Thursday, 7 November 2013

Plus London - or A Great Way to Spend a Weekend

I was lucky enough to be able to attend both days of the Plus London event last weekend.

The Saturday was filled with brands, the usual suspects and a few new ones I had never really heard of before. I thought the opportunity for brands to talk about their vision and forthcoming offerings was interesting, although to be honest I was more interested in finding out about smaller brands rather than Simply Be etc.

Two to have a look at are Apple and Pears and Miss Lacy Ltd. I bought a tunic top from Miss Lacy on the day and am ordering something else from her. She is a design student who has done what many of us dream of, namely starting her own plus size clothing brand. I am seriously impressed by her style, the quality of her garments and the fact you can discuss your size and requirements and she will make you something to suit. Please support!

I loved catching up with lots of lovely people, and meeting many for the first time. The large and tasty Vietnamese lunch from just up the road also helped...

I didn't go to the evening event to laziness and the fact that being unable to drink makes spending time with people doing vodka shots a little strange/tiresome/sad as I can't join in. I did have a fantastic bed party for one with a takeaway and chocolate buttons. Oh, it's the glamorous life for me!

Anyway, the big highlight of the weekend for me was the second day based on the concept of community. Also I was deeply delighted and flattered to be invited to take part in a panel discussion on sexuality and confidence. As opposed to the other speakers (the excellent Dr. Charlotte Cooper and Dr. Caroline Walters) who have written and researched extensively in this area, I'm more focused on the issues of confidence and body size. I work in diversity and equality and also try and help women to discover their inner confidence, strength and assertiveness through self development training.

I would say my contributions were probably more personal (growing up fat in a very negative environment) and frivolous (I like analogies with hot chocolates and cream). I love doing things like this. Any excuse to talk ... but also because while I don't think the way I think about myself and my weight is anything out of the ordinary, I find that just hearing someone else say I'm fat and it's ok can be hugely empowering for others.

There were other talks and workshops that I also enjoyed immensely but the biggest shame was that there weren't that many people around to share them with. There have already been some excellent posts on why this may be. I don't want to cover the same ground really, but I got more out of the second day and would be keener to go to something like that again than day 1. Do I like looking at pretty clothes? Sure, but the reality is they are  just trying to sell me stuff I don't really need and won't really make me feel great inside. I felt great after PL3 and that was due to the women I met, the conversations I had and the sense of empowerment I came away with.

The lovely Claire, me and bump.


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