Body Image

Over Confidence? Big Girl Shame? Um, No.

Ironically, this week, no sooner did I post about those fleeting moments of confidence, two articles post up- on the opposite end of the spectrum that left me….

IRKED.

So I apologize in advance for the length of my post today, as there are quite a few things that need to be addressed here…

Post One: Essence.com

Over on Essence.com, the author fashions a piece and posted the question: “Black Women suffering from Confidence Overdose” although they subsequently re-titled it, “Suffering from a Confidence Overdose.” Now while it may seem a fair question and conversation to have, the author proceeds to equate over-confidence to plus size women in too-tight and ill-fitting clothes. The author shares:

“But baby, on the flip side, if you are a size 16, no amount of squeezing, pulling, tugging, yanking, or praying is going to make getting into a pair of size 10 shorts look good. Yet I see sisters strutting around all the time in clothes that are clearly from the junior section when they need to be front and center at Ashley Stewart. They’re parading around in baby tees with their tummies spilling over their waistbands, ready to verbally assassinate anybody who dares suggest it ain’t cute… but it’s not a good look.”

What bothered me about this post was not the question pointed to black women (hence them changing the name of the post) but the directness posted to plus size women. Now I may be a bit sensitive- HOWEVER, I think this post was a bit misdirected.

Rather than pointing out the obvious-to-me point: DENIAL that WOMEN, not only Plus Size women live in, but women in general. We have all been there, some are still there, and some will never leave from there, but that should have been the issue rather than singling out women like this. I do not feel it’s encouraging, productive, or helping anyone.

My Issues with this:

  1. Denial means refusing to see the obvious truth staring at you and denial is NOT size specific
  2. Size is JUST a number, not a determination of how fabulous you are (although many still define themselves by this standard)
  3. Ill fitting clothes and dressing for one’s age or lifestyle more times than not underlying issues- while over-confidence is an easy mark to place this observation on, it almost always goes way deeper than that
  4. Rather than knock a woman trying to do her thing, if you are not going to provide solutions, then why even address or provide resources to educate the reader?

Post Two: Coco & Crème

The Curvy Fashionista in her Bathing Suit

Coco & Crème shared a very interesting post that had me going on an emotional roller coaster with the author. In the post titled “Big Girls, Confidence, and Shame,” the author shares her experiences to Miami, her one-piece bathing suit woes with her sarong, and her experiences on the beach.  Her personal conflict with her confidence and body in contrast to the plus size women in two-piece frocks posed an internal conflict for her:

Initially, I was mortified for the women. How could they come out of the house like that? Suddenly, as I continued to watch them, my embarrassment turned into admiration. Wow, these women sure are confident. They smiled and laughed, played in the water, walked across the sand, flirted with the guys. They were everywhere. Here I stood in my long robe, and there they lived, happy, free and confident.

But then this is where the post got interesting:

That’s when I noticed some of the stares and glares they were receiving from people passing by. The pride I found in their confidence slowly turned back into embarrassment. While some of the women tastefully showed off their curves, some were not so refined. People noticed their cellulite, stretch marks and body rolls, all of which I kept hidden under my one-piece and sarong. Then I began to think, are these women confident or do they have no shame?

She then ends on the note of a question:

Are these women really confident or is it something else? Is their confidence really a lack of shame in their current size? Better yet, is it ok to be ashamed of certain attributes, or should we be proud of it all?

This actually made me a bit sad and confused. Why do you feel beautiful and confident when you feel no one is watching OR while you witness plus size women who are comfortable in their skin yet you deny yourself the happiness once you realize that others are judging?  And your once fleeting confidence turns to shame? SHAME???? EXCUSE ME? What really bothered me is the conclusion of shame. Seriously. SHAME or lack thereof?

My Issues with this:

  1. I mean, last I checked I am a plus size woman and  I swim. I rock bathing suits both ONE PIECE and TWO PIECES! Did you SEE my Bathing Suit Confidence Post?
  2. To answer your question, as a woman, we all have our assets we LOVE and those we do not, and to make it ALL work- you accentuate the positive and camouflage the rest.
  3. Why are you so quick to admire then look down upon the woman YOU are? How is THIS edifying?

With these two posts, I am confuzzled. YES… Confuzzled.  I am off my soapbox, but before I ask you your thoughts about the essay I just wrote, I leave you with two feel good posts- JUST this WEEK!

Elizabeth Patch begs you to Stop Hating your Body and The Gloss shares how My Size should NOT determine who I date.

With all this said, I would love to hear your thoughts… am I being sensitive or were their approaches off-putting as well? Are you this woman who sees other plus size women and become embarrassed? How do you feel about the opinions shared here?

If anything this just fuels me to continue on with sharing, encouraging, educating, and helping whomever I can with thier journey into plus size fashion…

*steps off soapbox*

 

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