A few weeks ago I looked over the shoulder of one of my guy friends watching as he used his phone to lurk on the social media pages of pretty girls. One women was gorgeous in the face but as we scrolled through her Instagram page it became obvious that we weren’t going to find any full shots of her body (obviously much more his concern than mine). “Oh, you know what that means? She’s a plus-sized woman.” He said matter of factly.
Needless to say, this bothered me and thus the idea to exploit myself during my own vacation was born. I knew that I was finally going to visit some friends in a warm climate where I couldn’t avoid the ugly truth of hot weather clothes and bathing suits. On top of this, these friends had less than a year ago won a fitness contest and have nearly perfect bodies so there was a considerable amount of anxiety and body self-consciousness starting to creep up in the back of my mind. How had I gotten myself into this one?
Based on the way I dress and the sometimes outrageous way I carry myself, most people assume that I have confidence leaking out of my pores. The absolute truth– obvious if you read the blog– is that I’m the largest I’ve ever been in my entire life (size 14/16) and definitely not happy about it. Shit, I wasn’t happy when I was at my smallest because compared to all those other compact women with the shapely booties I was still missing the mark and I felt it. It was only recently that I adapted the attitude that it’s important for me to always aspire to reach my weight goals but in the meantime there is nothing wrong with learning to appreciate and present my body for what it is. So in the spirit of my newfound philosophy, she who does not take pictures (my tribal name) decided to stop being so self conscious for once and go out there and live without comparing myself to other women for once. The end result: I had a blast!
I received a lot of support posting some of these random pics on social media and I was glad. Aside from the flattering feeling it brings when people “like” your posts and show you their approval–my main reason for doing this is because I never would have in the past. I found vacation pictures from years ago and I flipped through each image lamenting the fact that I looked so fat and ugly. This time around I just wanted to be able to look through my old pictures and remember that I had an awesome time.
Something about living carefree and even spending time on the nude beaches of Lake Tahoe taught me that life is about enjoying each moment and not being so fixated on the thoughts of others. My body is far from perfect and I find that society is usually receptive to body types that are smaller thus more pleasing to the eyesight but until I get to the size I want to be it certainly doesn’t mean I have to cover up like a nun and be ashamed. I can only hope that one other person sees this and identifies with my common struggle. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I definitely feel that I should be among the people that holds myself in high regard no matter what size I wear and if I’m wearing makeup or not. There are enough people in this world to tear me down over shallow matters– I refuse to join them.