so this week’s theme is pretty different. It touches on each CATW’s vulnerable side. It’s been difficult to pen this one, but here goes.
Being a committed and dedicated blogger is no mean feat. Being a plus size blogger is harder still.
In my country Singapore, people are still unaware of who I am and that does upset me at times, because I feel that they don’t care for plus size bloggers here. Thankfully, I am building a small circle of like minded plus size people here whom I share my grievances with and network with.
Also, the attitude here is to each her own. It isn’t as supportive as the blogger circles out there in the rest of the world. Definitely looking to change that.
I will always maintain that I am a writer before a fashion blogger. Loving fashion is a happy coincidence. It has taken me a lot of time to really come out of my shell and shine in front of the camera lens. I guess my performing arts history helps me a fair bit, because when the shutter is clicking away, I am in ‘actor’ mode.
It has been a physically and emotionally draining year so far. Losing my friend was so painful, she still denies that she had problems with being happy for me as a fellow blogger. But I know how I was made to feel, I know how she turned painfully cold towards me on days and I would wonder what I had done wrong.
If it wasn’t for the support of the hubster and my few loved ones, I would have quit a long time ago. I thought I would find solidarity among my fellow Indian bloggers, but they don’t consider me ‘Indian’ since I wasn’t born in the motherland. That was very hard for me to swallow because it is the fact that I am part of the minority race here in Singapore that I don’t get noticed as much. Plus, I am not a stereotypical waifish Asian beauty. I stand out among the size 2s and 4s.
Of course, the blog has helped me come a long way from where I was with regards to how I felt about my body. Each blog post is a valuable lesson, the effort and little details teach me something new. I like to think of myself of the eternal student of Life, that curiosity and interest keeps me moving onwards and forwards.
But I still find it challenging to showcase my work. I still find it hard to share such intimate details about my life. I still find it hard to pose for the camera. It’s definitely gotten better in all those aspects but like everything else in life, it is a work in progress.
Having chronic depression and long term ailments do hamper my spirits as well. I try to reach out to fellow plus size bloggers or bloggers of colour for some solidarity, but not everyone regards you with interest, genuineness or appreciation. I have learnt that this is a very competitive area and the thing is, I am not a competitive person.
Im one of those girls who wants to give hugs, tell people how wonderful they are and speak of loving one another. I am definitely born in the wrong era that’s for sure.
Social media is a double edged sword.
While it aids in helping us bloggers get our work noticed, it is also quite distressing at times. The unkind comments about my body, The pervy fetishist guys, The absolute avoidance from people you look up to – it can be upsetting. Like Nina said in her CATW post this week, some of the comments are like “You’re not even curvy” or “You’re unhealthy and overweight, do something about it instead of parade your obese body”
Over here in Asia, a size uk 12 is considered plus sized. I am a uk size 18. It is still hard to get unkind looks from strangers. It is hard to listen to “concern trolls” – those who try to tell you to lose weight because it will be good for me. But my health ailments did not start when I was plus sized, they’ve been there for a long time..they are so wrong.
It’s so very hard to shop for my size here. There are only 4 or 5 stores that I can consider. So I end up shopping online at places like ASOS, Forever 21. International shipping is so costly, which is why I don’t end up buying items from other stores that I really love. Also, not all stores cater to international shipping. And if they do, it takes forever to get here which is stressful because I need those items for the new month asap.
I am experiencing a major low in my life right now. Just upset with my health, my relationships and I feel disillusioned. I was bawling before my blog shoot yesterday, because I didn’t have it in me to take pictures. Thankfully, hubster came in and helped out. He made me smile in the pictures by giving me scenarios that were funny or talking about my fav actors (Idris Elba – nuff said).
Some days I don’t end up posing for pictures and instead storm off to my apartment, only to take pictures the next day. Some days, I’ve been crying too hard and it’s such a challenge covering my darkened eye circles and mustering a smile.
This does not mean that I am not a body positive person. Of course I am.
I wouldn’t even be comfortable enough to wear what I wear for the blog and when I am in social settings.
I wouldn’t carry myself with confidence with my chin up, if I didn’t feel body positive. But what I have spoken of in this post is the side that most of us don’t want to talk about. The side that wavers, is frustrated and riddled with doubt.
But you know how I am by now.
I have been through Hell and back, and then some. No matter what, I survive. I bounce back and I come back roaring. I am so very grateful for my inner wisdom and strength that keeps me afloat on days when all I want to do is curl up and die.
Whew! This was sombre wasn’t it?
Well don’t worry, the next few will make up for this one 🙂
I always remind myself that we live in a world of Yin and Yang. Harsh, painful times help me grow. There is Always a lesson to be learnt and a silver lining to appreciate. Which is why I am so thankful for you, my followers. Thank you for your continued support and feedback. Some days, your comments really light up my face and validate why I do what I do.
Til my next post,
Have a good weekend 🙂
(Happy 4th of July for those celebrating it)
xxxo Aarti Olivia