Low-Maintenance Chic Is For Every Body

This is low-maintenance chic!

This is low-maintenance chic!

These 11 plus-size babes literally woke up like this.

Just thinking about my morning routine in high school makes me tired. Every day, the alarm promptly went off at 5:30. I would shower only because I needed to blow-dry fully wet hair (to transform my inconsistent waves into giant flipped barrel curls) and to shave my forearms daily. This was followed by a full face of makeup. Then I was usually left with a little time to consider the strategic placements of safety pins about my person. Two and a half hours every day was entirely dedicated to putting on a hard — yet high —femme face to distract from my fatness.

In reality, I knew there was no hiding my body. It was really more about making a statement. Because I was constantly being told I must not give a shit about how I look, since I dared to exist in a fat body and not starve myself thin, I felt the need to prove that I did indeed care like pretty much all 17-year-old girls. It was not rebellious. It was pandering.

It is true that hyperfemininity is expected of fat women, which makes going low-maintenance the true act of rebellion. We're always expected to "make up for" our bodies with fashionable clothing and full-beat faces to be respected, let alone visible. While many of us genuinely enjoy makeup and form-fitting, revealing clothing, it takes work, and it would be great to feel like it’s OK to take a break and just be comfortable. These plus-size femmes talk about what happens when they reclaim their low-maintenance comfort zone and show you that we're all entitled to a rolled-out-of-bed look as often as we please. This is low-maintenance chic!

1. Rachel


“So very much about my identity, aside from my body size, is actually invisible and so many of my true identities are so intersectional that I stopped performing anything long ago. Being a queer femme, chronically ill activist...requires a lot of work and energy to even exist in the world. I think one thing I strongly feel when pondering these questions posed to me is a strong pushback against the concept of low maintenance or high maintenance. In theory, all that I am is very difficult to maintain and sustain. I balance having a certain amount of energy to use on a certain amount of tasks per day. All of these things are invisible to others.”

2. Suma



You know?

A post shared by Suma Jane Dark (@sumajanedark) on 

“I’m never not a hard femme.” Body positive photographer Suma Jane Dark often puts herself in front of the lens, rocking a tousled yet sexy look. She sticks to neutral colors and a clean athleisure aesthetic — an antithesis of the loudness often required of us to demonstrate confidence.

3. Leyla


“Because so much of [body positivity] focuses on being seen, there's a question of, ‘Am I worth seeing?’ If I'm not fabulous and decked out with the perfect lip or amazing fashion find, then what is there to look at? Just me. And I've already been taught there's nothing exciting about that. I feel genderqueer, and as a genderqueer fat person, I don't see a lot of models for other gender presentations in fat community.”

4. Victoria



Victoria Carter, scaring babies since 1984 @heathalocks #elvahtreasure

A post shared by Victoria Carter (@victoriouscarter) on 


“Caution! Un-femmed fat on the loose! Looking to change your perceptions of femininity and also eat your baby’s cheeks.” Victoria also calls her look “chunky Garbage Pail Kid aesthetic” but we find nothing trashy about her stripped-down, laid-all-the-way-back OOTD.

5. Bettina



“Apparently I am a creature of winter-low-femme habit. My usually-femme attire doesn't feel like a performance or meeting someone else's expectations, but I still feel the unfair validation I get because of it.”

6. Maggie



“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

A post shared by Maggie McGill (@maggiemcgills) on 

“Sometimes I doubt whether I am being femme for myself or because it's more acceptable in the professional realm. I've thought a lot about how androgynous clothing looks stylish on thin people but appears sloppy on a fat person. I still don't have any conclusions or answers, but for now, I'm happy with skinny jeans, a nude matte lip, and a long undercut. Versatile is my middle name.”

7. Melissa


“Respect should not be dictated by looks. Whether a woman wears makeup or does her hair or wears high end clothing — she is worthy of respect.”

8. Sam


“If I loved it and I felt good in it, then guess what? My fat ass is slaying it out in public. And if that means fuggs and a flannel, well then lumberjack day it is! If there is any advice I could give anyone that feels the need to dress to impress people because of their size, it’s “don’t!” Don’t give into the societal pressures to look and act a certain way in your fat body! Life is too short to live up to others’ standards. Make your own standards and live up to those!”

9. Milo


“I'm a non-binary, fat, broke queer with both physical and mental disabilities. I have very limited energy/spoons to do makeup or dress up or style my hair and that's okay. I think it's ableist, classist, and racist to expect femmes to look a certain way and be one-dimensional. And it goes against the whole idea of femmeness for me because femme is about taking back/empowering ourselves as we are and FOR ourselves. Femme is resistance.”

10. Jasmine



“Sometimes I think that society thinks the only way for a plus size femme to be is made up to the hilt. It's as if society is saying that being hyperfeminine is a token we need to possess in order to be worthy of their attention. They can't fathom the idea that people can be any way they want and still deserve the same rights and respect. Plus size people, especially plus size people of color, will sometimes use being hyperfeminine as a piece of armor they have to have on in order to get the same treatment as their thinner counterparts.”

11. Tiffany



Sunday bun day 

A post shared by Tiffany Collins (@punkrawkboss) on 

“Women of all sizes are beautiful when they are the best version of themselves. To expect plus size females to be hyper feminine is to say they are not accepted by society for who they are. I chose to wear fun makeup and do my hair because it’s how I chose to express myself, but that does not make me more femme than someone who chooses to never wear makeup. Once we strip away the societal expectations of beauty, we accept all beauty.”


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