A Blog from Abby Guy:
I have always been bigger than other girls my age, moving up to adult sizes before everyone else. Despite this, my favorite store was Limited Too, like most 8-10 year olds, and for the first year or two I fit comfortably in the largest size they carried, but soon I found myself squeezing my maturing body into the tiny shorts and tank tops that were popular. I struggled between dressing with the trend and dressing to feel comfortable. Even now, as a 16 year old, I sometimes struggle to find clothes that fit in the popular teen stores. I am a curvy size 14 and even though a 14 is the average size of a woman, anything above a size 8-12 is scarce in a regular Junior section of a store. Finding pants, shorts, or dresses in my size is extremely difficult, and when I am sent to the “Plus Size” section, I find that my options are still slim. Instead of companies making all of their clothes in a large range of sizes, they narrow it down to a small selection of mostly unflattering pieces, especially for a young girl. As a 16 year old, I still want to feel young and fun with my style. I find myself having to get creative with new pieces to find my right fit and feel as confident as possible in my clothes.
As a pageant girl, I struggle with this most when I am looking for a formal gown. Dress shops normally carry a small rack of plus size gowns that look like they are from Prom of 2007. At a time when you want to feel your most confident, having to go to 12 different stores for a gown that is both from this time period and in your size or having to squeeze into a sample gown while the clerk reassures you, “It’s not you honey, it’s the dress,” as they fight with the zipper and call in backup to push the air out of your lungs can be a little disheartening. It makes me think, “If I’m average why am I disregarded in the world of fashion?”
I have come so far on my journey in self confidence, from a shy, bullied kid to a talkative, confident teen. Kids in elementary school would say I was the fattest girl in the grade and those comments really damaged my self esteem to where when I was invited to a swim party, I didn’t want to go because I’d be the only one piece in a pool of bikinis.
My negative mindset about my weight carried over to my hobby of dance. I believed that I could never be the dancer I wanted to be because I didn’t have the body for it. Ballerinas were tall and slim, and I was short, and chubby. I lost confidence in myself and began to try less in dance class. My ability did not progress, and I felt even worse about the dancer I was.
I used to sit in the shower and list all of the things I wish I could change about myself, but now I stand there and proudly list in my head everything I love about my body, and I am glad to see that that list continues to get longer. I would obsess over the number on the scale, checking almost daily, but now I haven't been on a scale in over 2 years because I value my health and how comfortable and confident I feel in my body over any number on a scale. I look back at pictures of my younger self in times where I distinctly remember thinking I was fat and I realize now I was never as big as I thought I was. With representation of girls my size in the media, such as Ashley Graham who was the first plus size model on the cover of sports illustrated, and my growing confidence and acceptance of myself, I feel stronger in my individuality everyday. Life is a series of insecurities we have to overcome; if it’s not my weight, it’s my red, pimply skin, but we can’t let these insecurities stop us. I still have bad days, as I’m sure we all do, where I wish I didn’t have cellulite, or stretch marks, or my thighs rubbing in the summer heat, but as Amanda Moreno constantly reminds me, and an idea that has become my personal mantra, if I was meant to be anything than what I am, God, our creator, would have made me that way.
With Love From Life On the Curvy Side,