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The “Plus-Size” ISSUE: Why Are Women So Hard to Swallow? (Is It Our Big Bones?)

Glamour Magazine probably didn’t mean to start a riot when they published their Plus-Size Issue, but that’s what happened. It was supposed to be a publication for women, sizes 12 and up, that made them feel empowered and accepted. Glamour stumbled into a minefield though, when it listed it’s favorite Plus-Size Women. Imagine Amy Schumer’s surprise when she found her self-proclaimed size-6 name on that list. Schumer then stepped into a minefield of her own when she called out Glamour for including her, and enraged a world full of plus-size women in the process.

So now, pretty much everyone is pissed off.

Every day, I find another article circling social media that bashes Amy Schumer for disrespecting plus-size women. I understand why everyone is mad at her, but I also understand why Amy was offended in the first place. We ALL might understand it better if we just renamed Glamour’s Plus Size Issue, and called it the Big Girl Issue.

And what about the Women Who Inspire Us section in the Big Girl Issue, where Amy was listed with Melissa McCarthy, Adele and Ashley Graham? We’ll just call that the Wow! Look What You’ve Accomplished, Big Girl! section. Does it still feel inspirational?

See, nobody likes to be called a Big Girl, and it has nothing to do with their actual size.

I can say this, as someone who has carried around 10 to 30 extra pounds her whole life. This has always frustrated me, but it’s been even more difficult for the people around me. I know this because they’re always telling me so. It started with my mom, who was almost apologetic about my extra pounds. When my first daughter was born, Mom circulated a baby photo of Emma that said, “We’re hoping she’s built like her Dad.”

That’s really not fair because moms are genetically inclined to fat-shame. My excess weight has been most trying for the people I’ve worked with over the years, who repeatedly told me to lose weight. One man even said, “You would look so great if…”

He never finished his sentence because his brain finally caught up with his mouth. It didn’t really matter because the “if you just lost some weight” part still hung in the air like a stubborn fart.

It’s never OK to say these things about a person’s body. The world has forgotten that though, because it’s been talking out of both sides of it’s mouth for so long. One side says, “LOVE YOURSELF AND THE SKIN YOU’RE IN! SHAME ON THE FAT-SHAMERS!”

The other side plugs gastric bands and Victoria Secret.

Even Melissa McCarthy, the Queen of Flipping Off Fat Shamers, has been on a long and largely successful weight-loss campaign. Good for her, but isn’t that kind of like learning that the “Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner” guy is vegan?

No wonder we’re all so confused.

Why is there so much discussion about women’s bodies in the first place? Why does it bother the world that women come in different shapes and sizes? Would putting us all in the same boring package make us easier to swallow? And let’s not forget how quickly the world lets us know when someone has gotten too skinny. People say “too fat” or “too thin” and claim it comes from a place of concern, but does it really? Were people really that worried about Rob Kardashian’s weight gain? Because they sure couldn’t stop talking about it.

What Glamour Magazine and the rest of us need to remember is that no one likes to be judged by their body. (OK, there are a few who do but they’re too busy Cross-Fitting right now to read this.) The world has acknowledged that labeling people based on their skin color and sexual preference is wrong, so why is sorting out people by body-size still OK? And if someone walked in the door right now and called out “Hey there, Big Girl” to you, how would it make you feel?
I bet empowered and accepted falls pretty far down on that list.

4 Comments

  1. I follow you on twitter through the bloggess tribe. I have to say this, you know what really bugs me? How come no one EVER is all “Man, Kevin James is really funny let’s make a special issue about fat male comedians and commend them for being brave enough to still be comics even though they are fat.” I have never heard that about Chris Farley or Kevin James or John Popper from Blues Traveler. Yet, when women are recognized for their talent, the first thing said is “How brave, go you, being a fantastic singer and still being fat.” Like come off it, Adele’s voice is spectacular no matter what her body looks like. What does it matter?!?
    I also 100% support Amy Schumer for calling Glamour out. She isn’t plus-sized at all. I am plus-sized and I wasn’t offended by it, I agreed with her. Just because she isn’t Hollywood twig thin doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with her. Woman looks good!
    And I laughed at the Cross Fit remark!

    1. Thank you Meg! You’re absolutely RIGHT about the double standard. Not only does Kevin James get a fat-pass, he ALWAYS HAS THE HOTTEST HOLLYWOOD STARLETS PLAY HIS LOVE INTERESTS!

  2. I love you (more) for this.
    It’s always interesting to learn how people think of themselves. I’ve always thought of you as small and slender. It’s crazy to me that people have shamed you over your size. CRAZY.

    1. Thank you Kerry! I just goes to show that there is no rhyme or reason to the way we see ourselves and each other. Which is exactly what makes labeling so POINTLESS! And you know I love you back.

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