Full-Figured Women: Don’t Let Society Change Your Size

I weigh 220 pounds.

But that’s your problem.

When I was younger I had a serious complex about my weight. Most girls worry that they’re too fat or too skinny.

I tried dieting, and I tried creams and lotions guaranteed to make my thighs look smoother. I’ve also tried Slim-Fast and other foul-tasting concoctions. And I practiced big girl magic – you know, lying down on my bed to zip up a pair of too-tight jeans in an effort to look skinnier. I kept clothes in my closet for years, in the forlorn hope that, if I just lost a few pounds, they would fit.
All of this was in vain. I still have the hills and valleys that I’ve always had.

Society sent me the same mixed message so many women receive. I remember people saying to me when I was younger,

“Oh, Lynda, you look like you lost weight. You look so pretty.”

People will tell you it’s OK to be the size you are and in the same breath tell you to try Tae-Bo so you can lose that weight and keep it off. They tell you to pick up The South Beach Diet book to be healthy. Or pay attention to the Glycemic Index.

What are we to believe? What they’re telling us is that our weight is not acceptable.

Then one day it clicked. I was too hung up about my size because I was too concerned about what other people thought about how I looked. I took a look in the mirror and admired myself for the first time. I realized that I was soft, voluptous and spectacular.

Now I look at advertisements featuring full-figured women, and I see me. When I read magazines or hear of organizations geared toward full-figured women, I see strength in numbers – there are a lot of us out there. We are the norm in society and that feels good.

And guess what? Just My Size makes panty hose that you can slide into and out of with having to call the fire department. The ever-trendy Seven jeans have come out with a full-figured version. Lane Bryant continues to break the mold with cutting-edge fashions for full-figured women like myself.

Being overweight does not necessarily mean being unhealthy. By Cosmopolitan standards I am overweight. But I’m pretty healthy. I just have more of everything than some other people.

During my crusade to be me, I have learned to loosen up about a lot of things. Take my clothing, for example. I used to hide my shape behind blouses shaped like sails and skirts that resembled tents. I once endured jeans that were so tight they left imprints on my stomach.

But guess what? They only made me look bigger.

Now I dress with a little flair. I wear clothes that skim rather than swim. I’ve expanded my wardrobe to include clothes in different colors and styles. I’ve begun buying skirts with slits and purchasing tops that flatter my figure.

I see the looks people give me when I tell them I don’t think I need to lose a pound. I happen to like my full figure. So no matter what the standards are that society dictates, I know that I am fine the way I am.

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