Hey folks!! It's Frugalicious Diva here bringing you another great episode of Fearless Fridays!! April Fool's Day was earlier this week, so Marcy and I decided to switch it up on you!! She's passionate about savings just like me and I'm adamant about being true to oneself, just like our beloved Marcy!! So, here goes...
“You’re a pretty girl but, honey, you need to lose some weight. Boys don’t like fat girls.” These words were uttered to me as an eight-year-old girl by my sweet, but tactless, elderly neighbor. I never thought she was correct, but I was wrong in assuming that it didn’t affect me.
With the popularity of social media, blogs and the ability for so many people to have a platform to share their similar thoughts, the amount of criticism of plus size people has been at an all time high. Based on my neighbor’s words, it’s obvious people were saying, and thinking these things before online diaries were so prevalent, but now people say things overtly and are a little too careless with their words.
When I hear things like this, “they really need to lose weight and take control of their lives.” I realized long ago, this is not out of concern. It is bullying because in most cases they don’t even know that person and or have a true interest in seeing that person “get healthy”; they just felt the need to say something about someone fat. I once saw an interview with the late, great plus size super model Mia Amber, where she battled a woman, who was adamant about blaming the nation’s healthcare crisis on people of size. Mia’s response, “sizism is the last acceptable prejudice” and she was right.
After living and learning about myself, I now chuckle at people who are hateful with their words. It’s sad and such a crying shame that they don’t realize they are the truly unhappy ones. It’s such a catch 22 to be part of the fat race too. On one hand people look at you and assume that you’re unhealthy, that you sit around eating all day and that you’re miserable. Then when you workout, people have the nerve to make fun of you at the gym and spew venom at a person who’s just looking after their health.
My personal story is that I honestly didn’t think anything was “wrong” with me until I ventured into the plus-size modeling arena years ago. That experience is a story for another day, but it opened my eyes to not only how society feels about us, but how we feel about us too. I remember being resented by a “former fatty” (her words) because I had the nerve to live and love life while I was big. Hey, I wouldn’t mind releasing a few pounds, but I refuse to hate myself to get to my desired size. I will LOVE myself there and that means I will enjoy my life whatever size I am.
I’ve addressed the negative things because I know on all levels, whether you’re plus size, know someone plus size or have been narrow-minded enough to say or think some of these things, I want to say to you…POPPYCOCK!! The limited beliefs of others should have NO bearing on what you can and will achieve in your life. Plus size folks are falling in love, traveling and climbing corporate ladders daily and what someone thinks internally and says externally, is never going to change that we’re worthy of living a full and healthy life.
I make bucket lists of things to do and see all the time and I intend to do each and every one of them. Big Belles & Gents, don’t play your life small. You’re big, so play big and be full of life. In 2010, I went to China and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t fasten my seat belt on the plane. Did I leave the airport and go home? No!! I simply asked for a seat belt extender and continued the conversation with my neighbor. When I got to Beijing and saw the Great Wall, did I sit on the side and let its magnitude defeat me? No. I may not have run up those steps, but I certainly did walk up several levels, taking in the total experience of visiting one of the great wonders of the world. I wouldn’t have missed that opportunity for anything in the world and certainly not because I’m overweight.
The following months I went to Jamaica to cruise with a group, whose soul purpose was to get plus size people aboard. It was a celebration of curves and a slap in the face to those who think we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves in the sun at any size. It was an exhilarating experience and I felt comfortable in my skin.
Notice my open arms in both pictures? It’s a symbol that I’m open to life, welcoming every good thing that life has to offer me. I suggest you do the same. Guess what? When good things come your way, they don’t care how much skin you’re wrapped in. Speaking of skin, one of my most favorite things I’ve discovered was Belly Dancing. I always wanted a class and there are several in my area. I was drawn to Aegela’s class, as she proclaimed, “All bellies were welcome”. That line was a reminder, you can do whatever you desire in whatever body you have. I also found that I’m good at it.
I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:16 that says, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” Here’s proof of just that, when a plus size teen takes the stage in front of an initially judgmental audience. Take a look:
Yes, people will underestimate you, but YOU don’t have to underestimate you!! That is NOT your reality and it is certainly NOT your destiny!!
So, the next time you take on the negative words of others, I DARE you to live!! Every time you think your size will hinder you, I DARE to you do it anyway!! You have the right to live life, love yourself and stand out and make a difference. Let’s sing along with Beyonce when she sings, “I will leave my mark, so everyone will know, I. WAS. HERE.”