Riese’s Team Pick: “Runway Revolution” & Some Fat-Positive Fashion Tumblrs

Whether you’re a human being who feels symbolically annihilated by the homogeneously super-skinny body types visible in mainstream media or you’re a human who likes looking at photos of hot girls or you’re an intern for Autostraddle instructed to find photos of not-skinny&white-girls to diversify an article’s imagery, you will feel excited and enthusiastic about the existence of Runway Revolution:

RunwayRevolution.com is a not-for-profit archive of images, videos, etc. showing larger (typically called plus-size) models, and presented for critique and comment under “Fair Use” law to anyone seeking to expand their aesthetic sensibilities concerning beauty and size, and to the general reader who needs a break from the images in the media that completely disconnect with how larger bodies look in real life.

Over the past 20 years there has been a wealth of beautiful imagery, videos and other marketing ephemera created showing models over a size 10. It is the sole mission of RunwayRevolution.com to capture and provide a permanent home for as much material as can be found. RunwayRevolution.com is the ONLY online resource providing this wealth of material in a dated and highly cross-referenced manner, complete with photographer credits. This site offers, wherever possible, complete series of editorials and advertising campaigns without prejudice to brand, model or concept.

It’s owned by Pippa J, an Australian model with 16 years experience in the plus size industry. Also, as a magazine nerd, I’m highly appreciative of their status as “the largest and most complete collection of MODE Magazine available online.”

AND AND AND ALSO ALSO ALSO — Pippa J herself of Runway Revolution would like to say to all y’all autostraddlers:

“It is damn hard work to find good images of People of Color in the plus size world… if anyone out there has back issues of Essence or Ebony or Veinitantos, etc etc with larger models, I’d love to add them! Hit me up via this page: http://runwayrevolution.com/contact/ and I’ll give you the specs.”

Oh and um, here’s a video from there. Happy Friday!

BUT! Everybody knows that “plus-sized” models aren’t actually “plus-sized” — they’re just models who are larger than traditional fashion models — instead of a size 0-4, “plus-sized” models are actually around a size 8-16 — they’re just modeling clothing designed specifically for plus-sized women. So it’s basically the same discrepancy as always. Buttttt if this website makes you wish you could see actual plus-sized women  in cute outfits, there are some tumblrs for that! Check out:

fuck yeah fat positive: “Because there aren’t enough FA/HAES tumblrs.”

fuck yeah chubby fashion: “Someone mentioned I might start a blog about my own style… I took the feedback and started a blog about everyone’s chubby style!”

+ A Queer Fat Femme Guide to the Net: “Flotsam & Jetsam By (Autostraddle contributor) Bevin Brandlandingham, the Queer Oprah.”

the thickness: “Celebrate the sexuality. Admire the brave. Encourage the unique.”

+ hey fat chick: “Fat is a celebration. The way these women fill out their clothes, the smooth curves, the second helpings, the way their bodies jiggle and fold and just beg for greedy hands, the softness, the way fingers can dig into them, the way they lie like a rubenesque painting… It is fat. And it is amazing.”

Vanity Loves Curves: “Fashion blogs are overwhelmed with thin girls who dress- well, epically. I just want to contribute as a fat girl who strives to dress- well, epically, too. And I also want to take time to admire fierce, confident, sexy chubby women. We’re all lovely.”

+ fatshion february: “I can’t wait to see what you’re wearing!”

+ Afrotitty: “Photos and musings on fatshion, hippos, power + privilege, nom nom food, burlesque, NYC, and ferocity.”

dressupbox: “Queer femme of color who believes in glitter armor and survival as resistance. poet/performance artist. first generation college student workin erryday to smash the ivory tower.”

+ fat shopaholic: “What sets Fat Shopaholic apart from other blogs is Tiffany’s vibrancy, bright smile, her willingness to make it work and experiment with various prints and patterns.”

+ femme styles: “I love femmes and all of our amazing styles.”

+ closet riots: “A body-positive fashion revolution.”

+ gisela ramirez: “As much as i aspire to be the next big thing in plus size fashion, the benefit of my work is to remind you, and myself: Your curves are beautiful, lovely and importantly, sexy. You are entitled to celebrate your mind, spirit and your body. Fashion is your friend & you must rock it.”

+ the cupcake criminal: “A spot for the girl who loves all things to do with food, fashion, travel, the caribbean, baking, chubby beautiful girls, gardening and of course CUPCAKES!!”

And though these two aren’t described as fashion tumblrs, we still like them SO WHATEVER:

+ Fuck Yeah Chubby Butches“This is a fairly self-serving project but i hope others can also reap the benefits of my campaign to represent the hotness of chubby butches.

+ Fuck Yeah Trans Fats: “There is too much cis-centrism in the fat positive scene and too much sizeism in the trans community. We’re here to smash that to pieces! We want to focus beautiful full-bodied trans folks of all varieties.”

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1761 articles for us.

37 Comments

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    The fact that size 8 is considered “plus” size in the fashion industry (and I’ve even read that in some cases, fucking size 6!) seriously confuses and borderline infuriates me.

    I’m a fucking size 8. I weight 110 lbs. I’m 5’3″. There’s not a bit of flab on me save for my tits. I get accosted for being “too skinny” I’d wager at least once a week. Family, friends, co-workers, acquiantances – hell, even total strangers – frequently make reference to me being “tiny” or “so little.”

    And yet, technically from a runway model standpoint, not only am I too short, but I’m also too fat?
    Really?

    So yes, indeed, thanks for this. I want to see women of variety.

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    I realize now that not-skinny-white-girls probably means not skinny and/or not white but I originally read it as not skinny but white and I was wondering while Autostraddle didn’t want pictures of not-skinny girls of color!

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    WORD @Louvella

    It’s a complete bummer to not see any of the MANY queer fa(t)shion Tumblrs created by folk of Color on this list.

    If you don’t know how to find us, you aren’t fucking looking right. I’m tired of the queer fatshion community being white-washed when so many of it’s ferocious leaders are POC.

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    omgomgomg while I was reading this post, I was getting ready to share my #feelings that fat fashion blogs are always cis-femme-inclined, which is useful to me as a fat queer cis femme, but also sad since my primary attraction is to fat/chub queer masculine folks and I want to see cute photos of them,

    but then omigosh you posted fuck yeah chubby butches and trans fats and I am in love with you and those tumblrs.

    Clearly, I am so excited by this that I have written the longest run-on sentence of all time.

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    Hey Riese, thanks for the pimp. Have to say, it is damn hard work to find good images of POC in the plus size world…it’s the same problem as with the smaller models – white girls are supposedly the most ‘aspirational’. Especially in Europe, and rather conspicuously so.

    If anyone out there has back issues of Essence or Ebony or Veinitantos, etc etc with larger models, I’d love to add them! Hit me up via this page: http://runwayrevolution.com/contact/ and I’ll give you the specs.

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    Okay.. I may be about to burst this positive bubble BUT….

    As a thicker woman, I embrace and love curves. There is also nothing wrong with being size 3. If that is your natural size. It’s about being healthy, and with the range of your body type and frame. I think Alicia Minshew is skinny as hell but she is her natural size, she looks healthy and beautiful. Julie Bowen on the other hand seems to be forcing herself to a size. She looks deflated and sick. Imo.

    Anyway. There is a difference being a thicker person, who is healthy or maybe slightly over weight and then fat. Clicked on ‘the Thickness’ there was a fat chick on the top of the page. Hate to be rude but she was fat. Period. That is not attractive. She is unhealthy. 5’5 at 225 lbs is not okay.

    I support diversity to an extent but where is the line? It’s not okay to be largely over weight. The same as it is for women who abuse their bodies to get/stay extremely thin. You are neglecting and abusing your body by being largely overweight. Showing or praising that as acceptable is just a detrimental as the fashion/modeling world suggesting that size 0-4 is the standard norm for everyone.

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      The Kate Harding page has covered all I feel needs to be said about health.

      But something that didn’t come up with was why can’t a fat body be attractive? I don’t believe fat=unhealthy. But since apparently you do, why are you opposed to seeing people who you feel are unhealthy being sexualized? Plenty of people here comment on how hot pics of smoking women are. Do people need a clean bill of health to be labeled hot? My neighbor has a neurological disorder that WILL become active and kill her within 10 years. Am I still allowed to find her beautiful? What about my friend with an active autoimmune disease?

      And please leave the talk about ‘natural’ body size alone. There is NO natural body size for anyone. The term is misleading, and encourages us to judge women who don’t have ‘natural’ bodies. Who’s body is more natural- the woman who’s all muscle because her job involves harsh manual labor, the professional athlete who works out to shape her body for competitive reasons, or the woman who works out at the gym every day to look a certain way? Claiming some bodies are ‘natural’ and some are ‘unnatural’ is ridiculous.

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        When I say natural I mean “your” specifics. I know there is not a standard. Who would want there to be one? But I know if I drop to 125 or up to 250 that is not good for me that is not “MY” norm. And I don’t exercise or eat right but I know the range by body naturally falls in..

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          “When I say natural I mean “your” specifics.”

          Oh, riiiight. Because when you said “That is not attractive. She is unhealthy. 5’5 at 225 lbs is not okay.” I was pretty sure you were just hating.

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          Yeah.. sometimes it does look disgusting.. you can think its beautiful and okay with 6 year olds 175+ with high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. You all missed by whole fucking point so I’m done.

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          Repeating stereotypes about fat people is disgusting. We got your point – you think only certain people can be attractive and healthy. You base this on what? The Body Mass Index, which does not measure eating habits or physical activity?

          And then you invoke the poor fat children – I’ve never heard of a young child with high cholesterol or diabetes. It’s probably a small percentage, and mostly based on genetics.

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      How do you know that the woman you looked at was “unhealthy?” Did you have her medical chart handy? Just because you find somebody personally unattractive does not make then unhealthy.

      It is perfectly acceptable to be whatever size you choose. It is none of your damn business to pass moral judgment.

  7. Thumb up 0

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    Check *you* out, MsNJS. Way to post the fat hate in a threat about fat positivity. Some may argue that you have a difficult time reading headlines and ignore you, but I’m in a mood tonight and I’ll bite anyway.

    Let’s review:

    “Some fat (my fat) is okay, but Other Fat is not okay, it’s TOOOOO Fat! OMG, DEATHFAT DANGER DANGER.” is actually a pretty unoriginal trope. It’s also misguided. It’s very, very possible (and not infrequent) to be extremely fat and still be very healthy, just as it’s possible to be incredibly skinny and in terrible physical condition. You cover part B above but ignore part A.

    I want to be forgiving, but when I read the full extent of your comments, that’s really hard. I read that you presume that “overweight” people must have gotten that way through “neglect and abuse.” What a giant, ignorant “fuck you” to a whole lot of people. What you’re basically saying is, fuck everyone who’s fatter than you, right? But you’re saying it out of “concern,” I’m sure.

    There are a MILLION reasons, both genetic and situational, that a person might be fat, or thin, or anything in between. You can’t presume to know them all, and should check the privilege you feel to sit in judgment. Why not be positive and encouraging of healthy life habits for everyone without engaging in sizeist sniping or insinuating that someone should alter their physical size? Are you threatened by larger women?

    You’re entitled to find whomever you want attractive or unattractive, but please, precious, don’t for one hot second presume to make a sweeping judgment for all of us. Some of us think 5’5″ and 225 is bangin’. And beautiful. And exactly nothing to be ashamed of. And a whole lot of those of us who are size 18 and up lead healthy, active, and exiting lives. “Not okay” my enormous fucking ass. I’m splendid. Thank you *very* much.

    I suggest you actually educate yourself. You might want to start with Linda Bacon’s Health at Every Size.

    Happy reading. I hope you learn a little something, and are eventually able to lose the fatphobia.

    I’m off now. Time to eat two whole cakes and some babies. After all, I have to keep up my regimen of “neglect and abuse” somehow.

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      I do not have fataphobia or whatever. You don;t know my size, I am overweight. Many would consider me fat, but I don;t care.

      I know ‘skinny’ people who if proportion to me, are ‘fatter’ than me. I know genetics and circumstances play a part, but as I ask and what you didn;t answer, only attacked me, is where is the line? Does everyone, let’s say 100 lbs overweight, know that it’s okay for ‘their’ specific body type or situation. Or do they just accept it, neglect and live with it, until their are consequences? Everyone is not a special ‘situation’, everyone one does not have genetic predisposition. Everyone is not big boned.

      Even though I think *some* people do abuse and/or neglect their bodies on both ends of the spectrum, fat/skinny, I know *not all*. I apologize if it came off that way.

      Still, you can sit there and type your sarcastic comments, beam with pride and act like everything is okay and that bad eating habits, lack of exercise and obesity is not a health issue in our society from young to old.

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        Obesity, by definition, is a person with a Body Mass Index that is 30 or above. That’s it. It does not say anything about that person or their health. And it especially does not say anything about their attractiveness.

        The “obesity epidemic” is a moral judgment, not an actual crisis. And you’ve fallen for it – hook, line and sinker. Get your head out of the mainstream media and do some actual research.

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    I wasn’t beaming with pride.

    I was sad and I was angry that on a thread celebrating body diversity and beauty in different shapes and sizes, there was a post about which fat was too fat. Yes, I got snarky, and I apologize for the attitude.

    We clearly don’t agree, but I should have just listed information as Riese did above (to a really terrific post). Linda Bacon’s book is a very eye-opening read.

    Or I should not have responded at all. This is a post about fashion and fabulousness and size diversity, period.

    I apologize to everyone on this thread for participating in derailment of the topic at hand. Should we encounter each other elsewhere, I promise dialogue that stays topical and doesn’t get rude, even if it gets passionate.

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