Blog 43: Sick of the Shame

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Blog 43: Sick of the Shame – A world Solo Traveller, Zoë understands first hand what is important when traveling alone as a woman. She has not only bought this together in the creation of Bliss Sanctuary For Women but she writes about her own experiences as a female on all sorts of topics.
Blog 43: Sick of the Shame – Zoë is the founder and creator of Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Bali and lives a busy yet fulfilling life between Bali and Australia.

Warning this blog is a bit of an angry rant lol.

Over the years like so many people in the Western World my body had developed from a slim sporty teenager to a curvaceous beautiful adult.

Yes beautiful.

Call me plus size, chubby, fat, even obese. Yes obese. The obesity index is RIDICULOUS and completely out dated. I absolutely do not consider myself obese. And I’m sick of being called plus size when my size is NORMAL. Yes BLOODY NORMAL for the US and Australia and the UK. So f*ck all the industries who add shame with the name ‘plus size’, who don’t design for plus size and when they do they don’t design flattering clothing they just make skinny people clothes in larger sizes.

Recently this came to a head for me. I was invited to the World Luxury Hotel Awards gala dinner to accept awards for both our Seminyak and Canggu Sanctuaries, so excited! Yet that excitement soon waned at the dreaded prospect of having to find winter clothing.

Aaarrrggghhh. The relentless battle for jackets that I like to wear oversized, but that’s impossible when you’re considered oversized!

Having a size 14FF bust pretty much kills the prospect of fitting into anything resembling a jacket. Not to mention 5ft 9 and having broad shoulders and a bootie. Yet when I look around me I am middle of the spectrum. There are many people way smaller than me. And many people way bigger. So if I’m struggling, then what is happening with all these other people?!

Thank God I found Plus Size on Macy’s website in the UK and even with a few brand names (thankyou Micheal Korrs and Calvin Klein for designing especially for Macy’s), forget about it in Australia. But to be honest the people designing for plus sizes do not know how to make plus size look good. Boxy jackets accentuating the hips and making you look top heavy. Terrible clothing that makes me cringe. I love fashion. I love brand names. And I’m sick of this shit!

How dare you (insert whoever this is because I have no idea) make me feel shame that I cannot fit into your clothes. How dare you segregate me as ‘less than’ by telling me because of my size I am going to struggle to look good and therefore there are no clothes here for me. How dare you look down your nose at me when I walk into a shop where obviously nothing will fit.

How dare you.

I am normal.
I am beautiful.
I am worthy of beautiful clothing that accentuate my good bits.
I am womanly and curvy and bigger than a lot of people and smaller than a lot of people.
I take care of myself. I eat well. I like to be well presented.
I love fashion.
And I also love comfort.
I don’t like to have to wear things that don’t fit me properly and when they do fit they look bloody ugly.
I am NOT ugly.

There is no way I’m wearing an underwire bra OMG torture. These puppies are now fully grown and look so much better in a bandeaux type top and the freedom this brings! No Fifty shades of Grey getups for me anymore. Not that I’d know where to find them in my size … god forbid we are allowed to be sexy. (Special Note Plus size – I mean normal / average sized people – DO have sex… and love sex btw).

And if I did want a bra for my size, goodluck finding one that’s not the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen! Worse than a maternity bra in many cases lol. Well in Australia anyway. Heidi Klum (used to be Elle McPherson for Bendon) do some lovely ones but I’ve never seen them in an actual shop. Online if you’re lucky. Funnily enough a lot of the big sizes seem to be sold out! A bit like when you buy shoes, all the larger sizes sell out first. Yet the wholesalers still make shops purchase packs with more smaller size shoes. One word DENIAL.

I fly business class when it’s available as the seats on planes are so ridiculously small and uncomfortable. And yet I’m not that person that people see coming and hope to hell they are not sitting next to as they will undoubtedly spill over to the next seat. So how on earth do the people bigger than me cope? Not to mention the looks of pity or eye avoidance they receive. I can’t even imagine and I respect anyone greatly who puts themselves out there despite prejudices.

I don’t get those looks of pity. I get told I look lovely and beautiful by my friends and family and even strangers. I get told I have a beautiful energy and that I’m pretty. So why do I feel so ashamed? Actually I’m more ashamed of feeling ashamed.


I am going to work on that, well actually I have been for many years. Even well meaning therapists, wellness experts, healers tell me there is a reason I am bigger, due to my body holding onto past traumas, limiting beliefs, my subconscious trying to protect me. Everything pointing to the fact that there is something wrong. Maybe I’m not bigger. Maybe I’m normal and exactly as I’m meant to be.

I am who I am. I look how I look. It is not Ok to feel like that is not OK.

The other day I saw Michelle Bridges, one of the PT trainers for the biggest loser in Australia and an all round awesome woman (she’s friends with some of my friends who all LOVE her so I trust them), talking on TV in an interview about how she had previously made the statement something like ‘she had never met an overweight person who was happy’. I snorted. But I don’t blame her. She is a Personal Trainer so people come to her when they’re not happy and want to improve. But more than that as an ‘overweight person’ (in her and the medical industries eyes) I am not happy.

I am not happy I can’t find beautiful clothes from big brands. I am not happy I have to go off the beaten track to look for plus size basic clothing like down filled puffer jackets when going to the snow and not be able to find what I’m looking for. I am not happy that I am called plus size. I am not happy that I get sent FB ads about weight loss continuously. I am not happy that when I was a slim size 12 I was considered obese on our ridiculous obesity index. I am not happy that I am not represented when there are way more people who look like me than Kendall Jenner or Kate Moss. I am not happy that people assume I am lazy and eat the wrong foods. I am not happy that when sometimes I am lazy and eat the wrong foods that there is shame in this. I am not happy that Australian sizes are DISMAL and tiny. The list goes on. So no I am not happy.

The other day my best friend who is a size 6-8 grabbed a couple of dresses off the rack at Zara in a Medium as she didn’t have time to try them on and went a bit bigger. They hardly fit her! She couldn’t lift her arms properly! OMG. She is a 6-8 Australian at the most ie an extra small to small and she couldn’t properly fit into a medium. So what bloody hope do I and all of the other people in Australia, the US and the UK and other countries who look like me, have?

So no I’m not happy.
Because I do not deserve to feel ashamed.
I deserve to feel beautiful.

I don’t deserve to flog myself like a dead horse and do nothing else with my life just to shed a little bit of weight as my body has changed and it holds onto weight.

I own my choices.
I have embraced my curves (thankyou Taryn Brumfit and the Embrace documentary a must see for all women).
I am proud of myself as a human being.
I have fat days but so do my skinny friends.
I eat well.
I don’t exercise enough (but that’s another blog about living with so much physical pain.)
I own my choices about each morsel of food I put in my mouth.
I love food.
I hardly ever drink alcohol.
I eat super healthy 85% of the time.
And I love life.

So please somebody design some amazing clothes that look beautiful on us Amazing women (& men) who are considered plus size! And stop bloody calling us Plus Size. So over it.

Thanks for listening, I’m off to eat a Cronut.


Bliss Sanctuary For Women, empowering women to travel solo with a tailored Bali retreat holiday just for you.

Follow your bliss your way with an experience completely tailored to you. More than a retreat for women, it’s your personal time out for rejuvenation and wellness. This Bali holiday is free of group schedules so you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. From unlimited sightseeing, unlimited massages, unlimited yoga, meditation, healers, plentiful and yummy food, shopping, personal drivers to take you anywhere you would like to go…  it’s all up to you.

Check out our Bali Packages and remember they are all completely flexible so you can change anything you would like once here.

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Zoë Watson
A world Solo Traveller, Zoë understands first hand what is important when traveling alone as a woman. She has not only bought this together in the creation of Bliss Sanctuary For Women but she writes about her own experiences as a female on all sorts of topics.
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