Being fat can be hard in the best of places. London is understood to be a pretty accepting place. But I am here to tell you that being a fat girl in the capital is not as easy as you think.

I didn’t think the stares were strange, until my friend said to me “god, a lot of people are looking at you today.” It made her uncomfortable for me. But, this is my experience every day. I step out of the house and people look, stare with a mix of disdain, shock, disbelief.

I am sure that this would not be the case if I wore billowing clothes, that flowed over my lumps and bumps and turned me into a blob, invisible. But, I don’t quite play by those rules, as I have started playing a game I call “Dressing like a skinny girl.” This game pretty much consists of me wearing the styles I see on Instagram, on cute skinny girls, that I think would look good on me.

When I walk out the door, I know I look cute. I like short skirts and cute outfits, but often times, these kinds of clothes are reserved for those with thinner thighs and smaller waistlines. I wasn’t sure if this stereotype was real, until the stares started.

Men, women, children, they all stare with intent. They usually start at the shoes and make their way up, eyes widening when they see my chubby thighs in fishnets. Usually, on the tube, if someone is looking, one look from you and they will look away, blushing. But when I look at the person staring, they continue, staring as if I am an animal in the zoo.

This attention might please some and in a way, I am glad that I stand out. But, for me, it emphasises the lack of plus size, chubby, fat - whatever you want to call it - wearing the styles I am sure they want to wear, out of fear that they will be judged.

I have a hard truth for you: you will be judged. Men will yell rude phrases out of van windows, people will whisper to their friends about you, they will avoid the seat next to you. You have to build a thick skin to these happenings. It is hard, and sometimes you will be tempted to lower your hemline, pull in your waist less, ditch the fishnets.

But the only way for society to stop staring, stop fearing, is if there are more of us. I think people stare at me because it is rare for plus size women to dress in short skirts and fishnets.

As I notice the stares, I know that at least some of them, are kind eyes, impressed eyes, people who applaud my fashion choices, people who are inspired. So, to those people, I say DO IT go for it and wear that style you see on instagram or pinterest. If you like vintage, or e-girl, or goth, find clothes in your size that match (which can be difficult sometimes) and rock it.

To the people who stare, please, I am not an animal in the zoo, and you know you would not be staring if I was a size eight. If you are staring because you like my outfit, smile at me, let me know that you are not like the others, those small acts of kindness are the things that keep my sexy fat arse stomping around in my skinny girl clothes.

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