Here’s a full length shot from not long ago….
I tend not to “weigh” in on things like this but I just couldn’t help myself. And since I am not in the single digit sizes I feel the need to speak out on this issue because well, it seems to be a current distraction from all the real issues surrounding black women right now. I’d venture to say it was something concerning most women because it’s not just the black women who are plus size these days.
The reality of my life has been a struggle with my weight and a very personal battle over the years. Having a mother who is nothing short of thin and beautiful, who is the embodiment of savvy and talented didn’t leave a baby chunk such as myself a happy camper. To my mother’s credit, she never told me I should slim down or any of those other things I hear and see people’s mothers doing. She just kept it real and dressed me to the nines and sent me off looking fabulous. I was and still am a representation of her. I was always together and a well dressed as a kid.
Again, that’s not to say it became easier as I got older. It didn’t. But then one day. The summer of my 13th year on this earth, I slimmed down. Like size 4 slimmed down. I stayed that way until about my first year in college. After a breakup with my boyfriend at the time, two years into school, I became skinny again and then filled back out over the next five years to a size 12.
Since then I have ranged between a 12 and an 18. I am currently an 18. In this photo to the left, I am an 18.
I am here to tell you, my size has never mattered as I dated.
Me this past Friday….yes, Leopard print.
Funny enough, it seems my hair has mattered more than my size. Whether or not it was short or long. Curly or loced. It has been up for debate more so than my weight.
I have met men who approach me to tell me they love my size. That I wear my size well. If this is the first and only compliment a man can offer me then all I can see is he’s about to fetticize me. I will be the thick girl, the thickems that he loved so well. I will be the woman he comes to see at home or I come by his house but we are never out on a date.
Note: there are people who will date one type of person in public and another in private. Steer yourself clear of these types.
I have met men who have no problem with my curves when we meet and then they tell me how I need to slim down within a few months. Now, it’s not to say he couldn’t be concerned about my health. But it is to say when a man can’t see past it and he cannot compliment me and can only put me down, then it’s time to go.
And then there is an article written by Ms. Randall here at the NYT a couple of months ago saying that we, as black women, need to lose weight.
And maybe she has a point. There’s something for being healthy and taking care of ourselves. There is something about knowing you’re healthy. The reality of it is many of us are just going to be thicker.
I accepted myself years ago. I am in pretty good shape. I can rock a yoga class or walk for miles. I carry groceries home on my shoulders old school.
But what happens to those of us who aren’t a size 4 or a 8 or even a 12? Where do we go? What happens to us? Who loves us?
See, I am here to tell you, that I have never really had any problems getting dates. I am not boasting, I am being serious. I have been loved well in my time. I have experienced the same issues women who are half my size experience. The joys and the pains. The issues and the mayhem. I don’t attribute it to size.
Since when did size determine love?
It doesn’t. I know we as women worry about how the men in our lives see us and whether or not they will find us attractive if we cut our hair off, gain extra pounds, if we wear heels, if we have on this or that, if our posteriors poke out (too far or not enough), if our hips have gotten too wide, if we’re still attractive to them when we make any change. I’m here to tell you, when you have the right foundation in God and you really get a hold of who you are, knowing who you are, all of your actions will change. The way you look at yourself will change. The way men begin to look at you will change.
Confidence my ladies. Confidence.
Have you ever seen a woman, who was a size 18, walking down the street with that bling on her finger? And you’re wondering why she ended up with that man? I have. But I know the secret of it all now. What we read about having that confidence in ourselves is a BFD. Seriously. If I don’t believe in me, then who will? It’s not up to someone else to convince me I’m beautiful. I can see that these days. And I may not fit someone else’s conventional beauty. Why should I?
I have spent years worrying about what men and women – just people think of me. It’s exhausting. These days, concern and thought isn’t wasted on others. It’s spent on myself. It’s spent on my feelings about myself.
Let me add, if I have to lose those 50 pounds in order for a man to notice me, is that the right reason to lose the weight? It’s not. Why? Because if the sole reason he noticed me is because I’m 50 pounds lighter then when I put those 50 pounds back on, what will happen? My advice, find someone who is worthy of you. Who you really are. The size you are, the size you hope to be, the woman you hope to be, the person you hope to be. It’s about more than just our hips and the size of our jeans.
I know I still think about slimming down. I am working out more these days and going back to yoga class. After I gained back the weight I lost some six years ago it’s been a hell of a journey in learning how to adorn these curves. It’s become interesting taking photos. Sometimes they come out fabulous and sometimes they don’t. I have good days and I have bad days. But guess what? I had the same issue when I was thinner.
I don’t feel as if I have missed out on anyone or anything.
If I have, it’s been for my benefit.
Ladies, let’s live. Let’s work on our confidence and self-esteem. Let’s love ourselves no matter where we are in our journey. There’s enough people out here fat-bashing that we don’t need to do it to each other. Let’s be healthy. Get our curves to the point where they do become out assets and work FOR us and not AGAINST us.
Here are six ladies I love that are plus-size fashion bloggers and are beautiful, stylish and have amazing style, taste & class – be sure to stop through to their blogs:
Nadia Aboulhosn – she is bold and daring, gorgeous. Tends to take the game up a notch. Adding the perfect hint of vintage to what’s new and beautiful.
Gabi Fresh – Became the first twitter jockey for VH1 and has been rocking these prints, shoes and “fatkinis.” She’s bad.
Chastity Garner – she is a recent discovery for me and where have I been? Lord! This girl runs style a new red carpet. She’s bold and beautiful. Challenges many of my own fears. She’s a stylist to boot!!
Marie Denee – has recently published an e-book and blogs about all things curvy. She’s known for creating wonderful look books and speaking on plus-size confidence. I adore Marie.
Tanesha Awasthi – always classic, killer hair and works every curve she has. Her style is flawless.
Ty Alexander – she has the most amazing grey hair, killer curves and is always slaying on her fashion options. She shows what it’s like to be 35, rock the trends and be a beautiful plus woman.
So there you have it. I’m mentioning style in here because if you’re like me, a spa day, a new pair of shoes and a great dress can make all the difference in the world. If we’re dating or married or boo’d up even we should stay looking our best. It’s never about size. It’s always about the way we feel about ourselves. The way we feel about ourselves also has to be displayed in the way we present ourselves. It’s all about love.
What are your thoughts? As a girl over a size 10 what have your dating experiences been like? Would love to hear your thoughts!
You can also email me at fromraewithlove [at] gmail dot com