Kick it back to #SpringBreak2016 Where my life was a series of being surrounded by the people that I absolutely love in my life. It was spontaneous- filled with outrageous stories, laughter, beaches, and the hunt for the ultimate bathing suit. My other half chauffeured me around Jacksonville on her day off as we cruised through our usual haunts- Target, Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, and dare I say Lane Bryant. As we visited each of the first 3 stores, I was getting much more frustrated as I came out with really cool sandals from target, cute cheap shorts from Old Navy, and no bathing suit (This was a problem because our next stop was literally the beach).So after passing Lane Bryant where my mom used to have to drag me into when I was younger (Stigmas stick with you, my friends) Kris and I gingerly stepped into the plus size only store. 15 minutes later we were both trying things on, coming out and modeling for the wonderful sales ladies as we pranced around. We Oohed and Ahhed and just like that, my bikini was bought and we were out the door.
Two hours later, that excitement of my bathing suit and how cute I looked seemed to fade as I walked on the beach noticing the drastic difference of women my size and age in their swim suits. Modest cover ups, or no bathing suits at all. This isn’t my first bikini, and it certainly won’t be my last but as the summer kicks in, this year I feel more and more pressured to have to explain or apologize why I feel the need to wear a hot pink bikini top with black high waisted bottoms. Why that 6 inches of skin is shown above my waist line along with my whole thighs. Maybe it’s because I finally feel like I am a little bit more of an adult (Not really) but I have come to the conclusion that I Am Not A Bad Word. Having wide hips, or a big stomach, huge thighs, big boobs, small boobs, a Queen Bae Butt, etc.. does not mean they are curse words.
So many times we are gracefully asked to cover up the not so beautiful parts. So many of my friends who are considered PLUS SIZE or CURVY are reminded of this. I asked a few of my friends who have identified with that title and that was a ringing statement. Even just the name PLUS SIZE is tinged with negative undertones… “Well I want people to know that I don’t feel a need to characterize my body in any way that makes other people more comfortable with it..”(Angelica)
I’ve found myself reminded of the beauty of ME so many times since then and as I look at the wonderful women that are in my life I realize they are not curse words either.They are strong, independent, absolutely gorgeous WOMEN who are taking on the world. Whether they are a size 4 to a size 22, or in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc.. they are WOMEN. They have taught me to be graceful, to be strong, and to love life whether it’s in a 2 piece bathing suit or a really cute dress. We judge ourselves too harshly, Woman is not a curse word and neither is my body, my humor, my sarcasm, my heart, nor (heaven forbid) my hair. SO this summer, I will rock my 2 piece bathing suit, my huge hair, my crooked glasses, my stomach, my jiggly thighs and my not so strong chin. I will not let it stand in the way of my life because, Lord knows, you only get one.