Posted by Jane Janeczko on October 24, 2013
As a plus-size woman who is completely comfortable with her size – I tend to attract a lot of haters. Body image issues are ingrained in our collective psyche at a very young age and as a result, people generally tend to have very opinionated views on what an ideal form should look like. My figure is not praised by the mainstream to be ideal, so I have to fight for the respect and courtesy that straight-size women can take for granted. Now, I’m not saying that every thin women has it easy. That is certainly not the case. Women are criticized for their heights, for their noses, for their posture, for their hair color, and for so much more. However, it is so important for thin women to recognize that they have a certain privilege for being thin.
Plus-size women are far too often made the butt of jokes or treated like novelty items in the media. While there are a few plus-size women in the public eye who are successful and popular, it is important to remember that there are only a few and for every fat Hollywood actress there are at least 50 thin starlets. Melissa McCarthy, Gabourey Sidibe, Rebel Wilson, and Adele can only do so much.
So, as a plus-size woman, it really falls on you to be your own role model, since there are so few celebrity models to aspire to, which is no easy feat since we are all prone to self-doubt. In order to combat feelings of inadequacy or insecurity, it’s important to practice radical self-love. Here is my personal list for taking care of my mental health by loving my body.
1. Take Some Selfies
As I’ve said before, taking selfies is one of the best forms of therapy. It makes you feel good about yourself, you get to control the image of yourself that you are projecting, and you get to enjoy positive feedback from friends and family about the results. What’s not to love? A little vanity is good sometimes.
2. Put Together Your Ideal Outfit
Now, not everyone can necessarily afford their “dream outfit,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get close! Spend some time online window shopping and search for your perfect ensemble. If you can’t afford it right away, put it on the back-burner and spend a few months saving up for it (that’s what I do). It’s important to spend both time and money on yourself every now and then. Because you absolutely deserve it. I recommend trying out Lookbook or Polyvore for outfit inspo.
3. Spend The Day Doing Beauty Treatments
Personally, I prefer an at home spa day to one at the salon so I treat myself to clay facemasks, Moroccanoil treatments for my hair, moisturizing every inch of my skin, and attempting really detailed manicures, all from the comfort of my own bathroom so I can binge watch episodes of 30 Rock on my laptop while I beautify myself.
4. Get A Haircut
There really isn’t a bigger ego-boost than a good, new haircut. It basically is a tailor-made excuse to take car selfies. Plus, for some reason I can never blow out my hair as well as my hairdresser can. Not only do you get to feel incredibly confident, but it’s nice to be pampered.
5. Take Some Time Away From Media
And by media, I mean both social media and the actual media. As much as I love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and the Internet in general, I never regret turning off my phone for a few hours so I can just enjoy interacting with the physical people who are around me. There’s really never anything so important that you need to check Facebook while you’re out to dinner with a friend, nor will anyone care if you’re a little late responding to a text message. Unplug, relax, and unwind.
6. Go To Lunch or Dinner With Your Besties And Refuse To Count Calories
There’s nothing more freeing or satisfying than going out with your friends and having a good time with no strings attached. Your diet will still be there tomorrow. Try something new and delicious, and don’t let anything stop you from enjoying time with people you love.
7. Send Someone You Love A Card
Everyone loves getting mail. So pay it forward and drop a card in the mail for a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Worst case scenario – you’ll be out $0.46.
8. Read Some Body-Positive Prose
Again, as I have said before, reading magazines that are put together without photoshop and seek to empower women can be such a wonderful outlet. Surround yourself with love and positivity.
What do you do when you’re feeling down? How do make yourself feel beautiful and valued? Let me know in the comments.