Dating is hard. Like mega hard. Just the thought of it makes me nauseous. There is a constant pressure for us to be in a relationship. We live in a society where, if you’re not seen as desirable, you don’t deserve to be happy. On top of that, our society shames anyone who’s outside the near-impossible beauty standard.
If you’re too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too whatever – you’re not good enough. And then there’s me: an independent, outgoing, 27-year-old, plus-sized woman. It may have taken my whole life for me to say this, but screw you, society. Screw you. I am worth it and you don’t get to decide otherwise. Every tear, every laugh, and every awkward moment has taught me some important lessons.
1. I am more than my size. I am smart. I am funny. Some would say I’m a little sassy. I love animals. I am a hopeless romantic. I don’t care how funny it is, but I’ll never be a fan of The Office. I take way too many selfies. The beach is my happy place. When I’m sad, I snuggle up and watch copious amounts of “New Girl” in hopes that Schmidt will help ease the pain. I bleed blue and green for the Seattle Seahawks. I tend to get competitive and I can debate like a lifetime politician. I am so much more than the number on the scale.
2. I’m not perfect, but I still look damn good. This was the hardest concept for me to understand. It wasn’t until I was older that I found my strong points. Sure, I have a stomach and a big nose, but have you seen my legs? I’ll wear a short dress any time of year. I’m not scared of bold makeup; I’ll rock red lips faster than you can tell me no. My closet is filled with heels and I’m obsessed with makeup tutorials. I know the clothes that flatter my body and I’ll flaunt what my mama gave me. If I feel good, then I’ll look good. Beauty radiates from within.
3. Not everyone will like me. I am a confident person and I have just as much to offer as the next girl. However, not everyone cares. Physically, I’m not appealing to them and that’s fine. One time, while on Tinder, I matched with a guy who I didn’t find attractive but his pictures were interesting. He seemed like he could be really cool, and it could be fun to get to know him. Quickly after matching, I received a message from him saying that not only was I “fat and ugly”, I was probably stupid as well. I was in tears. How could someone who didn’t know me, say such horrible things? I called my brother who helped me see that some people just want to make other people feel inadequate. I could let it affect me or I could move on. So don’t take it personal if someone doesn’t find you attractive. Just move on. Life’s too short to waste your time.
4. My self-worth is not validated by the attention I receive from men. This was another hard lesson. Sometimes we become so infatuated with a person; we give them control of our happiness. Example: Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. Boy isn’t ready for girl. Girl thinks that the only logical solution is that she isn’t good enough. Not long ago, I found myself in that toxic mind frame. I fell fast and hard. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him and that terrified me. One day I realized that if I didn’t put myself first, nobody else would. So, I told myself the healthiest option was to let him go. He wasn’t ready for all that I had to offer and that was his choice. It said nothing about who I was as a person. I would continue being awesome and things would happen as they should.
5. There are people out there who find me attractive. Accepting genuine attention is hard for me. I’ve never felt I deserved it. Recently, I was seeing a guy who I found to be incredibly attractive. It was to the point that I was self-conscious around him. One night we were cuddled up on the couch watching a movie and I caught him staring at me. I was starting to feel uncomfortable, so I asked him to stop. He told me I was beautiful. I laughed at him thinking he was just trying to be smooth. He paused the movie, made me look him in the eyes, and said, “I know you don’t see it, but I think you’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. I wish you believed it.” The anxious part of me wanted to run, but the other part of me sensed the sincere tone. We later came to the mutual decision that we both wanted different things; but, for that time we saw each other, he treated me how I deserved to be treated. I also realized that there are men out there who find me attractive, as is. No change necessary.
6. I deserve to be happy. You deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be happy. End of story.