A blogger who has written a book about the experiences of plus-size black women, said she was inspired to tell their stories because the body positivity movement has ‘shifted focus’ towards white bodies which have ‘more privilege’.
Stephanie Yeboah, from London, has been part of the body positive community since 2014 and has embraced calling herself ‘fat’, penning a book called ‘Fattily Ever After‘, which will tell the stories of plus-sized black women.
Appearing on Lorraine today, she explained that while the movement has seen a huge boost in popularity over the last five years, it now has its ‘own standard of beauty’ and has ‘given more visibility’ to ‘smaller and white’ bodies.
Stephanie Yeboah, pictured, from London, has been part of the body positive community since 2014 and has embraced calling herself ‘fat’
Appearing on Lorraine today, she claimed the positivity movement has ‘shifted focus’ towards bodies which have ‘more privilege’
‘The reason I wrote the book,’ said Stephanie, ‘is because what we’ve seen over the last five years is a huge boost in body positivity, self love and self appreciation and different body types and acceptance.
‘But one thing we’ve noticed, is that that movement now has its own standard of beauty. Not a lot of people know the movement was, in part, created by plus-size black women.
‘And the movement has become more popular, it has shifted focus away from bodies who needed that safe space and given its visibility to bodies that do have a bit more privilege – white bodies and white women, and smaller or chubby at best women.
‘So I wanted to write this book as a way plus-size black women can have their perspectives hear and stories told.’
She explained to host Lorraine Kelly (pictured) that while the movement has seen a huge boost in popularity over the last five years, it now has it’s ‘own standard of beauty’
She explained that a Westernised standard of beauty has led to many women starving themselves on extreme diets in order to be ‘thin and slim’, while some women of ethnic minority have used skin bleaching products to appear whiter.
‘I think it’s a case of having a Westernised standard of beauty over the last 50 years’, said Stephanie.
‘We’ve seen the pinnacle of beauty is thin and quite whitewashed, which is why people from ethnic backgrounds still bleach their skin or go on these diets – because to be thin and slim is seen as the greatest standard of beauty.
‘So what I do say is, if you happen to be plus-sized you don’t have to hate yourself and feel insignificant, you can feel beautiful too.’
The blogger has penned a book called ‘Fattily Ever After’, which will tell the stories of plus-sized black women
The blogger admitted that it took her ‘a while’ to feel comfortable calling herself fat, but explained that it’s simply an adjective – and doesn’t mean she adheres to negative stereotypes associated with the word.
‘It took me a while to get to that point where I could use it comfortably, she said.
‘But we have been so brainwashed to associate fatness with ugliness, but what we have to remember that fat is just a descriptive word, it’s a description of a body type. It doesn’t mean I’m ugly or unattractive, it just means I’m fat.’
She went on to explain that while the current average clothing size in the UK is a 16, bigger bodies need to be normalised in books, TV and movies.
‘I think that the current standard size is a size 16,’ she explained. ‘But it’s this case of having that normality and seeing bigger bodies as being normalised, because the more we see that the less insecure women would feel.
‘Having visibility in books, TV, the movies and changing the way we frame bigger bodies and people see fat people as all the same.
[We see fat people as] lazy, unhealthy, unlucky in love, dirty, all of these horrible tropes. But fat people can be healthy, have successful love lives, be normal like everyone else.’
She went on to explain that while the current average clothing size in the UK is a 16, bigger bodies need to be ‘normalised’ in books, TV and movies
She spoke of battling an eating disorder in her early 20s, admitting she was ‘very ill’, but felt ‘people didn’t see’ her disorder as she’s overweight.
Stephanie said: ‘In my early 20s I was on every single diet going. I wanted to lose as much weight as possible and took on extremely dangerous eating habits.
‘But because I was fat, people didn’t see it and it got to the point I was very ill and I wrote a letter to my body apologising to it for the negative words and the self-harm and everything I had done to it.’