Without a shadow of a doubt, 2015 has been Louise Pentland’s year. Kicking things off with a hilarious live tour, releasing a lifestyle guide, designing her own fashion range AND revealing her 2016 diary, it’s been non-stop for the mum of one and full time YouTuber.
Despite her hectic schedule, Louise managed to squeeze us in for a chat about her new Simply Be collection and why she wishes we’d give up on the term “plus size”.
We The Unicorns: Hey Louise! We love the Simply Be range. How much research went into it?
Louise: I essentially did no research at all. I just had a lifetime of not being able to find clothes that I like purely because I’m a size 18.
WTU: Yup, we can totally relate to that. What about your fans who have asked for the designs to go below a size 12?
Louise: I’ve asked my management to make some some smaller sizes in my clothing range. To me, the ideal would be for clothes to go from a size 0 to the biggest size that there is. I understand that manufactures would say there’s more size 14s than there are size 40s but why not just make more size 14s and make less size 40s? I don’t want clothes to be exclusively for plus size just like I don’t want various shops to make exclusively “regular” size.
WTU: Do you think people are more accepting of all body types now or not?
Louise: I think we have become more accepting of plus size body types but I don’t actually think it’s the online community and individuals that aren’t accepting, I think the problem is that clothes companies are not making clothes in big enough sizes to suit a range of sizes. There are women that are a size 28 that don’t want to wear smocks and would like to wear a fitted dress. The circumference of their waist is larger than that of a size 10 person but they still have a waist and they still want to wear the same things but they just don’t have the option to right now.
WTU: Why do you think a lot of brands don’t make clothing above a size 18, then?
Louise: It’s because the standard of beauty is for that classically “perfect” figure of a size 8 and 6 foot woman. So when brands want their clothes to be worn, they want them to be worn on women of a certain size so people ask them where they got it from. I think those brands think that the bigger woman is not as beautiful as those women so they don’t want their clothes to be advertised on [bigger] bodies.
WTU: We couldn’t agree more! A lot of people and brands use words like curvy and plus size. Do you think that’s healthy?
Louise: I don’t actually like the term plus size. I don’t think I’m “plus” size, I just think I am a size. You wouldn’t look at Zoe and say she’s minus size. Zoe is just Zoe size and I’m just Louise size.
WTU: We’ve wrote about the lack of British plus size women on YouTube. Why do you think that is?
Louise: I would guess some British plus size women don’t start YouTube because it’s a confidence issue. I think pretty much all women will have some insecurities and perceived flaws that they’re aware of and I think bigger women worry about that, I know I certainly do. On shoots, I worry if my tummy looks funny in a certain outfit. Even on the Simply Be shoot there was a couple of times where I was worried about how I looked and unless you can silence that little worry in your head then it can be quite hard to put yourself out there.
WTU: And what do you do when you feel like that?
Louise: I rationalise everything. For example, when I worry that my legs look really wobbly I just think “they’re just legs!”. What are legs? They’re just bones with bits of flesh stuck to it that help me walk. They’re not supposed to be something to be glorified, they’re just my fleshy walking sticks. When you start calling your legs fleshy walking sticks, you really don’t care about the cellulite. I also remind myself that nobody cares. Literally nobody cares about my body except me so I may as well be nice to it.
WTU: Finally, we have to talk about the Nicole Arbour “Dear Fat People” video…
Louise: The video is absolutely disgusting. I was so offended by how disgusting it was. It bothered me that she tried to portray it as a health issue but I felt like what she was doing more was damaging people’s mental health. I think no matter what someone’s issue is, by knocking someone down then you’re not going to encourage them to improve anything or change anything. You need to build people up before they can make any changes in their lives and not knock them down so they feel forced to.
WTU: Wise words. Thanks, Louise!