Feel Good About Yourself in 1 Easy Step
I’ve had a major revelation in the last few weeks and it has resulted in a slowly improving self-esteem and confidence. You can do it, too. It’s dead easy.
What happened? I came across a HuffPo article about how well plus-size models are doing in New York these days.
…and read it.
It’s not like I’ve never heard of plus size models before, or plus size clothing. Before I read the article, though, the term “plus size” had negative connotations for me. I have avoided plus size clothing stores like the plague, not willing to give up my life long battle with weight and appearance, and my ever-flagging self-esteem.
Why did I read the article?
Because the models photographed in the article were all drop dead gorgeous. And they weren’t wearing muumuus or tents. The article made a reference to plus sized models appearing in Voguemagazine, so I went looking for photos of them…and they lookedbeautiful. Dressed in wonderful clothes that made the most of their curves, looking sexy, confident and perfectly put together. Sophisticated. There wasn’t a apologetic simper to be found.
That started a personal research project, for me. Curious, I began following my nose through the Internet links. On line stores that carried cute and sweet plus sized fashion…and the models that displayed them. Google Image search was an eye opener – plus size models wearing two piece swim suits and lingerie and looking damned good, too.
Did you know that anything over size 10 is considered plus size in the fashion industry? We’ve all heard the stories of size 1 and zero models dying of anorexia, and collapsing at fashion shows. For me, though, these related facts never really registered properly. I read them and passed on, still on my personal quest for skinnydom. But let me spell it out: The majority of women are bigger than size 10. That means more than half of all women in the world are technically plus sized. (My research also uncovered a mid-way category of sizes, called inbetweenies: sizes 10 to 16 – not technically plus-sized, except to crazy fashion people.)
Here’s where the light bulb lit up for me. Why was I staring at all the size 1 and 2 models, and their gorgeous clothing, then being so disappointed with the same clothing when I tried it on? I mean, really! What was I expecting? I’m not six foot tall, I most definitely do not weight under 100 pounds, and the last time I fit into a size 4 or 6 was before I started high school.
But there was a mental disconnect there. I just wasn’t processing the difference between me and them. I suspect this holds true for many women who have what they consider to be weight issues, because the media and our culture is so saturated in the skinny people mentality. Movie stars and TV actors are all thin, thin, thin. Models are even thinner and taller. Curves are disparaged and constant dieting is the norm for most women. All day long we are showered with images of slender and elongated people looking beautiful. The cues pepper us endlessly via advertisements, magazines, billboards…you can’t move a city block without seeing the idealized representation of woman: size 6 or less, very tall, and legs the length of a ladder.
So that is the ideal many of us aspire to…or publically disparage but secretly wish a wand would wave and turn us into that ideal.
It’s unrealistic, of course. It’s a standard that many women will never be able to obtain because their bone structure and metabolism prevents it. It is physically impossible to reach or maintain that standard. But many women are mesmerized by it, determined to diet and exercise their way to perfection (and life will instantly transform into their ideal dream world as soon as they do).
You have to be able to change your perception about beauty and body ideals to truly move beyond the need to be the same size as Miranda Kerr. That is more difficult than it sounds. It’s not a ten second fix. Just because I say model sizing is unnatural doesn’t mean you really understand it, deep in your gut and in the recesses of your subconscious. There’s too much cultural mind-bending going on to just offload the prejudice with a nod of your head.
You have to train yourself to see the so-called plus sizes as “normal”.
It has taken me a few weeks of saturation in the plus sized world: Blogs, on-line stores, newsletters, images, magazines, books. But gradually, I have reached a point where the super skinny model is starting to look odd — and most definitely not as sexy as I once thought them to be. The curvaceous plus size models look natural and very sexy in a bombshell way…plus the clothing they wear is clothing I can wear and look just as good.
Because of all this reading and soaking, I’ve noticed just in the last couple of weeks that I’m starting to feel a lot better about my appearance, my size, and the clothes I wear. I used to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or my reflection in a window, usually caught in mid-stride, and would be instantly depressed because the reflection was not a tall, slender one. I don’t do that now.
I still have a long way to go, but I’m heading in the right direction. I don’t “diet” anymore. I eat healthily – which naturally means I don’t eat sugar or grains and if that results in my body adjusting to a smaller size, so be it. I’ll just make and buy more clothes that fit properly and flatter me. The size I’m at right now is just fine, too – and I’m on a quest to refill my wardrobe with flattering and sexy clothing, for this size.
I exercise for good health (yoga and walking/running), rather than to sweat off the pounds.
You can make this switch, too.
If anything I’ve described above sounds like you: constant dieting, hating your reflection, wishing you could magically become skinny and model-like – then try something very simple: Stop looking at skinny people.
Especially; stop looking at skinny people and thinking that’s what you should be and would be if only you had enough discipline/a personal trainer/a private chef.
In fact, it would be better if you avoided (as much as possible) absorbing any of the mass media images and messages about slender, skinny, people being normal for a while. Shield yourself from all the negative input until you’ve made the mental adjustment to what really is normal and healthy.
Start reading about the beautiful plus size models out there. Study their fashion photos, hang out on plus-size oriented blogs, read fashion magazines and sites and books that deal with plus size people.
Keep telling yourself this: “Plus size” is just a term. It’s the way the unnatural fashion industry references normal people. It doesn’t mean big. It doesn’t mean fat. It means “normal”.
Fee free to get pissed about clothing stores that stop at size 10, because they haven’t got a clue about what normal means, and they’re losing your business.
Feel superior and amused by skinny models, skinny clothes, the whole fashion thing that says size 2 is good. Laugh at them, or be condescending. It will do your ego the world of good.
Stock up on sexy lingerie in your size (your real size, not the size you wish you were, or that you’re currently fooling yourself you are – you know, the size you tell everyone you are). Find lingerie that feels good on you and looks even better. You deserve it.
Size is just a number. And it’s not a very reliable number, either. Standard sizing disappeared a long time ago, and now any clothing manufacturer can put any number on their clothing. One designer’s size 4 can be the next designer’s size 0…or 12. Try not looking at the size on the label. Instead, go by the size of the garment itself. Find one that fits you…then cut the size label off, once you’ve bought it. It’s a meaningless number, anyway.
Make or buy clothing that flatters you at the size you currently are – not what the skinny people are wearing. There’s a huge difference, and that difference is NOT skinny = pretty, larger = tent-clothes. The difference is skinny=unwearable, larger=curves!
Demand and only settle for clothing that suits you, flatters you and makes you feel wonderful wearing it. Disparage anything that makes you feel negative because of its unrealistic sizing or design. It’s not you that has the problem, it’s the clothing that is at fault (along with the whole damned entertainment and fashion industries…but that’s not going to change overnight).
Subscribe to the many, many blogs and sites out there that have figured all this out already. Browse their pages and images daily. If you like using a public figure as a role model, then find one from among the stunningly gorgeous plus size models out there. You’ll be truly inspired by them.
And keep telling yourself this: “Fat” is not a four letter word….but “thin” is.