I am a plus-size freshman at the University of Alabama – a size 22, to be exact. Yes, that is a gentle increase from the size that most girls my age are, and that’s okay.
When some people think of someone who is plus size, they think “fat”. That is the most disgusting, terrorizing three lettered word out there and I wish it did not exist. This word has given many of us plus-sized women (and men!) a complex: we aren’t good enough. We are ugly. We are fat. And none of those are true: we are good enough. We are not ugly. We are not fat.
We have fat. We are not fat. Read that again, if you must. To relate that to something a little less abrasive: we have fingers, toes, and hair, just as we have fat. If I told you that just because you have a few fingers you had now become a finger, you would laugh in my face at the absurdity. It is the exact same concept, do not argue with me on this one.
While some people think that being overweight is always an issue with loving food, always overeating, or sometimes ordering a large fry instead of a regular, it’s not always true. Yes, some people do have eating disorders, but others have other disorders that cause them to stay heavy and unable to lose weight.
I’ve tried many diets over the years and I’ll either lose just a few pounds or lose several but gain them back just as quick. I have insulin resistance that stems from polycystic ovarian syndrome, and that causes weight gain and extreme difficulty losing weight. At the same time, more body fat makes the disorder worse… it is a double-edged sword.
I’ve come to accept my size. Am I always happy with it, 24/7/365? No, but most of the time I cannot complain. It can serve as a reminder that I have food on the table and am not going without, and for that I am thankful. It also helps when you have a support system that reminds you that size does not matter and that you are beautiful regardless of the number on the back of your jeans or the number on the scale. At the University of Alabama, I’ve learned that there is only a handful of people who actually care about size; the others simply stay in their own lanes, worrying about themselves, and for that I am thankful.
Society has no right to tell you how you should look or feel. Whether you are a size two or a size 22, you should be able to feel comfortable in your own skin without having judgment passed upon you. Someday, I pray that there will be no such thing as a “plus-sized model/person” – placing a label on a model or person who just happens to have a little more weight than most implies that there is something different about that person; in reality, the only difference is weight.
Size 2? You’re just as beautiful as that size 22 girl.
Size 22? You’re just as beautiful as that size 2 girl.
Yes, I have my insecurities. Plenty of them, actually. I spit out advice and body positivity to others when, in reality, I’m fighting my own demons that manifest themselves as my insecurities. Some of them I hide; some of them I don’t. When I start to dwell on them, I have to remind myself that they are all utter ridiculousness and that my anxiety forces me to overthink things – a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day.
My biggest fear is that people will not see past my weight and into my heart. I’m actually terrified that some people (mainly males) will not get past my outer appearances in regards to my size and delve into my heart, where there is (or, at least I think there is) a damn good person on the inside. One who cares and loves too deeply and one who would do anything for anyone. One who cries at seeing old men eating alone in public or a good military homecoming reunion. One whose heart is crushed at the sight of anyone suffering. One who is lonely and just looking for someone to love and be loved by.
Especially if that person is Mark Wahlberg.
What about you? Feeling good in your skin or a work in progress on the subject? Tell us everything.