I was getting off of the train today, and a man stopped me. Usually I keep it moving, but homeboy was PERSISTENT.
"Hi. I'm a modeling agent. I like your look. Is this something you'd be interested in?" he says.
"Probably not. I can take a card, I'm in a rush, though", I said. I have a really hard time saying no to people. Something I'm working on.
As I made my way up the stairs, I looked at his card. "Plus Size in the City".
Plus Size. plus size? p-l-u-s s-i-z-e? me?
If this had happened to me, perhaps 3 or 4 years ago, I would have cried all the way home. Someone thinks I'm fat! WAHHH!!!
But at 6'0, 200+ pounds, and size 14, I've embraced my Amazon Frame. It's a secret weapon. I never really have to wear heels, and I can always reach the bargain packs of paper towels at the grocery store.
But today, a man called me "plus-sized". And rather than be upset that he called me Plus-Sized (because I accept that that's how I am perceived), I am upset that this is an actual discussion. Because in my world, people look like me. And they're real! Also, in my world, people are 5'5, they're skinny, they're short, they're muscular, they're athletic, they look like Mercedes AND they look like Quinn (Glee reference). Chicks by the layers, all different flavors. *ten points if you know where that's from*
I suppose what bothers me is that who I am must be separated from the rest.
Because let's be honest. We live in a sedentary, beer-chugging, McDonalds addicted culture. Every day, ABC 7 Evening news reminds me of the same thing they told me two weeks ago.. That we're getting fatter. If I'm Plus-size, so is a large portion of this society. And at that point, wouldn't "plus-size" become the norm? And wouldn't "minus-size" become the new "plus-size"? (I'm rambling, It's my first real post, and I'm trying to distract myself from the toaster strudels in my freezer. Ignore me please) ((okay come back))
HOWEVER... The way to make the fatties of the world (I include myself in that, nothing funnier than a little self-flagellation) feel included is to make the size 14 jeans as accessible as the 2's. How awkward is it to be that girl reaching, hopelessly, for those jeans ALLLLL the way in the back of the rack (of course on that awkwardly high rack)? I swear, any time I'm trying to reach my size in the Gap, I can FEEL the eyes of sales employees on my back. "Look at this chick... Ha. she can't even reach the jeans. Good idea to put it all the way back there. this is a good show". Ah, I digress.
The way to be "politically correct" isn't by giving me some fluffy euphemism for "fat". Recognize that we all have wonderfully beautiful bodies. And I refuse to be one of those big girls who reps the "Skinny Women are Evil" camp. That's just basic and it doesn't get us anywhere.
I never noticed how beautifully soft my skin was until I had more of it. I never noticed how much I loved my lips until I celebrated the ways they led me to food-heaven. I never noticed how strong my strides were until I had more weight to throw into each step. I'm not advocating an unhealthy approach to food. We can all do better to be more thoughtful about how we treat our bodies. But as a nation, we could do MUCH better to show more types of bodies. Without demonizing the so-called "outliers".
I say all this to say... That these images are powerful. I never really got into Sex and the City or Gossip Girl because none of them really looked or felt like me.. to me. I suppose that's why I'm so incredibly attracted to Queen Latifah and anything she does. She's a true Amazon. Even as a girl who has a good father, a good brother, and a pretty good relationship with men in general, I am self-conscious. I can only imagine what it must be like for women who have dealt with more toxic experiences. No one is immune. Body-critics are everywhere. And they are unforgiving. The worst critic is internal. You can't escape.
And now, for your homework.
As soon as you can, look at yourself in the mirror. That birthmark? Divine. That cellulite? Isn't it soft? Stretchmarks? Well.. I like to think of them as God's finger grips when He comforts me. Even the man upstairs could use a little ergonomic assistance.
You are what you call you. If you find Plus-size to be a powerful term, go ahead and use it... on you.
I dare you to call me Plus-Size in the street. I prefer Queen.
Till next time,