Meet the Boomettes - Renee

ANJI robe, Boomettes, dresses -

Meet the Boomettes - Renee

House of Boom would be nothing without my amazing friends & friends of friends who model for me. I'd like you to get to know my Boomettes a little better.

You became a Boomette after answering a call out for models I put up on Instagram. What made you want to take part? 

I had seen the post come up and went “heh, wouldn’t that be funny if I did that” as I brushed some crumbs off on my dirty clothes, then promptly ignored it because I was in my little covid cave of dogs, potato chips and Netflix, living my feral queen life. 

Then the post came up again a day or two before the shoot. They needed someone specifically my size. On a whim I sent a message saying I was available and then I tried to talk Jo out of it by explaining what I look like and that if she doesn’t need me I’m fine!

But I wanted to feel special. I wanted to be part of something different. After a year of comfortable vegetation, I wanted to surprise myself. I wanted to be seen.  I just felt this pull inside me that made me know that by doing this, it was the push I needed to start moving through life with a bit more of external confidence again.

Renee, a fat Māori babe in a mauve dress

Renee wears the KRIS dress, $160. Mauve is sold out but other colours are still available

 What was your favourite piece of clothing from the shoot?

I fell instantly in love with the pockets on every item, followed closed by the Anji robe.  In my fat life I’ve never had a robe that fit.  Not once.  It might sound minor but who doesn’t want to be cosy?  Who doesn’t want to be snuggly and cute and have that comfort item that actually fits?  It’s just not something straight sized people can even relate to.  I mean most robes literally say ‘one size fits all’ and barely make it around your shoulders.

To wrap myself in a robe, that not just fit but looked incredible, that not just looked incredible but had pockets, that not just had pockets but had two different tie systems so it stayed closed… it was the right length, the texture felt amazing against my skin.  It breathes so you don’t get all sticky and bleh in it.

I can’t and won’t shut up about my robe.

Full disclosure!  I had looked at the robes online when they first came out and balked at the price because I had zero understanding of the quality of what they were.  I was so used to looking at $10 robes at Kmart and the like… what people need to understand is that I will literally have this robe for life.  I intend to go to the nursing home in absolute style in this robe.  This is not some cheap item you use this year and forget about.  This is not some item that goes out of style or fashion.  You can style it to go to fancy events (I wore it to a very important interview), and you can just as happily wander down to get the mail in it.  And it will last. 

 Renee, a fat Māori babe in a pineapple print robe

Renee wears the ANJI robe in beige pineapples, $185

You've written on Twitter since then about the effect being a Boomette's had on your personal style - can you elaborate on that here? 

I spent 2020 in leggings and a hoodie.  Between covid and working from home and living in a neighbourhood that had anything I could need or want meant I didn’t go far and it was divine.  I finally started to feel comfortable in my own body because I was basically invisible to the outside world and could decide how I felt without outside pressure. It was just me, my dogs and my partner who adores me.  I started to notice how deliciously soft my belly was, how much joy my body bought me, how my body didn’t feel ‘wrong’ because I fit in the space I lived in and wasn’t trying to fit into the same old world outside my home. I effectively had a positive feedback loop for a year!

 I started to realise I didn’t actually want to wear many of the items I had in my wardrobe. Due to being about a 28 my shopping options were what was online. I was uninspired and literally just went on to the CityChic sale tab on their website and bought whatever was in my size that looked like it might be okay on me.  In other words, black, certain ‘complimentary’ cut and didn’t need to be ironed.

I didn’t dress like this when I was thin.  I didn’t enjoy dressing like this fat.  Getting dressed was a bother and a bore. I love fashion, I love beautiful things, I love style!

Because of the photoshoot I was put in colours and cuts I would have never dreamed of looking at before. And I looked good.  Really good.  So good that a photo I wasn’t in love with, had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, including from people I didn’t know, saying how much they loved the shot, the dress, me in it. It showed me that I didn’t know best. I should be looking at different clothes and cuts than what I was used to.  

Renee, a fat Māori babe in a green DEMELZA dress

Renee wears the DEMELZA dress $155 in forest green, which is sold out but there are other colours available

The photoshoot pushed me to open myself to the options out there. Since the photoshoot I’ve bought more items from House of Boom itself, I’ve got orders some bigger online retailers, I took some time to go on the subreddit ABraThatFits to find bras that actually fit and not what I have to wear because it was on sale somewhere and is close enough.  I leave my home in hot pink, green, animal prints.  I don’t ‘save’ a piece of clothing for a ‘special occasion’, I wear any item any time I want. I don’t wear anything to ‘hide’ my belly anymore. If it’s hot my arms are out because I want a tan and anything some stranger has to say about my body hair or shape is between them and their maker.  I’m happy, I’m comfortable. I now own multiple bikinis!

 I have gone through my wardrobe and removed every item in there that I don’t want to or don’t wear.  Sure what is left is not much, but every single item left makes me feel good when I look at it or wear it and I’d much prefer to wear the same dress twice in a week and feel amazing than wear something that makes me feel bleh.

Renee, a fat Māori babe wears a magenta mesh PENNY ROYALE dress

What's another awesome small business that people should know about? 

Rangimarie Sophie Jolley (@rangimarieprosery on insta) is a phenomenal poet. I think more people should be aware of her work.  She regularly makes me cry in a wonderful way.

Sugar/Flour (@sugar.flour.welly on insta) is a bakery/cooking class from Maxine Scheckter here in Wellington. She’s an incredible pastry chef who is sharing her talents with us.  You can take a class with her or just eat some of her delicious treats.

Aunty Dana’s (@auntydanasopshop on insta) – it’s an opshop close to me and funds raised go to Gender Minorities Aotearoa.

Moon Bar Newtown (@newtownmoon on insta) – basically my other living room. It’s more than a bar, it’s a community hub with great food and live music.

Renee, a fat Māori babe, wears a velvet ALEX tee and a pine prnt MEAGAN skirt

Renee wears a bottle green ALEX tee (sold out) and a pine print MEAGAN skirt $155