“I wear my voice as a defiant ‘fuck you’ by wearing things that people tell me that I shouldn’t wear.”
This week’s StyleCrush is New Zealander Meagan Kerr of the blog This Is Meagan Kerr. The Maori blogger has been an active member of a growing plus-size community in the South Pacific and provides important representation for size 24+ bodies, who are so often left out of the plus-size fashion conversation.
Name: Meagan Kerr
Current Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Hometown: Gisborne, New Zealand
Profession/Blog: Blogger at ThisisMeaganKerr.com
Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and SnapChat at thisismeagank.
Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your personal style?
Meagan Kerr: My personal style is constantly evolving and a reflection of how I’m feeling. Black, stripes and grey feature often. Sometimes I wear figure-hugging body-con and sometimes I’m all about the loose and flowy.
WYV: Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?
MK: My friend Cassie has had a big influence on my style — she has a boho witchy aesthetic and rocks many things that we are told fat people shouldn’t, from crop tops to bikinis to clothes that hug her curves.
WYV: Who are your top three celebrity StyleCrushes?
MK: I have two blogger StyleCrushes. First up is Canadian blogger Margot Meanie, who wears a lot of black and is a master at mixing textures and fabrics — she was one of my inspirations to go back and embrace my love of darker clothing. For a long time, I felt like I was somehow obliged to wear a lot of color, in an attempt to “disprove” all of the things that people say about what fat women should or shouldn’t wear, but seeing Margot embrace that darker aesthetic encouraged me to ditch the brighter colors that didn’t really call to me and rediscover my sense of style.
My second StyleCrush is Natalie from Natalie Means Nice, who I first came across on Tumblr a few years ago. I really loved the way she talked about self-love and acceptance. Natalie was one of the people who helped me begin to love my own body, and made me want to help others love theirs as well. She was one of the first people in my life who was unapologetic about her fat body, and when I look at the way she breaks so many of the so-called “fat girl rules” when it comes to dressing, it inspires me to take more risks with what I wear.
WYV: Which brands or designers are your faves? What draws you to each of them?
MK: I love 17 Sundays for casual and street fashion. I’ve watched them grow and evolve over the years and their clothes are my go to for comfortable everyday outfits. Lost and Led Astray makes some gorgeous clothes that move and flow; I like how they focus on silhouette, cut and texture and they really appeal to my witch aesthetic.
WYV: Do you use fashion as a tool to empower yourself?
MK: Yes — I find it very empowering to dress myself in ways that express my mood and my personality, as well as challenging the things I’m told that should/shouldn’t wear or how I should/shouldn’t look as a fat person, a woman, a Maori woman, a parent, someone in her 30s.
WYV: How can the body-positive movement make room for plus sizes above a U.S. size 22?
MK: I think that giving space for people who are size 22+ to share their experiences and being inclusive of them rather than being a recurring tape of the same “acceptably fat” people we see time and time again is a good start. Also, making sure that those voices are amplified so that they are heard by a wider audience. I was really proud to be part of Marcy Cruz’s Style Beyond 22 lookbook at the end of 2016; it celebrated fat babes of different shapes, with different styles above a size 22.
WYV: How do you feel representation in media can help people with bigger bodies?
MK: It’s very rare that people above a size 22 are featured in the media in a positive way — often it’s as the “headless fatty” or as a “before” photo in a weight-loss story. It wasn’t until I discovered plus-size fashion blogs that I saw bodies like mine. This was the first positive representation I’d ever seen of people of size, that told me that actually, it was okay for me to exist in the body that I have. This was a big driving force behind starting my own blog. The lack of bloggers my size in New Zealand that were talking about what was out there in terms of style.
I've heard the terms "hides your problem areas" and "skims over your belly" and "flattering" many times when it comes to clothing and you know what? I don't give a shit. My body is not a problem to be hidden and I don't want to skim over it to make it appear smaller, flatter, thinner. So many hours spent agonising over the fact that I don't have a flat stomach or a perfect body over the years – I could have been using my time and energy doing so many other wonderful things. If I want to wear a curve hugging dress (which was made with love by @hopeandharvest for me to wear to @mfwplus) then I'm gonna wear it – #VBO and all 🐾 Tap once for outfit details, twice to show some love
WYV: Not everyone can be positive all of the time. What do you do to talk yourself out of occasional body negativity?
MK: When I’m feeling negative about my body I try to surround myself with body positive influences — reading body-pos blogs is a big help, and books like Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker. Also, wearing things that make me feel good, and doing things that show my body kindness are important at that time. It might seem like a silly little thing to some people, but doing things for myself like taking a bubble bath and putting on a nice dress remind me that I am worth treating nicely.
Today's outfit for lunch at @epochacarlton: @harlow_au top, @17_sundays joggers and @thewarehousenz shoes. Just quietly, that was the fanciest and most delicious meal I've had in a long time 🍨 If you want a treat then this is definitely the place to go (make sure you get the honey pannacotta, you won't regret it!) 📷 by @rachelgeebee #visitmelbourne #ad #thisismktravel
WYV: If you were face-to-face with a teenage version of yourself, what advice would you give her?
MK: It’s okay to ask for help. As a teenager I went through a lot — I was assaulted, I battled mental illness, I developed an eating disorder, I moved out of home very young … I went through a lot of that without support and wish that I had reached out to friends and family to ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help. It isn’t a sign of weakness. I think you have to be incredibly strong to open up and say “I’m not okay. I need help.”
My friend @elorahh nominated me to share #MySwimBody and I'm sharing a pic from last summer because it's still cold here! I'm taking up the challenge because so many people think they need to look a certain way to put on a swimsuit. Life is too short to be a spectator, stop beating yourself up for how you look and start enjoying every single day. I'm nominating one of my fave body positive peeps @curvesbecomeher to join in 👙 @elomilingerie swim bra from @avokado_nz, bikini bottoms from @autographfashion #thisismkstyle
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
MK: I wear my voice as a defiant “fuck you” by wearing things that people tell me that I shouldn’t wear. I wear my voice by being unapologetic about my body, because I am enough as I am.