Being plus-size in the New Year’s season means constantly being accosted by weight loss ads and the lingering pressure to make body transformation my goal for the year. Don’t get me wrong, I think prioritizing a healthy lifestyle going into the new year is a powerful way to make good habits stick, but I have to be honest: I’m happy with my body whether society likes it or not.
Moreover, after many failed diets, I’ve learned the hard way that trying to avoid foods I love (namely pizza) just makes me cranky. Virtually every diet out there recommends I don’t have my Friday slice, and I’m so sorry—that’s simply not going to happen. Thinking about how I won’t be avoiding pizza (and boba, if I’m honest) this year made me seriously reflect on all of the things that I’m told to avoid because of my size. Whether said explicitly or tacitly, it makes me sad to think of the way I, and other curvy women, have abridged our lives to fit into the box society has allowed us—as if to say, “You’re allowed to be plus-size so long as you blend in and don’t expect to be treated like everyone else.”
This year? I’m not doing it. I’m not avoiding the things I desire for fear that my body should inhibit my life, and I’m not compartmentalizing my lifestyle or limiting my fashion because of what others may think. Instead, I’m prioritizing being true to the realest version of myself—the version I want to show everyone because I’m so proud of her.
New workouts and “revealing” activewear
One of my favorite things to do is get dressed up in my cutest and most functional activewear and go to a workout class or the gym. I have to admit, sometimes I think twice about booking the classes I’m most excited about or showing up to the gym in fear that I might be the only one that looks like me in the room. Worry that people may look at me and wonder, “Why is she here?” or “Why is she wearing that?” creeps into the back of my mind each time and sometimes causes me to opt out of my brighter-colored outfits for darker options to avoid standing out for reasons other than just my size.
I’m committing to not doing that anymore. I might even wear more of my standout pieces because I want people to watch me and see that my fat body can do just as much as theirs. Even when I take modifications (I’m the queen of modifications), I’ll be taking them in style.
Tight or baggy clothes
One of the most archaic rules of plus-size fashion is to avoid tight clothing but also to avoid oversized clothing, therefore leaving us with the option to wear things that make sure that we are shaped like a rectangle. But here’s the thing: We’ve got bodies like backroads, and they curve and wind in really spectacular and interesting ways. It would be a shame and truthfully a disservice not to show them off.
Moreover, the oversized trend is so in and comfortable right now! I refuse to believe that I will look like a tent if I wear a baggy T-shirt for the sake of fashion. If I look like a tent, it’s OK because so does everyone else that wears oversized clothing—they just might look like smaller tents.
Tight clothes I’ll be wearing:
Oversized styles I’ll be wearing:
Lingerie and sleeveless clothes
Now more than ever before, there are so many amazing lingerie options for the curvy girls, and yet I still find myself a tad self-conscious about seriously wearing them. Even when I watched the Savage X Fenty fashion show and saw women of all sizes rocking those colorful and sexy pieces, I found it hard to feel like my body would look good in them.
On top of that, with things like corsets and bodysuits being lingerie that can transition into nightwear, I’m really getting in my own way by not feeling like they belong on me. Honestly, I think they look great when I try them on in my mirror, but when I get outside and catch a glimpse of myself in a window pane or bathroom mirror, I can’t help but obsess over my arm and back dimples. Now I’m thinking to myself, what’s actually wrong with back fat? Why can’t my arms appear soft when others’ seem to be muscular? Why do I feel the need to be a carbon copy of the people around me?
This one is definitely a work in progress, and I’m excited to try to overcome this avoidance tactic this year.
Wearing outfits without shapewear
Listen, I’m actually a fan of shapewear for a lot of occasions. It feels secure and helps clothing (namely dresses) fit intentionally for all sizes, not just the plus girlies. However, I am not a fan of feeling like I need to wear it with every outfit in fear that someone might find out I’m *gasp* fat. Spoiler alert: There’s no shapewear that tight, nor do I think I’d want to wear it.
I won’t be wearing shapewear all the time, but when I do, I’m prioritizing these to feel comfortable and secure.