Insomnia has rid me of my sleep tonight, sigh but that’s okay because it’s given me time to read up on my fav body positive blogs and plus size style blogs! I’ll remember to write a post up of a list of these blogs soon.
Lately, I have been thinking about the comments that my readers and friends have given that struck a chord with the Old Me – the Me before embracing body positivity.
I hear so many girls saying “Oh wow it’s so cool that you wore that skirt, I could never pull it off”
“It looks so good on you but I don’t know if I am brave enough to pull that look together”
My favorite two phrases are “So What” and “Who Cares”, since I got onto the body positive bandwagon.
Want to know why?
Because it is nobody’s business to tell me what I can or cannot wear. Because it is not my problem anymore if a person chooses to hate on me or stare at me.
It would be a blatant lie if I said that I felt body fabulous All The Time. Of course I have my bad days. In fact, it has been kinda tough this year because since falling ill again and again, I have not had the energy or motivation to go for my walks and swimming has been banned for now because of my right ear troubles. Plus, you guys do remember that mopey post I wrote a while ago recounting All that’s gone downhill.
But no matter what, no matter how unwell or badly I feel .. I carry myself with pride. I dress up to challenge my old preconceived notions of how a fat girl (yes I said FAT – I have no problem with the word) should look.
This didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen in a week or even a month. It took me close to 3 years to get comfortable enough to carry myself with grace and poise, despite being my biggest size right now. I was a uk 22 when I chose to write this blog and over the years, I went down to a size 16 but not because I was starving myself or exercising excessively. I just wanted to be un-sedentary and in control of my health. Now when I say being in control of my health, that isn’t a euphemism for weight loss. It simply means that being how prone I am to illness, I took better care of what I ate. I still enjoyed my desserts, good portioned meals! But somewhere down the line, I got lazy again and now that I am so unwell..it has been hard. But I don’t want to smash mirrors like before or go into hiding.
No matter what, I come back every week with a fashion post For myself and my readers. Because I refuse to give in to the old thinking pattern of “Oh I’m flabby and I can’t possibly look good in anything stylish because everything stylish is catered towards the slimmer girls”. That’s utter bollocks.
That old Aarti? She’s gone. I am letting you in on a secret now. My middle name Olivia is something that I adopted before I started this blog. I did not make this decision for the blog, but for myself. I felt bogged down by the excess baggage Aarti carried, I was tired of being her.
And so I became Olivia, who extends an olive branch offering peace and solidarity…or something like that! :p
I don’t know if that sounds weird to you, but it makes complete sense to me. I felt better after including Olivia in the mix and dare I now call her my better half – my fabulous alter ego. Who sizzles in front of the camera lens, who strides through crowds knowing that she looks fabulous, who is carving out a name for herself, who has made so many lasting and important friendships through this endeavour.
Aarti would have cowered.
On some occasions, she wins and I battle with my old demons. But not for long. Olivia takes over and kicks my butt. She reminds me that I started this and I have an obligation to Myself and now to others to keep going strong. She reminds me that depression, health ailments are not the end of the world for me. I have much to give and much to get done.
So I keep going strong.
The next time someone tells you that wearing a camisole is not classy for a plus sized girl, say “So What?”
The next time a friend says “Your dress is attracting too much attention because you’re wearing a shorter than usual dress”, say, “Who cares?”
The next important question I always ask is “Do these people matter?”
Really, do they actually have a say in your life? Do they walk a mile in your shoes everyday, lending a hand to your burdens? If the hateful comments come from family and friends, remember that at the end of the day it is not their life they are trying to control, it is yours. You do not relinquish control of your life and lifestyle to anybody else. Not even your mother, Not even your spouse, Not even your best friend. You don’t have to explain anything to anyone. And it doesn’t matter if they’re trying to be kind about it or unkind. Prejudice is Prejudice, be it blatant or subtle.
Why do people hate on others with such vehemence?
Because we provide them with a different reflection of how a body should look like, which is so unlike their body image myopia and distorted healthy lifestyle views, and they loathe us for it.
Now tell me something..
Do you think Everybody feels comfortable in their skin all the time?
You know the answer to that question.
So tell me now..
What will happen if you take a leap and try on something new or different? Will you suddenly have a crowd of people around you screaming “Booooo! Ewww look at that!” or is that the voice in your head that has been conditioned by society? No. You’ll either love the look, feel neutral about it or dislike it. A look not befitting is not the end of your world.
It’s just not your cup of tea. But do me a favour, try it first before hiding behind old excuses.
You’ve got to check whose voice is really talking when you hear the critic in your head.
I am just being really candid here, it’s been stirring in my head for a long time and You may or may not like this but I wanted to put this out there.
Sending you all my love,
Aarti Olivia Dubey