Bethany bares all

Yay! It’s guest blogger time again!

You already know about Bethany, right? She’s the smart, sexy, outspoken one who appears at the party (or the supermarket) in that outfit – the one that makes you say wistfully, “wow, I wish I could wear that…”

She’s the one who exudes an attitude and sense of self that makes you get a crush on her instantly. She’s cool. You want her to be your friend. And you fantasise that, maybe, one day, she’d take you as her lover…

You *wish* you could get to know her more…

Well, hold onto your knickers because The Ladygarden Project is about to make one of those wishes come true!

We are proud to present, all the way from her brilliant fatshion (fat fashion) blog Arched Eyebrow, the one, the only, BETHANY…

(applause, applause, applause)


No one cares you’re fat as much as you do, and if you don’t care you’re fat then no one cares at all. Having a frank relationship with your body and what you look like is the first step to getting what you want, and feeling like you deserve it. I don’t think I’ve ever apologised for being fat when I’ve taken my clothes off. It’s obvious I’m fat. You can see it. I might even look fatter in clothes. So when I get naked in anticipation of sex with someone new, it’s not going to be a surprise when I strip off. They might be surprised by the large surgical scars on my stomach, or the fact I don’t wax, but my fat is pretty self-evident.

I’m not going to refuse to go on top because I think I’m going to crush someone. I know I’m not going to crush them, fool. Knowing and accepting my size means that when a partner tacks ‘… I’ll tell you if you’re too heavy’ onto the end of ‘I want you to sit on my face’, I go ‘ok then’, not ‘oh my god are you saying I’m fat???? Do you hate my body???’. YES they’re saying I’m fat, because I am. If neither of us care, then there’s nothing to be frightened of.

While it plagued me in my weaker teenage years, the idea that no one will want to fuck me because I’m fat is now successfully evaporated from my brain by the age of 22. Men, women, thin people, fat people, average-looking people, nice people, wildly, obscenely attractive people. Sex isn’t something I, or anyone else, need(s) to compromise on because they’re fat.

I don’t think being fat has much to do with the sex I’ve had. I don’t refuse to do stuff because I’m fat. I don’t recoil in horror if someone wants to fall asleep with their hands buried in the soft fat of my belly after sex that emphasised the thickness of my thighs. It’s all there, out in the open. I know it, they know it, and we both deserve it.

I never set out to be a role model, and don’t think that anyone should necessarily follow in my footsteps, but if people find some strength or courage or glee in the stuff I promote, then I’m happy.

It’s an honour to have a positive effect on how women relate to themselves and to their experiences in the world because the usual received messages are so painfully mediocre, not to mention harmful. My message, I suppose, is that you should ask yourself why you think you’re undeserving of sexuality, of a positive body image, of fun with your clothes. If you realise that you’ve never asked yourself that before, then that’s a problem.

If you take it for granted that because you are fat or have a flat chest or have scars or whatever, that you do not deserve good things from your body, then you’ve been the victim of some pernicious lies and the first step is to say ‘fuck you’ and figure out your own relationship with your body.

Figure out the kind of relationship you want to have, the kind of clothes you want to wear, the kind of sex you want to have and who you want to have it with. Don’t ever take for granted that your size, your shape, your body, means anything is necessarily off-limits, for psychological or practical reasons. You’ve just been told it is, and you’ve been told it by a world that thrives on oppression and deprivation. They don’t sound like great terms to live by, do they?


Bethany Carman Rutter is a noisy but nice student from London. In the awkward mid-point between graduating from French at UCL and starting a Masters in Journalism at Goldsmiths, she writes for film magazines, blogs about being fat and wearing clothes at, looks at photos of tattoos on the internet and generally lives a frivolous, sociable life of friends, food and dating. Tweets at @myarchedeyebrow


P.S. If you’d like more inspiration and help to feel sexy at any size, visit

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  1. Thanks mucho for this post and for introducing me to Bethany’s blog. I’ve been very fortunate in that my size has never interfered with me feeling like I had a right to sexuality (in fact I’m downright mortified when someone doesn’t want to have sex with me) but I have a lot of work to do still around accepting myself (and others). It’s amazing to see someone so figured out at the tender age of 22!

    • sexualself

       /  July 13, 2012

      Glad to have introduced you to Bethany!
      I agree about the tender age of 22 – I’m finding more and more extraordinary young women out there, speaking out on their blogs and in their everyday lives. Gives me a lot of hope! (And a somewhat maternal feeling…) 😉
      There are also lots of women at all stages of their lives finding their voices and sharing their selves with the world. Inspiring beyond words. I hope to get as many as possible on this blog – imagine all that collective wisdom and love! x

  2. What a really interesting topic!

    I always say the above, about people knowing you’re fat before you take your clothes off! There’s nothing to be shy about. It hasn’t always been like that for me; I was incredibly shy about my body with my first sexual partner/boyfriend of 2 years all the way through our relationship. Then after him it seemed I wanted to get naked in front of as many people as possible. Looking back that was a bit, er, promiscuous but fuck it, it really set my confidence on fire and if anyone is worried about being naked or feels self concious in front of others then just GO FOR IT.

    The way I see it now, aged 25 and at my fattest, is sex is also about the take. If you’re too busy worrying then you wont enjoy yourself, it’s as simple as that. And sex is to be enjoyed! Stop denying yourself a bloody good time and let go. Definitely a case of those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter 🙂 x

  3. Lilac

     /  July 17, 2012

    This is fabulous, so inspiring without being patronising or twee. It’s just ‘there’, out there. Kudos.


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