It seems like your esteem cannot go any lower when you’re a plus-sized freshman walking through halls of post-puberty beauty queens and, if you’re lucky, you’d cross paths with the hair-swishing, short skirt-wearing, amazing bodied school pageant winners of your faculty. It seems like a helpless situation and all you feel like doing is skipping your lunch break and head to gym but lo and behold! Who’s at the gym? Tanned body builders of the dragon boat team. Not really a place you’d feel comfortable trying to look better.
That’s the problem though. When your self esteem hits rock bottom (because you feel like you’re handicapped by your size), that’s when you forget your worth, give in too much and give too much concern to little things. That’s when you settle. I accepted a few things that made me unhappy – like guys taking a few days to get back to me then text me like nothing happened, the fact that I cannot wear a bikini to the beach because of my size and keeping quiet when the guy I was dating, hit me. I felt like I should take in all of that because I was, well… fat. My ex-boyfriend also drilled it into me that I shouldn’t get too angry because if he left me, nobody else would want me because I was on the heavier end of the scale.
But just before I turned 21, I bawled over frozen Ben & Jerry’s, table covered with a few bottles of beer and told myself I wasn’t going to settle for that idea anymore. It wasn’t going to take me a few more years to wait and see whether my body size could change to fit what I wanted in life. I wasn’t going to wait a few more years to finally say I can be upset with whatever I wanted to, and then finally people would be able to accept that I have emotions too. I loved hard, and I cared as much as I could for whoever meant a lot to me. If they weren’t going to do the same, so be it. I wasn’t going to be the one at the losing end any longer.
So plus-sized beauty queens, or any other girl for that matter, here’s a few things you need to remember:
1) You have just as many rights as anybody else in this world. Your size does not determine whether you can get the kind of care and concern another person gets. If the person you’re with measures what you deserve based on your size, kick him.
2) Know your self-worth. Don’t hang your head low because you feel unpretty in a crowd of other girls. Don’t flip through magazines and online fashion blogs wishing you were ‘as beautiful’, because you are. Your confidence is key. How about flipping through plus-size fashion blogs? These girls are gorgeous, I promise.
3) Don’t compare yourself. Whether good or bad, do not let ego, pride or inferiority get the better of you. Don’t constantly try to be better than his ex, or the most popular girl in school. If he doesn’t see you as someone better, there is no need to put in extra effort just to wipe the sweat after and tell yourself you’re better than his ex. What kind of satisfaction does that bring? A happy woman is one who concentrates on her self growth and celebrates her independence. You don’t need a guy to make you feel whole, or another girl or bestfriend. You are your own woman and when you realize that, you’re pretty much good to go at handling your emotions.
4) If he can’t accept it that something makes you unhappy, don’t sacrifice. It’s not solo sacrifice all the time in a relationship. It’s always about compromise. If a guy makes you feel like your feelings and emotions are unjustifiable, then he’s not the one for you. Especially if you’re the one who is more willing to grow with the relationship. What he wants matters, but what bothers you matters too.
5) If you like to eat, EAT. If your partner or people around you cannot accept that, then they’re not healthy for you. Don’t lose your appetite over people who make you feel bad about your size. You should never find the need to downsize your BK meal for a guy who asks you “Are you sure you want to upsize it?” Yes I would very much love to upsize it and could you change my drink to a caramel frappucino because your apprehension has led me to lose something and since my appetite is here, I’m thinking the only other thing left to lose is you.
6) The “Be Thankful I chose you” talk. You should all know by now that that sentence is one of the most degrading sentences that girls actually accept or grow to accept. DANGER ALARM. If someone has to tell you that because of your size, that person should be thankful you aren’t giving him a punch in the face. Never ever settle for someone who thinks they have authority over you. Love is not about possession. Allow that, and you’ll allow them to use your weakness as a tool to get everything their way.
7) His friends don’t seem to like you – in fact, they seem to like his ex-girlfriend better. First thought? I must be fat, that’s why. For me, I’ve heard people tell my date I was too fat before. Firstly, remind yourself that you’re dating him. Second, his friends are way too shallow for your kind of class. Finally, if he gets affected by it and starts to think he might have downgraded from his ex, then don’t even waste your time and tears. ‘Cus girlfriend, if he wants to go back to someone from the past, then he deserves to be in your past. True theory.
8) Never lose weight for someone. Your BMI is off the charts. So? It’s unhealthy, fine, go for a run. But never ever diet or exercise for someone. Success for personal motivation is always much better and definitely much more satisfying. If you don’t see the need to shed some pounds, then don’t. Lose the negativity, not the weight.
9) Embrace your dress size. Why secretly search for a size while shopping at H&M? Be proud of your size. Trust me, I know how hard it is at first. I live in Singapore, in Asia, and girls here are tiny. But that’s not going to stop me from strutting to the cashier asking for a UK16 pair of jeans.
10) Allow yourself to laugh at yourself, and any other jokes people throw on you. Every time I go to a family gathering, the topic of weight will always come up and people would jokingly say that I’ve put on weight, giving my arm a little squeeze. Laugh along, don’t pout. Their comments lack any form of substance, if you come to think of it. You losing weight for them would bring no benefit to them at all. Since then, I worked on my self confidence and now it’s much more noticeable than any amount of bulge on my arms.
11) Be nice to each other. As much as fat girls are always the subject of mockery, other girls have it hard to. So if we’re gonna prove people otherwise about our capabilities, we should start by showing them how lovable we can be. (You have to agree, we are really lovable.) Everything else will fall into place.