Note to Reader: My apologies for the delay with part 2. Health woes came in the way and I will be seeing a specialist to work through the PCOS and Endometriosis issues.
Righto, so where were we?
Why did I begin fashion blogging? (Cont’d)
A vast majority of women speak badly of their bodies quite a number of times in a day. Why? Because we have been conditioned to view ourselves as inadequate in the eyes of the masses. In order to be accepted, there is a constant strive for physical perfection. More women today go under the knife to live up to societal expectations than ever before. This, happens in a world that ‘supposedly’ celebrates originality.
I will never tire of this line – If everybody looked the same, we would get tired of looking at each other. (I quoted musical group Groove Armada on this!).
We weren’t churned out of factories with people assembling us identically. This need to look perfect does nothing for your self worth. Am I purpoting that you do not lose weight? No. Am I suggesting that you should not take care of your body? Certainly not.
There is a big difference between Wellness and Obsession.
As a plus sized woman, I have my fair share of body shamers and haters. Especially because I have the audacity to parade myself across social media platforms without being profusely apologetic for it or without explaining myself. Among my plus size Asian counterparts, almost 80% of them would rather be slimmer than be comfortable in their current silhouette.
Why? Because we get shamed everywhere we go. People do not know how to engage in body positive dialogue, let alone know what that even means. The first thing a person says after meeting you in a long while is “Oh my, you’ve lost weight/put on weight yah?”. I have noticed that there is a hostility that gets served up when someone like me refuses to acknowledge such conversations or (gasp!) not explain away that I am in the midst of a weight loss regime to put their minds at ease. Walking into a clothing store will guarantee that I will be ‘fat scanned’. That comes with the guarantee that I will either have a sales assistant squinting her eyes at me while she says “Sorry, nothing in Your size here. Maybe you can try another place.” (If I am lucky, that they apologise, that is) OR I will be referred to the section of extremely ill-fitting, matronly-looking clothing.
People are very vocal with their opinions about my body. They are compelled to dish out nuggets of nutrition or fitness advice. Because obviously I have NEVER seen the inside of a gym and obviously my idea of relaxing involves copious amounts of second helpings during mealtime. As a woman, I object to this. As a feminist, I abhor this. Female bodies are considered public property. Everyone feels the need to get in on critiquing a woman’s appearance from head to toe.
Which is why I publicly post fashion shoots of me in my big body. Look at these flappy arms, this double chin, that VBO (visible belly outline), those thick dimpled thighs. Look at it in all its glory and Learn. Learn that some of us are part of a simple but revolutionary movement: Loving our bodies.
Before a fashion fiend and body positive activist, I am a feminist. If there truly is to be equality across genders, women of ALL forms need to be respected and loved. My fashion posts are not just about trying the latest trend or showing off a snazzy purchase. I am taking a stand.
What is my mission as a blogger moving forward?
My mission is to harness and create a safe space for people of All sizes to pick away at the moulds they have been told to fit into. Curves Become Her is a body positive habitat. I hope to encourage open communication between my readers and I, to be a confidante when they feel poorly about themselves, to reframe the internal/external dialogue and body politics we engage in.
Naturally, this is without a doubt also a place for me to grow and learn from. To share my introspective explorations, to share my evolving style journey and work through my insecurities/hang-ups.
What has blogging taught me?
Oh gosh where do I even start. Blogging has taught me to feed my mind with an inspiring curriculum in order to harvest creativity.
It has taught me that being passionate about this constantly drives me to take my posts to the next level. It challenges my style quotient, helps me gain new perspectives, inspires me to type draft after draft and do the necessary research. It makes me want to keep myself informed with the goings-on in the body positive, plus size and fashion worlds.
It has taught me to look for inspiration in everything that I do and experience. I have learnt to prioritise my time better. I plan my posts in advance and and take better care of myself (health wise) so that I can stay sharp. Downtime is so important – there is nothing like switching your mind’s jibber jabber for a while to just soak in a tub or watch a funny show.
Blogging has taught me to appreciate critique but not take nonsense from insensitive shamers or haters.
It has taught me to have fun with fashion again 🙂
I have met so many amazing people since starting this little webspace and formed a sisterhood of sorts. I have definitely learnt to overcome my shyness (yes I am Very shy, believe it or not) and reach out to fellow bloggers and other folks.
This wraps up my relaunch post for Curves Around the World. Be sure to check out my fellow CATW lovelies’ relaunch posts in the links below:
Kate from Perth, Australia
Nina from California, USA
Thuli from South Africa
Jennifer from Germany
Stephany from Germany
Chat soon dearies, Be kind to yourself!
xxxo Aarti Olivia