When I first discovered that there were plus size fashion bloggers; I was really excited. After years of never seeing plus size bodies in ads or commercials (unless it was a cliched less glamorous role); it was refreshing to see larger bodies.
After I added fashion to my blog, and mingling with the “plus community” for the first time; I was excited because I just knew it would be the unbiased, supportive community ever.
If you have ever read my blog, then you know that’s not exactly what happened lol.
Why I Choose to Be Visible
I’m not coming here to rehash all the biases within the plus community/industry or even to complain about the lack of diversity in body types. Instead I’m going to share why I show up.
It’s the memories of looking at television and magazines and never seeing myself. It’s remembering what it felt like to want to be beautiful and never recognizing that I already was.
It’s the conversations with my daughter who is grappling with her own self esteem and ideas on her own beauty.
It was developing arthritis and suddenly feeling like I wanted to disappear again. Carrying shame for a limp I can’t help and the mobility aids that I need.
I realized that if I felt this way, it was inconceivable that there were not plenty of other women who did too.
You Don’t Have to Wait to Be Represented
Waiting to see representation became stale to me. The reality is, in my heart I knew that I had the ability to encourage other people, so why not? Representation doesn’t have to be on some grand scale or platform. Showing up as yourself in spaces is enough.
Don’t take for granted your ability to encourage someone just by posting a picture or leaving a kind comment.
Stop asking brands to represent your bodies and just do it. Does it mean you will be paid? No. Does it mean you’ll have your own billboard? Nope. But it could very well be the picture someone just like you needs to see. Don’t underestimate the value in being visible.
The Wrap Up
I wasn’t always comfortable with my body, it took a lot of mental exercise to arrive at this point. Developing arthritis definitely didn’t help anything in that department. I had to relearn a whole new way to be at peace in my body.
Whenever women write me on Instagram to share how much they feel inspired or motivated by my showing up; I recognize that my visibility and the the visibility of others is a powerful thing!
So my advice? Show up as your authentic self at any time and be the representation you want to see!
Until Next Time,