The Cheyenne Hour: Single, Fat Female Addicted to Retail — My Daily Struggle as a Plus-sized Woman
I’m fat. Yes, you’ve heard me correctly. I am absolutely F-A-T and proud of it. Many of you may be reading this like “Damn, she really went there. Isn’t the ‘F word’ something that is negatively regarded in society?” And my response to this is simply — yes.
For the longest time, the word “fat” has been used as a way to marginalize people, especially womyn, from the cultural norm. This word also plays a key role in the sizing of clothing. Despite the fact that “fat” is used to demean people, I have found comfort in the word by reclaiming it for myself as something positive.
Being a plus-sized woman of color is a beautiful yet challenging experience. There are days where I wake up feeling like I, in all of my curvaceous glory, can take on anyone and anything, but there are also days where I spend countless minutes staring at myself in the mirror and wishing that I had vampiric DNA so that I couldn’t see my own reflection. Although I have come a very long way, there are still a few things that I find to be frustrating and bothersome from time to time. Two of these things are shopping and dating.
Now, for those of you who are familiar with me on social media — FYI: if y’all want to get your lives and be slayed by the fat and fabulous queen herself, follow ya girl on Instagram @_mochahontas14 — I am always posting pictures that feature me with the latest trends.
Needless to say that I am both moderately broke with somewhat expensive tastes and a shopaholic. I am constantly on the lookout for new trends to try and incorporate into my own personal style. However, even searching can be quite disheartening when I see someone who is visibly smaller than I am sporting an outfit of interest. In these moments I find myself staring at these images and wondering “Am I too big to fit into these clothes?”
Sometimes this question lingers in my head as I strut into the mall and into mainstream stores. I must admit that I am somewhat pleased with the strides that stores have taken to become more inclusive. I cite Forever 21 as a prime example because they were one of the very first “trendy” stores to feature plus-sized clothing. However, even with these selections I sometimes find myself becoming disgruntled because some of the pieces are not meant for women with curves, and the sizing can also be a bit off when it comes to clothing made with certain fabrics.
My top pet peeve about shopping is some of the microaggressions and societal “punishment” that occurs within clothing stores. For instance, when you have a relatively big a** store like Forever 21, why the hell is the plus size section a small, obscure and dusty a** corner of the store?
Secondly, I find it very frustrating and marketably “convenient” for these stores to put all the straight sizes, which are on average sizes 0-10, in the main section of the store to keep your attention away from the plus-sized section.
Aside from this, one of the things that REALLY gets me annoyed is when I go to a store that has strictly straight sizes to either buy or browse — trust and believe just because you are plus-sized doesn’t mean you are limited to just plus-sized stores. However, some of these sales associates don’t agree with this and feel like they have to constantly stare or follow you around the store and ask you if you’re ok or need help. No, bish, I do not require assistance. I clearly am in here for a reason, and I know my body 10 times better than you ever would.
My next issue is dating. Ah, dating. Where the hell do I even begin? I have dated sporadically throughout my late teens and early twenties, and many of these experiences were on the one-way hot mess express train to nowhere. I felt that a lot of my partners didn’t take me seriously, and I attributed this insecurity to my weight.
Therefore, for a few years I decided to go on dating apps in order to prove to myself, and the world, that I and my body were both worthy enough to be praised by others. However, and even to this day when I still dabble on these apps, I feel like my efforts are met with nothing more than lewd pictures, “DTF?” messages and inappropriate messages about my body.
There were even some individuals that would ask me personal questions about my size and weight, and someone even went far enough to give me a five paragraph lecture on how my pictures didn’t match my description and how I’m still single because I’m deceptive. We all know that that’s purebullshit.com/HaveSeveralSeats. However, sometimes seeing these things really does blemish my self-esteem.
Even in real life I sometimes find myself to be that one big girl at the bar, sitting or dancing alone dressed in a kickass outfit, a cosmo in one hand, my phone in the other and a head full of pipe dreams of “the one” riding down on his noble steed to a jersey club beat and into the vacant chaise next to me.
However, time after time when the adjacent chaise still remains unoccupied, my martini glass is looking more half empty than full and I have to avert my gaze from those who look for me to dance when “Watch Out for the Big Girl” comes on, I still feel like that "undatable" fat girl in a crop top and skirt combo, a white faux fur jacket and a beat face.
But I’m here to tell y’all that I realize now that I have two choices, either wallow away and develop unhealthy aspirations to assimilate to societal norms or fight for myself to get a space bigger than my body to talk about body positivity and promote self-love. I chose to do the latter.
Everyday I try to wake up telling myself that I am more than what people conceive my body to be, therefore I have to walk forward with my head held high and my mind filled with nothing but positive thoughts. Is this an easy task? Hell no, but I will say that every day presents more and more accomplishments despite the challenges.
I’ve now started to walk into the store, past the dry-scalp key holders and into the obscure corners of these stores where I take pieces and wear the shit out of them as if the clothing gods made them just for me. I also decided to diversify my shopping by buying clothes from holy grail plus-size stores such as Ashley Stewart and ASOS.
I sit in the club and still sip my cosmo but instead of waiting for someone to finesse me I wait for the next poppin’ beat to finesse me. I don’t take being alone in these instances as a negative but I see it as the people who are around me couldn’t handle my swag even if they had instructions. With patience, someone will come who is just as poppin’ as I am.
So if you’d ask me again if I’m fat, I would respond most definitely because I’m large-bodied with a larger than life personality that exceeds my weight and my size.
Here’s a picture of me in all of my fat glory, and I must admit that even I’m S H O O K at how great I am.
I just want y’all to always remember that you are loved, important and to love yourself unconditionally. It’s a process, but just know that nothing worth having comes easy. Stay poppin’, moisturized and continue to slay!