Proud2Bme | An Interview with (This Is) Meagan Kerr

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An Interview with (This Is) Meagan Kerr

By Emily Winter--All too often we’re bombarded with the same, frankly inaccurate, depictions of beauty.  The notion of the “ideal” body is constantly on display in our lives where we see overwhelming amounts of edited, cropped and airbrushed models, flooding our Instagram accounts and dominating advertising campaigns for our favorite brands. 

However, do you ever find yourself questioning: who declared those images “ideal?”  Isn’t any living body really the ideal body?  With this idea circling in my mind, I was lucky enough to interview fashion expert and blogger extraordinaire, Meagan Kerr (author of the wildly popular site: This is Meagan Kerr as well as founder of the Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes project). 

From one quick glance to Meagan’s site it’s easy to see that she strives to produce content that embraces the simple notion that all bodies are ideal bodies.  Her site empowers women of all shapes and sizes through supporting high quality and stylish plus-sized clothing brands, providing fashion tips on how to dress for body type, as well as offering life advice on how we can (and why we should!) all love our bodies!

Emily Winter: What inspired you to start blogging about plus sized fashion?

Meagan Kerr: I thought about what my point of difference was to all of the other women who write about style in New Zealand. The thing that really stood out was my size - there was no one my age and size talking about contemporary plus size fashion.

EW: What does self-confidence mean to you?

MK: To me, self-confidence is being proud of who you are and knowing your worth. It’s being unafraid to say “this is me.”

EW: Could you talk about your Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes Project for those who are unfamiliar with it?  From where did you get your inspiration?

MK: Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes was my graduate project in the final year of my Design and Visual Arts Degree (I was a photography major). A man made a comment on one of my blog photos about how fat women shouldn’t wear stripes and that sparked a response in me that made me examine the so-called fashion “rules” that women are subjected to.

I decided to base my project on plus size women who were fearlessly wearing the things that they were told by society that they shouldn’t wear - things like stripes, fitted clothing and bikinis - because those “rules” are so ridiculous and contradictory. I think that everyone should wear what makes them feel good.

EW: What did you expect when you started your blog, and specifically the Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes Project? Did you have any idea that it would turn out to be so popular?

MK: Not at all! I’m so excited every time someone talks to me about how my blog and the Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes project has helped them to branch out fashion wise and be more body confident. I am truly grateful for all of the people that read my blog and love when people leave comments to share their thoughts and experiences with me.

EW: You have readers from all over the world.  Have you had (or when did you have) a “pinch me, I’ve made it" type of moment where you realized how successful your work had become?

MK: I think I have that moment every single day, as my blog continues to grow! One moment that really stands out is the first time someone stopped me in the street to tell me that they read my blog and loved it - I was on the biggest high after that!

EW: You talk a lot about learning to love your body, and you encourage women to love theirs too everyday with your blog.  How does it feel to be such a role model?

MK: I’m really thankful to be in a position where I can talk to people about this. It’s been a long, difficult journey for me and I love that I can help inspire people on their self-love journey.

EW: What advice would you give to girls and women who are struggling with their own body image?

MK: Loving your body is not something that happens overnight, it’s something you have to work at. For me, I found that it helped to start with one bit at a time - showing my hands love, appreciating all they do for me and treating them nicely with manicures and self massage. And then I moved on to the next part of me and so on - once I loved all the parts of me I was able to see that I love myself as a whole.

EW: What is your ultimate wish for the fashion industry in the future?  There is obvious room for improvement, however, what would you personally like to see happen?

MK: I would love for there to be more and better affordable plus size fashion options here in New Zealand - at the moment a lot of the time we have to order from overseas because we just don’t have the range of options that the US and UK and Australia have. I would also love to see more body diversity in fashion - in terms of age, race, ability and model sizing. When I shop I would like to know what a garment will look like on someone with a body like mine, and I think that’s a pretty common feeling (which is why blogging is so successful).

EW: You achieved so much success, and reached so many people with your work and dedication.  So…what’s next for the blog, and what’s next for you?

MK: Thank you! I’m going to keep blogging, discovering new fashion and sharing the body love message. I’ve just ventured into YouTube, which I’m loving, so you can expect to see more videos coming from me. I’d really like to help plus size fashion grow, so being able to consult or collaborate with labels around that is my dream.

Like what you see? Want more? Follow Meagan’s journey on her blog: This is Meagan Kerr

About this blogger: Emily is a senior at Connecticut College studying Psychology and Human Development.  She is a three season varsity athlete, running cross country and track and field for her school.  In her free time, she dedicates herself to college health promotion on her campus, as well as to the college’s psychology department, both efforts of that which fuel her ultimate goal of becoming a school psychologist.  This summer Emily is an intern for the helpline at the National Eating Disorders Association.

More interviews with plus-size advocates:

Lose Hate, Not Weight: An Interview with Virgie Tovar

Empower All Bodies: An Interview with Jes Baker

My Big Fat Fabulous Interview with Whitney Thore

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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