Bruce Sturgell has never cared much for fashion, which might seem peculiar because he founded Chubstr, a fashion and lifestyle website for larger men. But if you’re talking style – namely personal style – Bruce is totally on board! A quick Google search and a few minutes of Facebook stalking will show you that Bruce does, indeed, wield great personal style. Creating his awesome, dare we say “Portlandia meets Wall Street,” look, however, hasn’t always been easy. Bruce found there was a significant lack of stylish options in his size, and even when he finally found clothing that reflected his personality and both fit and flattered his body, he didn’t always know how to best incorporate or coordinate them. Frustrated, Bruce turned to the Internet, in the form of a blog, to discuss his malfunctioning wardrobe woes. He quickly found out that other men were just as eager to have the same conversation, and just like that, Chubstr was born!
Often times fat men get left out of discussions of fat discrimination. Chubstr and the work that Bruce does remind us that fat men, like fat women, are marginalized and excluded from basic pleasures – like access style – and this means they feel excluded. We, at Fattitude, believe Bruce’s voice is an important one, which is exactly why we asked him to share a little more of it in honor of the Summer of Big Fat Love.
1. What inspired you to speak out against weight bias?
I was frustrated by the lack of clothes I wanted to wear in the sizes I needed from stores in my local mall. I took that frustration and started a blog that ended up attracting a bunch of like-minded people who wanted tips and resources, and ways to share the looks they put together that they loved. Chubstr came out of all of that!
2. Why do you support Fattitude the movie?
I think it’s good to take a look at why we feel the way we do about certain things, and how the world around us influences all of that. There’s a lot of fat hate and just general negativity toward people who don’t fit the mainstream ideal of how a body should look. Fattitude is shining a light on something that’s often overlooked, and it’s exactly what we need right now.
3. What was your favorite thing you discussed in your interview for Fattitude the Movie?
Being able to talk about the reasons for starting Chubstr a little more in-depth was huge! Men aren’t always encouraged to share their feelings, so getting the opportunity to tell my store was really important to me. Hopefully it helps others who have similar stores feel comfortable in sharing their own.
4. You won a shopping spree at the store of your choice. Where would you go?
One of the things I’ve learned as a fat guy with limited clothing options is that there’s not really one store that has everything I need. I shop all over, and doing that allows me to put together looks I love. If I had to pick one place to shop for clothes in my size right now, it’d probably be Nordstrom. They have a really solid selection in extended sizes online. If it didn’t have to be for clothing, I’d totally go on a record store shopping spree. I LOVE collecting records!
5. Name one of your guiltiest pleasures. It’s relatively tame, but I’m addicted to this iPhone matching game called Marvel’s Puzzle Quest. All you’re doing is matching jewels, basically, but I CAN’T STOP PLAYING! I’ll get like that with things – a game, or a tv show, or a certain band – I get hooked on something and can’t let it go.
Can’t fault a guy for enjoying an app, especially when he is offering a comfortable place for large men to not only be themselves, but to celebrate themselves!