2010 is the year in which my quest is about helping as many people as I can to feel good about themselves regardless of who they are and what they hope to achieve. I aim to do this through my writing, making connections, interacting in online communities and through selling beautiful clothes to women.
And the reason for this declaration? Some time ago I wrote an article titled “I’m fat and ugly and Nobody loves me” which was published in a monthly newsletter by our local women’s network. I confess that the title was meant to be an attention grabbing headline designed to get people responding. And before you ask – no I don’t believe that I am ‘fat and ugly’ and that nobody loves me.
It was actually a business article about self-image – surprise surprise. It highlighted the fact that how you feel about yourself and what you have to offer can have a major impact on your chances for success. It had a terrific response with women contacting me to let me know that what I had to say resonated with many of their own thoughts. I was delighted to hear this.
What happened next was something that I had not anticipated. There was a sudden peak in the amount of traffic that I was getting to my website where I had also published this article. Whilst this could be deemed as exciting I was instead greatly saddened by what I saw.
The increase was due to this one article. Visitors had come to the site having typed in a variety of phrases based on the title “I’m fat and ugly and nobody loves me”. And some of those phrases were particularly sad and derogatory. They implied that they felt judged, condemned, bad, worthless and that they did not belong amongst the clans of the beautiful people nor did they have any faith whatsoever that this would ever change.
But the question is, who is to blame for this? Is it the media and their need to present airbrushed perfection? Is the the fashion industry trying to force the public into conforming to a uniformed global view of beauty? Is it just a fashionable trend or is it something much deeper and more serious than this?
How do you feel about “FAT” people – do you judge them? Do you think that people who see themselves as being “Fat and Ugly” and believe that nobody loves them is a real issue?
I was disappointed to read an article about Selfridges closing their women’s plus size department recently but I was deeply shocked by some of the comments left by the readers. In this instance it was not the press playing a part in this silly game. Whilst I think that Selfridges are mad to close this department – for all sorts of reason that I won’t go into now – the vitriol and intolerance expressed was unbelievable. I have copied a few of the comments below. I cannot believe that people think that using whip-like tactics going to help make changes they so obviously want to see. If anything they are compounding the situation in the most appalling way. I could not bring myself to include some of the worst.
“Plenty of people find it too much effort to exercise more than their jaws then look for justification for being fat and taking up one & a half seats on planes, buses and trains so it is other peoples business. Now skinny people, like me, don’t take up someone’s share of space.”
“One more reason to shed the flab then which can only be a good thing.”
“why dont they just loose weight and be healthy and then they can fit into smaller sizes. They need to stop eating so much and stop being so greedy. size 6 looks so good.”
“Maybe it is a wake up call for the health of the nation.Women and men have become FATTER .Yes I use that terrible word. But it is a fact. Once The average women hits a size 14 it is time for her to realize that she has really and truly entered the Fat zone.Overeating plus no exercise equals fat,flab and bad health FACT FACT FACT….. Bowl of low sugar cereal in morning,light lunch of salad 1 slice of bread.Dinner 1 potato,lots of fresh veg 4oz of chicken,fish or meat is normal eating and normal weight…….. Fry up and copious amounts of toast and butter in morn,bars and crisps throughout morning followed by fast food lunch and then big dinner of chips,fizzy drinks,pudding etc and a few lagers in eve equals moving up dress sizes….. gluttony.So instead of blaming selFRIDGES keep your heads out of the FRIDGES and eat normaly and fit into normal clothes. Take responsibility for yourself . Yes women you have the choice to be fit and lean or FAT and unhealthy. Dont blame selfridges !!!”
“People get fat through over eating and lack of exercise, it is that simple. No excuses, it is sheer greed and lack of willpower. There is nothing worse than seeing rolls of fat hanging over jeans, people out of breath because they have walked a few yards, those that are too fat that they are unable to pick something up off the floor and the ones who will defend their greed by blaming everyone but themselves. Being fat is unattractive and unhealthy. A size 20 dress uses way more material than say a size 10 so the over-weight get more for their money and that is not fair. “
“People are fat because they eat too much and take no excercise!”
Can you imagine what would happen if these were about race or religion? What I don’t understand is how can this ‘whipping’ approach ever be considered successful? I do believe that in some instances that ‘tough love’ is the answer for certain types of people – but this attitude is outright bullying. If people are encouraged thoughtfully and sympathetically then no doubt the results would surely be so much more positive. NONE of these negative comments took into consideration that we are all different shapes and there are MANY reasons why anyone can put on weight. As this woman quite rightly said you cannot measure everyone by the same yardstick.
Thankfully she was not the only one who spoke out against the venom expressed by narrow minded thinkers.
Another brouhaha erupted recently as 5000 members were chucked off a dating site for having put on extra pounds over the Festive period – I mean realistically how many pounds can a person put on in just a few weeks? The site in question works on the premise that only ‘Beautiful’ people are welcome. Members are voted in by other members and those who do not immediately get enough votes from other members are being ousted out. To me this is frighteningly close to extremist views akin to Hitler’s visions of Aryan superiority. This leaves me feeling more horrified than ever. And what makes them feel that they can behave in such an imperious manner? What is the matter with the organisation putting these sorts of measures on the site and thinking that this is acceptable? I think that this is the WORST example of how bad it can get with CLOSED, SELECTIVE AND CONTROLLING attitudes.
So .. What about you? Do you think that all plus-size people are lazy gits and greedy couch potatoes?
Many Big Beautiful Women like to stay fit and healthy as I am sure that big handsome guys do too – being big does NOT equate to being idle layabouts nor does it mean stuffing like a famished beast that has been on starvation rations for a month. Before I go any further into the whys and wherefores of why I am highlighting the plight of the big beautiful women (and men) out in the world, I would like to say – I believe in being healthy. Many big people I know do too. I do believe in eating sensibly and exercising regularly. Whilst I am perfectly aware that there are plenty of less active souls out there who stuff themselves silly with excessive amounts of junk food, not everyone should be tarred with the same brush and treated as if they all do this. Many people are known as human dustbins and yet are more akin to looking like stick insects than blubbery whales. But are they judged and condemned? No, if anything they are applauded and praised for this exceptionally lucky talent.
Some of our customers when they come to buy new luxury clothes, we find out that they perpetually berate themselves for being lazy even though they might be considerably fitter than many skinny people I know. One such woman who is definitely on the larger side of a size 26 recently ran the marathon after many months of carefully managed training and super healthy diet. That cannot be considered lazy in anyone’s book.
Many Plus-sized ladies come to us for approval and acceptance – something that is sadly lacking in the rest of their lives. Why?
They may come to us to buy clothes as they are desperate to find sophisticated garments that actually fit them but when it comes down to the real nitty gritty – some are just in need of acceptance for who they are. We are well known amongst certain circles as being creators of sensual and beautiful garments and the fact that we can cater for women of all shapes and sizes. Invariably we can come up with an outfit for most women that enhance their attributes allowing them to look sexy, elegant and sophisticated. I would hope that this would enable them to feel great about themselves too. The sad thing is that almost every woman I know has body image issues. Many are often riddled with the most astonishing complexes – some are quite bizarre fixations about the tiniest of details. More often than not those perceptions are greatly distorted from reality.
People not only pre-judge themselves, they also have the pre-conceived notion that we will condemn them for not being the epitome of perfection. Reading those comments makes me realise that no wonder this is the way that they behave. The language that they use is extreme. Statements like “I’m fat and ugly” are not a rarity nor is it unusual to hear people say “You can’t possibly have anything to fit me!” What is worse is when a woman says that her loved ones (parents, brothers or worse still her husband) are more than willing to tell them how bad they look too. And even more sickening than that is the fact that this has nothing to do with size or perceived beauty. Women who are the epitome of perfection can also suffer from such detrimental relationships. So why do they think like this? And why do they need to come to an outsider for acceptance for who they are? I personally think that the answers to this problem lie deep within much bigger issues and it is going to take a while to fully understand the problem.
My New Year’s resolution for 2010 – follow my quest to help people feel good about themselves.
So my New Year’s resolution for 2010 is to offer unconditional acceptance to all the people I meet. To empower when I can see how to empower. To encourage each and every individual to become a perfect manifestation of themselves in all their glory. This will be done in the spirit of unconditional love and total acceptance. I will not judge them for their size, shape, colour, creed, religious beliefs, sexual persuasion, political inclinations or country of origin. I may not understand everyone but I will do my best.
The sooner that we all accept that we are all made in different moulds the better. Our genetic make-up coupled with our lifestyles can have a major impact on how our bodies respond. We are all different and amazing BECAUSE of our differences and for those people who can’t get that – get over it! Perfection in terms of God like imagery is a myth! Instead consider that we are all perfect just the way that we are – with all our scars and wrinkles. Every one of us has a unique story to tell and we should always allow our true selves to shine through with every smile.