One of the words that is so readily banded about in the plus-size community is BRAVE. As in “its so brave of you to post a photo in a crop top” or “you’re so brave to put yourself out there like that”. Hell, I’ve had this said to me about what I’m doing right now – but more on that later.
Having been obsessed with fashion from a very early age, I read a lot of glossy magazines and got the latest trends and photos of celebrities in next to nothing on a daily basis. Not once did I notice the word “brave” being bandied about for these svelte goddesses. The fact of the matter is society doesn’t view you as “brave” if society deems your body to be acceptable.
Today, I’m wearing a very colourful, print heavy body con scuba dress. My VBO (Visible Belly Outline) is very much on show. I’m not going to lie to you, there are more days than not that I don’t want to wear this dress. My stomach is not a part of me that I have grown to love (unlike my cracking arse, curvaceous hips and shapely arms) so I tend to be a little bit more reluctant to wearing something that accentuates this area. But, today is different.
Why is it different? Well, I recently took a bit of a break from Twitter. After the Benefit body shaming saga and the Loose Women being dicks about body image for non-fats, I just felt a little bit like there was too much negativity – and I allowed it to affect the way that I view my own body. Yesterday, I joined something called Periscope and I did my first ever live broadcasts. Other than a few literal teenagers, the response was positive and not only that, I found some more plus size babes doing the same thing. So today, my scuba material, high print, body con dress got thrown on my body.
I am not “brave” for putting this on. I’m a woman who has chosen to wear an item of clothing – much like millions of other women. My fashion choices coupled with my plus-size body does not make me some kind of maverick – I just got dressed today.
What is brave however, is putting on your clothes and waking up in the morning when you suffer from depression BECAUSE of the way that society views you. Bravery is facing the day head on in the face of those who might be out to drag you down. I suppose in that sense, it could be very easy to label me as “brave” – but I don’t want to be.
I shouldn’t be made to feel that wearing something that shows the shape of my figure is an act of bravery. Society and the media need to stop describing plus-size women like me who give zero shits about what people think as heroes. We are not heroes. We are women who wear clothes, just like everybody else.
If you’re a woman who struggles with your body image, who feels upset and scared about what someone might say about you when you walk past them on the street, don’t feel that you have to be “brave”. Your positivity can only start with you. Parade around the house in a new dress until it feels right for you and then when you step out into the wide world, you’ll give zero shits too because you’ve got to grips with your image – and ain’t nothin’ that anyone could say to knock that shit out of you.
What do you think girls? Do you feel it’s a brave thing to wear something society deems as only acceptable for non-fats? I’d love to hear from you!