Be the blogger you want to read

I've been having a lot of thoughts recently about my place in blogging and what modern day plus size blogging is, compared to what it was 5 years ago when I started. Somewhere along the way I've lost parts of myself, mainly down to comparisons with others. Thoughts of what I *should* be doing replaced thoughts of just being me.

Every few months (around the change of seasons) I question everything, and this is one of these times - exacerbated by preparing to move - which is a bit like having a couple of layers of skin peeled off. It's a time for reflection. I'm going to try to knock comparisons to other bloggers on the head (after all we're all our own worst critics) and be the blogger I want to read. To me it doesn't matter if the bloggers I follow are wearing the latest fashion, something they thrifted, something 20 years old from the back of their wardrobe, or capsule wardrobe posts with great accessories to create endless outfits. What is most important to me is seeing fat people represented. I want to see fat bodies in clothes - fat bodies of all sizes. And I want to read their thoughts. The rest is all sprinkles on the cupcake. Somewhere along the line I lost being the girl who put clothes on and shared them with the world, and I lost some of my joy, too.
Instead of that carefree girl who larked about in front of the camera grabbing her own boobs I was the girl frowning a lot as I tried to be something I'm not - perfect. I blink in half my shots. I've always got hair in my mouth, or I'm squinting into the sun, or you can see one random weather-sensitive nip. I was caught up in the ILLUSION of perfection, and that's what it is - an illusion. There are some bloggers who do the airbrush thing and the perfect poses without a hair out of place, but know it is an illusion. No one looks like that all the time. Since I've embraced my inner court jester and stopped being someone I'm not I've felt much more happy, relaxed and free in front of the camera. Who cares about 'perfect' when there's a smile on my face a mile wide?

I don't know why as women we're programmed to believe that being ANYTHING apart from who we are is a worthy goal. So fuck all of that, fun and carefree Leah is back. I got caught up in trying to be the big success, and it proves these pressures are so pervasive that I've been blogging for 5 years and STILL feel like I'm not good enough a lot of the time. 
I was speaking to a few ex-plus size bloggers on Twitter the other day and they all said they felt they couldn't compete, or they felt irrelevant, so they stopped blogging. And it happens a lot, because brands showcase the same few bloggers (who always fall into the 'right' kind of fat - barely visible vbo and not a lot of chins) and it can be really disheartening to feel like our faces (or more to the point, our bodies) never fit. It's so easy to feel like an outcast even among the kin we've created for ourselves.
Have you spotted the pleasant message above my head?! ;) I didn't notice till we'd taken a whole set there and when I did notice, I found it hilarious.

Most things in this outfit are old.
Hair clips, Primark
Dress, past season ASOS Curve
Leggings (slashed by me) Matalan
Bag, very old Peacocks

Apologies for not looking for alternatives to everything old here. I normally like to do that wherever possible but I'm so time poor at the moment. Packing has reached the stage where we've packed almost everything we can, and there are boxes everywhere. All the things we need day to day are out still and the clutter is doing both mine and James's heads in. 10 more sleeps here and we'll be in our lovely new place!

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

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