Maybe you were feeling ok today, even great— but then some passive aggressive asshole came up to you and hits you with the “Are you ok? You look tired,” or “Oh, what’s wrong with you?” Please do not feed into this foolishness! Backhanded concern and commentary is something subtle and nasty that women do to each other and this is not ok. By the same token, I think this is what society is constantly doing to plus sized women in an oh so subtle way.
You Look Plus-Sized Today
Me: “Cute skirt, I love it”
Stranger: “Thanks, I got it from *insert basic store here*. They probably have it in your size too.”
Holy shade points, batman! I didn’t ask for all of those details and it didn’t even occur to me to worry about whether my size was available for sale or not—I literally just meant “nice skirt”. Somehow, it is perfectly fine for women to speak to each other this way, but I don’t think I’m with it anymore. Going to the gym and wanting weight loss as a personal goal doesn’t mean self-esteem is lacking and certainly does not mean that I need anyone to remind me of or put me in my place about my size. I hate to be a skeptic but I just seriously doubt she would have bothered to provide the same helpful information to someone two sizes smaller than her.
Pushing aside the fact that anyone from a size 12 to a size 30 is considered plus size, is there really a need for women to bother categorizing ourselves in this way? I can’t say that I haven’t been guilty of it myself; emphasizing self-love for plus-sized women on social media and constantly drilling into my boyfriend’s head that he is dating a larger woman (though he could care less about descriptive terminology—he just likes ME). As a tall man with long limbs and big feet he actually identifies with my shopping struggles in the “other size clothing section” but when it comes to women, it seems we are the only ones that make size into such a big fucking deal. Is embracing yourself as a bigger woman really all that positive or is it completely unnecessary?
Furthermore, these days it’s cute to say you have a thing for BBWs but according to the actual definition you would be talking about Amber Riley from Glee, not the ever so tiny Nickie Minaj and her artificial parts. (i.e. Urban dictionary’s flattering definition: A word that fat chicks use as a euphemism for fat. These girls usually run personal ads calling themselves “pleasingly plump.” Sure, you’re pleasingly plump if the South Pole is refreshingly chilly.)
It Starts with Self Love—How do YOU define you?
I came across a Facebook article about a woman who cheerfully referred to herself as fat because skinny people refer to themselves as skinny so why can’t she be real about how she labels herself? *Eyeroll* OR how about we find something else that defines who we are besides weight? Ninety percent of the time I’m not thinking of myself as a plus-sized woman until I’m shopping for clothes on the internet and type in “plus sized clothing” or when I’m in casual conversation with someone and they say “We, as bigger women…” Perhaps I’m being petty but I no longer wish to relate to women on that level. Mainly because as I move closer toward self- actualization I believe there is more to who I am than the size of my clothes. Secondly, I am starting to feel it’s a terminology that has picked up momentum outside of the fashion world and evolved into a more negative stigma than it was intended to be in the first place. It has become one of those undercover malicious descriptions that women use to throw shade at each other or to create a misery loves company-esque solidarity group. “We are generally unpleasing to society because of our size but we are still cute.” Bitch, I’m just cute—sometimes you have to pat your ownself on the back! I am a lot of things; I no longer wish for size to be atop the list of adjectives that define me. The women who know they look good and are naked on social media just hashtag #BadBitch, they don’t have to also include #plussizedbeauty #fattygirl or #biggirlshavemorefun—let’s all just have fun minus the disclaimers about weight.
I follow beautiful women on Instagram who market themselves as “curvy”. I’m pretty sure they’re models because they are so gorgeous and there are plenty of posts of them in high fashion clothing. However, every #ThrowbackThursday a few start posting old pictures and lamenting about when they were thinner. Is you proud of who you is or nah? Why is “plus-sized” marketed as an in spite of attribute? You can be a model in spite of your weight. She’s pretty in spite of her size. It has become the most gratuitous battle cry “I AM OVER A SIZE 12 AND I LOVE MYSELF!” as if the two are mutually exclusive. (Just today, Facebook presented me with a “memory” selfie from 4 years ago when I was about 40 pounds lighter. I wanted to badly to repost but then again– I was super unhappy 4 years ago. I don’t care if I was smaller, I don’t own the unhappiness that went along with that memory…)
Weight becomes an issue when we allow people to make it an issue. Recently, I’ve not only done that but have allowed myself to become completely consumed by it. I also follow a larger woman on IG that posts pictures of herself scantily clad to fight the stigma and to end body shaming. That makes sense to me, but if you really and truly just want to be naked and free…do it, post it and don’t hide it under the guise of something else. I did a whole blog post about my Plus Sized Fun vacation and it gave me the security blanket of finally posting pictures of myself in two piece swimsuits and summer clothing. The blog post had its place but if I were to rewrite it today I would probably just title it “Vacation” and not make a big deal out of my body type being so different from the women around me—especially since no one seemed to really notice or care. I don’t have to define myself as a larger woman as a preemptive strike to combat others visual impressions of me.
For the women who continue to fight for the cause; more power to you. Personally, I see continuing to go out of my way to always reference myself as plus-sized is nothing more than a defense mechanism and a term that I no longer wish to use as a crutch. Plus what? I’m not an extra person I am THE person living in this body.
We are prone to live our lives out loud these days. I am a proud transgender, I am a devout Muslim, I am a devoted single father, I am a beautiful big girl—at this point I am most interested in simplifying. I am just a person trying to make it through this life happy with who I am inside and out. I no longer have a desire to shout it through the rooftops to prove to everyone else that I am ok with me. Hmm, plus-sized? Bitch where?