So, meet 18 year old mental heath nurse student and blogger behind fat nurse, Devon.
(Click read more to see my interview with Devon)
Tiffany - Hello, Thank you for agreeing to answer some questions. How are you doing today?
Devon - Not too bad :)
Tiffany - What was the “light bulb” that went off or the situation that made you start you blog, Fat Nurse?
Devon - Well, I'm fairly new on the whole fat acceptance/health at every size scene so I think I should start with that. I first noticed the blog Definatalie, who had published a list of reasons to love yourself. That's what made the light bulb go, I then discovered the Fatshionista community and lurked for moths. I slowly realised that I could be a confident and beautiful fat myself by seeing so many other fats. I started my blog because by the time I had that idea I was already checking 20+ blogs daily (I still do,) and I wanted to join in!
Tiffany - So, why the name fat nurse?
Devon - In the past I've read some news stories about fat nurses being criticized, being told that being fat interferes with patient care, being told that they're bad role models just because they're fat. I decided to basically give them a big "up yours" by showing that fats (nurses included) aren't worth any less than other people.
Tiffany - How did go about spreading the word about your blog? Did other bloggers help you in that area?
Devon - I post fairly frequently on the Fatshionista community, they have been a huge help. I'm part of the Fat'o'sphere feed on google so when I update it shows on there aswell, that's where the majority of my traffic comes from I think. Also, as I've become (slowly) more known in the fat blogging scene I've seen myself added to the blog rolls of those who I admire myself, which is not only very flattering but does help in my blog promotion. I also try and get in on any group outfit posts such as your trends and musingsofafatshionista's monthly round-up posts. Not only to spread the word about my blog but to support other fats' blogs at the same time. I try and give back what I receive.
Tiffany - I often hear people from the states say, “The UK is way more fashion forward when it comes to plus size clothing.”, being from the Uk can you give some insight on the state of plus size fashion there. Are you satisfied with the offerings? Do you wish for more options?
Devon - Hm. I'm not sure I'd agree. Firstly, I find the UK a lot more expensive than the US which makes my bank account sad. We do have a fair amount of modernised fat clothing, but we don't have that many stores that specilise in plus size stuff, I'd kill to have a Torrid in the UK. As I'm still quite young sometimes Evans misses the mark for me, however, they have been working hard recently (Beth Ditto collection, Chaka's collection..) and I'm looking forward to their spring collection. From what I've seen I'd say we're quite equal to the US really.
Tiffany - Plus size women seem to be more fashionable then ever before including you. Because some people aren’t used to seeing fat women in on trend fashions what do you feel people’s reactions to you are when they see out and about looking awesome?
Devon - Personally I'd LIKE people to think "Oh wow, I love her top/dress/figure," however, I know it's more closer to "LOL FAT." Unfortunately I've encountered that attitude a hell of a lot more in the UK than the former comments. Now, if I get shouted at by some fools for being fat I either ignore them or give them a big thumbs up and shout "thanks for noticing!" I wouldn't shout an insult back, that's rude, but it does show that the message of fats being wonderful needs to be spread further.
I'm really appreciative that many in the UK are trying to be more fat-positive or at least fat-acceptance focused, for example the other week there was a piece published in the Guardian (UK paper) about fat bloggers. Even these little things can spread the word about fat people being equally as wonderful as everyone else.
Tiffany - Has fashion blogging affected your life much? Have you had to sacrifice any of your personal life? Have you gained access to any new opportunities because of your blog?
Devon - It's not so much affected my life as had a rather large effect on my bank balance! It hasn't really made much of an impact on my personal life, however I do feel a bit more pressure to make sure I look good when I go out.. Which isn't a bad thing.
Tiffany - We all know blogging is stressful so, what keeps you doing motivated to continue on blogging?
Devon - For me, it's a personal thing. I take pleasure in chatting with others from the fat blogging scene and I enjoy wearing nice clothes. Having my blog gives me the motivation to look good, whereas before I'd wear t-shirts and jeans all of the time. Now I know how to look good and feel good at the same time. (I'm still learning, sometimes I miss the mark with my style, which again is helped by the blog.)
I've made a lot of new friends through fat blogging and that eases the stresses that can be associated with blogging itself.
Devon - Not yet, no. I've had a few flickr comments which I perceive as negative.. They're centred around "great ass babe," "i love them arms," "hot back." I don't appreciate those kind of comments on my photographs so I disable certain people from commenting on my pics when I notice those comments. I have a boyfriend, even if I didn't I wouldn't appreciate advances from people who seem to be interested only in my fat. I have no problem with "chubby chasers," or those who are interested solely in BBW, but, I don't want them to be associated with myself.
Tiffany - I know personal style is hard to describe but if possible could you attempt to define yours?
Devon - I don't think I have a great sense of personal style just yet, I'm working on it. I suppose I go for comfort first and then style, I don't go for one without the other though. I don't wear make-up other than nail polish, so I guess "natural" would fit in there too.
Tiffany - Who are you fashion icons? Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
Devon - The fabulous Beth Ditto, I do adore in terms of confidence, her style is wonderful too. Those who have more influence on my style are actually my fellow fats. I won't list the names here, but there's a small portion in my personal blog roll (even then, that doesn't cover it all.) The Fatshionista community is also full of amazingly dressed fats whom I aspire to be as stylish as.
Tiffany - What are your long term goals for www.fat-nurse.com? Any goals outside of fashion blogging?
Devon - At the moment, not really. I have a personal blog that's dedicated to my real life and I wish to keep both that and Fat Nurse apart. My aim is to become an inspiration to someone and have the same affect on others as the fat'o'sphere has done for me.