Minus The Plus
Big is beautiful. Curvy is desirable. Every size is sexy. Ever present comments flooding social media in recent years with the constant undertone of body positivity. But just how positive is the "plus size movement"? Where does it leave the curvier women who do not want to be identified by their pant size? Where is the voice for individuals who are just women, not necessarily "plus size" or "curvy"? Why is there the apparent, insatiable need to clarify who I am based on how many pounds I carry?
When my boyfriend (and conveniently my photographer) and I sat down to brainstorm the creation of what is now Excuse My Midwest, he questioned why I wanted to identify myself as plus size. Initially, I was defensive and felt I had to safeguard my identity of plus size blogger. But then I thought about his question. Why did I feel this need to only distinguish myself as plus size? I am not only what size I wear. I bring a lot more creativity and authenticity to the table besides my dress size. And I recognized at that moment that he had a point. My identity from that point on was blogger, and nothing else.
That self actualization leads me to this post. You will take notice on my blog and Instagram that I do not advertise myself as a Plus Size Blogger. Am I plus size? Yup. Does that define who I am professionally, creatively, or personally? Nope. Have I always followed this thought process? No. I had echoed the "big is beautiful" mantra and attached myself to that crowd because it felt like I finally belonged to something. But as I have gotten older and developed a stronger sense of self, I chose not to identify with being a plus size woman. I now view that connotation somewhat demeaning and dehumanizing. I am a human. I am a woman. I am a blogger. I am a professional. But I am not a plus size woman. I am a woman, period.
In therapy, one is taught to always refer to an individual struggling with mental health in "person first language." Person first does exactly as it sounds; places the person before the perceived problem. Imagine a world where all cultures, races, weights, socio-economic levels, and cognitive functioning's were addressed as the person first. Because when we get right down to it, WE ARE ALL HUMANS. We all have stories and experiences that have brought us to the human you see in front of you.
You will not see me identifying myself as a plus size woman, ever again. Because I am not. I am a woman, who wears plus and straight sizes, and that does not define who I am, nor is it any of your damn business.
xoxo Miranda from the Midwest