Beautiful Budapest had an Ugly side too…

If you have been reading about my recent adventures, you will know I had a five day trip away with my Blogger Babe, Boo.

We visited all the sights, tried the food, drank the local beer and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. For most part.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Mátyás Templom – The Matthias Church

Now, I am not unrealistic enough to think we wouldn’t get some “second glances”. As I have detailed before, I get stopped everywhere I go. I get comments from total strangers and have been asked to have my picture taken more times than I have had hot dinners.

I don’t say this in a bragging way. Just that it is not usual to see many people my size wearing vintage style clothes and accessories going about their daily lives. I dress this way whether I am off to an event, or off to Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available)

I have had questions as to where I buy my clothes, how I do my hair, and how long I have been dressing like this. I enjoy chatting with people and am never too busy to answer the questions they have. I have always been a “people person” and one of the greatest things that blogging and wearing vintage style has given me, is a wealth of new and amazing friends.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Budavári Palota – No Filter!

One of them is Boo. We wanted to get away for a few days and Budapest looked ideal. And it pretty much was.

On our first evening we met a gentleman who made a television programme looking at the people on the streets of Budapest. He loved the way we looked and took some photographs. Well, that was a lovely start to our break.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

On the Television?!?

Then the negativity started.

Neither of us could work out whether it was because we were both wearing vintage style dresses. Or because we had tattoos. Or because we were fat. Or even a combination of it all.

But, no matter where we went, we got stared at, had people point at us with a look of disdain on their faces, and even outright laughed at us. We had the double-takes, the sly nudges and the sniggers.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

View from the Citadella

And we couldn’t work out exactly why. Were people really that dumbstruck by us?

The first day was mildly unpleasant. But being body positive and plus size proud, we shrugged it off.  We met a lovely girl in the center of Budapest who came up to tell us how amazing we looked and how unusual it was to see people dressing “differently”

The second day we received far more stares than the first. As happy as I am in my size and style, I started to feel really uncomfortable. As much as I was saying how it didn’t bother me, in reality it really was starting to chip away at my confidence.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Hősök tere – Heroes Square

That evening we went on a River Cruise and met the lovely Anna and Matt, a Hungarian lady and English man who had just got married. Anna complimented our styles and we sat with them, celebrating their marriage and having a few Hungarian Beers.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Anna and Matt – Newlyweds!`

Anna brought up the topic of our style and went on to tell us that although Budapest was getting better, it had been under the Soviet Rule for so long that people all dressed the same, looked the same and thought the same. Individuality was frowned upon, or seen as rebellious and this may be why we were receiving looks and derision.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Országház – Parliament as seen from the Buda Side

It explained so much to us, and we realised that our style, although accepted in some places, didn’t fit into others.

The worst was still to come. We went to a lovely restaurant on our last night, and then decided to find the most famous Ruin Bar in Budapest.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Bar Szimpla

For those of you wondering, a Ruin Bar is basically a ramshackle derelict building that gets taken over and turned into a bar/club. We had been told that the best one was called “Bar Szimpla” and was an Aladdin’s cave of the weird and the wonderful.

Well, we clearly would blend in? We were slightly different and unusual and so allegedly was this bar.

We located it and walked in. Every surface, nook and cranny was filled with random items. Doll’s heads, children’s electronic rides, hookah pipes, headless statues and a never ending array of graffiti. There were several bar areas and an even an old Trabant car right in the middle.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Trashed Trabant

Upstairs was a terrace. The rickety stairs were lit with tea light candles. Clearly Health and Safety wasn’t a big point. There were pedal cars and a wall filled with white masks. Literally the strangest place I have ever been in.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Masks Galore

Now you would think we fitted right in there. In reality we did not. When we walked in the bar, you could see all the heads swivel in our direction. If there hadn’t been loud music playing, I swear you could have heard a pin drop.

As we walked up to the bar to get a drink (I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea) people literally stopped talking to stare at us. We decided to have a proper look around the place even though I felt really uncomfortable.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

A Bathtub, Grocers Scales and lots of teddies…..

We decided to go upstairs and we both said how awful and out of place we felt. I was feeling more and more disconcerted the longer I stayed there.

In the freakiest place in Budapest, we were the biggest weirdest freaks. A two woman freakshow.

Now, I love my cocktails. I had purchased a Long Island Ice Tea, my favourite ever cocktail. But I didn’t want it. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. We looked at each other and decided it was time to go.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Want a ride?

I can honestly say I could not have been happier at getting out of that bar. The whole situation was so unpleasant I literally was struggling not to cry. I know that sounds a bit over dramatic but it had affected me in a massive way.

My confidence was shot and I couldn’t remember a time that I had felt so negative about myself since I started on my body positive journey. It made me question my style and whether I looked foolish. If I was just “kidding” myself that Vintage is what I should be wearing.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Budapest Babe

We returned back to the UK and no-one batted an eyelid to the clothing we were wearing. I sat back to reflect on the experience I had encountered in Budapest.

I still felt upset about the experience in the Ruin Bar and it did make me question a few things. Then I remembered a really important thing.

Dressing and looking the way I do makes ME happy. I am not on this planet to worry about making everyone else happy. We have responsibility not to hurt others, however I don’t need to worry about their happiness in relation to me.

I love what I choose to dress like, I cultivate an array of accessories, bags and shoes. I practice my hairstyles. It gives me great pleasure. It makes me “me”. And I am not stopping that for anyone.

budapest, buda-castle, matthias-church, plus-size-negativity, buda, pest, hungary, capital-city

Buda and Pest at Night

Now of course I am not going to tar everyone in the City with the same brush. We met a couple of people who were amazing and so complimentary of our style. We had some amazing interactions with people and Budapest is a wonderful city.

Would I go back again? Yes I would. It is a stunning place, with amazing scenery, food, architecture and history.

Would I dress the same as I do now. Yes I would. I shouldn’t change myself for anyone.

I would just be a whole lot more prepared for the reactions and negativity next time. A whole Country shouldn’t be blacklisted because of the attitudes of some.

Leave a comment

  • Sorry you were made to feel this way and good on you for saying you’d go back and not changing a thing. I went to Budapest about 10 years ago but it was only for one night..I’ve always wanted to go back x

    • I would still go again Steph, I would just be more prepared for it this time! xx

  • Nikee Rayner

    I had a feeling this is what you were going to write, but I also knew before reading it that you would be the sweet, compassionate and patient goddess that you are and leave the post with a bittersweet nod of understanding. I only wish you has walked into that bar with 50 of us plus size vintage loving babes and we could have had a staring competition with those boring arseholes!

    • OH MY GOD!!!! How amazing would that have been!!! xxx

  • LaaLaa

    Wow, well it was a good insight for you (and myself) as to why you were getting those stares. Although you had that experience, you’ve been so considerate, you’re quite like me in that you don’t just see the black and white you see the grey areas with situations too. Good on you for not wanting to change how you dressed if you go back and why should you. It’s good for them to see an outside change even though it’ll probably take many years for them now to see others in a certain way due to their environment. xo

    • Thank you honey, I would still go back as it was so beautiful, but be more aware of it next time xx

  • I’m so sorry that you were made to feel like that, but am over the moon that you were able to keep your head held high – as you very well should. You look incredible all the time, and I am forever in awe of your hair and makeup AND wardrobe. Sometimes people fear what is different, and whilst it doesn’t excuse their actions, I feel sorry for them that their views are so limited and narrow. You are fabulous, beautiful and a styling superstar, don’t let anyone ever dull your shine. xx

    • Oh My Gosh, you have made my head swell!! You are far too kind, and I don’t know about styling superstar, it’s you I envy!!! xxx

      • Aww! I really hope that I get to hang out with you some day! We need to go and nab some cocktails in a cute vintage cocktail bar. 😉 xxx

  • So sorry to hear about your negative experiences (although it sounds like you did encounter some lovely people too). I went to Morocco recently, and they’re not used to women there – particularly ones with pink hair and tattoos, so did get quite a bit of unwanted attention. I think you look amazing, and should be proud of your unwillingness to change for other people’s bad attitudes!

    • Thank you Milly! It is a bit odd when you do stand out, but that can also be a positive thing xxx

  • Galina V

    You have a unique style, and I love all your vintage outfits. Sorry to hear that you had met unpleasantness in Budapest. I’m afraid though that the theory that under the Soviet rule people all dressed up in the same clothes is a big myth. We’re not talking about China. I grew up in Russia in the Soviet times, and there was plenty of colour everywhere. Yes, we had school uniforms, but even here, in the UK, many schools have uniforms. But that’s about it, everyone was wearing whatever they liked, I certainly did. If anything, I probably overdid on colour in my clothes (thanks to my Mum, lol)

    • Thank you Galina! I love the fact that you overdid it on your clothes – I always do! xx

  • jigsawparenting

    I hate that you had so much negativity, I love you and think your inspiring and you always look bloody amazing – you know what it is bloody jealousy thats all

  • So sorry this put a downer on your trip, how horrible! You both look gorgeous in your vintage outfits! x

  • Natasha Mairs

    Good for you for not wanting to change anything about our self. In this day and age I am shocked at how narrow minded some people still are.

    • It is a cultural thing, but it wouldn’t stop me from returning to the beautiful city xx

  • I do think this is a bit of a sad tale, but it’s great that by the end you’d found an explanation and resolve to go back. Change only happens through people like you standing their ground. You look fab

    • Thank you so very much! You are right, I won’t be changing for anyone xx

  • I am so sorry for your experience in that bar but glad you reflected on it after and decided to look after #1 and not let pother people’s opinion affect you.
    You’re gorgeous and I love your style, I am always amazed every time I see your posts.

  • I’m sorry to hear of your experience in Budapest. I’ve got friends who’ve been on breaks there in groups of girls who’ve experienced similar hostility and a few ‘scary’ experiences along the way. It’s a shame because it seems such a beautiful city x

    • It is a stunning City, and I would still return there again xx

  • Hun don’t listen to those people. You both look gorgeous and I think its important for people to recognize that beauty is not defined by size. I don’t like the word fat it is so negative, instead you are curvy and have beautiful curves at that. Keep being you beautiful xx x

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Wow I’m shocked and appalled at their behaviour I can’t believe that in this day and age people can have such backward attitudes towards others. Your pictures are lovely by the way and I think you looked fabulous in those dresses x

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    Sorry to hear about this negative experience. I had bright pink hair when I went and I got stared at constantly. I also got some very sexist comments from men. One old guy told my husband that he needs to learn to control me, as I was speaking.

    • My Goodness! I am glad I didn’t get it that badly!! Still not everyone was negative and I would go back xx

  • I am so sorry you experienced this negativity. I admit, if I were to see you both on the street I would stop and stare (although I’d try and do it subtly) but it’s because I think you are both so beautiful and I admire how you express yourselves. Don’t ever stop being the awesome you. I reckon that married couple you met are right and Budapest will eventually catch up – you’ve just paved the way a bit. Next time these folk see someone clearly rocking it as much as you do they won’t be so shocked and rude about it! 🙂

    • Such a good point! Maybe they might even start to dress like it themselves!! xx

  • It makes me so sad that you were made to feel bad about yourself, people have no right to stare and make comments even if it’s something which is so different to what they’re used to. You both look stunning and if the people there couldn’t appreciate it then it’s their loss x

    • Thank you Rhian, it is definitely a way to look at it. I enjoyed the City though, so that was the main thing xx

  • Maybe it would help to look at it from a different perspective. The stares are probably not from a negative place but rather one of curiosity. It sounds like this is more of a cultural difference than anything personal. From their perspective your ‘look’ is just something they have never seen before. And remember, in some cultures staring isn’t seen as rude. I think it’s quite an English concept.

    • I agree it is quite an English concept, and I appreciate that. The pointing and laughing and whispered comments are rude however and not quite as acceptable xx

  • Beautyqueenuk

    Let them stare lovely, at the end of their the only opinion which counts is yours and yours only… you look amazing x

  • Ali

    Aw it’s a shame that you felt so uncomfortable there. I think you look fabulous, and it reflects sadly upon the country’s history of repression rather than on you so don’t worry about that.

    • Exactly. Now they are under their own rule, maybe attitudes will change xx

  • This is awful! I’, sorry that you experienced so much negativity and it tainted your experience in Budapest.

    • It did, but I would still go back as the City is stunning! xx

  • That’s awful, I’m honestly shocked that people can behave like that x

    • I guess it is a cultural thing… maybe one day things will be different xx

  • Amy

    People are so shallow! As long as you’re happy and comfortable with yourself, you shouldn’t care what others think. Sorry you had to experience all of this negativity! x

    • Oh I am! I don’t intend changing for anyone 🙂 xx

  • fashion-mommy

    It is a shame you had to experience this on your trip, but it is a sad state of affairs that people who have their own style often face the disdain (and jealousy) of others. Take heart in the fact that you are both fabulous!

  • God what awful experiences! It’s hard to believe that people still react like that in other countries but it’s easy to forget that other cultures really are very, very different. I still think you guys looked great!

    • It is a tricky one, but as I said I would still go back again x

  • Sarah Tonner

    I’m so sorry to read about your experiences, what is wrong with people?!! No-one deserves to be stared at or judged in any way. It disgusts me people feel they have the right to do it.

    • Thank you Sarah, it was disappointing, but didn’t put me off of the City xx