Here’s a controversial fact: Plus size women have always existed. If we take the time to think back at iconic paintings, statues, whittled figures and other works of art, women have always been portrayed as the epitome of beauty in every size, shape and race. While everyone can argue that beauty is frivolous, it is important to recognize how others perceive us directly influences the way they treat us. I don’t want to write one blog post after another declaring how beautiful we are without pointing out of why it is important to write these Words from a Plus Size Millennial blog posts.
Growing up as a plus size girl meant that everyday was a battle. From the moment I woke up for school, I had to put a lot of thought into how I would dress for the day. Should I spend hours getting ready or should fake a frumpy “chic” look so my peers would sort of respect me? Before I went to school, I would mentally prepare myself to spend the next 8 hours with my classmates who loved to make fun of me because I was fat. When I went grocery shopping, every stranger I came across happened to be a licensed doctor who was qualified to give me weight loss advice or tips on eating better. Everyday was a struggle because everyone around me, not just my parents or friends, implied that I needed to change.
Unlike the rest of my friends, I didn’t grow up with the luxury of only worrying about what I wanted to be when I grew up or how I could make the world a better place. On top of those things, I also had an extra layer of stress that I personally had to deal with. As a kid and a teenager, I spent so much of my time and energy coming up with witty comebacks to defend myself. Everyday, I made it a daily habit to create a new routes throughout school hallways so I could avoid being teased by my peers. After school, I would have to take the long route home in order to dodge inappropriate cat calls from older men.
If I grew up with the notion that beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have been bullied or been the target of sexual advances by adult men. Instead of spending my time trying to look like the people I saw in magazines, I could have been building up my confidence instead of always tearing myself down. It is important that a company like Xehar exists because it gives women like myself the representation of what we’ve been asking for. Xehar proves that the needs of plus size women are not impossible to meet. Plus size women and straight size women can shop in the same place, wear the same things and look equally stunning. Just like what Hadari Oshri always says, “It all starts with clothes. If you don’t have anything to wear, how are you going to feel good about yourself?”