I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a household that never made me question the food I put in my mouth, the shape of my body, the number on the scale, or the size of my pants. I’ve never counted calories, I’ve steered clear of scales, and I’ve worn the same size since I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve managed to live my life as a confident, mildly chubby person with a relatively athletic lifestyle and close to zero body shame. What’s even more curious is the recognition that the things I dislike most about my body are not in my control: I will always have body hair that grows at a rapid pace and my boobs will continue to be larger than cantaloupes until I get health insurance and convince them to cover breast reduction surgery.
I love my body, my curves, my curls, my fat pinky toes, my oily skin, my boney wrists, and my doughy thighs. It wasn’t until a conversation I had with a male friend at a bar that I realized I would be considered a “big girl” on paper. I can’t help but cringe as I write those words because who fucking cares what numbers say about my body?!
This all came about when a girl sitting beside MF (male friend) whom I assumed to be random got up, gave him a hug, and left. Since she had not been introduced to me and had not shown an inkling of interest in MF or our conversation, I had no idea she existed. Promptly after she exited the bar, I turned to MF and asked what the hell just happened? (Just to clarify, MF and I are soccer friends, we have no romantic feelings toward one another, and I am basically a dude in his eyes, which I am absolutely fine with.) He told me that he has been dating the random girl for several weeks; he explained that she’s the coolest person ever, but he doesn’t find her attractive because she’s a big girl and wears a size twelve. Then he proceeded to ask me if I even know anyone that wears a size twelve, it’s such a big size.
Once I had accepted how shameful I was about to make him feel, I explained that I wear a size twelve and don’t consider that to be #1: anyone’s business and #2: a reason for someone to find me unattractive. He became visibly uncomfortable and then began throwing out random statements of doubt: There’s no way, are you sure?; But I’ve seen you play soccer!; You look much smaller than her though!; But you look good.; Are you sure you’re wearing the right size?…
I let him sit there are look like a dumbass for about five minutes until I finally stopped him by asking if he needed to see the tag in my jeans for confirmation. This conversation infuriated me because I’m not ashamed of the size of my pants and had never felt like I had reason to be; this was proof of how people’s confidence can be shattered in a moment. MF felt like shit, he tried repeatedly to apologize and explained that he clearly had no idea what sizes were normal. I entered Grandma Becca Mode and dropped some wisdom nuggets on MF. There is no normal size. I can squeeze into an 8, but I spare the world the vision of my cameltoe and muffin top. I’d rather wear clothes that fit and have a bigger number. I’d like to drink my beer without worrying about a button bursting off and taking out someone’s eye or pelting a stranger in the nipple.
I ended the conversation by telling him that he’s a fucking idiot and he needed to buy me a beer. I also told him that he needs to drop the girl because no one wants to be in a pseudo relationship with a person that finds them unattractive. That’s evil.
Don’t be this guy. Don’t be ignorant and assume that there’s a cut-off size between fat people and skinny people or that the only body types that exist are fat and skinny. I have so many friends healthier than me and smaller than me and more athletic than me who have awful perceptions of their bodies; as a person that loves them and finds them beautiful, it is devastating to hear how they view themselves and see the way they look at themselves in the mirror. I want to cry when I think about the people in their lives that put these thoughts in their brains, so let’s make an effort to build up confidence in others. Compliments are free, y’all.
Now I need to send my mom a big virtual hug and say thank you for always making me feel beautiful and never once making me question my body (except for the time you wouldn’t let me shave my legs in fifth grade).
xoxo, beccabeccag, size twelve
This post originally appeared on https://beccabeccag.wordpress.com/