As a blogger, freelance writer, and full-time magazine editor Jennifer Dome King spends her days engrossed in words. But lately there’s one word in particular that has her attention. King is on a mission to redefine the word “fat.”
This month King will release her self-published book Fat Girl Power, which takes a look at how she, as a plus-size woman, found self-confidence through fashion and fitness.
King understands that the title of her book may make some people uncomfortable.
“I won’t lie—sometimes when I hear other people call someone else fat, I still find offense in that word, but it’s usually because of the connotation of how other people are using it,” King says. “For me, it’s just a descriptor. It’s just I have more fat than other people. It doesn’t mean all these other things that people say the word fat means like being lazy or gluttonous.”
So what is fat girl power? “I wanted to embrace the word fat and say that despite what you might weigh you are powerful and you can feel good about yourself no matter what you look like,” King says.
King’s book Fat Girl Power is inspired by her blog Stellar Fashion and Fitness, through which King shares musings on her personal style, the latest fashion trends, and her fitness and weight loss journey, as well as commentary on body image issues and the fashion industry’s tendency to alienate plus-size women.
King started blogging when she was an intern at Women’s Wear Daily in London, an opportunity she snagged while a graduate student in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
“I was really nervous to work at a fashion magazine because I am a plus-size girl,” says King, who now works as a magazine editor for Grand View Media in Birmingham. “I was worried I would be the only bigger person there among all these tiny girls and that I would feel self-conscious every single day going to work.”
But that’s not what happened. Instead King met other plus-size women who worked at the magazine, women who impressed her with their impeccable sense of style.
“I started paying attention to how they dressed and trying that on for myself,” King says.
She later moved to Birmingham where she took a job as a copy editor at Southern Living magazine. Putting thought and effort into what she wore to work every day gave King an unexpected boost in confidence.
“I was not only expressing my personality, I was sure of myself when I walked out of the door in the morning,” she says.
King’s blog, which she originally started to chronicle her time in London, began to focus more on fashion. Eventually, she would begin to blog about fitness, too.
“I started talking more about fitness because it was becoming a bigger part of my life than it had ever been,” King explains. “I had always been somebody who had struggled with my weight, but I hadn’t ever really started working out on a consistent basis until then.”
King says that her focus on fitness led her to redefining yet another word: healthy. “I do take what my doctors say into consideration and I do pay attention to things like my cholesterol level and my sugar level, but I also take into account how I feel,” King says. “I can just feel when I have not been as active as I need to be and want to be or if I have not been eating as good as I want to be. I can tell a difference in my energy level, but also in my confidence. I just feel more confident when I’m treating my body well and it has nothing to do with a number on a scale.”
King has now been blogging for nearly a decade, and her book, Fat Girl Power, consists of revised and expanded blog posts as well as new essays, all about fashion, fitness, and body positivity.
For anyone struggling to stick with blogging, King’s advice is practical, yet profound. “With blogging I think you have to be willing to adapt the blog to what you’re going through in your life,” King says. “It took me a little bit of time to figure out that these two things—fashion and fitness—were both wrapped into this feeling about myself that I wanted to have, that I wanted to feel stronger. So I think that if you can identify something that you want to blog about that feeds something inside yourself, I think you’ll feel a lot more passionate about doing it more often.”
King says that Fat Girl Power is meant to be for women of all shapes and sizes.“You can be really, really skinny and still have fat girl power because you may not always feel great about what you look like,” she says. “But you can still say ‘Forget about it!’ and be yourself and be who you are no matter what body type you have.”
Jennifer Dome King will host a free launch party for her new book, Fat Girl Power, on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Wine Loft, 2200 1st Ave. N. RSVP at fatgirlpowerbooklaunch.