The other day I was about to walk out of the house with less clothing on than I have in months. Instead of jeans, sneakers, and a long-sleeved shirt I was in sandals, a flouncy skirt, and a tank top. The sun was out and I could imagine how lovely it would feel. Then I caught sight of myself and recoiled. I had been buried underneath a mountain of clothes for an entire season, and I had forgotten that there was a person underneath all of the layers.
Immediately I began to body hate.
Look at that person with wide arms and big breasts. Did my hips always look so big in this skirt? And how could I possibly leave the house with legs that looked like alabaster tree trunks? Without winter clothes covering me up, it was open season for body hating and I was hitting every target with precise accuracy.
Somewhere in the back of my mind there was a tiny voice telling me to cut it out. Such a quiet and small voice didn’t have a chance to be heard with all of the loud shots of ammunition being fired at every inch of my reflection. With no time to change clothes, I grabbed a large fleece coat and put it on, buttoning every single button before I opened the front door.
In the cooler months I tend to forget that I am a plus-sized mom. Everyone is bundled up, and we are equals as we battle the weather. However, as soon as it gets warmer I feel like average-sized moms toss off their coats and easily slip into fashionable warm weather wear. I toss off my winter coat and yelp because the body I have been hiding from the world is now visible. And fashionable warm clothes for plus-sized mamas are not the easiest things to find (although it is a lot easier than it used to be).
Companies are actively trying to address how we see our plus-sized bodies, like Lane Bryant with their #ImNoAngel campaign. They launched this for their lingerie line Cacique, explaining, “The women who wear Cacique know that sexy comes in many shapes and sizes.”
Even with sexy bras available for women my size, I can still tell you every single physical flaw on my body. I’ll also always be wondering if you’re thinking about or grossed out by my flawed body. Why do I care so much about this? Why am I hating myself so much? I can’t stand it. I wouldn’t tolerate it from a friend, so why do I let myself say such cruel things to myself?
I recently read about how Kelly Clarkson was responding to the never-ending criticism over her weight. While on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Clarkson said she’s been dealing with body critics for over a decade.
“We are who we are, whatever size, and it doesn’t mean that we’re gonna be that forever.”
When I read that, I had one of those head smack moments. Of course it’s obvious to people not in your head, but sometimes you need to hear someone else say it before you can get it.
We are who we are. Whatever size.
I need to do some serious spring cleaning — of my mind. All of these negative thoughts have got to go! I want to sweep them away. For every awful and hateful thought, I am going to replace it with a message of inspiration. I can’t have too many of those. If I could, I would paper the walls of my mind with body empowering words until they were imprinted and certain to stick around.
Here are a few of my favorites from empowered female celebrities …