I write this blog post representing every plus-size person out there. I am here to remind everyone that the way the next person looks does not define them, their skills, their talent or the things that they deserve in life. It does not determine how one should be treated, if you are one who judges people by their body type I am here to remind you that the actual problem lives inside of you. I say this with conviction because I too am guilty of this practice. It is one that I am learning to wean off.
It goes without saying that we have normalized judging a book by its cover. Women will sit around a table, sipping on Mimosa’s and judge other women for what they are wearing and how it is not appropriate for that person’s body. The common phrases are, ‘she is doing too much,’ and ‘she needs to get herself a stylist or something, that does not work for her body.’ Do not get me started on the fact 9/10 women choose their friends at face value, the system says that she must be pretty but not prettier than me. I am not saying everyone does this but it is such a toxic trait that exists in many.
I started to question myself when I used the ‘doing too much,’ line every time I saw a plus-size woman flaunting her body. When I saw someone in a bikini it made me uncomfortable, I wanted them to cover up. And I realised that it had nothing with why they did it but had everything to do with the fact that I was uncomfortable in my body. I was not yet ready to wear a bikini and head out to the beach, I was projecting my insecurities onto other people. That is not fair at all and I think it is something many of us practise without having to really think about it.
The conversation around how people ask you where you went to school, what you do for a living is always summarized as a measure of ones worth. We never talk about how these conversations only happen if a person has deemed you worthy of conversation by looking at your physical features. We really sit there and try to see who is worth conversating with and it starts with the colour of their skin, their weight, what they are wearing and what they are eating. We make assumptions based on things that barely matter.
I will prove my theory with one example, I went for a job interview this one time. It was for a shop assistant role and they wanted a lady, the interview was being held by the owner of the shop. I was in a black formal skirt, a black top, and a pair of nude heels. The interview call came in a day before so I had no time to sort out my hair so I had on a leopard print head wrap, and I matched my fit with a red lip. My turn came and out I went feeling confident.
The moment I sat down, this woman said to me, ‘let me give you a tip right away, you are a PLUS-SIZE GIRL so for interviews you need to dress it down. I already knew there was a girl with a leopard print headwrap and a red lip. A red lip is always too much or an interview anyway, if there were men in this interview they would be intimidated by you. You would not get the job.’ At that moment I did not realize what had just happened, but it almost threw me off my game. I managed to get through the interview and afterwards my only concern was the fact that she came for my lip colour. I guess subconsciously I chose to ignore the fact that she had mentioned my body.
However, if we look at that entire statement that she made, she started off by mentioning my body type, and then proceeded to talk about things that had nothing to do with my body. She did not have a problem with my headwrap or my lip colour, she was bothered that as a plus size girl I walked in with confidence. Did I mention I was the only plus size girl amongst the candidates? So of course she noticed me. She just projected and felt she had to tell me and that she could tell me that because she was in a position of power.
How many times have you done this? How many times have you watched it happening and called it professional etiquette? See the world has a problem with plus-size girls who own their bodies and walk the streets as though they own them. For some reason, I should be ashamed of the way I look and should be constantly looking for a way to FIX my body. If you are one of the people who think like this, re-evaluate your thought process, who set the standard of a normal body, to begin with? Where is mine broken? What makes mine abnormal?
The next time you are uncomfortable with someone else’s body, ask yourself why. Deal with the insecurities living inside of you. Stop projecting onto other people and let them live their lives as they wish to. With that, I am penning off. Enjoy your shadow work my dzarling. CIAO!