10 Things You Should Never Say To A Plus Size Person
1. You’re not that fat!
Aww thanks for being so totally disingenuous! What a wonderful backhanded compliment! Who are you? Regina George?
2. You look nice, have you lost weight?
Actually no, I’ve gained a couple of pounds in fact. It’s probs my new eyeshadow.
3. You probably shouldn’t be eating that slice of pizza/chocolate bar/ice cream.
And you probably shouldn’t provide a real-time commentary on my eating habits. I don’t have to ask your permission to eat certain foods – plus, you don’t want me to get hangry do you? You won’t like me when I’m hangry…
4. Ugh, I feel so fat today.
Usually said by a very slim friend who has just eaten a small bowl of pasta or a panini and cannot cope with the tiny, little wheat baby that has formed inside their stomach. The repulsion you are expressing towards your temporarily carb-filled belly is making me feel really good about myself babes.
5. Do you really think you should be wearing that? It’s not very flattering on your body shape…
Do you really think you should be saying that? It’s not very flattering on your personality…
6. When are you due?
Oh, the 3rd of…never! Save yourself the awkward convo and like, never, ever assume someone is ‘with child’.
7. Oh sorry, we don’t go up to that size. Reportedly 45% of British women are dress size 16 or more, so you might want to broaden the diversity of your stock before *cough* you business goes into administration *cough*
8. There’s just more of you to love.
This sentence creeps. Me. Out. I am not your plus-size adventure.
9. I know this really good diet – you should try it!
Please don’t assume I need ‘fixing’. I’m actually perfectly happy with my weight. *Sees people faint with shock*
10. I’m just thinking about your health!
Thanks Doc! Oh wait, you’re not my doctor? In that case, I could probably do without your amateur medical assessment.
Plus size style & lifestyle blogger Stephanie Yeboah on how she turned self-hate into self-love
The 25th of July 2012 is a day I’ll never forget.
I was alone, doubled-over in a hospital in Barcelona, violently trying to throw up the remnants of some diet pills that I’d bought online in the hopes that I’d lose a substantial amount of weight. I was 23-years-old and obsessed with staying thin; what was important to me at the time, was that my tummy was flat and I could buy clothes from the main ranges of high street stores. Yet, even though I was the smallest I had ever been, I was suffering from severe depression, low self-esteem and had virtually no self-confidence.
Growing up I’d always been chubby, and up until the age of 10 I was pretty okay with that; I was confident and happy in myself and never gave my size a second thought. It wasn’t until I started secondary school aged 11, that my perception of myself started to change, and the bullying began.
Over the years I would have to endure both verbal and physical abuse from a group of boys at my school. I was beaten up, spat on, chemically burned, sexually harassed and assaulted – all of which resulted in many broken bones, bruises and more significantly, a complete loss of confidence and self-belief. I was told every day at school that I was ‘worthless’ and that no one would ever want to be in a relationship with me, because I was fat and dark skinned. They told me I deserved to be raped, because ‘no one else would take me’ and that I should end my own life because I was a waste of space.
It was at this point that I first tried to commit suicide. Fortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful.
School left me resentful of who I was; in my eyes I was fat and grotesque and I honestly thought that no one would ever want, or love me. I thought my size was punishment for something bad I had done in a previous life. I envied girls my age who were smaller than me and having those first-time teenage experiences that I thought I would never have because of my weight. The self-hatred was unbearable. When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I saw an ugly, dark-skinned girl who was going nowhere in life. I saw the person that the people that bullied me, had me believe I was.
This not only had impact on my mental wellbeing, but it also affected my ability to communicate with people; I became quiet, withdrawn and socially awkward in the company of others.
I decided enough was enough; I was sick of being held prisoner in such a body, so I tried to lose weight any way I could by dieting, starving myself, throwing up food I had eaten, taking diet pills and binging on laxatives. I lost four stone, and while I physically looked ‘socially acceptable’, inside I felt disgusting.
The experience in Barcelona was the final straw. I realised that being slim wasn’t everything and that I was damaging my body just like the people that bullied me had done once upon a time. In a sense, I was letting them win. I vowed, that from that day forward I would try my best to be strong, to mend my self-esteem and rebuild my confidence. Of course, it wasn’t easy, and I had help along the way; I saw a therapist and talked about how I was feeling and I was also prescribed anti-depressants to help me through, but eventually, I reached a place where I could finally say I was in love with my body.
I still have days – just like everyone else on this planet – where I am not 100% confident in myself but if you had told me four years ago that I would be comfortable posing in nothing more than a bikini I would have laughed at you. I never, ever thought it possible that I could come to terms with my body, let alone love it and have someone else love it. But I have, and I do and someone else does too!
Yes, I’m fat. Yes, I may not have what society regards as the ‘ideal’ physique but in my eyes, I am good enough.
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