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All the years of verbal, physical and mental abuse never led to me getting any slimmer — it only ever contributed to me gaining weight.’Psychologist Deanne Jade, director of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, says: ‘We can’t keep polarising thin and fat, where thin equals good and fat equals bad.There must be something in the middle.’Whatever detractors might say, there’s something moving about these women, learning to love their bodies instead of continually criticising or trying to change them.I felt pretty — and then overheard two men saying: “What is that cow wearing? Last month, even Victoria Beckham, known for only dressing waifs, launched a range in America up to UK size 24, while Nike has also launched a plus-size range.Amanda Elliott, 27, studying events management in Edinburgh, is another fatspiration blogger.‘I got larger, and boys would only chat me up as a joke, or for a bet. ‘I took to the internet for solace and I found an online community where fat women were pictured looking happy, sticking their fingers up to their tormentors.’When she started contributing her own pictures, she was amazed to find others telling her they loved how she looked.‘From that day on, I walked a bit lighter, not because I was physically lighter but because my demons started lifting.’The fatspiration movement has even penetrated the higher echelons of fashion, with bigger model Ashley Graham featuring on the cover of Vogue in January. It’s estimated the market for clothing over size 16 is worth £5.4 billion in the UK, a figure that will rise to £6.4 billion by 2019, according to the retail research agency Conlumino.I remember one occasion at a club wearing a beautiful white gypsy skirt. By 2020, it’s predicted to outperform the overall womenswear market.Like Naomi, she also wants her blog to draw attention to what she calls the last ‘acceptable’ prejudice fattism.‘I get eye-rolling when I get on the bus, and have been photographed eating by teenage girls who, I suspect, post pictures on social media.’Amanda, whose partner Sam is also proudly plus-sized, admits: ‘It wasn’t until I was 23 that I realised I could be fat and beautiful.
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Some research has shown that overweight and moderately obese patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, actually live longer and do better than normal-weight patients with the same illnesses. All the years of verbal, physical and mental abuse never led to me getting any slimmer There are also a growing number of social media sites for ‘fit fatties’ who say exercise is not just for the skinny.
Naomi agrees, saying: ‘Part of the problem is we are constantly told fat people are a drain on society, which feeds prejudice.‘I have a balanced diet and active lifestyle. I’m judged by strangers for how I look on the outside.