Friends, I had kind of a sucky weekend. You know, the type where you sit in the dark listening to The Smiths longer than is probably strictly healthy and you’re fairly sure you’ll never be happy again and it’s just gonna be you and Mozzer sitting in a room together staring at each other until one of you actually dies from misanthropy. You guys do that too, right? Right?
Usually when I have a sucky weekend, I don’t check my email because 99% of it comes from PR reps who are trying to convince to care about a whole lot of things I don’t even know about (What is a Jwow?) and your normal spam of Nigerian princes in seek of bank information and Ukrainian girls bending over and frankly I’m too delicate a petal to deal with that even when I’m feeling my normal chipper self. I definitely can’t hang when Truffaut films are speaking to me on any emotional level.
So it was with fear and trembling I opened an email from Beloved Reader Kylie. I’m going to reprint it here in its entirety:
I wanted to share something that I think the plus-sized community needs to hear:
I have been plus sized since I was about 14 years old and NOT ONCE that I can remember has anyone so much as said ANYTHING negative about me pertaining to my size. Boys have always been attracted me, girls have always been nice to me and my friends and family have always totally supportive of me in every way. I have had my own self-esteem battles as anyone does, regardless of their size, but I have found I have more self-confidence in my appearance than my skinnier friends. I decided long ago that whatever size I was (currently a 22/24) that I would do my hardest to not only love and accept myself for exactly who I am, but to be a confident woman who dresses and carries herself in the same way that any slender girl would, and I truly believe that this mindset has made all the difference for me.
My boyfriend of three years absolutely adores my Entire being and body completely.
Almost everyone I know has positively commented on the way that I look, and not only just my outfits.
No one has ever made me feel bad about myself in any way, shape or form and I have a feeling that I am in the minority in this, and on one hand it makes me feel sad that other curvy girls out there have had more difficulties with their size and how people react to them, but on the other hand, I feel completely blessed. I have never been treated with anything but respect and kindness and I wanted to let people know that being a larger woman does not always mean that you have to fight adversity because I have never had any adversity to face.
I truly hope that I am not the only plus-sized woman out there who has had this experience, and I hope that I will hear that others too have been supported and loved for every inch and pound of themselves exactly for who they are and how they look just as I have.
This is something I’ve struggled with because my experiences generally have matched Kylie’s. I won’t say I’ve never been made to feel bad, but it has been extremely rare. What I HAVE experienced, however, is other girls who haven’t been as fortunate as Kylie and I, who try to convince me that in fact, I HAVE been treated as badly as they have but I’m not noticing it (and thus the inference that people are laughing at me and I’m too stupid to get the joke). This is particularly true of girls who once were fat and no longer are.
Now, I’m going to be intellectually honest and say that it is a possibility that despite being hyperaware of how people perceive me and borderline obsessed with the image I present and how it’s received, that in my thirty-one years of life I have been completely oblivious to all but a very few examples of the ugly, hateful and all-pervasive anti-fat bias at play around me.
But honestly I don’t think that’s what it is, and I’m so, SO glad to hear from Kylie because now I know although I might be in the minority, at least it’s not a minority of one.
Have people made fun of me because of my size? Sure, probably. Who cares? Have guys that I’ve thought were cute not been attracted to me (as unfathomable as that is) because of my size? Quite possibly. But you know, them’s the breaks. If some guy isn’t attracted to me because I’m fat that’s not any worse or more offensive than me not being attracted to him because he’s got spindly legs.
It’s preference, not persecution.
I think we create more problems for ourselves when we project our own insecurities onto other people’s actions (yeah I know, novel idea, right?) so when a woman who once was fat and insecure becomes less fat and less insecure, all of the sudden people who our girl felt were giving meaningful glares when she ordered the pasta instead of the side salad are now just people in a restaurant whom she may or may not notice.
If some passing girl gives me the stinkeye because I’m fat, who cares?
Lord knows I wouldn’t leave the house looking like 75% of the women I see for one reason or another. It doesn’t mean anything. I’m not going to treat them like less of a person, I’m just going to hate their shoes. And honestly, that’s fine. I don’t need to like them and they don’t need to like me. It’s not like after the random disapproving girl rings up my groceries we’re going to go home, French braid eachother’s hair, have a slow motion bra-and-panties tickle fight and practice making out. She’s going to ring up my criminally overpriced olive bar purchase and we’ll move on with our collective lives. C’est tout.
I’d like to hear from both sides of the aisle on this one. Has your experience been more like Kylie’s or less?