Fierce Fat Femme: An Interview with Angelina 🍒
Q: Give us a short introduction of who you are, how you identify and what brings you joy.
A: My name is Angelina, I use they/them/theirs and she/her/hers pronouns and identify as a fat, queer, genderfluid hedonist who embraces pleasure as an act of liberation. I am working hard at finding joy in life. Right now a couple of things that bring me great amounts of joy are watching other fat people wear what they want, watching the flowers bloom however they want, and eating homemade ice cream cake with my queer chosen family.
Q: When I think of your work, as a Fat Liberator and your thesis, it really brings me so much happiness because a lot of these convos have not historically been had in a mainstream way. How has your relationship to/with fat influenced your style?
A: For years I worked hard at fitting in with my style as a way to not stand out and also to combat the idea that being fat hindered my style. I often times worried about how obvious my belly was or how jiggly my arms were. As I have journeyed into a stronger relationship with the word fat and the way I feel about my body, my style has embodied that. I have grown towards a style of standing out, of taking space, or being the brightest in the room.
"I know that my fatness already brings attention my way, so why not give them something to look at?"
Q: As a self diagnosed hedonist, something that has remained constant in my life is my steadfast belief in pleasure. My relationship to clothing, color, and fashion is deeply rooted in my belief in pleasure. That said, I think that’s a big part of why we vibe with you so well. Would you say that clothing and fashion bring you pleasure? Was there ever a point in your life where it did not bring you pleasure? If so, how did you overcome that?
A: Fashion and pleasure did not meet until a few years ago and Nettle was a part of that journey. For years my fashion was limited to neutral colors, matching oversized sets, and the Mervyns working woman section. I feel like at 25 I started to put my fashion together more and now at 29 I feel so incredible in the pieces I choose to put together. Mixing clothing and textures and colors feels pleasurable, it feels soothing, and it feels like liberation. In order to get to this place I had to do a lot of unpacking of my own internalized fat-phobia that had convinced me to not stand out or showcase my body in certain ways. I also had to do a lot of searching for brands that actually made fun plus size clothing which is still incredibly difficult to come by.
"I think I still live in scarcity mode. I find clothing that I love and I feel a need to immediately buy it because of the lack of clothing options I had in middle and high school. I want to move towards abundance and I think my fatness teaches me a lot about the gift of abundance."
Q: I love your sense of self and how your style really ties into that. Were there any role models or people you’ve learned from that helped you develop your sense of self?
A: I believe that my style is a mix of influence from anyone and everyone that has ever been in my life. I have learned from people around me. My mother loves to wear a great patterned shirt. Fat folks online like Saucye West, Natalie Drue, and many others have inspired me to wear what I want to wear. My queer family has rooted me on and helped me express my own queerness. I also have to give myself some credit. As a child, I would put together bizarre outfits and pretend to be a leading actress as I walked down the hallway. I try to find freedom in my outfits. I love to think that every person I see that has a wild and bright outfit, I find inspiration from. I love to play with textures, patterns, colors, and push against what society believes fat people should be wearing.
Q: A lot of our customers are queer/ENBY and I am seriously SO proud of that. Nettle was started because I wanted to make clothing that was gender fluid, easy, comfortable, and joyous because that is what I felt was MISSING, and we get beautiful messages from like-minded folks almost daily. Can you explain how identifying as queer has impacted your style or style choices, if at all?
A: Identifying as queer has allowed me to be break free of many societal norms including gender expression and what a fat person is “supposed to wear.” Being queer allows me to embrace my loudness in multiple ways. As a child and young adult, my family always saw me as the loudest person and I was constantly told to be quieter, more soft spoken, more lady-like. I felt shame in being loud and being fat, two things that feel strongly intertwined. Now my fatness helps me to embody my loud personality. Everything about me in big and loud, and I like it that way. If someone has an issue with my bigness, they should be asking themselves why they have a problem with my ability to be fully myself and fully visible?
"My queerness is more than just my gender and sexuality, it is my politic. It is how I approach life, my relationships, and my dreams. A politic of possibility, of dreams, of wonder. Queerness allows life to flourish and bloom."
Q: What is your current favorite Nettle piece and why?
A: I LOVE THE SHACKET!!!! The shape of the sides that arch upwards, the pockets, and the overall fit are a masterpieces. I love that I can wear the OS or the OS+ depending on what I want to look like. I also live for the cropped tub top!!! I LOVE A BELLY MOMENT!
Q: Can you share some words of wisdom that we should all say to ourselves as we get dressed in the morning?
A: Take a moment and remind yourself how far you have come. Take a deep breath, look at yourself, see your beauty and your vibrancy. Then allow yourself to feel hot and sexy and like a bad ass. Phrases you can repeat:
I am wearing this for me and no one else.
I am wearing this and it makes me happy. That is all that matters.
I look wonderful. I am great. I am vibrant. I am allowed to take up space.
Damn, anyone should feel lucky to share space with me.
Anyone who told me that I couldn’t wear things is not meant to be in my life. I am allowed to wear whatever I want, whenever I want.
Craving more Fierce Fat Femme Community?
Make sure to join us at the Fierce Fat Flea Market happening October 28th from 12PM - 5PM in Oakland!
Connect more with Angelina on IG @fiercefatfemme