Plus-size angst!

Oct 27, 2010 @ 10:30 am | By TheFeministGriote | 5 Comments

“…But some women’s struggle with body image is about power. Body image goes far beyond weight, and it runs deeper than skin color. Our bodies have become arenas for feelings we don’t deal with, for unresolved traumas and injustices…”-Ophira Edut from the book Adios Barbie

I would rather talk about the intimate details of my sex life than speak candidly about my weight and body issues. My weight is a big secret that I try hard to conceal, but it is so obvious like a big pink elephant in a room! My weight is a shame that I carry around that I try hard to mask by having a great sense of fashion, being able to beat my face up like a MAC makeup artist, by wearing heels 99% of the time, and having the funkiest accessories you have ever seen. I pay great attention to detail because I want you/society/men/women to look past my plus-size veneer and see me Lutze.

I am currently a size 18 the heaviest I have ever been. I never realized how happy I was when I was a size 12 which is the ideal dress size for me. According to European standards of beauty that is still fat, but that 12 represents a beautiful place in the middle for me. It’s not fat its not skinny its perfect!  I found old pictures of myself recently and I just remember thinking why did I NOT love and enjoy my body more then, why did I not consider my size beautiful & manageable? Mid-May of this year I embarked upon a journey to be the ‘biggest loser.’ My goal is to lose 60 pounds or to be a size 12 again whichever comes first. We all know losing weight is difficult, but I never thought in a million years that in trying to lose weight that I would opening Pandora’s box into my life. The pain and torture of trying to lose weight is equivalent to going through a horrific breakup. There is no easy fix for trying to transform your body you must commit to the work and that is so hard and painful. In dealing with my weight I have had to uncover my self-esteem issues and I had to evaluate how much I don’t love the skin I am in. I hate my body  right now and there is no nicer way to say it.  It’s not solely because I am a size 18 that fuels my disdain its the fact that I developed  very early in life and since then I feel like I  have been fetishized and objectified by boys and men. My large breast, ample hips, and butt have always garnered me attention since I was a little girl. I feel like my body has always been a man’s playground both physically and mentally and that I myself have never enjoyed my own body visually.

My size has never stopped me from dating seriously, but sometimes I can’t help to think that my sea of options would become wider and deeper if I was smaller again. My mother is always telling me how beautiful I am and that I should be married to a senator or a millionaire (all good moms think their daughter is a great catch & should marry up), but then I think to myself that body wise I am not the type of girl that affluent men, powerful men, or a “baller” would consider as eye candy/trophy wife material, nor am I looking for that (i am a feminist after all). It is not an easy task to dress a size 18 body especially when you march to the beat of your own drummer stylistically.  Everything becomes a chore when you live on the margin of what is beautiful and acceptable. I want to be healthier and look at my naked physique and love it for myself and not have a man validate it for me.  I don’t want to adopt that “fuck it” attitude that so many overweight plus size Black women I know adopt. I don’t expect that my life will miraculously get better once I lose the weight, but I owe it to myself to try to find my way “back to happy.” I do not intend to wage war against my body forever. I want to be at peace with it and relish in its beauty through my own eyes. I am all about self-love and self-acceptance, but there is a fine line between loving yourself and settling for a watered down version of yourself.

What do you think?

5 Responses to “ Plus-size angst! ”

  1. This blog really touched me. After having my daughter and looking at myself now I too looked at old pictures and wondered why I wasn’t happy with my body. I was also a size tweleve and could wear a small in shirts depending on the material. I now have stretchmarks, an expanding waist line, thighs that hate jeans, and shirts that won’t cover the remanants of a successful delivery. I loved being that thick sister with the small waist and I embrace that whole heartedly now. But it is so important to love ourselves no matter what. I try very hard to look at my shape now and say this to shall pass. Thank you for the heartfelt blog!

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  3. Great post about body image and health. I love how you used your personal accounts to discuss issues that all women from size 8 to 18 deal with. It’s the message that our value is place squarely along side our beauty. Great post!

  4. I feel you on that. After gaining massive weight in College I worked hard to eat right & exercise and get down to a smaller size which was basically the smallest I had been ever. However, in the last year to year & a half I stopped the eating right & the exercising became extremely sporadic so I’m now bigger than I’ve ever been. But I decided a few months back to make drastic lifestyle changes – all natural hair & skin care products (although I won’t give up my relaxer), as much organic food as possible, no more fast food, and stopping the couch potatoness – that I can carry on for the rest of my days and one day instill in my kids that God has yet to bless me with.

    It does take A LOT of time AND patience and even with my nutrition degree I still made extremely poor diet choices even though I I knew better. But I think the root of most weight problems is issues that the person needs to overcome. Because until your happy with yourself (no matter the size) you’ll never truly be happy even if you get down to a size 2. We need to work on the inner before any outer changes will stick and make the overall much better.

  5. Even though I’m a guy I consider myself a feminist. I’m afraid I still don’t see how men lusting after you *causes* their lack of respect. One does not cause the other. Finding you very attractive has nothing to do with not respecting you, it’s just that when there is no respect, the lust is all that’s left. The lust would be there anyway, and is *not* the reason men did not respect you.

    No, the REAL problem was that they did not respect you, not that they found you attractive. Attractive people in both sexes are actually assumed to be smarter and more pleasant. I’m sorry, but I hear this way too often not to say something. BTW I’m gay so I’m not just making excuses.

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