Mollie Quirk tells us how she became a body positive advocate
I’m Mollie Quirk
, a 22-year-old body positive advocate and aspiring fashion journalist. I’m a UK-average size 16, between midsize and plus size. Having run my blog, The Perks of Mollie Quirk
, for almost six years – I have built up a substantial and dedicated following. I campaign for universal sizing charts, equality, and diversity within the fashion and beauty industries.
Having been ‘bigger-than-average’ all of my life, I used to be ashamed of my size and I never wanted to embrace my body in the slightest. School told me I was fat, the media told me I was ugly, diet culture told me I needed to shrink, and the number on the clothes label made me feel like the odd one out.
Throughout school I was deemed fat and ugly. I would dread wearing shorts for physical education because I was the only 13-year-old girl in the girl’s changing room with cellulite and thick thighs.
I attempted to lose weight multiple times. Before the age of 14 I had joined various slimming clubs, attempted a detox tea, tried slimming tablets and waded my way through countless workout DVDs and diet plans. Before I had even become a woman, I was obsessed with the beauty ideal and how I would achieve perfection.
Slim models graced the TV screen, airbrushed models splashed across glossy magazines and the countless transformation programmes that were aired throughout my adolescence. All of these things amounted to an unhealthy mindset.
Even when I first started blogging at 16, I never wanted to reveal the size I was wearing and wouldn’t dare shop in stores that were deemed as ‘plus size’ or ‘curve’. I would deny being chubby, I would deny being plus size, and I would deny that big can be beautiful. I avoided the subject of my size at all costs – I just wanted to be treated normally and equally. I thought that if I was silent about size, no one would bring it up.
When I was 18, something within me changed – I acknowledged my size… I acknowledged my beauty too, and this was my turning point.
At 18 I realised that I was chubby. Attempts of trying to be perfect had all collapsed and I realised that diet culture SUCKED. I didn’t need to change, I didn’t need to be someone else, I didn’t need to shrink – I was awoken.
From the age of 18, I realised that being silent isn’t always good and that I should speak out for all of those 13-year-old chubby Mollie’s at school who need to feel accepted. I also realised that being bigger gave me an edge and something that I should use to my advantage to speak about and campaign for.
I started wearing clothes from plus size brands and ranges, I started branding myself as ‘curvy’ and then I started collaborating with brands known for their plus size and curve collections. I was soon writing about body positivity, being a fat girl, embracing cellulite and learning to love yourself, your curves and your so-called imperfections. Writing about something that you’re passionate about is the most rewarding thing in the world and I truly hope one day it can be my full-time job.
Since I started following the body positivity community I’ve really embraced my ‘fatness’ – I realise that sizing from store to store is NOT linear. I realise that people can be fatphobic. I realise that speaking about my size and being positive about it can help other people beyond words, while potentially aiding them in healing the warped beauty ideal that the media spoon-feed them on a day-to-day basis.
I strive to spread the message that everyBODY is beautiful – it’s something I truly believe in. The size, shape, ability or colour of a body should never cause it to be a subject of discrimination nor have its beauty diminished.. Because every single body on this earth is beautiful.
I also strive to prove to the world that curvy can = classy, because there isn’t enough speak surrounding being classy and curvy at the same time. Being curvy and classy is something I believe I am the perfect representation of, and this is something I try to translate to my followers and readers on a daily basis.
Models of Diversity are a beacon of light, shining light upon everyBODY that deserves to be seen. I cannot wait to support this wonderful charity and get involved more in the future.