The new normal: an unapologetic look at what it’s like to be plus sized

Just a few weeks ago I read the average American woman is now a size 16. I was surprise because suddenly I was considered below average. I was a size 16 before deciding to be a little more watchful of my diet and putting some effort into moving this amazing body that I’ve been given. Since then, I’ve dropped a size or two, but nothing too drastic. I’ve never been a “skinny girl” and I probably never will be. I come from a family of tall, robust people, so it is not in my DNA to be small. Although my dress size is a tad bit smaller these days, I remember very clearly what it was like to be a size 16.

Which is why I felt kind of happy knowing that a size 16 nowadays is pretty much standard. I know that all the haters are going to out their holier than thou litanies about why being a size 16 is unhealthy. There will be comments, upon comments telling us why it’s such a problem to be plus sized and that posting articles like this just promotes and glorifies obesity. Today, I speak on behalf of anyone who is or was a size 16. Save your criticisms and judgment. If you haven’t gone through life being a size 16, you have no right to judge or speak badly of someone who has. I write this to bring awareness. I write this to give humanity a little peek of what it’s like to live in a world that bashes you for being what is now normal.

1. Cute clothes? What’s that?

Imagine living in a world that prohibits you from shopping the way you want to. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, it’s the reality for numerous people in our country. Many will say that losing weight could help remedy this exclusion, but I’m going to refute that by saying, why don’t we just stop excluding people who are average? Do you know how hard it is to shop when you’re plus sized?

Not all the cool, trendy designers make clothes that fit us and while there are companies who are trying their very best to offer a good product to plus sized people, sometimes designers miss the point and fail to comprehend that we want to wear what everyone else is wearing, not something that was designed to camouflage our curves. Extending the sizes of the collections you’ve already designed would be suffice (I’m looking at you Forever21 and H&M).


2. Cute Clothes! (But completely out of my price range)

There are some stores that make amazing plus sized clothing, but for the most part they charge a pretty penny. Yeah, I suppose they are using more fabric, but is it truly fair to economically punish someone for being average? Not really, methinks.


3. Black is your favorite color

Bright colors are for skinny people and fat people only need to wear black, right? Wrong, but because black is deemed to be slimming, something every size 16 has to do (because God forbid someone with a dress size that huge could be happy), then we all just wear black. My plus sizers, please wear colors too. They were definitely made for everyone and everyone includes you.


4. You’re average, but not represented in the media

I can count on one hand how many women I see on T.V. and magazines that look like or have more or less the same proportions as I do. If a size 16 is average, how come we don’t see it represented more often? I get that a size 2 looks nicer on the screen, but then again who decided that that was true? We’ve been manipulated by the media to dislike bigger bodies. Most of us can’t relate to what we see, which creates self-loathing and a feeling of inferiority and insufficiency. The truth is that a size 16 is not inferior or insufficient when correlated to beauty.


5. You’ve been on a million diets

In an effort to stop being a size 16, we’ve all gone on diets. Some more strict than others and some less effective than others. I believe firmly in being mindful of the foods we consume, but never to make other people happy. If you want to eat healthy you should be doing it for yourself and for your own health.


6. Exercising can be daunting

We get stared at. We get laughed at. We get mocked for wanting to fit in. Instead of being celebrated for taking a step towards a healthier life, we’re rejected and told that we wouldn’t have to work so hard had we not allowed ourselves to reach that point in the first place. Plus sized people are allowed to exercise and stay plus sized. Plus sized people are allowed to exercise and lose weight if they want to.