My Interview with the "Best New Blog" Nominees

Welcome ladies, congratulations on your recent nomination for “Best New Blog” at the British Plus Size Awards.  I thought I’d get you all together to have a chat about our introduction to the Blogosphere and our experiences so far.

Let’s get some intro’s outta the way;

Can you all tell me your name, age, location and your blog name?

I’ll get the ball rolling; I’m Kat, 31, Croydon born, but I live in Surrey now.

Lottie L’Amour, I’m 28, I live in London and my blog name is Lottie L’Amour! 

Hey there, I’m Charli, I’m 26 and live in a tiny fourteenth century cottage in Oxfordshire.  I blog at CurvyGirlThin 

My name is Paige, I’m 23, from Costa-Del-Walsall (West Midlands) BBYou

Hayley, 31, London (originally from South Africa), Curves & Curls 

Lovely to meet you all! 

So, Paige I believe you are the baby blogger of the bunch, what was your initial reaction to finding out you had been shortlisted? I was sooo Effing shocked! I honestly didn’t think it was real. I get a fair few hits on my blog, but I barely have any regular subscribers, so I was surprised when people had actually taken the time to vote for me?! – I think my response on twitter was, “My sh*tty little blog has been nominated for a #BPSA!!! How on earth did that happen?!” – I was amazed, humbled and so proud!

Hayley, what inspired you to blog? I used to read plus size fashion blogs all the time, and follow bloggers on social media. And I just got more and more interested in their body positive message. I've always loved clothes and dressing pretty and so I just thought I would add my voices to the many amazing ones already out there and talk about being fashion conscious and plus size. About accepting yourself and wanting to look gorgeous regardless.

Charli you have had the pleasure of working with many brands over the last year, can you tell us a bit about that? I have been very lucky to work with several really great brands since I started blogging – it’s always exciting to get recognition for something that you work really hard at but I never expected to be sent pretty dresses or underwear to review.   I did find it challenging at first though, I wanted to represent the products I’d been given in the best light but if the item didn’t fit or wasn’t great quality, well, I want my readers to know that too.  I soon realised, however, that brands really appreciate that kind of constructive feedback so I really needn’t have agonised so much over those early posts!

So nominations are primarily driven by the people asking friends & family to nominate them for this, did you find it awkward asking people to do that for you?

<Lottie> I didn’t actually ask anyone to nominate me for the award! I put up a post asking people to nominate their faves, but that I was too young (at the time I had been blogging for all of a month!) to be nominated… and then there you go! Now I’m just asking anyone I meet to vote for me!

<Charli> Not really, I mean I’m not a slave driver standing over someone’s shoulder and making them do anything.   I’ve let people know I think it would be a cool thing and then it’s really just up to them if they vote or not!

My family & friends are amazing; they have supported me so much through this journey.  I did put a few requests on social media but I never in a million years thought that anything would come of it. I’m dead chuffed!

<Paige> I did go on quite a crusade for about 1 month asking family, friend’s & co workers to vote for me… EVEN EX BOYFREINDS! Every event I was at I mentioned it, and even directed people to the page grabbed their phone and typed in #bbyou, so I didn’t find it awkward at all. I found it lush that a few of my friends & family had voted me for best blog and best model too. I thought it was totally unnecessary but felt so blessed that people even thought about me like that.  

<Hayley> Nah not at all. I didn’t put it on my personal Facebook or anything.  I just asked specific people who I knew supported what I am doing, as well as my blog followers and it happened from there.
What was your first blog post about?

<Lottie> My first blog post was all about my reasons why I started blogging – I basically got brave and posted a picture of me in my bikini and the response was amazing. Pair that with reading lots of blogs in the past, I just got the bug to do it I guess!

<Charli> Oh god, it was awful!  I have learnt so much since then – about myself and about my voice!  My first post was really just about me – and my arse – and how I find it hard to find clothes that fit well whilst being fashion forward.

I think my first post was one of those get to know me tag posts. Oh how times have changed! 

<Paige> Basically me introducing my blog and my intentions for it over the next few years. I think mine was pretty normal and “what to expect” before I really started coming into my element

<Hayley> I wrote about the Why. Why I had decided to write this blog, and what I was hoping to achieve. I probably need to read it again to see how I am doing with my mission.

Do you have a specific vibe for your blog?

<Lottie> Yes, I want it to be a positive, honest space for plus size babes to come and see fashions, and feel inspired to be positive about their bodies. I swear a bit in my blog too, so it’s unapologetically me!

<Charli> Taking my clothes off?  I have a lingerie thing going on! I also get photo bombed by my dog a lot – he likes to be the centre of attention.  That counts as a vibe, right?

Mine is just life as I see it.  I am such a mish-mash of a person with fingers in so many pies so that’s why I chose a lifestyle blog.  I blog about plus size fashion, beauty, food, music, wellness, family life, modelling...ah the list goes on!  I’ve held a diary since I was like 9 years old, so I guess this is an extension of that! I moved with the times though – I used to have a live journal, then an MSN space and then a MySpace!  I guess I was destined to blog!

<Paige> My blog started off as a Fashion, beauty & lifestyle blog, as I love makeup, draw inspiration from drag queens as well as having quite a varied style due to my use of wigs and fashion. But now I consider it more of a lifestyle blog than anything else. A REAL, FRANK DISCUSSION about socio-political views on the 21st century plus size woman, With a bit of a tongue-in-cheek humorous twist.

<Hayley> My blog is pretty much a body positive space where I talk about fashion, with a vintage spin.

Lottie, you are quite the advocate for body positivity; that’s fantastic, is it easy to stay positive when faced with negativity? It’s tough to be positive every single day – I think we can all agree on that one! I’m typically quite stubborn, so once I got it in my head that my body is brilliant, it’s quite hard to shake it out of me. I hope that the posts I write help women who are starting on their journey to self-love to find inspiration, just like I found inspiration from the other amazing bloggers out there! It’s worth remembering that any woman can be fighting their body positive battle, regardless of what size they are.

What’s your overall opinion of the plus-size community?

<Lottie> Honestly? I feel like I’ve found a family. I felt pretty lonely before I found this little community, but most people are so supportive and positive – especially the babes in this category! I think the whole community still has a way to go to be fully accepting of each other, but on the whole, we rock each other’s socks!

I couldn’t agree more; these women are most definitely family now.  I’ve got so much love for everyone I have encountered on this roller-coaster!  Not only are these women supportive but they are beautiful, with such kind hearts & impeccable fashion sense!  Being both Blogger & Model, I get the best of both sides of this industry, but that also comes with struggles.  I haven’t experienced any negativity towards me directly and I believe that’s because my blog radiates positivity.  I spend a lot of my time bigging up other people within the industry; I feel it’s important to raise others up around you. After all we are all striving for one common goal and that is to promote the plus-size community.  I have a zero tolerance policy on throwing shade!  

<Charli> It is so supportive!  I know it’s a bit of a cliché but I have met some of the most awesome women alive and everyone just seems to accept you for what you are.  There’s no real pretence or snobbery there but a ton of empowerment.

<Paige> OOOOOOH!!!... This is a hard question for me…. I find the plus-size community accepting to a certain extent. I feel as I’ve there is a lot of schmoozing you have to do to get places... This is something I’ve been told from huge plus size business owners, to small-time models trying to get their big break, it’s an unspoken secret that is only ever used in “kitchen talk” – But I bring the Kitchen to the table! (Probably to my disadvantage sometimes). However on the flip side, it’s provided me with a platform to be “UNAPOLOGETICLY ME” I am who I am and nobody can discriminate me based upon size in this world. My blog talks about the Mean girl tactics used by other prolific bloggers, you-tubers, models ect… It’s a constant uphill struggle, but I’m hoping the air will be clear and pure when I breathe in at the top of the plus size mountain.

<Hayley> It is a wonderfully supportive place. I always feel like it is being part of a sisterhood. It is the most inclusive and instantly accepting community I have ever been a part of. I love just being part of this community that spreads a hopeful and helpful message amidst media that can be quite oppressive in the way it judges women and their bodies.

What are your blogging goals? Collaborations, Brands you want to work with?

<Lottie> My biggest goal is to hear that I’ve inspired someone. I’m not in this for the free stuff or the exposure.  I just want to make other women feel good about themselves the way that other blogs made me feel. Of course, if ASOS Curve, Yours Clothing or Simply Be want to get in contact, I wouldn’t say no!

<Charli> Erm, that’s a tough one!  I really just enjoy writing – even if it is mostly drivel! I have some exciting posts coming up with Panache to do with fuller busted sportswear - that is pretty darn exciting!  I also love Curvy Kate – they are my complete idols and I’m thinking of going for Star in a Bra next year (only thinking mind).

Me too Lottie, I’ve always said that if I were to inspire one other person to follow their dreams or step outta their comfort zones then I am winning.  That’s why I started blogging, to share my story in the hope that it would help others.  I will collaborate with anyone that’s up for it!  I’ve done a couple of collabs with other bloggers in the past; Leah Shafik of Style XL and Jasmine from Color U Bold. Both were tonnes of fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat!  I love Curvy Kate too, Charli – I put in a submission for the last Star in a Bra, I was so nervous about sharing my semi-naked self with the world, can’t stop me!  I modelled for Simply Be at Style XL that’s ticked something off my bucket list, but I would love to work with them again. I would also jump at the chance of working with Collectif or Ewa Michelak or LoveDrobe or ASOS Curve...oh heck – I would love to work with them all! :)

<Paige> It would be great to work with some cool new brands, I’m currently in talks with Scarlett & Jo to model for their new seasons collection, so that’s pretty exciting. I’m a part of a TV show coming out on Chanel 5 called “Supersized” and I’m getting myself out there. As for brands in particular? Simply Be, Curvy Kate, Boohoo, Evans & Yours Clothing would be absolute dreams to work & model for.

<Hayley> My absolute dream would probably be to write a column, or to collaborate with a brand on designing some clothing. I would love to work with one of the vintage reproduction brands, particularly Collectif who I adore.

Can you give me your top tip for any budding bloggers out there?

<Lottie> Write from the heart, don’t be afraid to be yourself and write as you would speak. Take lots of pictures, get active on social media and don’t be afraid to reach out to others!

<Charli> Be honest with yourself and your audience.  It’s okay not to like a certain “hot”, new, plus size brand or to prefer joggings bottoms to a pretty dress – I mean, we are all individuals, right?

Be true to YOU and be unashamed of who you are.  People relate to realness so never be afraid to give an honest review or speak from the heart.  Comment, comment, comment – share/like/love – it’s all about networking and being active on social media.  I love that aspect, Lucia of U Can’t Wear That called me a “Social Media whore” (in jest) the other day at lunch and it’s so true, but I think it is key in this game. You need to have a presence and a positive one at that!

<Paige> Honesty – There’s nothing worse than reading a blog that is boring because if feels like the robotic format that everyone writes in. My blog has spelling and grammatical errors, but that’s because I like to make my readers feel like I’m having an ACTUAL conversation with them, rather than talking AT them. Another top tip would be “make yourself different”. You don’t need a fancy camera and the best lighting and filters. There not reading to see a piece of art, they are reading a piece of you.

<Hayley> In the beginning doing something new is really exciting, and then after a little bit when you are not feeling super inspired or life is busy it gets hard. You just have to push on through until it becomes a habit. I found scheduling in some time for my blogging really helpful. My working life is quite busy, so I actually write a lot of my posts on my phone on the bus (having taking the pictures whenever I can find someone willing to take them) and then lay them out and proof read them usually on a Sunday evening. I also make sure I always have a note book handy - I should really make notes on my phone but in that way I am really still a paper gal - for when inspiration strikes. 

Most importantly – what are you wearing for the British Plus Size Awards on November 21st?

<Lottie> I’ve been really lucky and Studio Eight (the plus size range from brand Phase Eight) have agreed to dress me for the awards! I’m excited to see what dress they can muster up for me!

<Charli> Not a clue yet!   Lottie & I discussed coordinating in some way, not sure if she was serious or not but I completely love that idea!

<Lottie> I’m 100% up for that idea. The Studio Eight babes are coming to get you!

I have a few things in the pipeline; let’s see if any of them come into fruition.  I will definitely be consulting with my friends at Simply Be & my pageant Stylist – Susie Hasler of Styled by Susie. I’m on the prowl for that show-stopping, head-turning number!

<Paige> PFFFFFFT! I wanna work out how I’m gunna pay my phone bill this week! Never mind a dress!! Knowing me Ill most likely pay more attention to what weave I’m gunna sew in my head, rather than the outfit, but I can assure you, IT WILL BE FABULOUS! And cheap!

<Hayley> The lovely lot at Studio 8 are going to be dressing me. I am really excited!

I’m kinda seeing a pattern forming – I reckon Studio 8 should just dress us all...that would be pretty awesome!

Thank you to all of you for chatting with me, I wish you all the very best of luck, it’s an honour to be nominated alongside all of you.

<Lottie> Thanks for running this interview beautiful! Good luck to all you babes <3

<Charli> Thanks for doing this Kat – you are an absolute star!  See y’all on the night (if not before)!!!

<Paige> Coolio, This was super fun. Thanks for reading. Please take a chance to go to – I'm foulmouthed, but it’s all in good humour :) Always remember to #BBYOU!

<Hayley> Can’t wait to party with you all at the event!

Make your vote count....
Click here >>>> 

There is also one other nominee; Hannah Boal, who unfortunately opted not to be involved.
You can check out Hannah's blog right here;

Ms Surrey Curve 2015 does the Louise Bunny Hop-a-thon!

To celebrate the end of the "Drop a Dress Size" challenge, Louise offered us a real treat; 
a Hop-a-thon!  2 classes back to back, burning up to 1,400 calories first thing on a Saturday morning. 

Over the 6 weeks of the challenge I completely surpassed my own expectations by attending 3 classes a week and sometimes even four!  I really pushed myself to keep the momentum going and it worked. I was totally chuffed to find out that I lost 9 inches overall, I dropped a dress size by simply moving more and I loved every single second! 

I rave about Bunny Hop to everyone I possibly can, so for the hop-a-thon I managed to rope 3 of my girlfriends into doing it with me...even at 9.30 they came in full spirits. So, there we were, wiggling & jiggling our cares away and of course I did the whole class wearing my #MsSurreyCurve2015 sash with pride!

The class was full and people were loving the awesome playlist Lou created for us.  

We all had a tonne of fun, I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Plus Size Events; BGP

I have now been to three BGP nights at the Slug & Lettuce, Aldgate and I must say I will probably never miss another.

A few of my model friends had spoken about BGP as they had been “Kittens” at previous nights and they always spoke so highly of it. I was apprehensive before my first event as I didn’t quite know what to expect. 

The venue is currently a small London based bar, it’s hidden down a side street in Aldgate so there is not a lot of passing trade & walk-in’s which in my opinion is a real plus point to this event as the patrons are all on a similar wavelength.

BGP for the uninitiated is otherwise known as Big Girls Paradise.  It is a club night geared towards creating a fun and safe environment for plus size women to come and shake it loose!  The clientele is made up of mainly two types of people; Plus Size babes and admirers of Plus Size women.  There are of course people in the venue who are not plus size and I feel that there is no harm in this at all, as long as they are there to have a good time and dance then I say – the more the merrier.

The atmosphere in the venue is lively and exciting, you don’t feel threatened or on hyper alert you just feel at ease and able to relax and have a good night.

The music provided by a rotation of a few DJ’s caters for the masses and they are skilled enough to be able to work the crowd.  You can expect to hear your old skool classics, alongside a healthy dose of ragga/bashment & reggae.  With some current chart hits, club classics and party anthems, there’s simply no time to sit down.  You will be on your feet shaking your tail feather all night long.

The drinks are pricey but not any more than any other London bar.

Dress code is quite simple; Dress to Impress. While the event is populated by Plus Size Fashion Bloggers & Plus Size Models alike you will not be short of beautiful women in gorgeous outfits.

The credit to the event is by far the Kittens. Now I have worked as a “Crowd Starter” in many pubs & clubs in my time so I know exactly how fun it is to do this.  These gals are perfect, not only do they look sensational EVERY time, but they are full of energy and smiles and they really know how to keep the crowd going.  Well done Kittens.
I love BGP and I highly recommend the night for an amazing night out on the razzle with like-minded people who are also out to have a good time.

The next event is THIS Saturday…are you coming?  Let me know I’d love to have a boogie & take a few #Selfies :)


BGP LONDON Saturday 1st August 2015

The Slug And Lettuce, 25 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8AA
Doors open 8.30pm – 2.30am
Tickets £12.50 before 10pm and £15 after

Plus Size Fashion Events; Curvy Con

Being part of this hugely supportive community of plus sized babes is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Gone are the days of feeling low in a crowd of people who were judging me for my size.  With the welcome addition of Plus Sized fashion events such as The Curvy Convention & Style XL in my life, I can now confidently feel fabulous in the presence of a plethora of like-minded & stunningly beautiful women who "get me"

Curvy Con was my first plus sized event and it cemented the fact that we need more empowering outlets to allow women to feel comfortable in their own skin.  The venue housed so many stalls such as +Simply Be+ELVI, +Lovedrobe Clothing, +NICKY ROCKETS, Topsy Curvy, Gemma Collins, State of Mind Active & many more offering beautiful lines of fashionable garments for us all to try on & buy.   They had a massage tent, cake & refreshments, jewellery, accessories amongst other things.  The main feature of Curvy Con was the huge runway which was graced by many of my fellow Plus Size Models strutting their funky stuff in the latest designs from +ASOS Curve, +Simply Be, Eyani Couture, Enjeanious by +Rean Fisher, Topsy Curvy, +Voodoo Vixen & many many more.

It was so liberating seeing beautiful women representing all shapes & sizes modelling the clothes.  It is a real positive movement in the right direction for the plus size industry.

The highlight of my day has to be finally meeting all of my fellow #PSBlogger babes in the flesh. With so many of the bloggers that I have followed for years in one place, I felt a little star struck, but being the character that I am, I made sure I showered them with a tonne of boob squishes, hugs & lovin' while making sure to get a gazillion selfies!

Meeting these women has given me a whole new family. Since CC we now have a whatsapp group of blogger babes, there's gotta be 25-30+ bloggers in there and we all talk daily, they are like my sisters. I can talk to them about anything from fashion advice to relationship advice to just daily grumbles but they are all on hand to give you a boost whenever you need it.  

Will you be going back next year?
- MOST Definitely!  I missed the casting for it due to work commitments, but I may just participate next year. If not, I will be there with bells on with my blogger babes anyway!

Would you recommend Curvy Con?
- 100% It's only the first year - so there is scope for this event to grow. I would like to see more plus brands involved, in terms of stalls.  Perhaps a larger venue with more space to try clothes on.  

What did you get from Curvy Con?
- I made friends, it was a brilliant networking opportunity, I got to see my friends looking beautiful on the catwalk, but mostly I got a tonne of empowerment & positivity from being in a room of people who could relate to me.  

I can't wait till next year, more selfies, more fashion, more cake, more babes....where do I sign up??


The Road to...Miss British Beauty Curve

I will be sharing my story of the journey to the +Miss British Beauty Curve pageant over on the Style XL website as a series of guest articles.  If you are interested in trying out or just fancy a little look-see;

You can check out the first instalment right here...

Big thanks to +Leah XL Channel for featuring me xx

I would love to hear your stories if you have been in previous years, get in touch xx

Boho Bridal Shoot with Chiara Aprea

I have raved before about +Chiara Aprea's impeccable talent, but I cannot shout enough about this gorgeous Bohemian themed Bridal Shoot we did on location.

Not only is Chiara a qualified make up artist, but she has a flair for hair too, not to mention her photography skills which are incomparable.

From the minute you sit in her chair you feel at ease, her personality is so warm & welcoming all anxiety you may have of modelling with her is gone.

I chose this fantastic maxi dress from +Simply Be and Chiara provided accessories to compliment the theme.

Make sure you book in with Chiara for a fab will not be disappointed.

Body Positive Dance

Dancing for me is like oxygen...

I have always enjoyed dance since I was a little girl.  It sends off all those fab little endorphins all over me and lights me up like a Christmas tree... I love it!

When I saw the first Body Positive Dance class with Ashleigh P Owen advertised, I was beside myself.  A dance class...with no restrictions or expectations on fitness level or body shape/size...could it be??

Unfortunately the first class clashed with other arrangements, but I made a promise to book for number 2.  

I am so glad I did, the class was full of babes, each uniquely different. Some faces I knew from the plus-size community, others I didn't but it made no odds, we instantly gelled and it felt like a night out with old friends.

Ashleigh is a fantastic teacher and so patient, happy to drill the choreography again till we all had picked it up.

I had a tonne of fun and cannot wait for the next class.

You can check out the video of the routine to Rupaul's - Cover Girl/Sissy That Walk here!

Cheeky Mention...10 Plus Size Instagrammers to Follow this Summer

A whole lotta love to Hollie-Anne Brooks for mentioning little old me in her recent post for Gadgette.

It was such an honour to be named alongside the likes of Callie Thorpe, Georgina Horne, Danielle Varnier, Elena Raouna & Steph Yeboah not to mention the other 4 girlies!

These girls are a huge inspiration to me so being mentioned with them has totally made my day!

Thank you Hollie!

You can check out the whole article here >>  10 Plus Size Instagrammers to Follow this Summer