This is the message I want to send.”

Virginie Grossat, plus-size fashion influencer and body positive activist, confides in Aufeminin about her experiences. She wants to break the taboo and the fatphobic clichés that still persist in society.

At 36 years old, Virginie Grossat is a real social media star. More than that, she is one of the best-known faces in the fight against grossophobia in France. On Instagram and Tik Tok, on which she is followed by 79,400 and 530,000 people respectively, she offers content around plus size fashion, body positivity and food.

On the occasion of the world obesity dayshe confides in Feminine. “I’m here to break down the clichés around fat people. I want to show that you can be beautiful, fabulous and visible when you’re fat, and I’m trying to make you uninhibited about your body and show you that anything is possible.” she introduces herself.

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“Society is not made for fat people”

In the eyes of Virgnie Grossat, “society is not at all made to welcome fat people in public spaces”. In the medical environment, for example, beds, MRIs or even scanners “are not suitable for people weighing more than 130 or 150 kilos”. Hospital gowns, for their part, “We’re not going in there.”

“Younger, during my first appointment with the gynecologisteven though I was much smaller than today, she hit me on the stomach saying that she couldn’t listen to me, I felt really humiliatedshe remembers. “I went there several years in a row, telling myself that the consultations happened like that”.

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Same thing at the beautician: “When I book a massage or treatment, the first questions I ask are: ‘Is the table on jacks? Can it support my weight? Do you have bathrobes big enough, otherwise I’m coming with mine?'”she says. “Then there is everything that is planes, trains and all public transport but also anti-homeless devices, like the armrests on the benches so that people cannot lie down on them, which are also anti-homeless devices. -fat. I don’t have room to sit down.”regrets the young woman.

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“Breaking garden chairs is my specialty”

“You’re not really big if you haven’t already broken a garden chair: that’s my specialty”says the influencer with humor. “When you leave them in the sun in the summer and they spend the winter freezing, normally if I sit on them in the spring I break them.”she adds.

Beyond garden chairs, it is the furniture in many places that she considers unsuitable for overweight people. “In small Parisian restaurants, high stools are hell, they’re not comfortable at all”, she sighs. Even pass between tables, “it’s super complicated”. But the content creator always tries totake it with humorand of “de-dramatize things”.

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Work, family, friends, romantic relationships: “I don’t have any bad experiences”

At work, Virginie Grossat believes she has never been the victim of a grossophobic experience. “In any case, I couldn’t prove it”she nuances. “I remember a recruitment, there were several candidates, I was the most qualified person but I wasn’t taken. I never understood why, but I can’t prove it was the fact that I was fat.” she quotes.

On the personal side, neither her friends, her family, nor her romantic dates have stigmatized her for her weight. “I don’t lie about who I am, I’m even proud of it. You can see straight away that I’m fat, I don’t hide it, so I don’t have bad experiences”, she says. And contrary to what some imagine, his sex life “isn’t that different from the others.” “There are no particular positions to adopt, I am very flexible, everything goes well”she also emphasizes. “But I prefer partners who are a little strong because I’m afraid of hurting or crushing people”.

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Cyberharassment and hypersexualization

Very present on social networks, the young woman declares that she is still suffering “a lot of cyberbullying”. “When I think I have faced the worst, the next day there is even worse”she bellows, remembering in particular a photo montage made by an Internet user representing her body rotating on a kebab spit. “It marked me”she says.

She also reveals that she receives “lots of messages from men”. They represent “practically 50% of [son] audience”. But the young woman is sure of one thing: “They don’t come for his fashion advice”, she quips, denouncing a hypersexualization of his body. Some people ask me things in DM that no one can imagine.”she indicates. “I have a very big butt, it’s something that drives men crazy, people talk to me about it absolutely every day”she reveals. “I am sometimes called ‘goddess’ or ‘creature’, I feel like I’m no longer a human being.

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In France, a mixed evolution

When asked how ways of thinking and tolerance regarding fatness are evolving in France, Virginie Grossat considers that there is positive and negative”. “There are more and more plus size models, I think that’s great, but when you really look at brands, you realize that they don’t necessarily offer the sizes presented during the fashion shows”she laments.

“Currently, there is a candidate for Dance with the stars who is overweight, I find that great for representation, but the downside is that they get trashed on social networks”, she also recalls. We move forward and backward at the same time“.

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“My message is: ‘Dare’”

His message today, “It’s really: ‘Dare’”, exclaims the influencer. Complexes aren’t just a big thing, they affect everyone. We ruin our lives with little things.”she warns. “I have a lot of women who follow me who tell me that they don’t dare eat in public, go to the swimming pool with their children, show their arms in the summer”she cites as an example. “But I want to tell them that we can do anything!”

“Tear down the barriers you have around you and live your life”, proudly suggests Virginie Grossat. “If you do not feel comfortable with a health or beauty professional, you should not tell yourself that it is you who is the problem, but the person in front of you”she laments. “When you go to the dentist and they talk to you about sleeve gastrectomy, or if you go to your GP for bronchitis and they talk to you about bariatric surgery, they are the problem”she insists. “Don’t hesitate to surround yourself well and ask your big allies for contacts of caring professionals, you will feel much better”she concludes.

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Rights of women and children, violence, feminism, gender, discrimination, parenthood, education, psychology, health, couple, sexuality, social networks…. Joséphine loves deciphering all the social issues that drive our world…

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