This summer is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting one for us fatshionistas – in London especially there are two awesome events happening. Some of you will know about the UK Bloggers’ Conference in July – more on that later! At the moment I want to talk about the Big Bum Jumble, taking place on Saturday 14th August. IT’S GOING TO BE AWESOME. Capitals necessary!
This will be the first Big Bum Jumble, what sort of revelries can we expect?
The BBJ is first of all a clothing sale. I want it to be a place where you can buy cool cool clothes at low low prices that fit fit fit! That’s pretty hard thing to find even by itself but the BBJ is going to give you so much more:
1. You’ll meet a great mix of people.
The BBJ is organised by mostly queer, medium-fat people with varying degrees of experience of fat activism but I want it to reach a much wider audience than that. I’m hoping to get fat folks and their friends, people from the queer/grrl D.I.Y. scene to people who have just come in from the street. It’s really important to me that I’ve done as much as possible to make sure that anyone who wants to can come to the BBJ. I’ve made a special effort to find a venue that is accessible. Stratford Circus is level access, near a tube station and a car park.
2. There’ll be more than just buying clothes going on.
I’ve got some great volunteers who are going to be working as personal shoppers/ encouragers. I’m hoping that the atmosphere of shopping at the BBJ will help people take fashion risks and try on something that they wouldn’t normally wear. There will also be a catwalk show of clothes from the jumble modelled by shoppers and volunteer models at some point in the day. I’ve also got the amazing and talented Unskinny Bop DJs providing the music and film maker and fat activist Charlotte Cooper will be providing projections as well as inviting people to be filmed privately if they wish. Hopefully I’ll also have some Bill Savage designed badges that you can take away as a souvenir of the day. There’s also a lovely cafe at the venue so hanging out with friends new and old will also be on the menu.
3. You’ll be supporting future fat events and activism.
If I make more than I need to cover the venue costs, I’m planning to make the pot of money available to anyone who wants to organise something for the fatties in the future. Free money for you, if you support the BBJ!
What prompted the idea to get this event going?
In 2008 I went to the incredible Fat Girl Flea Market in NYC. That year it was organised by Deb Malkin, of Brooklyn’s brilliant vintage and resale shop ReDress NYC. This event and ones like it have been organised as fundraisers for Nolose, the organisation for Fat dykes/ transfolks and their allies that I’ve been a supporter of for a while. It was a truly amazing experience. I’ll never forget the riot I had trying things on, encouraging others to try things on and hanging out with the rad fatties there. Since then I’ve been pining for a similar event here so I thought I’d better just get on with it and make it happen.
As someone who has been campaigning for fat acceptance and self expression for a long time, do you feel the current embrace of plus size women by the fashion media is a positive or negative thing? Do you feel that fashion could ever be positive for fat men and women?
I don’t really know how to answer this question. To be honest with you, I feel pretty alienated from fashion. I’m a short fat butch dyke and I can’t find hardly any off the peg clothes that I want to wear, I don’t have the skills to make my own and I can’t afford a tailor but still, I get by. I make my own style with the resources I have.
With the fashion media too, it kind of doesn’t matter to me. I’m always happy to see fat people looking amazing and I’m happy for any positive representations of fat people to exist, but I also think it is better for us to make our own stuff. I’d rather read a zine that somebody sneakily photocopied at work, or read a blog like yours than worry about whether or not there is a fat model on the cover of Vogue.
You didn’t ask me this but.. is there anything else I’d like to say? It’s true, I forgot!
Yes, The BBJ will be from 12-5 at Stratford Circus, Stratford London E15 on Saturday 14th August. Please come and see us, whether you want to buy clothes or not, you will have a great time.
Right now, I’m still after clothes donations, especially in sizes bigger than UK women’s size 22/ Men’s 3X. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have stuff to give me.
Also, if you have a fat clothing business and you want to give me any kind of sponsorship in kind then I’m interested in talking to you too.