I’ve got a great family. They’re loving and supportive, but even with that going for me, the holidays are rough. Everyone thinks that I’m smaller than I am, so when I’m opening presents and see an “XL” or “18” on the tag, I have to smile and make an excuse for why I am not going to try the outfit on for them to see. Sorry, guys… I’m a LOT fatter than that. I know that I am not the only fat bodied person with this issue, which is why I want to help you AND your family members who are last minute shopping.
Perhaps you have a younger (or older) plus size family member who is not familiar with the body positivity or fat liberation movements. Books are an excellent opportunity to show that you are about the struggle that they may be experiencing. Virgie Tovar, Jes Baker, Rebecca Jane Weinstein and Marilyn Wann are all excellent authors to start with.
Art is an incredible gift, but it is also very personal. To select a piece for the recipient, you have to know them well. However, what if you gave them the chance to BE a piece of art? Many artists will do commissioned pieces for a nominal fee. There will undoubtedly be a wait, but what is more amazing than being the subject of a piece of art? What’s even better than that is you can get a body positive artist to do their portrait – no erasure of their body or their rolls, body hair, or soft belly… merely highlighting the positive.
Cristy C. Road is one of the coolest artists that I know of. She’s a punk musician, zine writer, feminist, activist, and artist from South Florida that I have been following since we were both teenagers on Livejournal. Her work is not just fat positive, but gender inclusive and not afraid of hair, dirt, and blood. Cristy just put together an amazing new tarot deck that you should absolutely check out.
RadFatVegan turned the bullying and fatphobia that she experienced thanks to Reddit and Project “Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken.” After over a year of attacks from the fedora-wearing jackasses in their mother’s basements, she was able to turn it back around by creating gorgeous, inspiring artwork that has been featured all over the place. GET IT, GIRL.
Roaring Softly is responsible for this badass intersectional Rosie The River print that has been going around the internet.
Fancy Lady Industries is the art of Nathalie/Definatalie, a pivotal voice in the fat positive blogosphere. She creates beautiful work with a tremendous deal of heart.
Gift cards are great. They may seem impersonal, but you can balance it by offering to go shopping with the recipient or e-shopping with them. Here’s a few great suggestions for last minute gift cards for fat babes.
Chubby Cartwheels – Meet Shawna Farmer, blogger and proprietor of Chubby Cartwheels. Farmer is a super-sized cutie with an excellent business model and strong business ethic. Best part of all? She goes up to a 5x! Her holiday collections feature two of my favorite women, Saucye West and Leigh Richards. They both have very different bodies, and each piece looks great on both of them!
Rebdolls – I’ll be the first to admit that I do not know much about the folks that put out these clothes, but I love their clothes! I fell in love the first time I put their “Crazy In Love” swimsuit for the #DropTheTowel campaign. There are a lot of things to love about Rebdolls, from their killer clothes and great collaborations with notable fashionistas, but my favorite thing is that my thin friends and I can shop together and enjoy the same clothes on our diverse bodies. I don’t have to feel left out and neither do they. The average model on the website is a size large and simply treated as the “average” size, rather than a plus size model.
Society+ – One of the former brains behind Skorch Magazine, Jessica Kane, branched out to create her own fashion line that starts at a sturdy 12 and goes up to a size 32. Jessica is a plus sized woman who has done wonders as a plus sized blogger and offers some really cute, affordable, on-trend pieces with Society+.
Copper Union – Claire Doody is responsible for some of the most beautiful plus sized garments to come out of the Pacific Northwest. A fellow fashionista and tastemaker in Portland, Cassie Ridgway, introduced her work to me back in 2013. Claire uses a combination of high-fashion sensibility, an appreciation for her beautiful natural surroundings, and a bit of creative alchemy to produce these gorgeous garments. To top things off, she offers garments up to a size 30. Those above a size 30 should feel free to reach out for custom work.
eShakti – For anyone who is getting married in the near future and has a variety of body sizes in their bridal party, I HIGHLY recommend looking into eShakti. They offer size 0-36, and their pieces are incredibly well-constructed, as well as their customer service being truly excellent. The BEST gift that I received last year was a gift certificate for eShakti which I put toward a floor-length black dress. At 6’1” tall, I have never owned an actual floor length dress. I feel beautiful every time I wear it and never stop receiving compliments!