July 29, 2015

Fighting hate with cake

If you’re a plus size/curvy/fat woman, daring to exist in the public eye, you’re going to come in for some hate. Sometimes it’s really obvious: the other day, my friend had a group of men lean out of their car’s windows and start oinking at her. Other times it’s more indirect, like getting the side-eye from shop assistants when you ask for a size 16, or realising that someone’s muttering under their breath when you order a full fat latte.

But then, there’s the internet.

Ah, the internet! Home of multitudes of anonymous folks just dying to put their opinions out into the world. Sadly, it is therefore a daily occurrence that women of all sorts, but particularly bigger women, get trolled for being audacious enough to exist outside standard beauty parameters.

And so it was that I woke up on Monday morning and was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across a comment from someone I haven’t seen on there before: a guy in his early 20s, who really, REALLY, loves gym selfies. He’d found my post about designing my summer swimsuit for this year, hashtagged with #beachbodyready, and decided that the best thing to do was advise me that my body was disgusting to him and I should eat less cake.



Yeah. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t that surprised or upset: this is the kind of thing that happens every day to women like me. But it sort of amused me, if for nothing other than the fact that I really, really love cake, and I really, really feel great in my swimsuits, so he was missing the mark in a few places.

Now in many ways the best thing you can do with a troll is just ignore them, because they want upset and drama, and by depriving them of it, they get bored and move on. But there’s actually something even better that can come out of it: HUNDREDS OF LADIES (and the occasional man) EATING CAKE!

For that is what happened. I mentioned this incident on the photo of my awesome green striped Colette Moneta maxi , and as a laugh, hashtagged it with #CakeWithCashmerette. A little while later, Mary took a photo of herself eating delicious cake while reading my blog posts with the hashtag… and then it exploded! A lady cake-eating explosion! At last check there were over 150 photos in support on Instagram, and just an overwhelming tide of support and positivity and public cake eating.  I was/am so, so touched.

CWC Collage2

Not only did it re-confirm my immense sense of unity and belonging with the sewing blogosphere but it was also a definitive UP YOURS to fat-shaming, body-policing anonymous people out there.

CWC Collage3

Bigger women deserve to eat whatever they’re hungry for just as much as smaller women. No food is inherently unhealthy (except poisonous things!), as my nutritionist pointed out to me many, many times as I was learning how to do Intuitive Eating. Food isn’t moral, and neither is fat. Beyond that, you can tell virtually nothing about what someone eats based on what they look like. “It’s just calories in/calories out” was debunked very many years ago, and my personal experience with tons of skinny friends who eat junk food every day and tons of bigger friends who eat mostly vegetables and work out regularly is proof enough for me.

But even if you *could* tell someone’s health and eating habits from looking at them, so what? My health is mine. It doesn’t affect anyone else. I’m not obliged to disclose my medical records to any random person who expressed fake concern about my health based on my appearance. And nor do I exist to be sexually appealing to you.

CWC Collage4

So to all my #CakeWithCashmerette friends: thank you. What could have been a nasty little dip in my day turned out to be a day full of laughs, joy and cake. Lots, and lots, of cake (and ice cream, and cookies, and brittle – you guys are inventive!). And thank you troll for giving us such a delicious day! Maybe next time instead of taking a gym selfie you could enjoy some lovely cake. I suspect you’d be a bit happier, and a bit less hateful.

CWC1 collageIf you’re interested in reading more about how sewing helped change my body image, check this out.

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155 thoughts on “Fighting hate with cake

  1. Alexandra says:

    Don’t you know you’re obligated to look a certain way, one that random bros on Instagram would approve of? I mean really, how dare you eat based on what you want and not what men want for you. The nerve.

    1. I’m just SO AUDACIOUS

  2. LOVE your thoughtful and positive response! And I do love me some cake and frankly, if it was between dancing with a guy like that or cake I will take the cake any day!

    1. I’d be running for the cake!

  3. sewrachel says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing, and eating cake! I’m not “plue sized” but the biggest size I’ve ever been and learning to find the beauty in my new shape. 🙂 Now I must find me some cake….

    1. Thanks Rachel! It can be really hard when your body changes, but making clothes that look awesome in your size is one of the best ways to perk up, I find 🙂

  4. deedleandthread2013 says:

    Love the post Jenny! Give em’ hell while eating a little cake.

  5. Kate says:

    Great post, well said.

  6. Ginger says:

    This is the best post I’ve read all week.

  7. tommied says:

    You are beautiful! We spend too much time tearing down when we should be building up – thanks for the reminder. #cakewithcashmerette! Hellz ya!

    1. The sewing community is so good for that! Thanks for your lovely comment.

  8. kathyh says:

    Funny – Good comeback #cakewithcashmerette
    Now I need to find a dessert in the house to join in the cake party.

  9. lisa g says:

    Wonderful post!

  10. Janet says:

    Love your post =) I actually had a Specialist try to ‘fat shame’ me, big mistake! I informed him “I have already lost 52kg I will decide if I lose any more…not you”, he tripped inelegantly over his jaw, I left and thoroughly enjoyed the cake I had at the cafe in the Specialists building hahaha

  11. sharonjess says:

    You are beautiful, and I love your style. Keep sewing, styling, and smiling.

  12. megret1979 says:

    Yes to cake and no to haters!

  13. Donna says:

    Skinny my whole life. At thirty eight I gained 100 pounds in four months. Doc says see a nutritionist go to a gym. So I’m dying with no cake and no fat, hair falls out. Gym is killing my knees five days a week -six years go by with people saying don’t eat cake. Thank God I sew. It saved my life and my sanity. Turns out I had thyroid cancer the whole time. I stayed heavy for ten years. It’s coming off now, but I’m still doing FBAs. You girls keep sewing, and keep smiling!! Eat your cake, it’s very good for your soul, but also eat healthy and don’t let people say it’s the cake. Sometimes it just not the cake, it’s the genes or a health issue. Ignorant people who believe it’s the cake are just ignorant.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations, Donna. But doesn’t it just prove the point that you can’t tell anything about someone based on appearance? I have seriously had friends experienced illnesses which led them to lose tons of weight and people praise them for it, oblivious, assuming that being thinner must be helahtier. And then just the opposite, as you’ve found – there’s actually a lot of evidence that doctors routinely miss medical conditions in overweight people because they just ascribe it to weight. Gah! Anyway, I hope you are doing better now, and thanks for comment.

  14. Cynthia says:

    Love this! Going off to have some cake now.

  15. Kathy Sews says:

    I will be eating more cake then you can shake a stick at tomorrow because it’s my birthday. Hurray for cake! Hurray for awesome sewing! Hurray for more cake!! So sad for that ignorant person… well, not really. Rather, I’m glad not to be in his camp of ignorance. Onwards and upwards! Back to sewing… and of course cake eating.

  16. LaLa Sews says:

    I loved watching #cakewithcashmerette on Insta and I think this post is fantastic. Well said!

  17. Sadly, its too hot for cake. So I ate ice cream 🙂

    1. erniek3 says:

      Cake and ice cream. I missed this, so I gotta catch up twice as hard.

    2. Ice cream is an officially sanctioned alternative!

  18. I’m not gonna lie, this post made me tear up a little (but I am a big cry baby). Such a lovely community we all have here! And I agree – let’s thank the shamer for giving us such a delcious day and reminding us how wonderful and supportive our little sewing community is!

  19. I love this, it is so nice to read something written by someone who has transcended all the BS there is there about ‘how a woman should look’. I kind of feel sorry for that guy, truly. He is missing out on so much by living such a shallow and narrow minded life.
    There is a blog I used to read, it’s no longer updated but all the posts are still there, called eatthedamncake.com, she had a similar concept and some great posts.
    P.s I loved your interview on the Crafty Planner podcast, so inspiring!

  20. Nakisha says:

    That was an awesome response!!!

    Years ago, I was in Bebe and asked if they had a skirt in a 10 (A SIZE 10!). The sales clerk made some comment about “double digit sizing”. I didn’t buy anything…and after I dropped down to a size 6 I STILL refused to ever step foot in there again!

    1. God! The micro-aggressions. It’s insane. Glad you boycott them now!

  21. Dalila says:

    I love this. It’s awesome that everything turned out a joyful experience… and hopefully that brat will learn to mind his own business.

  22. Rory says:

    This made me so insanely happy! Tomorrow is my daughter’s 12th birthday and I plan on making a salute to you during it when I have an extra big slice of cake. Love you. Love your site. And that man-child, pshawww… He can eat something, but it’s not my cake.

    1. Birthday cake is the best cake!

  23. Tanya Maile says:

    Super sweet revenge. Literally!!! 🙂

  24. carlalissa says:

    I am so bummed I missed all the commotion in IG!!! However, I am glad we women are stronger than insignificant tiny brain of men if they have some. You know how men think from their winnie between thieir legs and not the miniscule few brain cells they got!

  25. What an awesome comeback!! I don’t have/do Instagram so I missed all the hoohaa or I’d have lined up all the chocolate I have stashed in my drawer 😀

  26. marilla walker says:

    Wow, that’s the most eloquent response to a complete moron. Glad the result of this bad comment was so very positive ????

  27. Ping says:

    I’ve been loving all the photos on my feed the past few days and have been lamenting the serious lack of cake in my house!! Unacceptable. Maybe I should make up for it by attempting to sneak a cake into the gym. #challengeaccepted

    1. I love the idea of gym cake! One rep = one bite. YUM.
      Also: MISS YOU! Ashley mentioned #cheex last night and I teared up on the spot 🙁

      1. Ping says:

        Aww I miss you guys so much!! I’m working on more #cheex to bring when I visit. Speaking of which, no vacations for Jenny the week of Sept 9!

  28. Rachel says:

    Seeing the cake pictures on Instagram made my day. Thank you for the thoughtful and uplifting post.

  29. I think you have a great figure and I love your blog. X

  30. This is wonderful! Also reminds me of one of my favorite comedy bits from Greg Behrendt titled “There might be cake”. Ahaha… if you haven’t heard it… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WxOIvC9cC0 🙂 There’s about a 99.9% chance I’m going to make and enjoy some cake tomorrow because of this post. Thank you!

  31. sarah watkins says:

    thank you love this.

  32. Oodles of positivity from our lovely sewing community – and so many fan pics! Thank you for your post.

  33. Mags says:

    Absolutely wonderful!!! I eat ‘clean’, am dairy/gluten free, don’t (I’m ashamed to say on this occassion) eat cake and am a size 20. The CSC has made me proud of my curves and made me more confident in a world where ‘thin rules’… Well done all you ladies & gents who took part – and you, lovely Cashmarette for standing up to this odious bully. Magsxx

  34. Larhar says:

    I love this post and in response to the post from sam above.
    It’s true that we should be choosing nutrient dense foods for our health but many eating plans can become much more successful with the inclusion of a “cheat day”. And considering the society we live in now, it seems like a reasonable option to stay on track.
    Let’s be realistic here. I love cake! I try to save it for cheat day, but what everyone else chooses isn’t my business. We can only lead by example, not by humiliation and preachy preachy!

  35. Anne Lyth says:

    It’s a beautiful think then hate is met with positive energy! And yay for cake.
    You are beautiful and talented and I love your style. Keep it up.

  36. Jenny your instagram feed is so wonderful! So much cake! How extremely heartening. And came at exactly the right time for me. I was travelling home from seeing a friend last night wearing a nice dress and minding my own business when a small child got on holding her grandmother’s hand walked past me, and said ‘grasa, grasa’ loudly with a smile on her face. It is RIDICULOUS how much this upset me. She was about 6 FFS. I burst in to tears as soon as I got in the house, horrified that I was obviously so much fatter than I thought, so much that a kid proclaims my fatness the second her eyes fix on me. I am ashamed how upset I was about this, but it just goes to show, fat shaming really cuts deep sometimes in our culture. I really normally don’t mind being ‘fat’, but sometimes other people’s carelessness can trigger old wounds and remind you of old cruelty and that’s what hurts, not being chubby itself. Here’s to #cakewithcashmerette and a reminder that your weight and size mean nothing about your value as a person.

    1. Well I’m so sad to hear that happened but I’m happy to hear that this coincided and that it led to you eating some delicious Victoria Sponge! I know what you mean about other people’s comments – for the most part I’m pretty at ease with myself, but I can’t deny that if (when) certain people say certain things it can cut me to the core. It’s not easy being a woman who takes up marginally more space in the world than other women. And yet, here we all are, supporting each other, and I think slowly but surely the message of body positivity is getting out there.

  37. velosewer says:

    That morning when the hashtag started I thought it was just a bit of fun and now that you’ve said what it was about, I’m so glad you reacted in such a positive way.
    You’re a real bright spark and I’m glad you sew as well!!

  38. Kerry says:

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve not let a comment from one idiot get you down. What kind of person writes that? Honestly, what a douche he is.

    1. Grade A Douche 🙂

  39. Katie says:

    The cake filled Instagram was an absolute joy to see. With two small girls, I am now even more conscious of making sure they feel happy in themselves and that they should never feel that they have to conform to what someone else deigns the ‘right’ shape. That starts with me and their wider family, and all of the fantastic responses give me even more confidence and happiness to keep reminding them how awesome we all are. There is so much delicious food out there, we should be happy to enjoy every blissful mouthful. Thanks Jenny x

    1. We have so much responsibility to our daughters (and sons) to not perpetuate so many of the false and ultimately unhelpful beliefs about food, weight and conformity, and it’s so great that it’s something you’re working on with your kids. I hope that when I’m lucky enough to have my own that I can do the same!

  40. Theresa says:

    I personally like mine with ice cream! 😉 Great post and thank YOU!

  41. sewsweetness says:

    Ohhhh! I was wondering what all the cake photos that I’d seen were about (I must have missed your original IG post somehow!). That is really sad that someone had to take time out of their day to be rude. Great to see all the cake photos (now that I know what they’re about!).

  42. HelenC19 says:

    Go girl (in my case, directly to the cake counter…) X

  43. Katie Emma says:

    There’s a This American Life episode called “If you can’t say anything nice, say it in all caps” (or something like that), all about internet trolls. One woman confronted a troll who said some really nasty things to her. It’s a really great piece, and I recommend tracking it down if you can! They say you don’t want to feed the troll, but I think #cakewithcashmerette has sent a firm and positive message!

    1. Oh yes I loved it, and I loved Lindy West. Did you read her recent column about getting married while fat? (it was in The Guardian in the UK) – it was so awesome. I’m hoping the troll saw all the cake 🙂

      1. Katie Emma says:

        I just found Lindy West’s column about her wedding – a fantastic essay. And now I have a bunch of her other articles bookmarked!

  44. Lina says:

    You are awesome and this is awesome. Thanks for posting it and thanks for being so inspiring. I’m always happy when I read your posts and now I need to go follow you on Instagram 🙂

  45. Helen says:

    Great post, and I’m glad it didn’t get you down. I just wish I’d seen the hashtag BEFORE I’d eaten the cake! 🙂

  46. Emily C. says:

    Seeing all those cake posts on instagram the other night really made my day! I’m glad you were able to turn that rude comment into something positive. 🙂

  47. Carolyn says:

    It was so cool to watch all of the cake shoots pop up in my Instagram feed! Believe me they added a measure of joy to my stressed day!

  48. I love this post! Thanks for taking rude, ignorant judgement and making it positive!
    (I’m especially partial to cake since my two last names merged [Capps & Dyke] make CAKE!)
    Big hugs and cake to you!

    1. I wish my last name was cake! Amazing!

  49. Sarah says:

    You are so right! Food and weight is not moral. Our bodies are the way they are and we should learn to love them. There is beauty in so many different forms. You are beautiful inside and out.

    1. It took me a long, long time to get there but I do really believe that they’re morally neutral. It’s astonishing how many messages we have out there that are otherwise though!

  50. i shout a hearty ‘up yours’ right along with you. wow to the audacity and thoughtlessness of some people. just wow. i join you in your cake-in 🙂

  51. Birgit says:

    These cake posts are awesome 😀 perfect response!

  52. I’m sure the guy who criticized you has his own deep down issues with his own body image and he probably deprives himself.
    But may I take this a step further- dessert shamers. It’s not just a size thing. I’m a skinny gal who loves sweets. There are always comments if I happen to be eating a cupcake or ask for the largest slice of the cake. F*&% “just a small bite”!

    1. It’s so true. No-one has the right to comment on someone else’s food – you have absolutely no idea what context that’s in, what they’re experiencing, what else they’ve eaten that day. And even if you were consistently overeating? A private decision!

  53. A-w-e-s-o-m-e-!-!-! I’m a great believer in having your cake and eating it, too.

  54. Andrea says:

    I cannot put in words how much I love this post!
    After years of feeling terrible inside my body, I’ve only recently come to realize that neither my happiness nor my health depend on the size I wear – and a huge thank you to wonderful people like you, Jenny! So when last week at the pool, a maybe 4yo girl approached me to say “Hi. You’re really fat, you know?” I nearly burst out laughing, and all I could say was, “Yeah, that’s right.” She then told me, “You really shouldn’t be this fat… Ooooh! Look at those beautiful pearls on your swimsuit! I like them!!!” I’m still grinning as I’m thinking of this.
    And now off to find some cake 😉

    1. michelleinsea says:

      And at 4, you know that she likely learned that from a mother or other family member with huge body issues. At that age, kids still don’t have a filter, but they’re also pretty nonjudgmental (parroting comments that they’ve heard at home, aside).

      1. Andrea says:

        Absolutely! I actually did feel a little sorry for this girl growing up with such high expectations regarding her body. Let’s just hope for her that she doesn’t unexpectedly gain weight at some point, like puberty…

    2. Hi Andrea, So lovely to hear from you, and also to hear about your recent realisation! It’s incredibly hard as society and frequently the people around are constantly telling us otherwise, but you’re totally right that your body doesn’t have to dictate your happiness or indeed your health. I’m sorry that happened with the kid, but isn’t it funny how to her it was probably just a fact, and she was so much more interested in your shiny suit?

      1. Andrea says:

        The strange thing about this incident is that I actually feel GOOD about it. Not long ago, I probably would have cried myself to sleep – or maybe stayed awake the whole night – hating myself, my body, and life in general. But now, I was just amused, no anger, no sadness, no shaming or blaming (and I really searched for those emotions, but nope, couldn’t find them). It was as if this was the ultimate test of body positivity, and I passed it 😉 Just like you did! 🙂
        You know, it’s one thing to read all those inspiring articles about feeling good with (not despite) one’s curves – at one point I even wrote a longish rant about this on my blog – but I wasn’t sure if this would transfer to real life, to what I actually feel. Now I know it does 🙂

  55. Sandra P. says:

    You go girl! Totally classy, my hat off to you! This is the best post I have read thus far. And I love the support that was shown by so many other cake eaters! I am appalled by the gall of some people!!! Keep being fabulous!!

    1. Thanks Sandra! The support of the community is the best.

  56. michelleinsea says:

    Great post! And you handled it MUCH better than I typically have, since I always seem to default to the small penis remarks whenever a male makes a crack about my weight.

    1. Ha ha ha 🙂 To be honest I just deleted it straight away because I didn’t want to engage.

  57. symondezyn says:

    oooh I was wondering why my Instagram feed was suddenly filled with delicious cake pictures!!! I’m late to the party but the next time I have cake I’m tagging you!! 😀 ????

  58. Shayna says:

    FWIW, you should totally have left “feel” as “look.”

  59. Andrea says:

    This is so, so awesome!! It’s so much better than ignoring a troll, you’re right. What a fabulous community!!

    1. Yay for the sewing community!

  60. Katrina says:

    Ha! I like internet idiots who offer up their ignorance for the rest of us to make fun of! The only sad thing is that the guy will never have enough insight to understand he is an idiot.

    There was a great blog called eatthedamncake.com that followed a woman’s journey of self-acceptance, among many other wonderful things. There were a lot of posts with women eating cake, showing the world that yes, it does happen.

    A too-large number of my friends and family members have died recently, and it’s a good reminder (as if I needed one) that at the end of my life, whether it is tomorrow or 70 years from now, I am not going to give a damn about my weight, my looks, or anyone’s opinions of me. I will eat the cake (actually pie) whenever I can get it!

    1. Right? To be honest, sometimes people will talk about eating “clean” or low-whatever as if that stops you dying. But actually life is full of compromises to your health, whether that’s occasionally eating nice tasting stuff, or even driving a car, but it’s worthwhile because it makes your quality of life so much better. Clearly there are issues with excess, but eating cake doesn’t automatically mean eating to excess. We don’t have to eat celery all the time, whatever weight we are. Took me a long time to realise that, though!

  61. Dee says:

    I love, love, love “Intuitive Eating”! First time in years that I don’t care about losing weight, but just “honoring my hunger” and also not eating till I am overstuffed! Also, I love your blog; I have not made a lot of things for myself (mainly kids), but my skills are getting better so I am about to start a few flattering projects for ME : ). Got to live in your own bod and you “Gotta Eat”!

    1. A fellow fan! It really did change my life, profoundly. I haven’t spoken about it much here because I don’t want to be preachy, but I kind of am preachy in reality 😉 My weight has been stable now for 2 years, I no longer diet, and I’m so much happier. Plus I have tons more brainspace that was previously taken up with dieting! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it too.

      1. Andrea says:

        I actually think it would be totally fine if you were a little preachy on this topic – I would looove to learn more about Intuitive Eating! After my last (as in never again) unsuccessful attempt to lose weight by joining a weight-loss program, I decided to simply eat what I want, whenever I want – and feel good about it. But I’m sure there’s more to that! Can you recommend any books or blogs?

        1. Well initially I just read a book but it didn’t work for me – I had an awful lot of work to do before I’d be able to get there. So saw a licensed nutritionist who specialised in Intuitive Eating about once a week for a year. It was covered by my insurance and it was the best thing I ever did! The concepts are easy, but implementing them isn’t. However, once it “clicks” into place in your brain, nothing is ever the same again.

          1. Andrea says:

            That sounds good! I’ll look into it!

      2. Dee says:

        Jenny, I am so happy for you! It is really hard to describe the how and why it “clicks” now and so I don’t even talk about it much either, but I totally understand how much “brainspace” I was wasting on thinking about food and my weight. I have many tasks to do in life so I just go do what I can and I also go sew every minute I can. Andrea, I just happened upon the book, “Intuitive Eating” on a blog and bought the first edition on Amazon. A while back I lost weight reading Geneen Roth’s books which are similar, but it didn’t stick. Perhaps because she didn’t offer as many practical tips and some of her stuff is a bit say, “odd” : ). I found Intuitive Eating very positive and practical and perhaps I was just finally ready to stop beating myself up; life is too short, you know?!!! I wish you much success with loving yourself just the way you are and taking your first step to ditch diets and eat well!

        1. Andrea says:

          Thanks Dee! Definitely sounds worth a try!

  62. Meg says:

    YEAH, Jenny!!!! And…. MORE YEAH!
    You are strong, positive, brilliant, creative, funny, and awesome. In my (not so) humble but (ever so) curvy opinion.
    And you just Made My Day.

  63. gibbylet says:

    Lovely! I want cake but not enough to make some 🙂 Good job and I’m glad to not care what people think, and hope that due to society, sooner rather than later, women in their teens and 20s feel the same!

  64. MB Paz says:

    And there are plenty of diabetics of all sizes who can’t just ‘eat cake’. So it really isn’t a universal indicator of mental health.

  65. Barbara says:

    Thank you, great post.

  66. Nicki says:

    It was really wonderful to watch all this unfold, so perfect. Every body is beautiful.

  67. dark of the stars says:

    Ha! You can thank your troll for turning me on to your superb clothing designs!

  68. You are my cake hero 🙂 Must find some to join in the party today. Everyday should be cake day!

  69. Arted1 says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. People can be cruel. Going to make a cake and post my picture.

  70. Ronnie says:

    let me get this straight. I could eat cake and help my fellow curvy ladies out? Count me in. I love when kindness and solidarity catch on via the Internet.

  71. cc423 says:

    Just ran across an article about this situation and felt compelled to tell you that you are perfect in every way. Sad and tiny people who suggest otherwise need be ignored. Have a great weekend!

  72. Sarah Jane says:

    I can’t even find the words to express how much I love this post, the #cakewithcasmerette photos on Instagram and the way you handled such outrageously cruel and rude comments with such grace and dignity all the while giving us all a voice to fight back the bullies that think they are allowed to shame people. You are amazing, Jenny, as is this sewing community we are a part of!!

  73. Jennifer Walkley says:

    I am soooooo with you. I would love to lose some weight so I can save what’s left of my knees, but it is a long, hard slog. I so don’t need people reminding me after a lifetime of dieting!! And I even wear yoga pants now!! EAT CAKE!!!!!!!

  74. patlaidler says:

    Love your blog…be yourself…beautiful designs.

  75. You’re fantastic, and I love everything about this. I’m not on instagram, but I clicked over to it for the first time to look over all the awesome cake photos. Best response I’ve ever seen to Trolls, and a great way to open a conversation about REAL healthy lifestyles, living your own life and leaving others to theirs. 🙂

  76. Your troll sounds a bit like my ex. I’m much happier with out him, and have been married to a man who understands my love of all things dessert for 3 years. The next time I bake a cake (as soon as this heat wave breaks), I’ll be thinking of you.

  77. julian cruickshank says:

    dear Jenny. i read your article in the guardian today on making your own clothes . that is so cool! now i wish i could sew . i have a different shape (iam male andtall wit h lo ng limb s) and i cannot get clothes to fit either . xxl is too big in the chest, just right in the shoulders and too short in the ar ms . i thinkyour clothes make you look elegant. you go girl!

  78. Shelly P says:

    I hope you don’t mind but I pinned this article on my “Social” board.
    I am one of those females who was raised with body image issues and even though I haven’t quite embraced my fluffiness, I applaud those who are able to. =^_^=

  79. Anne says:

    I commend you for believing in yourself and not trying to fit into the whole skewed concept of beauty of today’s world. However, I do think there is a difference in being fat and overweight. Neglect of the body is a problem and should not be celebrated as a positive. It leads to great harm to your system including being a host for multiple diseases. Many fat women will take this as an allowance to continue their sedentary lifestyle which encourages the obesity epidemic. If many of us are honest, most of the fat we collect is due to lack of exercise or healthy lifestyle.

    1. You’re wrong on a number of levels

      1. Fat doesn’t mean automatically neglect of the body, and it doesn’t automatically do “great harm to your system”. Many people are bigger for a huge variety of reasons, and many bigger people eat healthily, exercise regularly, and have doctors who are happy with their health. I eat healthily, cycled 350 miles across Asia last year, and my doctor says I’m in great health. I’m bigger because my entire family is constructed bigger, and because dieting damaged my body in earlier life. People who think they can evaluate health by looking at a photo of a person are misguided.

      2. A campaign to stop body shaming isn’t going to have any influence at all on whether fat women have a sedentary lifestyle. Wow, if people were that influenced by a single hashtag, I’d be the ruler of the world!

    2. Andrea says:

      Anne, attributing overweight to a sedentary lifestyle is one of those superficial judgements people without weight issues tend to make. We’ve all been indoctrined to believe that the whole weight thing is simply based on calorie intake and output. If it were that simple, nobody would be overweight in the long run.
      I’m not going to list all the reasons why I have the weight I currently have. But when I last embarked on an attempt to lose weight in a health-insurance-paid, award-winning program, going from 3 hours of exercise per week to at least 5 hours, eliminating nearly all “the good stuff” (chocolate etc.) from my diet, attending weekly group sessions on motivation and other psychological issues, I lost 4kg over the course of one year. FOUR. Our fitness coach was impressed with my level of fitness at the beginning of the program, and explained why it was so much harder for me to make progress than someone who starts from a lower fitness level. The changes to my diet – which wasn’t that bad from the start – weren’t very helpful either. Despite closely following all instructions, this fantastic program did not help me lose weight. Why? Hm, maybe because I have twins (now 3.5yo), and have had next to no sleep since they were born. Or maybe because I’ve dieted my body to a point where those “changes in lifestyle” aren’t really any changes anymore, because I’ve been exercising and watching my food for such a long time already. Maybe because of the endocrine disorder I’ve had long before I started putting on weight? Who knows. And every person’s story is different.
      Your label “neglect of the body” couldn’t be more inappropriate, superficial and shameful. Plus, you missed the whole point of body positivity. Who do you think is more likely to really neglect their body – someone who loves their body as it is, with all the curves and “imperfections”, or someone who is being shamed and blamed for being fat and ugly?

  80. Loved your article in today’s Guardian. You look beautiful and happy, certainly like someone it would be a pleasure to be around. And as someone who has always loved making things (alas not clothes, but you’ve given me an idea… Is 79 to late to start?!) I know that you are fortunate to be so creative. Carry on!

    1. That’s a typo, I’m ‘only’ 70. Sorry.

      1. Yvonne says:

        No, 70 is only a number. It’s never too late to start. start today!

  81. Mary Hayward says:

    Those who are unsympathetic towards bigger people should realise that we have to confront and rise above our challenges every time we eat food. Others have the choice to walk past a bottle store or the drinks aisle or the cigarette counter.

  82. Sharon says:

    i) The Troll is in his early twenties. Many ‘men’ in their early twenties are stupid and/or ignorant. Some of them grow out of it.

    ii) Women always have to work harder. Fortunately where we live we don’t have to work nearly as hard as some women do – eg: in fiercely Islamic states, India or parts of Africa.

    iii) I’m not sure I want ‘equality’, whatever ‘equality’ may be. I just want it to be recognised that I am a person, as are other women, and men.

  83. Yvonne says:

    I’m sure you likely won’t see this, given the number of comments, but I LOVE this post! I’ve been average size, a bit smaller than average and overweight and I had a very hard time with people treating me much nicer when was somewhat thin. In fact, I was just plain angry. How shallow! I’m resentful to this day if someone comments that “you look great! You’ve lost weight, haven’t you?” LIFE IS NOT A DRESS SIZE! You are a beautiful woman, in every way.

  84. I love love love this post! Almost as much as I love cake. I have always struggled with body image. I have never really been entirely happy with the way I look. Then in the past three years I had two children which just made the struggle even harder. People don’t understand that there are so many more factors than the food we eat and the exercise we do that can contribute to this. I have a friend with chrons who gained weight due to the medication she was put on. She has tried many many times to lose the weight but until she can stop taking that medicine (which is basically never) it is going to be a very difficult thing for her to do. I always believe that you shouldn’t say anything if you can’t say something nice because you don’t know the struggles going on in someones life! And who bloody cares what other people look like. If it has no effect on you and your life then keep moving and keep your mouth shut.

  85. Jennie says:

    My dear you are beautiful, and I thought the bathing suit was stunning on you. (Love the green and white. Maxi too) This all makes me want to figure out Instagram, to join in. It’s 112 degrees outside, so I’m not baking, but I think a hand full of m&ms to celebrate the beauty in everyone is in order.

  86. Marjie says:

    I make chocolate cake, so I won’t want to eat it, but you can’t keep me from yellow cake, or carrot cake, or banana cake….I’m happy to see your cake eating pictures; keep doing what you like!

  87. Tate says:

    “. . . a group of men lean out of their car’s windows and start oinking at her.”

    Honey, those men were speaking in their native tongue.

  88. Jamie says:

    I’d like to share my experience with fat shaming and discrimination. Starting this year, my employer changed their policy with regards to health insurance. The company has become very concerned with the health of their employees and want to encourage folks to lead a healthier lifestyle. Anybody who has a BMI of 30 or greater will now be charged much higher insurance rates, to the point where most of us can’t afford it. They’ve always done this with smokers, and the people who do smoke either have insurance from their spouses or they will manage to quit for a few days before their health screening and pass the blood test that way. Now a lot of my coworkers are taking diet pills to try to get their weight down before their screening appointments. One young guy I know is very athletic and fit, but going strictly on his BMI he is obese, due to his muscle mass. Does this policy discriminate against the obese? Well, there isn’t a minimum BMI requirement so I would say that it does. They aren’t concerned if you are underweight or how high your cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure may be, although they do require annual testing for those as well. Despite my unacceptable BMI, I am very healthy and have actually never even used my health insurance for myself. In the past I only have kept it for my kids and in case of an accident or catastrophic illness. But looking at the bright side, they were able score us a corporate discount on Weight Watchers, so really we shouldn’t complain, right?

    1. Wow, what a truly perverse system! I’m shocked that that’s legal, in fact, but I assume your employer was careful about that. I do remember that at one of my employers I got a random phone call from the health care provider basically saying “your employer has informed us you have a BMI over 30, so we would like to talk to you about….” I went MENTAL at them. Both for the invasion of privacy and the absurd assumptions being made. Gah! Anyway I’m really sorry to hear about that, and I hope there’s an alternative for you.

  89. Lucy says:

    Well done you! I’ve only just found your site but I think it’s great and you’re very attractive.
    You may well not know this but there is another part of the community who are harried and discriminated against, plus size who are also disabled.
    I’ve lost count of the times complete strangers have told me that if I lost weight I wouldn’t need
    my wheelchair!
    Ironically I lost 4 stone (due to serious illness not dieting) in 8 months and 3″ in height at the same time. It turned out that my “excess” weight was actually supporting a crumbling spine!
    Having seen the “guy” I’d absolutely go for the cake, and I don’t even like cake lol.
    Look forward to following your blog now I’ve found you :~}

    Lucy in England

  90. Christina says:

    I am a little late to the cake party but I think your attitude is fabulous. Due to a recent medical condition I have found myself a few sizes larger and have turned to sewing to try to gain back some confidence with awesome clothes that fit right.
    Its amazing the audacity of some people who think they have the right to pass judgement on others. I am sure he is doing it out of his own insecurities. Good on ya for looking past it and making a positive out of it. Looking forward to reading more of your awesome posts and tutorials!

Let me know what you think!