What She Loves is a regular series where women we love share their favourite things. Here, comedian, campaigner and author Sofie Hagen shares her current obsessions, from dried floral bouquets to the memoir she couldn’t put down.
If you’re into bold, clever, personal stand-up, you’re probably a fan of Sofie Hagen. Since winning the prestigious Best Newcomer Award at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe, the Danish comedian, writer and podcaster has made a resounding impact on the UK comedy scene, with sets filled with the kind of hilarious anecdotes we long to hear down the pub.
Hagen’s shows cover everything from sex and politics to feminism and boybands (with a few musical theatre songs thrown in for good measure). And in addition to her stellar comedy career, she’s also a dedicated activist committed to “fat liberation” – a term she prefers to “body positivity”.
Her debut book Happy Fat: Taking Up Space In A World That Wants To Shrink You (out now in paperback) chronicles how fatphobia has shaped different aspects of her life, from her experiences of sex, shame and love to her encounters with airplane seats and public toilets. Drawing on the wisdom of other prominent figures in the fat liberation movement, Hagen explores how she found self-acceptance in a world where judgement and discrimination is the norm.
Below, Hagen reveals her current favourite things…
De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm
“I am currently in love with the De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm. But you have to follow the instructions – heat it up in your hands, massage it into your skin and then take a hot, wet flannel and hold it over your face for a bit and let the product sink in. And then you take a deep breath. And wash your face. It’s like getting a mini-facial twice a day.”
City Chic T-Shirt Bra
“Honestly, because of the lockdown, I’ve been wearing nothing but pyjamas and loungewear for almost four months now. But what I will say, as someone who uses a size 44F in bra size, it’s very hard to find bras. Most brands seem to think that boobs only come up to a 30D and the few that cater to larger sizes have an idea that we are all 60 years old and still virgins.
“I’ve tried so many brands – but the one I keep going back to is City Chic. They come in many colours, they’re sturdy and they’re comfortable. The big thing for me is that they always have four hinges instead of two or three. It makes a big difference in terms of comfort. They’re not cheap but they’re also far from the most expensive lingerie brand. And you can often find a good sale.”
The Happy Blossoms' Baked Blossom Bunches
“This online artisan florist sells regular flowers but the big attraction is their baked flower bunches. Beautiful, colourful bouquets of dried, baked flowers. I have two and they brighten up my entire tiny studio flat. I’m unfortunately always late to buying them when they stock up. It’s probably for the best, since I’d fill any cavity with baked flowers if I had the chance.”
Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector
“A day doesn’t go by where I don’t say to someone ‘HAVE YOU NOT HEARD OF OLAPLEX?’ There are five products and five steps. The hair perfector (before you shower, like a mask), the shampoo, the conditioner, the bond smoother (for after you’ve showered) and finally, the bonding oil. My hair feels so soft, it’s like touching a cloud.”
Morphy Richards Slow Cooker
“I can’t choose which kitchen gadget I love the most. Do I pick my Morphy Richards slow cooker which lets me get up in the morning and make a meal that then cooks all day? Or my Yum Asia Panda Mini Rice Cooker (£74) that has saved me from so much stress because I can’t cook rice for the life of me and I hate doing it so much? Or the NoStik Adjustable Teflon Non-Stick Oven Liner (£12) that I put at the bottom of my oven, so all the grease and stuff falls onto that instead of the actual oven, making it so, so much easier to clean? It’s impossible to choose just one.”
Unicorn by Amrou Al-Khadi
“Amrou Al-Kadhi’s book Unicorn made me laugh and cry in equal measure and I read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. It’s an autobiography about Amrou’s life. They’re a nonbinary, Muslim, Iraqi-British queer drag queen. The book is about them growing up and figuring out their identity and their place in the world. It’s beautifully written. It’s one of those books that really sticks with you.”
Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder
“I don’t know how to contour or highlight or blend or any of those things. One day I’ll learn, I hope. But that does mean that my make-up has pretty much been the same since I was a teenager. Concealer, powder, mascara and eyeliner. Sometimes blush.
“I usually switch between brands fairly often but the only product I keep going back to, that I couldn’t dream of leaving, is this powder. It makes me look like I’ve slept longer than six hours and that I’m not the worst in the world at putting on make-up.”
Ace & Tate Sofia Glasses
“Oh, the pain of trying to find nice-looking glasses when you have a fat head. You don’t just want to wear them to be able to see; you also want to look like you’re not playing a librarian in a 90s teen movie.
“Whenever I post a photo of me wearing glasses on Instagram, I will have a million fellow fat-heads desperately asking me where I found them. These are Ace & Tate’s widest glasses – they come in silver and gold and I have both. They’re light and sturdy and I love the look of them.”
Say Your Mind
“I love, love, love, love Kelechi Okafor’s podcast Say Your Mind. Every Monday, she talks about current events and pop culture and spirituality. It’s wildly entertaining – because Kelechi is both hilarious and honest and unapologetic. It’s a bit cliched to say this about a podcast, but when it comes to SYM, it’s so true: it really feels like a phone call with your favourite friend.”
Happy Fat: Taking Up Space In A World That Wants To Shrink You by Sofie Hagen (£12.99, HarperCollins), is out now in paperback
Images: courtesy of brands