I’ve spent the last couple of months thinking about 2013, and all the truly great things that happened in my plus size world. From my personal triumphs, such as the launch of Curvy in Kansas City and my feature in INK Magazine, to big wins for the plus size community in general, like Gabifresh’s definitive success with the launch of her own plus size bikinis over the summer and the introduction of the first plus size designer at New York Fashion Week.
But for all the good that has come out of the year, and all of the massive strides that we’ve made in our cause, I have to tell you that some people are making it really hard to move forward.
When I think about what I want to see happen for you and all the beautiful women that I see on a daily basis in the coming year, I’m saddened when I see so much hate, chiding, and general lack of support for plus size women from other plus size women!
Ladies, 2014 is knocking at the door, and next year, let’s try a little harder to do less of these five things that are definitely NOT helping uplift all the stunning plus size women of the world, including yourself…
1) Stop with the fat shaming! Fat shaming as a phenomenon really took off this year, with websites, Twitter pages, and Facebook pages popping up in droves. Mostly created by your run-of-the-mill douche bags living in their mothers’ basements, these sites provided yet another layer of color to the filthy rainbow that is the Internet. But the worst shaming I’ve seen this year has come from other plus size women. Whether it was in news stories related to plus size women or fashion, on other blogs, or on retailer Facebook pages like Torrid’s, I’ve never seen so many women talking poorly about one another. It’s one thing if something is not your idea of fashion, but stop saying that fat women should wear this or shouldn’t wear that. If a curvy, beautiful woman wants to wear a bikini, or skinny jeans, or sleeveless shirts for crying out loud, let her do it and let her deal with how she feels about herself!
2) And on the flip side, stop skinny shaming! Skinny shaming is just as real a concept as fat shaming. I’ll be honest, I’ve taken part in this. Trust and believe, I’ve used the term “skinny bitch” at least a few times in my life. But what I’m starting to realize is that I should see the beauty in women of ALL shapes and sizes, and that I can still be an advocate for plus size women while supporting the beauty of all the other women in the world as well. In the end, it’s all about supporting and uplifting WOMEN as a whole. I’m going to make a commitment in the new year to stop my skinny shaming habits…who will join me?
3) Stop complaining and attacking! Case in point – every now and again, I browse Torrid’s official Facebook page. I like to see comments that women make nationally about the new lines to see if we need to make changes in our business at Torrid at Independence Center. For the last few months I’ve been seeing more and more negative reactions to not only the lines that Torrid is putting out, but the models that they are using for campaigns. I get it, it’s hard when a brand changes their strategy or their core audience, but here’s the deal…while you may be upset, that’s no reason to try and bring down other people. If you don’t like the clothes being sold somewhere, shop elsewhere. If you don’t like the models because you’re used to seeing different models, honestly, get over it. While the models may not look like you, the fact is that there are millions of other women that do. Are you really going to tell them that they’re not beautiful because they don’t look exactly like you? I certainly hope not!
4) Stop sitting on the sidelines! Too many of us are sitting at home putting down others for trying something different, or even worse, beating OURSELVES up for not doing something out of our comfort zone! If you do nothing else in the new year, try something new. If it wasn’t for taking chances, I wouldn’t have met my husband, I wouldn’t have quit a job that I hated, I wouldn’t have started Curvy in Kansas City, and I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this message to you. When we allow ourselves to take chances, we open up a world of possibilities that we never thought was possible before. I don’t care if all you do is something as simple as switch from bootcut jeans to skinny jeans, or something as monumental as having a baby or taking an international journey, just do it!
5) Stop doubting yourself! So many women I’ve worked with have lost all confidence in themselves and have lost touch with the gorgeous women that they are. They have allowed themselves to believe the hype that their weight has anything to do with their beauty. So, you gained a few pounds, that doesn’t change who you are or the heart and soul that your friends and loved ones see on a daily basis. So you’re overweight….are you healthy? Do you live your life with all the zest and joy that makes life worth living? Do you have peace, and happiness, and love in your life? If you said yes to all of the above than you are living with some of the best gifts in the world. If you said no, take some time to soul search and realize that you have the power inside you to make the changes that you want to make.
I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I’ll be ringing in the day with the love of my life, cheering on the Missouri Mavericks hockey team, then popping a bottle of bubbly at midnight as tradition demands. I love you all very much and know that 2014 is going to be one of my best years yet. Stay positive, stay happy, stay fabulous!