The Challenge of Fitting In

This is a lesson I learned today, from a memory of yesterday, that will continue to be a memory of tomorrow – if I don’t say anything about it.

Friday morning, I sat for the first time to finally read through every single comment, email and note that has ever been left on my blog. I saw some of the beautiful souls leave some of the most heartwarming comments and thoughts. But as I glanced past those, I slowly began to categorize a few other comments into a mental folder that would begin to occupy a heavy emotional space.

“You are not plus sized, so stop pretending to be. “

“You are selling the brand idea of being fat when you actually are not. “

“If you call yourself plus sized then how will the girls bigger than you feel about themselves.”

“I just want you to know that you are so beautiful so don’t ever feel plus sized. 

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So I took a walk into my closet. I checked the labels of my clothes, and they were still double-digit sizes. I stepped on the scale and the first number reminded me of the medical range that I gracefully fell into. I stepped in front of the mirror, but then changed my mind and stepped away.

I stepped away from the thought process itself and into the thought that weighed more on me. The thought of having an unfortunate emerging checklist. A checklist that was designed for women who celebrated not being on society’s list of things to be.

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My favorite quote is “Society says  be yourself, but not like that”. And so here is my thought.

Being plus sized is not a club whose membership is dependent on your size, or your weight. Being plus sized is not a safety net from behind which we get to point fingers and criticize others who don’t fit in to a group of societal misfits that we have fought hard to define as “us”.  My size is not a societal category from which I earn the right to graduate from once I begin to fit into someone else’s perception of my closeness to the norm.

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It feels like we are always fighting a battle of inclusion or exclusion. It feels that as people we are consistently fighting a battle to belong. In all honesty I have not decided if it is a compliment or a pitiful insult to tell me that I am not plus sized.

But what I do know is that to tell me I am not plus sized as a way of making me feel better is to say that being plus sized is something to feel bad about in the first place.

So I will happily stand in the middle of nowhere as a self described plus size girl, not because someone labeled me as such, or fashion labels categorized me as such. But because I will not fight to remain plus sized as a mere reason to have a voice.  I will continue to describe myself as plus sized because, I would rather be who I tell myself I am than fight daily to fit somewhere that no one’s perceptions have the right to place me.

xoxo

That Hayet Rida

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Body Positive fashion and lifestyle blogger.