Original Article from Bold Magazine– It’s Fat is Not a Violation Friday! What does that mean? It means, we’re talking about fat-erminology. This week, we wrote a controversial article about the differences between BBW and Plus. Are there differences? Yes. There are. Are people using the terms? Yes, they are. Ignoring them won’t help us to better understand biases, barriers, and boundaries we should be setting when discussing people of size.
We recently met Rebecca Bedford at the Living Large Chicago event outside of Chicago. And, we immediately hit it off. Maybe it was her incredibly classy costume or ravishing smile. But, we remember it being her incredible vocabulary and insight into the plus universe.
Chris: What do you do?
Rebecca: Oh, I run a website that empowers plus size women…
Chris: Hey… that’s my line! [Begin street fight…. Not even close, we spent the rest of the evening talking about our shared goals to bring plus to the mainstream and how wonderful our jobs are.]
Author, Rebecca Bedford and Editor, Crystal Knight runs the vlog series on YouTube and website, called “Being an SSBBW.” Okay, wait a minute… Plus, curvy, BBW.. what is an SSBBW?
There’s no formal definition of what an SSBBW is. But, Urban Dictionary *eye roll* says:
Acronym for “Super-Sized Big, Beautiful Woman”. A sub-genre of BBW (Big Beautiful Women/Woman) that includes attractive women who typically weigh 400 lbs. or more.
Now, I have no idea if this is actually true. To be honest, the classifications are a little semantic. We’ve gotten a lot of pushback over them. “Why can’t I just be me?” Bold Babe, you are you. But, these phrases do exist. And, some people have even criticized our models for classifying themselves wrong. It’s important to know what they are if someone uses them around you.
Wait a second! First, you want to get on our case about being big? Then, we’re not big enough?
Well, the reality is, is that whatever you call it, women of larger sizes exist. They have lifestyle differences that many refuse to recognize. And, Rebecca Bedford wants to document that for her… for you… and for anyone else who needs the education.
“The basic stuff is talking about life being super size,” says Bedford. “Discussing places to shop, issues with travel, dating, fetish, those kinds of things…. but that is just passing out useful info… what I really want to accomplish is to help those struggling the way I did in the past.”
Paraphrased from Bedford’s site: In 2013, she started recording vlogs in response to seeing other videos on YouTube addressing the struggle and joys of dating super-sized women. While these videos were mostly from a male perspective, watching them made her ecstatic. She found her voice, immediately and began to vlog.
“I made a video response to Coen of the YouTube channel, Curvy Shrine, and the rest is history.” Rebecca Bedford
You must read the rest of her “About” page on her site (Site can be found HERE). And we’ve inserted one of her videos below!
What’s interesting about Bedford’s story is the transition from self loathing to love. When you meet her now, you see none of that. She is a body positive bad ass bold babe.
“I hid myself under baggy t-shirts and pants, wore my hair in a bun and never wore makeup. The idea of being feminine at my size was a joke to me. ‘Why put pearls on a pig?’ was my prevailing mindset.” – Rebecca Bedford
Now, she literally wears pearls. You know, we hardly address the negative “stuff” that gets into the minds of plus women. We like to stay positive. But, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Bedford discusses food addiction and hiding her body, similar to the article we wrote on how Bold Magazine began. These are issues that many plus people (and hey… everyone) face.
“I am a big proponent of mental health and being able to go through the process to self acceptance. It is a long dark road to go down, I know better than most, I was such a severe case. I want to hold out a hand to those men and women who both feel so lost and hopeless that there is a way to make it through.” – Rebecca Bedford
But, if you “fast forward many years later” as she says, you’ll find a confident, beautiful advocate.
“I am no longer afraid of who, what, and why someone might not like me. I have done the work and made a good foundation for self-acceptance. I love me for me and have learned to accept all parts of myself the light and the dark. Every dark shameful secret and deed is as much a part of me as the love, positivity, and kindness that I share with those around me. All these bits and pieces make up the whole of who I am, and I work on it every day.” – Rebecca Bedford
Bedford’s site and vlog are here to for the plus universe as a resource. She’s an incredible voice in the plus positive world and we’re so excited to work with her. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we can line her up for interview. If it means we have to put the Joker costume back on to get her attention, maybe we’ll try it!