Fair enough, being plus size probably isn't considered a hobby in the same way that collecting stamps might but it is a massive (pun intended) part of my life. So, it makes sense that I share that with others and I am beyond grateful that I found a way to do that.
Don't get me wrong blogging is amazing and the social media network I have discovered is life changing but there is nothing quite like hanging out with people in real life. These are people who know a little about what it is like to live in a body like mine - they're open minded and just as importantly can share shopping tips with me - what's not to love?
Over the past couple of years I have attended a number of plus size events and I have come away with a warm fuzzy feeling every single time. There is something empowering about seeing women of all shapes and sizes in a room come together to support each other. From walking on the catwalk, to swapping dresses, discovering new fashions and learning about body confidence these events have a little bit of everything.
All of the events (Style XL 2014 and 2015, Curvy Con, Plus London, Plus North to name a few) have been arranged in different ways and they have all bought something a little different to the table. However, they have all left me feeling fantastic!
Sharing drinks, dinner, hotel rooms, catwalks and even bras with these women make me realise that I am a small part of something wonderful. We all know that sometimes the world isn't the kindest to us and perhaps sometimes we aren't as kind to ourselves as we should/could be. I am part of a world that is changing this - a real force in the face of the media that tells me constantly that my body and I are wrong.
But then I attend one of these events and brands are supportive, women with bodies like mine are walking catwalks in their underwear, they're laughing, chatting, smiling and looking fabulous. They're a part of the changing force in the way the world views us and that is something pretty bloody special!
I went to Style XL in Birmingham last week and it was literally amazing. If you read plus size blogs you'll have read so much about it already so I don't want to go on too much. But with catwalks, bra measuring, brand support, modelling competitions, plus size yoga, body confidence talks, dinner, wine, cocktails and much more it was an event that I will hold dear to me for a very, very long time.
So... I try to attend as many of these as possible and the next one is The Curve Fashion Festival in Manchester. Their website promises a whole host of fashion shows, seminars, talks, meet and greets and much more. The likes of Tess Holliday and Hayley Hasselhoff and many more will be there! It's smack bang in the middle of Manchester and quite honestly sounds like it's going to be a fabulous day. It's on the 26th September - Will I see you there?
If you do come to the Curve Fashion Festival then make sure you say hi but failing that please try your best to get to one of these as soon as you can. I know that living in a body you don't fully love can be tough going, but I promise you that being surrounded by a room full of positive women will be life changing!