The only thing I’ve ever known is being overweight. That sounds melodramatic but I’ve been chubby, heavy, overweight, and obese my entire life in that order. I keep on thinking about how I will feel after my surgery. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for all the obstacles that I know I will face after being “sleeved.”
One of them is letting my guard down. I have used my weight as a security blanket for most of my life. I have never walked into a bar thinking, “What guy is going to buy me a drink?” because I’m not the type of girl who gets drinks bought for her. I’m the sturdy one. There’s this great sketch that Amy Schumer does that I’m referencing. I’ll leave this video here for you because I think it’s hilarious and poignant.
I’ve been the “fat” friend who’s helped her “skinnier” friends meet guys in bars so I definitely don’t go home with them. I’ve always been neutral territory with guys. It wasn’t until I met my partner that I started to think of myself as a sexual person. I had always friend-zoned myself with the guys I had liked because if there wasn’t a possibility to be in a sexual relationship with them I would settle for being their friend. It also goes without saying that most of the men I was attracted to were not attracted to me because thicker girls just can’t compete with Vogue skinny. I had to be the loud mouth, sassy pants, or comedian to get any kind of attention from men. It wasn’t until I was older that my friends and family helped me break down my wall of security and made me understand my own beauty–inner and outer. Don’t get me wrong, I feel as though I’m a fairly confident person but it took years to get to where I am now. Of course, I have days where I feel like a turkey who has been fattened for Thanksgiving when a pair of jeans don’t fit me like they use to. I also have those moments when I put on a cute outfit (Now finding a cute outfit is the real challenge but we’ll talk about that later) and feel like a million dollars but the feelings were never confirmed by my male counterparts.
Part of the reason I think that is true is because beautiful really has never been associated with heavy girls. (Side Note: There have been definite strides to change this mentality but still the struggle is real.) My “plus size” role models growing up were Rosie O’Donnell and maybe Melissa McCarthy when she was on Gilmore Girls but even then those women were never seen as sexual or sexy. They were comedians. So I fell into my role of sarcastic-fast-talking-plus-size-girl who :snaps fingers: “doesn’t need a man!” Even though deep down I did and envied those who did. It enrages me that a “plus-size” man could date an “average sized” woman and no one would bat an eye. (I’m not sure what to call average sized people as I think skinny and normal are not the correct adjectives.) But if I were to look at an “average sized” man then I was looking outside of my league.
It wasn’t until I saw the movie, “Real Women Have Curves” that the idea of a plus-sized women could and should feel sexy and happy in her curves. It wasn’t until around that time that stores started to cater to the plus-size community. It was 2002 and I was 17. Prior to stores providing plus sizes that didn’t look like something your grandmother would where, I ordered from specialty catalogs. As a plus-size woman, I have very few options when it comes to shopping. I either have to go to a store that only sells plus-size clothes which are more often than not frumpy and oversized. Or I shop in the back of a store where plus sizes are offered i.e. Maurice’s, Target, JC Penny, etc and the plus size section is 1/16 the size of “average” sizes (even petite-sized women have more of a selection than I do). OR I have to shop for clothes exclusively online (Fuck You Old Navy) which is basically saying you can buy our clothes and give us your money but we don’t want you in our stores. There are a few gems out there though such as Torrid which is always an amazing experiencing even though my wallet would beg to differ. It’s apparent in how plus size people are forced into shopping for clothes (A BASIC FUCKING NECESSITY) that our society is conditioned to think that being attractive is only exclusive to those who can buy clothes anywhere their heart desires.
You may be saying “why are you ranting on about something that isn’t going to be an issue for you in a year?” I’m getting this surgery because of my health but I’m always going to be a plus-size at heart. My weight mentality has been formed from a very young age and it’s going to take a while for my mindset to catch up to my body. It doesn’t make a difference though whether I’m a size 24 or a 4. It still make me mad about how the plus-sized community is viewed. I makes me mad even when someone compliments on how I look good after I’ve lost weight. In the past when I’ve lost weight-because like I said it’s been a struggle my whole life-I’ve always taken the compliment and quite honestly they made my day a little bit better. Someone had noticed my hard work and that put a bounce in my step but in retrospect it’s sad that I have to lose weight for someone to compliment me on how I look. I would much rather someone compliment me on how healthy and happy I look.
Why can’t someone look at Melissa McCarthy or Rebel Wilson and say “They are beautiful!” and not have been thinking, “but they would look sooo much better if she lost a few pounds.” Why can’t my imperfect body be considered a standard of beauty? My body, which has been thrown off and kicked by horses, fallen off of chain link fences, been dragged through the mud, been stung by bees, infected with
chickenpox, broken ankles, suffered sprains and concussions and survived a car accident, is a testament of my strength and perseverance but all the mainstream media sees is FAT. The standard of beauty set by the fashion industry and social media is distressing. You don’t know how many articles are out there on Pinterest that display perfectly toned bodies and are followed by a tag line, “Get this body in 30 days!” I can’t stop thinking about all the little girls (whether they are chubby or not) out there who are seeing the tabloids claiming that a Kardashian has gained too much weight. I can’t help but remember all the times I looked in the mirror while I was growing up and I felt like I didn’t measure up.
|She really knew what she was talking about.
Whether in a few months I am not considered a plus-size I will always be a plus-size at heart who thinks that beauty can also be found in those who are curvy and voluptuous.
I’m not the only one who’s talking about the curvy community. Here’s a list of other beautiful and intelligent bloggers who are contributing positively to the plus-size mentality: