My dear dear darlings,
thank you sooo much for the love after my post on the fashion show. You guys are always so good to me!
The night before the show,
Sharmilah (chief editor of BIG) informed us models that local newspaper The New Paper was interested in covering the event and interviewing a few of us. We gave Sharm a few details in point form to summarise our stories (our journey as a plus sized person). My life timeline is pretty long, detailed and varied but I tried to narrow it down. I didn’t give the interview another thought until after the show. I was in hyper focus (those with ADD know what that is) and just concentrated on getting my walk and outfit changes done right for the impending show.
You know the story behind my feet.
Wearing heels for hours on end gave me a throbbing headache and oh my feet hurt like never before. But at the back of the head was a reminder: You know why you’ve got to do this. It is a personal challenge. You will walk the runway, face those fears and come out of this empowered.
So I kept at it, mind over matter 🙂
After the show was over I was ready to call it a day and just rush home to soak my aching feet. But the event was not over per se. We were taking photographs, mingling with the audience and patting each other on the back for being awesome novice models. Although, I am sure Danial would disagree since he was critiquing us the whole time…right D? Oh you know we love you for pushing us so hard 🙂
Priscilla is working hard on her up and coming You Tube channel so her team which involved our friend Desmond as the interviewer had a quick interview with me about the show and my thoughts on the local plus size industry/community. It’s not out yet but once it is, I promise to share it!
Here is yours truly being a cheeky interviewee
How cute is Desmond’s bow tie?? 😀
After that interview, I was approached by the local paper’s reporter to wait for my turn to be interviewed. Okay, didn’t see that coming. Before that the paper’s photographer snapped some pics of the three ladies who were picked to be interviewed : Annie Chan, Rani Dhaschainey and Moi. We took a few individual and group shots, was good fun.
I was apprehensive of course because Singapore is a tiny island..word gets around especially so in the Indian community (it’s like wildfire I tell you!) and there remains a conservative, traditional mindset within my culture. At the same time, I also knew that being open about my story might get girls or ladies who suffer at the hands of societal standards of female physical perfection, to see that there Is a door beyond the one they have shut themselves behind.
I look at my body positive icons like Jes Baker, Virgie Tovar, Ragen Chastain and think about the strides they have made in their midst with helping ladies overcome body shame and understand size acceptance. It’s an uphill struggle for them But it is nothing like the one I have in front of me here in Asia. So I Have to make waves, I have to resonate my stance and stomp my feet against the ridiculous expectations towards physical and aesthetic perfection. The vast number of slimming centres and slimming billboard advertisements here are appalling.
I have actually seen a billboard saying “Why be a whale when you can be a mermaid?”
Yet another ad showed the legs of a pig (yes you read that right) in comparison to slim legs to prove their point.
Oh HELL No.
I hear girls here at a size 6 or 8 deem themselves fat. How distorted does your body image have to be to see that big a disparity in the mirror? What is society propagating about our bodies? Imagine having irrational beliefs ingrained in you from childhood. That is a lot of self destruction waiting to happen.
So that is why I share my story time and again. I hated myself from the age of 10. Girls today start much younger. I binge ate and purged my way through high school. I started exercising excessively from the age of 13. Girls are doing that way before high school/secondary school now. That scares me.
I had the good fortune of a guilty conscience that knew that this lifestyle was so wrong and had to change. But it has taken me years and it is still taking me time to adapt to the new and improved self.
This was the interview published in the papers, unfortunately there is no internet edition to it so you’ll have to read the interview in this picture.
Here’s me with my two other friends who are interviewed, how gorgeous are they?
Here was the entire section on us
My friend Annie was scorned by her ex husband for being ‘fat’. Oh how people just love throwing that word around in vain. As you can see, she is an In Betweenie – certainly not fully plus sized nor completely straight sized. She was shamed for her appearance. Thankfully today she is in a much better place in her life and is a relationship coach to many people out there in need of guidance.
My friend Rani has a unique story.
She was never shamed for her weight and grew up feeling comfortable with her body. Like Annie, she is an In Betweenie as well..just like Nadia Aboulhosn is.
In Betweenies don’t have it easy either because they have trouble shopping in the straight sized and plus sized section to find the perfect fit. But these ladies have made it work.
But Rani was so pained by the way women viewed themselves. She decided that they deserved to dress in far less frumpy clothing in dull colours and started her own online store, The Curve Cult. Check out the Facebook Page if you’d like!
I was an In Betweenie for the longest time until becoming a sz US 14/UK 18 a few years back. Back then, I did not know how to dress my body (let alone know what an In Betweenie was), had the hardest time finding clothes that fit me and was called Fat to my face all the time so I hid myself beneath dowdy, drab clothing and hid behind closed doors, even covering the mirrors in my room to avoid looking at my reflection because I believed that I was hideous to look at. It made me want to scratch my face and cut myself, something I did in the past.
But that has changed.
I have changed. And I want you to know that there is no reason to be ashamed of yourself. We are all made imperfect and therein lies our beauty.
Tomorrow, I have a full day ahead of me with the We Can Arts Festival. For the We Can campaign I had given a speech in June that I shared with you.
There is more that needs to be done and I am going to work hard at getting them done.
For sometime this year I was mired in emotional distress. Now that the grey clouds have passed, it is time to step up to the podium and not shy away from the spotlight. So that I can shine a light on the issues close to my heart.
Your greatest ally is the person you see in the mirror. If you don’t see that yet, let me show you the greatness you are capable of when you confront your demons. I will lead by example.
There has been a touching video being passed around of women looking into a mirror and having the reflection speak back. The video was made
by a band called The Mrs, an all-female band from Austin, Texas. This is what they had to say
“We recently asked women how they felt when they looked into the mirror. As you can see, we didn’t like their answers so we decided to help change it.
ENOUGH looking in the mirror with such a critical eye.
ENOUGH of that negative voice we hear in our heads.
ENOUGH letting the world tell us who we should be”
You can view the video Here
I leave you with this lovely thought by Roald Dahl :
“If you have good thoughts,
They will shine out of your face like sunbeams and You will always look lovely”
Be Kind to Yourself ❤
All my love,
Aarti Olivia Dubey xxxo