed to being flat out bashing my fingers against the keypad working on other projects, and basking in the Aussie sun (more on that later) – it’s generally common knowledge that I’m living in Melbourne at the moment. Living in a country with such a globally misunderstood reputation has allowed me to notice a few, er, let’s say patterns in the things my friends and family back in England say to me about being here, so today, I’m setting the record straight. Don’t get me wrong, obviously I’m utterly elated that my pals are even communicating with me from 11,000 miles away and haven’t forgotten the essence of my existence since I left 7 months ago – but some of these perceptions of this country need clearing up once and for all!

Crocodiles

So, what even is the time there? Is it like, the middle of the night? I just can’t get my head around it!

It’s 11 hours ahead, just like last time you asked. You know that smartphone that you’re glued to? It has a world clock. Try that. 

Wow, you must be soo tanned!

Nope. Not really. I actually have a job and a house that are inside. I’m not just cruising around Byron Bay in baggy trousers and a crop top in a knot.

Have you got an accent yet?!

….Maybe 😳

Are you going to come back and keep saying BONZA?

Nope. Nobody says that. 

What’s a ‘cool change’?!

This weird thing when the hot weather stops for a day or two to allow you to breathe again. You’re outside and its 35 degrees, then suddenly a huge gust of cold wind comes and the temperature plummets 10 degrees in about 6 minutes. 

Wow, you must be ‘throwing shrimp on the barbie’ for dinner every night, right?

Again, nope. Funnily enough there are calories here too. And ovens. And normal food that isn’t barbecued. 

What do you mean it’s raining?

Yep. It rains here. Imagine that. 

Hahahaha, you said #winter the other day on Instagram. Their winter is like our UK summer though, isn’t it?

NO. I’m in Melbourne, it’s 8 degrees and raining, and I’ve just bought a coat and scarf. 

What does 40 degrees feel like?!

Imagine 30 degrees. But a third hotter. Bingo.

But there’s air con everywhere right?

Ask Metro trains what they think about that statement. 

Work? I thought Aussies just chilled on the beach all day.

Yeah and rent is paid for by the state. Not. 

*I’m going to Adelaide* Where’s that? Near Sydney?

Not quite. Imagine the entire length of the UK. Double that. That’s how far from Sydney that is. 

What’s a suburb?! Like Hammersmith or Clapham?

No. Not really.

How often do you eat kangaroo?

About as often as you eat cat. 

So are there spiders like EVERYWHERE?

There are no spiders here. 

Do you feel like you’re in the Inbetweeners movie?

None of my friends work in nightclubs and I’m not frequenting Surfers Paradise with a backpack so again, no. 

Have you been bitten by a spider?!

No, haven’t done that either. 

Are there snakes in your back garden?

No, I do not live in the outback.

Are there kangaroos fighting as soon as you open your front door?

Afraid not.

Do you feel like you’re on neighbours?

Occasionally. And no, I have not been to the Ramsay St set and I do not intend to.

Does McDonalds taste different?

Unlike Europe, it actually doesn’t!

I bet you don’t miss England at all!

ACTUALLY I SO TOTALLY DO! I MISS SAINSBURY’S, I MISS TESCO, I MISS THE BANK NOTES, I MISS THINGS BEING OPEN LATE, I MISS THE TUBE, I MISS MY OYSTER CARD, I MISS STARBUCKS NOT TASTING LIKE DIRT, YES I DO MISS ENGLAND!