Hi you guys!
Today’s post has been a long time in the making. You could say since I was 14 years old, actually, I have been thinking about writing this post one day. However in the last six months it has been weighing more heavily on my heart and mind that it’s something I just want to TALK ABOUT.
Daily, I immerse myself in a blogging community that does not represent women who are my size, and there are a lot of us. There are a few bloggers who are making an incredible body positive movement, but they are still size 8 or maybe, 10. I’m so happy that they are making a place for themselves online and helping women like them feel represented. But I also feel like there is a place for me and the women like me. It’s my turn, too. Each day I grow increasingly frustrated that boutiques don’t make clothes for me and brands won’t work with me because of my size. So I’ve been frustrated and I’ve been pissed for about a year. After listening to an episode of This American Life called, “Tell Me I’m Fat” where total girl bosses were coming out and saying, “I’m fat and it’s fine!” I decided that today was the day I was going to talk about this dang thing called fat.
I have not always been fat, but mostly. I was a 00 tall in pant size until eighth grade when puberty hit me like a bus. I went from weighing 90 pounds to weighing 150 in one year. It was a lot for a teenager to handle! Of course, it was right around the time that all my friends were starting to date! I started to notice that boys liked my friends more than me. My friends were getting asked to dances and I wasn’t. My friends were getting boyfriends and I wasn’t. I wore the badge "Wing Woman For Life" and that made logical sense to me because I felt like I had nothing else to offer the world. I was not musical, artistic, and definitely didn't feel pretty....But I could pimp my girlfriend's numbers out like nobodies business. It was all good. Until it wasn't. I had some great times growing up, 90% great memories. But that other 10% contains memories of dealing with feelings of inadequacy, crying, heartbreak, and negativity. That 10%, small as it may be, dominated my feelings about myself.
My freshman year of college it only got worse because for the first time, I was dating some guys and looked for their approval to make myself feel adequate. Again, the story of every women's life.
The change started when I decided to join my Greek organization. Not to make this a, "Go Greek" post, but that is a place in my life that I can point to and say, "that changed everything for me." Because for the first time, women were supporting me and believing in me as I ran for positions, as I led, to a small degree, our chapter and Greek community. I was a leader, an example. I felt worth something internally for the first time ever. I felt so empowered by those who loved me, I felt like this is how every woman should feel every day.
As I have continued to invest in myself, I have felt happier with my body. I started to realize that for my entire life, I had been focusing on the size that made up the woman, not the woman that made up the size. Once I had people who believed in me, once I found a job that I loved and hobbies I am passionate about, I finally felt confident enough to wake up and be happy with who I am. Developing this mindset wasn't an overnight experience, of course. Because I am human, this is something I had to realize and then practice. It can be hard to keep this mindset when all I am seeing online is skinny girls wearing skinny clothes, or when people come up to me in stores apologizing for not having clothes in my size. However the more I serve others and invest in myself, the woman that makes up the size, the happier and more confident I am.
Recently I’ve decided to stop giving money to companies who don’t cater to all sizes. I am 100% not interested in companies who stop at a size large, and it’s a small large. I can’t. It angers me. It makes me and those that are my size like they aren’t even worth the extra bolts of fabric. It’s stupid and I’m done. A huge part of the acceptance and love of my size came when I started finding clothes that actually fit me. It may seem like a weird concept to someone who is a size small or medium, but once I found a few brands that cater to plus size women and were fashionable and affordable, I felt like there was a place for me in the world.
I have always been planning to collaborate with a company for this post. One that caters to all women of all sizes so that the woman can focus on HERSELF and not her insignificant number. There was a short list of companies, unfortunately, but eShakti was number one. I’m honored and thankful that they understand me. They understand that I’m done trying to squeeze into something. They get that I have important stuff to do in life and that involves not worrying about my arms getting squeezed in a jacket or my muffin top popping out over some pants.
eShakti carries sizes up to 36W. You can customize the dresses to how tall you are, which totally solves another struggle I have, which is most "dresses" are actually shirts on me. You can add sleeves, take away sleeves, add pockets, etc. They have the best designs, from quirky to classic. They are in their prime right now, too. It was so hard for me to pick just this one dress.
eShakti's philosophy is one that actually made me cry when I read it, because I needed to hear someone say it so badly.