Where’s My Place In The Fashion Blogging Industry?


Throughout my entire life, fashion has been about skinny people.

Sure, it’s also been about flawless skin (which has 97% of the time been white), and about being tall, but mostly it’s been about being seriously slim.

In a way, which, even with a healthy doctor-recommended diet, doesn’t come naturally to most. Is the product of starvation and unhealthy obsessions with exercise and of being constantly just a little bit hungry.

There’s been dabbles with ‘real girls’ and plus-size models in campaigns over the years – probably mostly for the publicity that they bring, but nothing has stuck and nothing has really changed, and at the end of the day, most non-sample size girls are still having teary breakdowns in changing rooms across the country every single blasted day.


I remember my first OMFG I’M SO FAT AND HIDEOUS AND NO-ONE PLZ LOOK AT ME AGAIN BECAUSE I MIGHT BREAK YOUR EYES changing room cry. I was 15, a size ten and trying on something neon and lacy in the Brighton branch of River Island.

I probably went away and did a couple of days of my usual fuck, I’m fat diet that was popular amongst my high school gal pals and I – y’know the one where you decided the only way to look like Britney Spears and the girl on the Tophop store poster and the cute pixies sauntering through Glamour magazine was to just eat nothing. Nothing, cept maybe an apple and a cuppa soup.

Then you’d crash back to reality with a hearty portion of Spag Bol and a few biscuits until a week later when you’d be back on the starvation diet.

Sometimes I still have those days where I want to be totally irrational and irresponsible and just starve myself a bit and see what happens.

It feels that although in the last few years we’ve seen hundreds of girls across the world build new media brands that can sell and promote and talk about and parade in clothes better than most of the magazines out there, we still haven’t managed to change the body of fashion.

Not really.

Y’see, I tried to play a game in my head over the weekend. I game where I counted the amount of UK-based top-of-their-game fashion bloggers above a size 8.

Go on, give it a go.

I’m talking the gals with 6 figure Instagram followers, the gals raking in thousands from brand campaigns – not just the kind of girls, maybe myself included, who run successful blogs that dabble in fashion as well as other things. I’m talking flat-out fashion bloggers that every one of us has on our Insta follow list.

There’s kinda not many. Or maybe any.

The industry that was built on ‘being normal’, suddenly doesn’t feel so normal anymore, does it? Because although there is a percentage of girls who are naturally slim, there’s also a large percentage who wear bigger clothes sizes. Let’s just remember the UK average is a 16, and not a 6.

The blogging world feels crammed with slim girls parading in clothes like off-duty models being street snapped for women’s magazines like it’s the nineties. It feels like we’ve come miles, and yet here, in this little snippet of life that is body image and the way we perceive beauty, nothing has changed at all.

Some girls are natural size sixes and some some girls are natural fourteens, and it should be this multitude of sizes that we’re blasted with every day, rather than just one size.

I’ll be honest – I dont tend to read the comments on my outfit posts because there’s always, ALWAYS at least one randomer who feels the need to call me out on my weight.

Like oh what, I don’t look like I should be on a LFW catwalk this season? Huge fucking news to me.

And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of fat-shaming people who love fashion, who love clothes, who love being a girl and y’know what? Also kinda like food.

I’m not a pig, I don’t sit around all day in my pants peeling stuck Cheetos off my thighs and ordering kebabs and chips and dreamy onion ring sides to my house for lunch (although I did this once for my 21st birthday and it was INCREDO).

I eat like you, but my genetics (and binge eating past) mean that I’m not picture-perfect slim, and I won’t ever be, unless I go on some dramatic, unhealthy crash diet that involves a lot of starvation.

I’m not denying that some bloggers and some of you guys are naturally slim and that in itself probably comes with a whole tyrade of problems, but I’ve been to enough blogger events now to also know that a lot of the girls you follow on Instagram aren’t naturally eeny weeny. A lot of them pick through breakfasts or order salads off menu or only stick to water because guess what? They don’t feel like they can be a success in this giant whirwind of an internet content pretty photos fashion clothes industry unless they weigh 8 stone.

And the truth? They probably won’t.

Sadly, we still seem stuck in this idea of fashion being aspirational over real. We still fantasise over outfits both on Pinterest and Instagram, because we’re obsessed over the way it hangs so daintly on frames that look no-where like our own, rather than because the outfit is actually ground-breaking.

In fact, I betcha if you saw half the outfits you pine over online – the slouchy striped tees and boyfriend jeans and biker jackets and dainty gold jewellery and crossbody bags – on real people in the street, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye.

We are more into the idea of looking as slim as the person in the photo than wearing her outfit and I feel like we don’t even realise it.

We live to stare at pretty, skinny girls who stand as symbols of who we could be if we just trained a little harder, spent a little longer on our hair, had slightly better make-up and ate a little less. We don’t want to look at people who look like us on an average day.

I saw a TV advert the other day and there were four girls all of different sizes strutting about together and I thought YES, THIS.

It was for Simply Be. Simply flippin’ Be. I’ve got nothing against the brand, it has some incredible pieces, but it’s not got a cool reputation amongst young women and although it ‘caters for all sizes’, it actually starts at a 12 which automatically excludes smaller sizes.

Where’s the fun TV ad for Topshop, ASOS, Boohoo and New Look with the size 6 girl, the size 10 girl, the size 14 and the 18?

I’m fed up of feeling like I don’t belong in fashion because if I go to an afternoon tea, get this, I’ll actually sample a bit of everything rather than just Instagram a flat lay and pretend I’ve munched my way through it.

I fear that my size and my shape will hold me back professionally – that I will not get the same campaigns and colloaborations with bigger brands as my equal but slimmer blogger might because I will not look as magazine-perfect.

I’ve been lucky to work with some great brands – Joules, Kaleidoscope, Daniel Wellington, Beyond Retro – and I’ve no doubt that these sort of offers will continue to come in.

But it won’t ever be for the hippest of trend-focused brands, the ones every 21 year old pines over and empties her bank account for on a Friday, desperate for something sassy to wear out-out on the Saturday night.

Because what’s aesthetically aspirational about a 5ft 2 size 12-14 gal with ever-growing thighs? RIGHT, RIGHT?

Fashion will, whether we like it or not, always be about the aspirational goal rather than the actual what would this look like on me? It is about how we could be rather than about who the average girl is.

And on that note, before this turns into a 500 page novel, I’m off to eat leftover birthday cheese and plan my world domination of the lifestyle sector.

Ain’t gotta be a skinny lass to write viral lists or create homeware edits. Now picture me just placing 4732562758 nail painting emojis here.


(On a serious note: I’m actually off to pick an award-winning Mykonos capsule wardrobe that I’ll bombard you all with on Instagram – I can’t help it, I hate the fashion industry like I hate Ginny Weasley in the films, but I just bloody love clothes. Bleurgh.)

  • Jess


  • Rosa

    Love this post Hannah! You are such a great writer and you always look elegent and beautiful! Seriously I get such bad style envy from you! You are the only fashion/lifestyle blog I read as you are not insufferable and I appreciate your honesty. I would also like to add that I LOVE food with a burning passion, am also a size 12-14 at 5f 2 (and a half!) and still get told I look good even though I always assume I look terrible all the time (I suffer from anxiety too).
    Anyway I hope you have a good holiday!

  • Sam

    I love your essay pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I love your lists and you are hilarious, but I always get excited reading your longer, more serious posts. My brain is slightly stuck on the point of you not liking Ginny Weasley, but more importantly I feel like I gained a lot from this. I’m a size 12/14 now, which is average, but as I’ve been an 8 for most of my life I suddenly feel large and self concious. You’re right, I’m pretty sure when I lust after clothes I lust after how they would look on me when I was tiny (and pretty unhappy) rather than how I look today. I might have to work on that. Big love to you and I hope you are enjoying your holiday x

  • Lynn

    The blogger fullerfigurefullerbust has a 6 figure social media following, and she is a size 16. Maybe even bigger than that. Don’t lose hope. We readers love your outfit posts.

    • Also Danielle Varnier is genuinely one of the most stylish bloggers out there plus size or not.

  • I respect you so much! You are the voice for the normal girl seriously! I love it x

  • I love your outfit posts even though I’m probably (at 34) a wee bit too old for a lot of them! And gosh, I wish it didn’t matter, it shouldn’t matter because it really is what’s inside that counts, but I always think you look fab, and I always think you have a lovely, lovely figure.

  • Go Hannah! Your readers love you actually as you are! And your fashion posts always inspire me. x


  • Emma

    I read your blog every week and this is truly one of the best posts you’ve done! Inspirational.

  • Eve

    You have no idea how much this article speaks to me (not on the fashion blogger side, since my blog is still small!) but on the lifestyle size! No matter how healthily I eat or exercise, I still always remain a 12-14. It must be my genes, like you said!

    Thanks for such a good article, Hannah! Makes me feel like I’m not the only one struggling with this!

    Eve xo | http://anorganisedscatterbrain.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Lizzie

    I really had to think about how to write this comment because I don’t want it to sound like I’m just gushing but actually you are, hands down, my favourite and most relatable blogger/ style icon. I am definitely *ahem* not anywhere near a skinny minny but nor do I feel like a ‘plus size’ (god I hate that phrase). I’m a size 14-16 which means that for me lots of high street shops are ever so slightly too small (I’m looking at you Topshop jeans and Zara trousers) and the plus size ones are too big.
    I don’t feel like there is anything that caters for the in-betweenies or the average’s of this world. We are told that to wear clothes we must fit into one of the above categories. Then I discovered your blog. Now I know you don’t sell clothes (sadly because I would totes buy every piece) but you wear clothes like a human girl. You talk about human girl things and this is more inspiring and aspirational than any magazine or fashion catwalk. I log on to your blog every day because it speaks the same language I do and that’s really important not just for me personally but for hundreds if not thousands of girls out there who feel the same. You are an inspiring person. You just need to believe it.

    Keep wearing all the clothes and eating all the afternoon teas and above all keep doing what you do because you rock at it 🙂

  • This post is absolutely spot on! I think the first steps are for people such as yourself to raise the alarm and get people to stop and really think on the issue which will then lead to the brands being like “we need to change our approach becauE it’s not working”. I was planning on doing a post about vanity sizing in the fashion industry because that is also a problem. People shouldn’t be defined by the size of clothes they wear! Not in this day and age as you clearly stated!


  • ALL THE YES. I was actually thinking about this the other day – I wondered if not being a miniature size could be my niche…? But guess what THEY don’t want you there at all hun. So just back the hell up. Hope you’re having the best time in Mykonos. Sophie xxxxx (p.s. We MUST finally organise that meet up when you’re back)

  • Jo

    Absolutely yes yes yes! Very well written and thought provoking. I absolutely love your blog and find you so relatable and pretty darn awesome!

  • Abbee

    Read through the comments before I came to write mine and I could not agree more with the ‘voice for the normal people’ comment. Your blogs are always so relate-able, from wanting to eat an extra portion of cake to not wanting to out my face on all the time, to just wanting to sit and watch harry Potter all the time.

    Whilst other bloggers might *actually* be constantly on, full face of make up with 18 co-ordinated chains and matching socks to handbag combo, I don’t need to be made to feel bad when I read my morning blogs.

    Basically you’re a babe x

  • Jessie

    Hannah, I could write all day about how much I agree with this post but ain’t nobody got time for that…


  • I LOVE this. So incredibly much.

    As echoed by pretty much everyone above: I’d like to just point out that your blog is actually the one I turn to when I’m looking for fashion inspo. Because you talk about normal shops that normal 20-somethings can afford, and you’re living proof that you don’t have to be a size 6 to be stylish.

    So yeah. Keep doing you gurl!

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • This post is so needed. Fat-shaming is so rife in the blogging community and seeing so many of these size 8 girls promoting detoxes and diets and ‘what I eat in a day’ as if being anything other than slim and toned is a big No No just doesn’t sit right with me. As a woman who’s always struggled with my weight and issues related to it, I want to see more representation in the blogging world. We bang on about how we’re sick of it in the fashion industry but why, when we control this section of it ourselves and most of us are ‘normal’ people, haven’t we changed that?

    Rachel | http://www.currentlyrachel.com

  • I totally agree that the fashion and blogging industry has to start being more inclusive because wether ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ body shaming is a horrid weapon used to play on everyones insecurities. Wouldn’t it be amazing if one day we could stroll into shops where instead of uniform mannequins all in one size there were an entire range scattered throughout the store?


  • My reactions to this post:

    1. I definitely admire the way clothes hang daintily from tiny frames more than the clothes themselves sometimes.

    2. I love food.

    3. I might have spaghetti bolognese for dinner some time soon.

    4. The films totally ruined Ginny Weasley.

    5. This focus on tiny girls in fashion even creates a backlash against naturally slim girls sometimes. I have a friend who’s naturally very slim, has always wanted to gain weight, can eat absolutely anything, but has only recently come into her own in terms of her personal style because she spent so many years wearing baggy clothes and facing criticism for her weight.

    6. I genuinely prefer your outfit posts. Seriously, I don’t even follow any of the stereotypical fashion bloggers because I don’t see the point. Your outfit posts actually give me a genuine idea of what something might look like on me and that’s much more important to me. I never even considered attempting over the knee boots until I saw yours and I certainly never would have thought of buying a mens shirt from Primark for the better fit until you wrote about it.

    Aspirational fashion is all well and good, and looks terribly pretty on Pinterest, but I’ll take real life and it’s variety of shapes and sizes any day.

    Laura | WhatSheWroteBlog x

  • Jessica

    Brill post Hannah! Massive fan of your blog and I feel this piece is speaking on behalf of girls everywhere!

    Fat shaming is wrong, but also is skinny shamming. I feel like at some points in this post you do just that. There’s no need to act bitter and blame a different group of people to get your point across.

    I believe personally everyone is different and everyone is beautiful and this can be said without himilating the girl who enjoys working out and salads or the girl who has a ‘fuck it’ McDonald’s whenever she damn wants.

    You could have got your point across to your readers just as well without having to criticize other people

    • Hi Jessica,

      I was really paranoid about this reading as skinny shaming which is something I totally didn’t want to do!

      I think we should celebrate women in all shapes and sizes whether that’s a 4 or a 20. x

    • Anny

      I totally agree Jessica. Although I did enjoy reading this post (like all of Hannah’s posts) I feel this post comes across as Hannah is slamming all other ladies that choose to work out, eat a salad and are slim! I don’t think that was the intention of the post but like you said I feel we should celebrate all types of women at all sizes!! It’s a shame that as a society we feel it is necessary to have to justify our choices to everyone and their dog including Hannah in this post! I think you always look great Hannah regardless of your style – your confidence seems to shine regardless of how you’re obviously feeling at times and I think it’s very inspiring!

  • I remember when fitspiration was huge on tumblr and it just completely broke me – I was already in a bad place, my idea of health and food was not okay and I was like I MUST DO ALL OF THIS TO HAVE ABS AND BE A SIZE 6 – nopitynonopeno.

    I agree with a lot that you said, and I sometimes think I could be slimmer or stronger if I worked out more but I just really like sitting at my desk, writing and filming, doing yoga here and there and just enjoying my food. And I am not the most fashionable person either (it’s stripes or blue, that’s the most you’ll get out of me) but heck you can be whatever size and still enjoy fashion and be allowed to enjoy it without 2/10 people thinking they have a right to comment because you’re not a Pinterest standard. Eye rolls…

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Lauren

    ANother great post from you with issues that need to be highlighted. I can totally believe that a lot of fashion bloggers are unnaturally slim and it’s such a shame they feel the need to starve themselves like this. Chubby girls for the win indeed! x


  • Yes yes yes! All the yesses to this post! Love the points you made Hannah. It’s a real problem and I’m as guilty as most at aspiring to look like the model who wears the clothes I want to buy. Hopefully with blogs like yours we can slowly overcome our strange obsession with using models who don’t fully represent the people actually going to wear the clothes.

  • Emily

    Great post hannah & I second what Katy said! You have a really fun sense of style & I definitely come here over a size 4 blogger to get inspired. Keep being amazing.

  • God this is SO spot on. I think it’s incredible when designers use ‘bigger’ girls for their shows but what I hate is how much of a big deal it is. It shouldn’t be a big deal it should be the norm.
    I can also totally relate to the feeling of needing to be skinny for blogging because you think it will impact how successful you are, this is something that’s constantly on my mind.

    Great post as always my love!

    Gemma xx


  • Alice

    Please don’t leave the fashion industry!

    your clothes posts are the only ones you can see how clothes actually fit!

    Alice x

  • Yes, Yes, Yes. You’re totally right, Hannah and there’s not much we can do about it (as I sit here with a tiny bowl of yogurt and fruit for breakfast because just got the latest Lord and Taylor catalogue and omg I don’t look like that in my skinny jeans).

  • Anny

    I totally agree with Jessica. Although I did enjoy reading this post (like all of Hannah’s posts) I feel this post comes across as Hannah is slamming all other ladies that choose to work out, eat a salad and are slim! I don’t think that was the intention of the post but like you said I feel we should celebrate all types of women at all sizes!! It’s a shame that as a society we feel it is necessary to have to justify our choices to everyone and their dog! I think you always look great Hannah regardless of your style – your confidence seems to shine regardless of how you’re obviously feeling at times and I think it’s very inspiring!

    • Anny

      Ah, I didn’t mean to post my comment twice 🙁

  • Yes yes yes.

    Whenever I’m online shopping or looking at fashion blogs I always look at how the clothes look on THEM rather than what they’d look like on ME. I mean, it totally works. I want everything they have. Then I realise that most of it would just never suit me.

    I ALWAYS love your fashion posts (keep up the three-ways ones please!) and I definitely bought the striped top I’m wearing because of your blog.

    Amazing post, missy!


  • Steph

    SO much love for this post. Your blogs are the only ones that I read every single one religiously – I read other ones but they bore the panties off me. Muchos love to you dear! X

  • Love this post! You are beautiful inside and out and if people don’t see that then more fool them! Your blog is the one I read day in, day out and I absolutely love how honest you are.


  • Yep. You speak so much truth, such a shame society is the way it is and like you said this isn’t going to change any time soon.


  • Cannot even begin to describe how much I LOVE THIS POST!! Great blog Hannah, I so enjoy reading it, you are, as always, an inspiration xx

  • An absolutely amazing post, definitely developed a bit of a girl crush on you haha! I would much rather see real women representing clothing brands as it gives a more realistic idea as to how it will actually look rather than thinking “well I’m not that skinny so will it suit me?”

    I also would like to say that I always love your outfit posts as they always feature affordable clothing and it all tends to be wearable stuff! My wardrobe now has several striped tees in which definitely wouldn’t have appeared before seeing them in your posts!


  • Becki

    This blog is something I look forward to reading everyday. I’ve always agreed with everything you write and I love your style, and yet I find myself feeling quite upset by this post.
    I don’t fully understand what bothers me so much but I think it’s the overall assumption that thin people in the majority excessively diet and Lord it over anyone above a size 8.
    I think all women need to stop attacking each other over their size. I am a natural size 8 and there are so many times my confidence is stripped to nothing because people assume I’m anorexic, or imply that I’m not shaped like a real woman?!

    fat shaming is unfortunately a reality, especially in the fashion industry and I think it’s a disgrace. However, thin shaming is also a real issue and I feel as though this should have been addressed, if a thin person complains about their body we are dismissed as attention seeking, as though we don’t wish we were more “womanly.”
    Please don’t take this as an insult, as I say I love your blog I just wish this post would have been a bit more rounded as any woman can be unhappy with how they look.

  • I don’t understand how some people reading this post has perceived it as skinny shaming?

    Hannah says and I quote “I’m not denying that some bloggers and some of you guys are naturally slim and that in itself probably comes with a whole tyrade of problems,”

    THERE she acknowledges that it is possible for people to be naturally slim and have people assume things or whatever but dya know what? This is Hannah’s blog and being a more curvy girl she has focused more on that because it’s personal to HER.

    She hasn’t shamed anyone at all. Also she never bashed people that choose to eat healthily and exercise regularly she just said some bloggers are feeling like they HAVE to do these things religiously if they are to be taken seriously in the fashion industry and that shouldn’t be the case.

    Great post Hannah xx

  • This post hits home on so many different levels.
    I have forever been a yoyo dieter/binge eater. I will never be one of those girls who ‘doesn’t feel like eating’ or ‘has a really fast metabolism’. I could eat an apple and gain weight. And especially coming from a South Asian background, being judged on your weight as soon as relatives see you after a long time is done without a single thought about your self-esteem in the long run.

    I love clothes and ‘style’ but most things just don’t look good on me. Fashion is ‘universal’ and we should all have a place in the fashion industry. There are skinny girls who are naturally like that and larger girls who are naturally larger- just the way the world works!
    Jabeen x

  • This post has just made my Friday. So bloody true and real! Love everything about it!

  • Daisy

    Yes yes bloody yes.

  • Sarah

    I think there’s a fair few bloggers who perhaps need to look at this and think about the effect that they might be having on their audience as they parade in their tiny clothes and talk about how it feels so good to be sizing down. There’s nothing wrong with being slim and I applaud to the utmost those who work so hard and eat so well to achieve the body that they want, but it’s not attainable for all. Especially those in the throws of puberty dealing with the fact that life can’t seem to see they’ve got quite enough to deal with without their gut expanding quicker than their boobs could ever dream of (was that just me?!) It’s pretty hard to get to a comfortable place with your body these days and whilst I’m actually only a 6/8 myself I would welcome a variety of sizes every bit as much as you would Hannah, because the girls I know aren’t all a cookie cutter eight and yet why should they ever be made to feel any less because of that? We need to celebrate our differences and preach happiness and health over dress size, I think we’d all be so much better for it. Don’t ever doubt yourself. Your blog and your voice and your passion is a thousand times more inspiring than how you look in your outfit posts (though that’s pretty fucking good I have to say) and posts such as this are so important. Keep it up x

  • You know girl, don’t ever hold yourself back. If it’s your passion, who cares what others think eh? I have gotten into depression due to major lack of confidence and skin issues. Urgh. As a 23 year old self, I could have totally avoided that period by just believing in myself 🙂 Anyways, great post, keep it up and all the best 🙂 🙂 🙂


    Real Life Nerd // http://www.vivienekok.blogspot.com

  • Greetje van Baalen-Leenders

    My dear, don’t call yourself chubby ever again !!! You”re slim with your 5ft.2 and size 12.

    Be realistic about yourself. Take this advice from an 75 year old dutch lady who has seen it all.

    I’m 5ft3 and have size 12 (38 in Holland) and have never thought about myself as a fat girl.

    It’s all about perception. Love your blog by the way.



  • YES. Thank you for saying this. There needs to be more diversity in fashion and the media in general but I’m sick of people accusing others of ‘skinny shaming’ whenever anyone brings it up. Yes there are naturally skinny people (I’m one of them!) but I’m not convinced that ALL of these models and everyone else in the fashion industry are. You can’t ignore what is an obvious problem just in case you offend someone. As a naturally thin person I’ve not found any of what you’ve said offensive, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head x

    Josie’s Journal

  • I *cannot* thank you enough for this.
    Like seriously, go you.

    All the love

  • Pingback: Weekly Reads Round Up (#23) - Sophie Cliff()

  • Louise

    I absolutely adore this article and could rant on about how much I agree with it and how much I’ve tortured myself training and dieting and bingeing for years… But I don’t wanna rant haha.

    You nailed it. You need to keep representing otherwise the blog world will be exactly like the fashion industry…. Only represent by those who fit the niche and not us real size everyday chicks. Better to accept ourselves than kill ourselves conforming x

  • Eileen

    I know I’m late but have only just read this one. Hannah, I love your blog – really, really love it. Like the Dutch lady above I am a little(!) bit above the majority of your followers. Right, I want to tell my story…

    When I was in my late teens I was a size 12 and kept being told that I looked ill and needed to put some weight on (who’d a thunk it could ever happen?). Into my 20’s I had my son and filled out to a size 14 and everyone said suited me. And so it stayed until I reached my 30’s and I fell quite seriously ill and had to be put on medication that I will have to stay on for the rest of my life.

    Of the 9 tablets I take (all maximum dose), 5 have the side effect of putting on weight, they have tried to change them for different tablets but it hasn’t worked. Unfortunately I cannot come off them. I am now 50 and am really overweight to the point it is embarrassing. I don’t eat so called “bad stuff”, I know I’m judged but can’t stop everyone in the street and explain my situation to them.

    *And breathe*… I hope you don’t mind me sending this, I just wanted to say that there are any number of reasons our weight can be completely out of our control. (Sorry for the long post but just wanted to give a different perspective). xx

Recent Videos

Follow Me