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Friday, August 16, 2019

Why Body Liberation Is Maggie McGill's Answer To BOPO

We discovered Maggie McGill on Instagram in the Fall last year after stumbling across a stunning photo of Maggie in a pumpkin patch. We immediately started following Maggie's account and featured them in our Top 100 US Bloggers To Follow last month. Maggie's quirky cool androgynous style provides major fashion inspo for people of all genders, including non-binary folks like herself!

Maggie doesn't adhere to gender norms when it comes to style and is also super inspirational in championing positive body image; so we jumped at the chance to interview them and ask some of our burning questions on style, identity and if the Body Positive Movement was one she was still a part of.

We've used both 'she' and 'they' as the pronoun to describe Maggie in this intro because as per her Instagram profile, it's "She/they but you can call me daddy?"

What a badass! Here's our interview with the super awesome Maggie McGill:

1.  You were recently featured in our Top 100 Plus Size Bloggers! Congratulations! Can you tell us about why you started your blog in the first place? Thanks so much for including me! In 2011 I was starting to question everything I was told about living in a fat body. After hiding myself for so long, I decided I wanted to live boldly. I started experimenting with my style and wanted to share it online, as part of both my own journey to self love but also to inspire others. 

2. Who/what are your biggest style inspirations and why? My style is always evolving but there has been a significant shift in the last year in my presentation. I've leaned into my masculine side and one of my biggest inspirations has been fellow Libra Jeff Goldblum, for both his amazing use of patterns and his incomparable swagger! 

3. How important is fashion as a means of identity as a non-binary person? Fashion is incredibly important to me as it relates to my gender because it is a vital part of presentation. I'm lucky as a mid-fat person that I have access to so many types of clothing from both the men's and women's sections. My non-binary friends who are sizes 5X and up don't have access to the fashion they want to wear, and I really want that to change. 

4. One thing we've thought about recently, is how gender-norms are a societal construct. E.g with colors - 'pink for girls and blue for boys'. What are your thoughts on this and do you avoid wearing certain clothes or colors as a non-binary person? Gender norms suck. One of the most beautiful things about my non-binary experience is that I've felt comfortable to experiment with my presentation because I no longer feel bound by gender norms. You asked if I avoided wearing certain colors or cuts but it's really the opposite! Everything feels fair game! 

5. What is the biggest misconception people have about you? That I'm tall! I think my big personality makes me seem taller. Also that blogging is my only job. I actually work a full-time job at a nonprofit on the fundraising/communications team. 

6. Can you give us your favorite three androgynous style tips for plus size people? 1. Find pants that make you feel amazing and buy them in every color.2. Accessories make a big difference, use them wisely.3. You get to define what androgynous looks like for you. Perfection does not exist. And you can love and want and have a full life in the body you are in right now. 

7. What are your favorite plus size brands and why? I love Eloquii for their amaze suiting options, can't wait to be able to afford them. I mostly shop in the plus sections of stores like Target, Old Navy, and ModCloth because those are all in my price range. I also love ASOS for funky styles. 

8. How do you feel about the Body Positive movement in 2019? Has it changed for you? The body positive movement has warped so much it's nearly unrecognizable. It's been co-opted by straight size white women, turned into a mantra of self love, and is far from its original, radical purpose. I use the term "body liberation" now because bopo no longer serves me. Body liberation feels more accurate with the mission of freeing EVERYONE from the outside expectations of what a body should look or how a body should function. 

9. What advice can you give to someone struggling with their identity and body issues? Sometimes they are connected, but not always. In safe spaces, explore your identity. Play with your appearance, use different pronouns, follow people of all gender identities and expressions and question everything. Body issues are so personal and it takes a lot of self reflection to get to the root. I'm still unpacking the trauma I've experienced living in a fat body. But I've found comfort in the fact that bodies are so diverse. Some people are fat and will always be fat, and that's okay. Perfection does not exist. And you can love and want and have a full life in the body you are in right now. 

10. Lastly, if you could teleport anywhere in the world right now - where would you go and what would you pack to wear? I would love to escape muggy DC August and go somewhere cooler. I've always wanted to visit Brighton, England. I would pack all of my cozy sweaters, jeans, and boots and go for chilly beach walks at sunset. 

Follow Maggie McGill on Instagram here.

Follow Insyze on Instagram here.