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Vulnerable side week for the Aussie Curves ladies has a lot of people discussing their bodies, what makes them feel vulnerable in regards to the clothes they wear and how people respond to their bodies. If there was ever a week where you were going to visit them all, this would be it. The ones I have read are full of honesty, personal truth and support from a community of women who are determined to change the way women view, talk about and respond to their bodies.

For me, I considered what makes me feel vulnerable for a long time. I talked last week about the vulnerability that I feel online due to the objectification of women. I have my own set of rules to keep myself safe and my private life private. So how will I show you me, being vulnerable without breaking my word to myself, going over old ground or being too flippant when the ladies have taken the theme so seriously? How indeed.

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Then it came to me. I would look up the meaning of vulnerable and go from there with the first thing that came to mind. Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. I almost laughed. Out loud. At work. Exposed to the possibility of being attacked is the life of a blogger once your photos hit the interwebs and fly off into the far corners. I hate to be cynical about it but it is. You can either be okay with the judgements placed on you by complete strangers or not.

Daily, I chose to be okay. But it really is a daily occurrence. Sometimes I think, what the heck am I doing this for? Why do I continue to put myself out there, open and exposed to the possibility of harm because that judgement still in a small way hurts. The most recent was a Lithuanian forum discussing my hit and miss style often associated with the selection of striped or form fitting clothing and including how much they hated my wedding dress and my hair. Damn you google translate, I could have easily avoided EVER knowing this conversation without you.

I felt a little sick, to be honest. My first instinct was to remove my gallery {the link had been shared} and pull down any outfit they didn’t like. To hide my wedding photos in particular as I am madly proud of my wedding. Protective in fact. I wanted them to stop talking about me as if I didn’t exist somewhere and could be reading. I wanted it to end. There was nothing I could do though, I was exposed. Vulnerable. Open to emotional attack.

It took me almost a day of clicking on that darn backlink to realise that I’m not ashamed of the outfit choices I’ve made. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s okay. It took me about the same amount of time to realise that removing my gallery wouldn’t stop the judgement. Nor would hiding my wedding photos. Nothing would stop a conversation about me, in a foreign country, in a language I don’t speak. There was nothing for me to do but be okay with being vulnerable or not.

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I am strong. Tough. Direct. Confident. I’d never willingly find myself in a place where I feel vulnerable but every day, there I am. In my relationship because love is the biggest exposure to possible threat. In my work and on this blog. I am vulnerable because causing something to be different, making a change requires you to be exposed. That’s the way a difference gets made.

So I choose to be vulnerable. In stripes. 

But no one will make me question myself for long and lord help those who chose to inflict that emotional or physical attack or harm… I will find you and make you pay {Okay, so not really but I’ve thought about it.}. I may be vulnerable but I certainly am not weak and I will not sit down in my place so you can do as you please. For me the two can live together, strength and vulnerability, and I am a better person because I’m okay with being both. I know my fellow Aussie Curves ladies are too, with their hearts on their blogs and their love on the pages. Well done team. I’m proud of us.

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Dress – 17 Sundays
Vest – 17 Sundays {gifted}
Booties – Bare Foot Tess

{disclosure}

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  • Wendygai

    Go you Melissa, love the way you rock the stripes, thanks to you I’m venturing into stripes & body con..I admire your strength and great sense of humour. My camped up pics this week were inspired by you x love your bloopers lady!

    • Thank you Wendy. Glad to hear you’re spreading the bodycon, stripe and goofball love. I loved your post. xo

  • Angela

    Wonderful post! I love “I choose to be vulnerable. In stripes.”
    I was reflecting the other day that often as Plus Size women we dress to fit in, not stand out because we often don’t like our bodies. I was in a style rut and have recently started embracing bright colours, prints and dresses. I stand out, but I don’t care. I feel great in my clothes! I’m glad you’re at a place where you feel like you can wear whatever you want.

    • Thank you. I took a while to formulate that perfectly. I wanted it to say everything in the post in one line for those who flick through. A summary of sorts. Glad to hear it did it’s job.

      Me too Angela, me too. Got to love a print, colour, wear what you want rampage. 😉

  • Ad that is how you say f**k you in Lithuanian!

  • Boo to lithuanian trolls and yay to aussie curves. You have done us proud Melissa!

  • Nidia Doherty

    Wonderful post! I love what you sai about strength and vulnerability. Brava!

  • Spijkerkat

    You are a strong and gorgeous woman, and you rock stripes!
    Seriously fuck those people that ripped into your wedding photos, I am sure you looked gorgeous!!!

    • SpiikerKat

      and now that I am not on my phone, I’ve had a look and the photos and you definitely were a gorgeous bride!! x

    • Thank you Katie. The remarkable part is these days I really do feel that. ESPECIALLY about the stripes. Haha. And heck yes, how RUDE is that? Super rude.

  • I actually thought a lot about this before starting my blog -the fact that I ´d be vulnerable to the possibility of an emotional attack from any troll with too much time on their hands. But I think that you put it very clear “…making a change requires you to be exposed. That´s the way a difference gets made”. We choose to stand our ground and expose our image and our ideas on the web to make that difference.
    And btw, I think they criticized you from so far away ´cause they´d be scared to do it closer 😉

    • Haha. I read your comment to my sister after I literally snorted when I laughed at the last line. nice one. But it’s true, change requires some people out on the skinny branches of life, doing whatever it takes to get things done. Welcome to the skinny branch my friend.

  • stinkb0mb

    Other peoples judgements on how YOU look and what you choose to wear [and not only look GREAT in but also feel comfortable in!] says SO much more about themselves and their own insecurities re their bodies and what they wear [or don’t wear] than it could about you x

    • You’re so right. It says volumes and none of those volumes are really about me.

  • Sarah Collins

    Lithuanians must be blind, you looked awesome in your wedding photos, and stripes rule!
    I’m not a blogger, but I get the vulnerability thing. I get really bad social anxiety and think that everyone is judging how I look, etc. But, people’s opinions on women won’t change if we just sit down and keep our mouths shut, so good on you for being such an inspiration!

    • Haha. Thank you Sarah. I understand anxiety. I’ve suffered on and off during my adult life. It’s one of THE most horrible things. We do what we can to effect change and I’m glad to be in the space I am now to be able to do what I do.

  • I know the whole “horizontal stripe thing” is supposed to make us look bigger, but you look thinner in this outfit to me (not that there’s anything right or wrong about that). Come to think of it, when I really look at plus size ladies in stripes, I rarely think they look bigger. I don’t know if it’s just me, or that it’s been drummed into us for so long that we just agree with it without truly looking.
    I love your post and I’ve really liked some of the issues you’ve been raising lately! I love how intelligent your thoughts are, and the critical thinking in your deeper posts.

    • Did you ever see my still my ass post titled are horizontal stripes REALLY making you look fat? I did a collage of me in various outfits as part of that post and people often comment that I look smaller in the stripes. So it turns out they lied. Big surprise, there is plenty they lied to us about.

      And thank you. I made a promise to myself a little while ago that I was going to blog about things that matter to me. Thoughts I have and ideas that need room to breathe and grow. I’m glad someone noticed. xo

  • Siki-Lou

    Your second last photo made me smile!! 🙂 Love this post and totally agree lady. We all put ourselves out there…people will love and hate us but it’s important to remember to stay strong in who we are and what we believe in when others are throwing around their opinions like confetti. Besides that…and pardon my language but you are a HOT BITCH!! (in the best way possible) loads of love xx

    • I’m glad. It’s one of our favorites over here too. Cheeky and sort of fun, right?

      Thank you. We do. And we encounter lots of good along with the occasional bad. Sticks and stones and all that, I’m glad to do what I do because the people make it worth it. YOU kind of people.

      HAHA. Oh really. Well thank you muchly. 😉

  • Chelsea Sutherland

    What I take from this is you are WORLD FAMOUS! Double middle finger to the haters indeed.

    • Haha. I LOVE this take on things. I might have to get a world famous t-shirt. 😉

  • Louise Suffolk

    I had a look and I love your wedding dress

  • Rachel GeeBee

    The hottest outfit you’ve posted ever. xx

  • I have never understood the rules about stripes. I <3 stripes, personally, on any body. I remember when I was studying Fashion and Design in high school, I asked to make a horizontally striped maxi skirt. I was about 30kg's if not 40kg's lighter than I am today, but certainly the largest in the class (both height and weight) and the sewing teacher told me "fat people don't wear horizontal stripes Sarah, not unless you want to look like an overweight zebra crossing"… I was totally crushed. Worst still was that she then gave a lecture on "the rules of fashion" the very next day, because I just simply had to know all the things I wasn't "allowed" to wear.

    For ages I listened to her and her ridiculous rules. It's only been the last year maybe two, that I have thought 'F*ck you!' and dressed how I want, including horizontal, vertical, diagonal, chevron, whatever stripes. I'm rockin' those bitches for life.

    Good on you Suger, you're happy with yourself and no one else matters.

    But for the record, I think you're awesome. x

    • Thank you Sarah. You’re a gem x

      I think those rules are pretty darn ridiculous too. And that teacher of yours well wasn’t she just a charmer! Sheessh. Poor kid version of you.

  • Great post Suger! Also I just checked out your wedding photos and not only do you look beautiful, you also look SO HAPPY! How one wants to be on their wedding day.

    xM

  • Sam Weir

    You rock the stripes!

  • Olivia

    Vulnerable in stripes?! You rock stripes!!! Totally getting this whole post xx

  • I love you and think you’re awesome! I really love your style. I guess it’s one of those things about putting yourself on the internet, and hey, haters gonna hate! Don’t listen to them, but the regular readers of your blog who obviously think you’re the bomb-diggity. (yeah, I said bomb-diggity)

    • Thank you Nat. It certainly is one of those things. They can show up all they like but these days, I’m not going to change for anyone. Well, you know, unless I want to. Haha. And bomb-diggity huh I LIKE IT. xo

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