Body. Image. Self

When I was growing up I don’t recall ever being told I was beautiful. I sift through memories and the one thing that continuously comes out strongly is how I felt awkward and not pretty. I recall the words used to reference my appearance, and they were never appealing.

I am a “Grand Dame Queen Beast” –  thanking Ms. Jill Scott for this piece of metaphoric brilliance. I have come to understand one thing about the world I live in, it has never loved me and never will. Therefore I have to claim that which is mine, come what battle or war I have to engage in.

Being what is termed a plus size woman, there are many hurdles one has to pass. It’s like taking on a persona for the rest of your life that is not necessarily yours because there is so much that you have to prove to the world. It’s a constant battle between what you know of yourself, and what the world assumes you are.

Until a couple of years ago, I had no clue that there was a subculture of men who simply adore and worship plus size women. This was something that at first weirded me out, coz really what sane warm-blooded man finds a woman adorned with folds and extreme softness attractive. As far as I understood, there was nothing attractive or to be wanted from a woman too big for the world to love. We have been ostracised by modern culture, and told that we do not belong.

These men, with big girl fetishes, still intrigue me to this day. Needless to say, they mean well, and they know how to treat a sister well. Shout out to my CurvyGirlLovers.

Now let me talk you shade throwers, yes I see you. There are those who still perpetuate the notion that bigger women (and men) are simply lazy, fat and should get to ‘gym and shed some of the weight’, so they can fit into your idea of what normal is. Listen here I am neither lazy or a sloth. These misconceptions have perpetuated a culture of self-hatred and loathing for people who do not look like the cookie cutter mass media production of what a woman (or man) should be.

It took me many years to come to a place of self-love, just for the person I am and most importantly for the body I inhabit. I had to start from scratch, loving every bit of me so that I could recognize myself as a whole. From the colour of my eyes to the crease of my smile, to the tone of my skin and the arch of my back; the curve of my thighs; the length of my arms; and the moulds of my Double D cups and all that has existed in-between. It took me a long time to love ME and accept me.

We have been socialized to think that a woman can only be and look a certain way, and should she not conform, she cannot be considered a woman and most importantly found to be beautiful. Beauty comes in many shapes and forms of people.

There are so many gorgeous plus size women out there, their shapes as bountiful as the size of their thighs. For me, it is a beautiful thing to see a woman, lather herself in confidence and choose to face the world on her terms. With Woman’s Month coming up I simply cannot co-sign to a world which ensures that women continuously put each other down. We live in treacherous times, where we should be building nations that are safe, competent and accepting of all who live in them.

All I’m saying is, the next time you are likely to make assumptions about a voluptuous woman, don’t make assumptions about only what you see. Remember she can build nations, she has the power to love a man and weaken his knees, and all while nurturing his soul and running the world.