Today is International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women. 2011 marks the 100th anniversary, so it's extra special! Because this is a plus size fashion blog I won't delve too much into political women; instead, I'd like to celebrate women in the public eye who are resolutely plus size, and who haven't buckled in to pressure to lose weight. These fine women prove you can be talented, successful, healthy and stylish at ANY size...
Dawn French - what a woman! For over 20 years she's been a superstar comedienne, a sexpot vicar and most recently a celebrated author. The entire time she has not bowed to pressure to lose weight, remaining beautiful, elegant and charming. A truly inspirational plus size woman.
Ella Smith is a young UK actress best known for starring in the Neil LaBute play "Fat Pig" (I know, I know - but the play was supposed to be positive!) opposite Robert Webb. She first came to my attention in a TV drama where she played a sultry sex goddess in a bizarre town. The show itself wasn't very good, but seeing a beautiful woman be portrayed as desireable is almost unheard of on TV. Go Ella!
Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for an Oscar last year for her role as Precious in the film of the same name - since then, her upbeat attitude towards life and her body has been a huge inspiration for women of all sizes over the world. "I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don’t like myself, there’s no reason to even live the life."
Beth Ditto... Since the UK press took notice of her, her dress sense has completely divided opinion. But no matter what you think of her clothing choices, she has remained resolutely herself even though she's mixed with notorious fat-haters such as Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld and tackled lots of tabloid abuse, something I absolutely respect her for.
Amber Riley has been a huge success story since playing Mercedes in Glee, and she is probably the best dressed plus size star right now. Her looks at both the Golden Globes and the Grammys were absolute perfection, and her recent editorial for Essence magazine is stunning!
Amber Riley's New Directions team-mate Ashley Fink is new to Glee but has caused a huge stir as sassy Lauren - and if reports from the US are anything to go by, apparently she gets herself a very hot admirer in the future! Ashley has been accompanying Chris Colfer (Kurt) to various awards shows looking beautiful and elegant -always affirming to see genuinely plus size women looking beautiful on the red carpet.
Ruth Jones has become a little bit of a national treasure since writing and starring in Gavin & Stacey as Stacey's bolshy mate Nessa, and recently played the late, great Hattie Jacques. Ruth has always remained glamorous yet down the earth in her 15 year career, concentrating on acting, writing and producing rather than losing weight to get more parts. And it's paid off, her career is going from strength to strength!
Ah, Adele. What a superstar! She is the darling of the music industry both in the UK and US and it makes sense because she has the most beautiful voice, and writes fantastic songs. Like Beth, she's appeared in Vogue and had Anna Wintour herself fall in love with her - amazing really, when you consider this is the woman who requires most celebrities to lose weight before appearing in the magazine - and still remains true to herself, because her music is more important than her looks.
Who you consider an inspirational plus size woman? Is there anyone I've missed? Let me know who you're most inspired by! You can comment here, tweet me or leave a comment on the Yours Clothing facebook page. Can't wait to hear your feedback!
Lots of love,