Body Confidence or Lack of it…
I think self-confidence is what makes a woman beautiful. But it is just so hard to achieve! I wear all black all the time. I hide behind a curtain of hair because my hair is the only thing about myself that I like, and I usually walk with my head down. I wasn’t like this when I was thinner!
But I was also young. As I got heavier it changed so much about me, and I can definitely tell you, I didn’t perform as well in my job because I didn’t have the self-confidence to be as good of a salesperson as I used to be. The lack of confidence has held me back from school and camp reunions, and even going out with thin friends and family. I just don’t want to be the token fat chick.
I know this isn’t politically correct. I love all the body-positive social media accounts. I just wish I could get on board. A young friend of mine and I were just texting about a new job she was promoted to. I told her how she needs to walk in there with tons of confidence. She has the same exact down-on-herself attitude as I do, and she is just starting out in life. This is what she said to me.
“I see Lizzo or someone wearing barely anything and I’m like “Yes! You are strong and sexy!” And then I look at myself and see “You’re a fat slob. No one will ever want you.”
I can so relate. She went on to say that she sees guys that are horrible looking dating these tiny women and she thinks “What hope is there for me?” She is young, imagine how I feel, 25 years older than her.
When I started my book blog, I kept my real identity a secret. It allowed me to write with more confidence than I actually had. When I started planning one of the very first book signings in 2012, I realized that I would have to speak in front of people, they would see the real, huge me! I was so scared and it almost stopped me from doing it. When I was young I sang in a band, I acted, I danced, I was a figure skater, a performer, and now I was petrified to welcome a bunch of readers to a book signing? I had t-shirts up for pre-order, and when the orders started coming in, the average size was 2x. I started crying when I realized I wouldn’t be the fattest person in the room. I can’t tell you how amazing and freeing that felt. It still amazes me when I go to book signings that I can really lose my inhibitions so much more because I’m just average-sized and I love that.
I have been watching Shrill on Hulu starring Aidy Bryant. It was hard to watch at first. She had no confidence and was basically letting everyone walk all over her because she didn’t think that she was worth any more than that. I watched her walk down the street and see this fabulous, fashionable, confident plus-sized woman walk past her and she started to follow her to see how she does it. I do that all the time. My favorite author is plus-sized and she totally rocks it. She has that same uber-confidence about her that is just amazing to see. At an event I was at with her recently, she wore a white body-con dress. She ROCKED it. I wouldn’t have been caught dead in it.
I have a plus-sized friend who is divorced and in her 40s with a very successful career. She is ALL CONFIDENCE. She dates several men at a time, and they are all younger and thinner than she is. She orders dessert when nobody else does and she is happy and confident doing it. I love her. I want to be her. I just don’t know how to get there.
Back to Shrill, there is another scene with a plus-sized inclusive pool party. It reminded me so much of the book signings. Everyone is having a great time without worrying about the rest of society. I wish we could all go through life like that! I’ve thought about moving to California, and then immediately thought “You can’t live in LA! You will be the fattest person in the city!” I live in South Florida. My sister recently moved here to an active country club community. It’s in Boca Raton, and she has made a ton of friends because she has so much confidence to just reach out and approach people without worrying about what they think of her weight (which was probably 125 at her heaviest). I went with her to dinner once and honestly, there was ONE heavy woman, and she was known as “the bitch”; maybe because she had to be to deal with the pressure to fit in. My immediate thought was that I could never live there because I would never have the confidence to make friends without worrying how much they are judging me. And all of these skinny women are dieting to get even skinnier.
I am really enjoying seeing Aidy Bryant come into her own on Shrill. This is this attitude I aspire to have.
(I was unable to find a source for this art that was sent to me)
But I’m still not there. Nor is my young friend, who told me something else:
“I think there are so many gorgeous plus-sized women and I want to be happier with myself but society tells me I can’t be happy with myself looking the way I do.”
Family pressure to eat healthier is from a place of love, we know that, but it still hurts. All the little comments and suggestions from friends or family who watched Dr. Oz that they pass along to us “because they care” just feel like a slap in the face and erode our self-confidence even more. You could see Aidy’s character’s mom loved her, but I kind of hated her for all of her “caring” comments.
What is the secret to self-confidence? Is it “fake it till you make it?” Is it therapy? How do you learn to love yourself when society calls you a “fat bitch”? Please tell me your thoughts below.