I was such an awkward teenager: taller than all the boys, overweight and with frizzy hair and glasses, a real ‘teen-drama’ stereotype.
The day the letter was given out with our homework, ‘School Summer Disco’, I remember shuddering. I think I had run out of reasons to give my friends as to why I wouldn't be going.
It wasn't the music, or the dancing. It wasn't even the prospect of boys! I just knew I would not look ‘cool’.
Back in those days, being larger apparently meant that you had to dress ‘older’. I couldn't even count the number of tearful shopping days with my Mum to what I considered, horrible, frumpy, 'mum shops'.
What 16 year old wants to wear jeans with a gathered elasticated waist and a big blouse, when all your friends used the school disco to show off their midriffs and legs in skimpy outfits that were otherwise banned by parents any other time of the year?
Plus Size fashion has come on leaps and bounds since those days, so much so that I almost yearn to go back to school now as a ‘bigger' teenager. And it’s not just the clothes that are available that are more fashionable, in nicer fabrics and more up-to-date with the slimmer trends. How to dress is now more at the forefront of many magazine articles.
It is fantastic to see current fashion magazines using curvier models in different outfits as inspiration for how to piece together looks.
It is about time the fashion industry realised that it is up to us whether a 'body con' dress should be seen on a size 18 woman, or weather a lady who is size 16 should wear a bikini – that should be up to the wearer.
And the fashion industry really seems to have listened. One of my favourite department stores stocks a gorgeous mini-dress up to a size 22, and while I don’t know if I would have the confidence to wear it, others do, and now the choice is theirs!
So goodbye to the clingy stretch-fabrics and big kaftan tops (and even the plus-size leather-look trousers that I thought were amazing at the time) and hello to curvy, fashionable, attractive and fun clothing no matter what your size.
Fashion should be accessible to all and the only limits should be your own.
Next time: Mind The Thigh Gap!
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Amy Sellu is a model from Ickenham who is classified by the fashion industry as 'plus size', that is, more than a size 10. In fact she is a size 16, and after winning the Simply Be Face Of Plus Size in 2010, gets regular modelling work and has appeared in Italian Vogue. Amy took her A-levels at Uxbridge College, has worked in the health and fitness industry and is working toward becoming a personal trainer.
Picture © Verve-Rockabilly Photography