BLAST!

BLAST 1

Blast 2

We’ve had a first sighting… Outfit planning for Plus London has begun on Twitter and Facebook!

To celebrate, we’d like to introduce you to Blast! a professional pop up photographic studio who’ll be working with us on Saturday.

We’re really pleased to have them; their work is fantastic quality and Dannie and Charlotte are lovely people to boot.  They’ll be setting up their lights and flashes early so you can capture your style in some high quality shots, all free for you thanks to our generous sponsors, Simply Be and Curvissa.

Get some photos of your outfit, your friends old and new or some of the new seasons clothes brought by the brands.

There will be two sessions:

12pm – 3pm will be a clean-look studio session, a great opportunity to get some top quality photos for your blog. 8pm – 10pm will be a party studio during after dark, your chance to grab a friend and make an (clears throat) ‘artistic statement’ with their surreal collection of props.

We want to minimise queues as much as possible, so you can pre book a 10 minute slot at either session. There are 17 slots in the daytime and 12 during after dark. We’d love for everyone to have an opportunity to get some shots and we know how lovely you all are, so we suggest people buddy up and share a slot if spaces become scarce.

So if you want to book a slot – please email us at our usual address, pluslondonevents@gmail.com, specifying whether you want a day or evening slot.

It’s first come, first serve so don’t dilly-dally ladies!

See you all soon!

Plus London xx

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Tale of a fat lady: Michelle

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I was a really happy fat child, smiling and standing up tall in all my photos.  I loved my life and I got great pleasure from baking, cooking and family meals.   I remember my Nan and Mum making Marge Simpson style mumbles of concern in the background when we went clothes shopping but nothing fazed me and I went back to plaiting the luminous hair of my little ponies.

Things changed however when I became a fat teenager.  I remember outgrowing my size 20 school blazer in year 8 and my mum telling me we couldn’t get another one in town and that we needed to go to a special shop.  I remember someone telling me that I would hate my Mum later in life for letting me get so fat.  As I grew older, I remember unrequited love, awful clothes, not fitting in and cruel bullies who chipped away my self esteem.  At 15 I felt like a failure, because I was fat.

I turned up at college scared of what people would make of me, scared of being ostracised again but instead I met an amazing bunch of people who were open minded and appreciated diversity and difference!  They saw me as a funny, intelligent, creative kind person and they loved my style and individuality.  Who knew that the homemade, reworked and second hand clothes I was forced to make because high street retailers excluded me, were actually cooler than Topshop?  My confidence grew as I realised that style, attitude and creativity is a lot more interesting than following dictated fashion trends.  In short, I started accepting myself and began to explore who I am rather than wasting time trying to fit into someone else’s version of what a woman should be.

Things are better now, there are a few shops on the high street where I can buy decent size 26/28 clothes and the choice online is even better.  There are designers doing ground-breaking work and Fat Positive groups abundantly abounding.  Yes, there are still nasty negative people out there and you will come across discrimination from time to time.  Bullies will always find something to criticise whether it’s too fat, too thin, too average, yada, yada, yada.  Their words only hurt if you believe them, so find ways to see that your strengths outweigh any negatives.

So thank you very much to the community who accepted me and gave me back the confidence I had as a child.  You made me the different, creative, brave, kind and strong individual I am today.

Michelle x

How The Weekend Will Look

Since we have ramped up the Plus London Three organisation we decided it was about time we gave you all a sneak peak about what we have planned for the weekend. We’ve been super busy behind the scenes to make sure this is the event of the winter for you and we think you’re going to love what we have in store. So, below is what we’re revealing so far. There’ll be lots more to come in the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled!
Saturday- Brand Day
Firstly, we are proud to announce that Simply Be and Curvissa are our main sponsors. Plus London has been so lucky to have developed such a great relationship with brands over the past three years, and our main sponsors have been so dedicated to contributing to the plus size community.

We have a healthy collection of other brands kind enough to contribute and attend Plus London Three. We don’t want to reveal too much, but we have a few exclusives and talks up our sleeves, not to mention the most fun ice-breaker when you all arrive. Further details of those brands to follow soon…

Saturday- After Dark
This is when we all get to let loose. We’ve got badass fat babe Bethany of My Arched Eyebrow fame bringing the party with tunes fresh from her hugely successful club night, Dancing On My Own.

Sunday- Community Day

We have a high-class panel to discuss confidence and sexuality. The floor will be open for any questions you may have or stories you’d like to tell, we hope this will be a positive discussion to help, share and educate each other – we want you all to walk away feeling that little bit better.

We have workshops including:
– How to make a Zine
– A blogging workshop by the lovely Pocket Rocket
– Sewing workshops

We’ll also have body positive/ personal journey mini movies; and to conclude, a fun (girly) movie YOU get to pick! More on that later….

SO I hope its been worth the wait.

We only have 3 weeks left –  if you don’t have your tickets make sure you get them now! Email: pluslondonevents@gmail.com

The Venue – in case you missed it!

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As you should be aware – we will be hosting Plus London at the Hoxton Arches.

We have the venue for the whole weekend – which will make setting up and hosting so easy!

This is how the venue describes itself:

“Set within a sensitively converted railway arch, Hoxton Arches is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of London’s exciting East End. Comprising of 2,500 square feet of space, this unique two-room venue provides a high-spec alternative event space for hire with original exposed brick and distressed features.

Hoxton Arches has been designed as a versatile venue that can comfortably accommodate a wide range of events.  Also the part-time home of a functioning art gallery, Hoxton Arches is a premier showroom for short-term gallery hire and can dually provide a stunning visual backdrop for your event.  Our team are experienced event managers and art handlers who can ensure that all of your requirements are met.

Located mere metres from the Hoxton Overground Station and the popular Shoreditch area, Hoxton Arches is just a short walk from an extensive list of attractions including Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market, Broadway Market, Vyner Street and Hoxton Square, and is within walking distance of Liverpool Street and Old Street stations.”

In our minds we found it spacious, easy to locate and accessible for all abilities, which is really important to us. And it’s also really cool! The interior also serves as a bit of a blank canvas, so we can add in things to make it comfortable and fun for you!

Where to rest your head

We know a few of you will be looking to get your accommodation booked asap so we’ve looked into some options for you. If you’d like to have a look around yourself though, I’m sure you will find something fab!

Hoxton Arches, where Plus London is held, is right outside Hoxton station. Hoxton station is on the Overground tube line – the light orange one on the tube map – it loops London. This means you can pretty much stay at a hotel anywhere on that line and get to Hoxton easily. It’s also within walking distance of Old Street and Dalston.

That said, we’ve got some suggestions to get you started:

Hostels

Journeys Hostel Outside

Journeys Hostels – Caledonian Road

3-9 bed dorms

Pricing: 3 bed: £45.98 for two nights 9 bed: £36.98 for two nights

Includes: bed linen, Wi-Fi, luggage storage and breakfast

18-35 year olds only (ID will be required)

Group booking for 15 people + only

Keystone HouseKeystone House – Pentonville Road

Basic – Deluxe twin rooms/3-16 bed dorms

Pricing: Basic twin: £29.95 per person/ per night 16 bed dorm: £21.95 per person/ per night

Includes: bed linen, luggage storage, and breakfast

Check in: 2pm Check out: 10am

Internet Cafe available but doesn’t state if free

clink78Clink 78 – King’s Cross Road

Female only dorms

Includes: lockers, en-suite shower room and toilet, lockable room, breakfast

Pricing: Basic from £10 per person per night, deluxe: £15 per person per night

Check in: 2pm Check out: 10am

Internet is £3 one payment and lasts 14 days

Group bookings for 15 people + only

generatorGenerator – Tavistock Place

Female only dorms. Small: 4-6 Large: 8-14

From £12 per person per night

Private twin rooms from £24 per person per night

Free Wi- Fi

Group bookings available

Hotels

For those of you who have a bit more to spend, there are some great hotels located near the venue. Time out recommends some cool hotels in the area, and here are a couple of our faves:

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The Premier Inn in Old Street is only 15 minutes walk/8 minutes bus journey away. (Lauren: I’ve stayed there before and I couldn’t fault it!)

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Another hotel in the area which is super cool is Hoxton Hotel. A bit pricier, but definitely worth it. The corridors are very futuristic!

If you are staying anywhere else and have got a good deal, leave a comment so people can see!

Tales of a fat lady: Isha

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My love for fashion started at a very early age. My first favourite outfit came at the age of three, when I had a pair of blue dungarees. I apparently refused to take them off and screamed like a banshee at whomever came near me with something different. My next favourite outfit (I was around six/ seven) is one I remember fondly. It was a red polka dot skirt (for regular readers of my blog, yep, this is where the polka dot love affair started!), a white blazer with a red polka dot pocket, and a Care Bears t-shirt. It was the most beautiful outfit ever! I again, rarely took it off and would immediately put it back on after it had been washed.

I wore this wonder for a good few years, but then I started to feel a change. The blazer became a little tighter and I had to breathe in whenever I had to do up my skirt – it was at this moment I became aware of my weight. A few months went by and I could no longer wear my favourite outfit, I was so distraught and hated the fact that my body had betrayed me. From such an early age, I was aware that my body was not what is was “supposed” to look like; and through my teenage years and early twenties, I had the hardest time trying to come to terms with the way I looked. When I looked in magazines, I saw tall, slim, white girls and women. I wasn’t represented anywhere. I struggled with that fact for longer than I care to admit, and it has been a tearful battle to get to where I am now.

I didn’t, and even now in the media, still do not have real representation of how I look – short, plus size, disproportioned and black. So I turned my back on mainstream media and discovered blogging. I cannot over state how much finding blogging has helped me find others like me, those whom were just as tired when looking around all aspects of the media and feeling disappointed; I’m truly grateful to the pioneers and the bloggers who do this for the right reasons – as a way of showing girls and women all over the world that there is an alternative.

When I speak to my friends, who just know me as Isha or Pixie, they talk about my latest blog post and marvel at other bloggers style, ambition and confidence. One part of me feels great to be part of that, but the other part makes me wonder why they marvel? It is of course because of the media. The media push this message onto all, that we need to aspire to being slim – that slim is best; so seeing people who don’t look like that, embrace fashion and make it their own, is almost a revelation!

Blogging is about breaking this message, and I think we’re getting there. It isn’t going to happen overnight and there are constant battles, but I’m so happy to be amongst those trying to make a difference, trying to give a positive message that being who we are is perfect regardless of size, shape or ethnicity. I love how I look, love how I dress, and my body is now something I feel truly happy with. Now, although I’m extremely strange and a bit of goon (to which I embrace immensely), I still have “normal” human emotions in regards to how I look, but it has NOTHING to do with being plus size, merely to do with having a bad day here and there – please know that this is OK! We all get them.

So, we are now fast approaching Plus London Three, and I’m super proud to be one of the organisers. I want everyone to have the best time and walk away from our event feeling amazing. This event is about us, and we are incredible!

Tales of a Fat Lady: Claire

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Here is a statement: I am fat. Here is another statement: I’m ok with that.

But its been a hard road getting to this point and sometimes I take a detour back to “unhappy fat land”.  I didn’t just wake up one morning and suddenly love myself. But over time and with the help of surrounding myself with people who like me for me and by not being so obsessed with how I look, I now have no issue seeing myself in the mirror or in (some) photos.

I like me – I am a nice person, a fantastic and loyal friend, loving and supportive wife and a good sister and daughter.  I have soft smooth skin, I have lovely blue eyes, I have fantastic boobs, I have good legs, and I have funky hair. AND in my opinion I dress pretty darn fine as well! I believe I am a worthy person – I work hard and I deserve the spoils brings. I will not let anyone come in the way of that.

When someone calls me “fat”, I make an effort to reclaim the word. I am no longer upset at them calling me that – because they aren’t lying – I am fat. Instead I get angry, because how dare they use a descriptive word as something to try and hurt me with! I don’t turn around and shout with vitriol “BROWN HAIR” or “SHORT LEGS” so why should they be allowed to call someone fat in the same tone?

I don’t let them get away with it.  I call them up on it because I am not a victim. They really don’t expect either – they look at me and they think I am gonna run crying – how shocked they are when I go all south-east London council estate on them! I tell you – Bianca aint got anything on me for a gob!

Being fat has never stopped me from doing anything. It hasn’t stopped me from going to uni or getting jobs, or finding a husband or friends. It didn’t stop me moving half way around the world or from bathing naked in public (sento onsen). Mostly because I refuse to let it, but also because as much as the media may try and have us think that being fat is akin to some immortal sin, most people really don’t care. In my experience they only care when you do. When I was bothered about my size I got called fat in the street, had people stare at me, had strangers make comments. Now – I can stand on a beach in the middle of summer in a red swimsuit, having my picture taken, and no one bats an eyelid.

That’s why I believe an event like Plus London Three is so important. This year we want it to be about people starting to like themselves. To not obsess about what other people think but enjoy being them. So what if you have fat legs, a double chin, a massive belly, and flabby arms? You are still a human, a lovely person, someone worthy of love and respect. BUT you will only get that if you believe it too.

I hope attending Plus London will help take people to the beginning of a journey of self-worth.