Over the past few years plus size girls have taken their rightful spot in mainstream fashion. There is more representation of curvy girls growing every day in the media. There are supermodels like Ashley Graham that make curvy girls feel sexy, beautiful, and confident. Being a “thick girl” isn’t just some kind of trend people have been making it out to be, it’s women who finally feel empowered and confident to showcase their bodies.
If you know me you know I’m pretty much a positive and self-assured person, but what you don’t know is that it took me awhile to get there. Like most people, I didn’t know the way my body looked was a “problem” until other people started to have a problem with it. All my life I was told to lose weight, go on a diet if you lose weight boys will like you, if you lose weight you’ll be prettier, and the list goes on and on. Middle school was about the time I started to doubt who I was and started hating how I looked. The most popular girls and the ones boys paid attention to were the skinny girls. The first time I was called pretty by a boy was the first time I wore makeup. Now, thinking back it’s stupid that I ever let boys decide if I was worthy or not but at that age it was something I always had in the back of my mind. I became very self-conscious to the point that when I would go clothes shopping I had a list, I don’t know if anyone did this too but I wouldn’t doubt if I wasn’t the only one. The list was I couldn’t wear sleeves that were shorter than elbow length, I always had to have either a cardigan or jacket over my clothes to hide my body shape, never wear shorts above the knee, I can’t wear that kind of material because it will show my stomach, more loose clothing, I can’t wear that because when I sit down I’ll look fat, no sleeveless shirts, and more reasons as to why I shouldn’t wear the clothes everyone else was wearing. I kept this mindset up until high school. High school was when I started to become genuinely happy with who I was and my body shape.
I started embracing my curves and started to wear clothes that flattered my figure. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and being so unhappy with thinking that others may think I’m unattractive because I’m not the perfect picture of beauty. As cliche as it sounds if no one was gonna love how my body looked then I would. I started wearing clothes that made me feel so confident I didn’t notice if someone gave me a disapproving look. I was too busy looking cute. Feeling confident is an everyday struggle, sometimes there’s good days and bad days. But, I will continue to keep a positive outlook on life and with that comes accepting who I am.
The first time I saw a plus size model I couldn’t believe there was someone who looked like me in a FASHION magazine. My body type was never represented in any fashion related sense. Plus-size clothing was dull and really only found at department stores. I hated walking into a plus-size store because all the clothes were ugly and not fashionable whatsoever. Now, stores like Torrid, make being fashionable and plus size easy. Representation matters and is wrongfully overlooked. For so many girls, seeing a plus-size model in magazines, and fashion commercials is so inspiring and empowering. This feeling is why I wanted to start my fashion blog, PERLA. I wanted to create a place for people of all sizes to see their body shape be represented. I wanted to create a platform I didn’t have when I was younger. Every day I will continue to find ways to incorporate all kinds of people into PERLA.
Overall, what I want you to take from this is that body confidence is a lifelong project we shouldn’t be afraid to overtake. This topic relates to both male, female, and anyone in between. Yes, I still have days where the list comes back to mind but each day I push it back further and further away. I’ve realized no one should make me feel uncomfortable with who I am. No one should make you feel like you don’t have control over what you wear or how you showcase your body. So remember, wear what makes you feel confident and don’t give others permission to make you feel invalid.
(P.S this post is not intended to skinny shame. This is just a post about the struggles I’ve had as a plus size women. People of all body types struggle with body image. My intention is not to put anyone down, but to uplift girls like me. Always feel free to reach out to me if you’ve dealt with similar stuff or just need someone to talk to!)