This weekend i encountered my first piece of negativity with regards to my blog. Sure you could say i am lucky that in what, three years, that this is the first time that i have been met with a hateful comment. It’s funny that it is considered luck when in reality why is this even a thing? I am the firmest believer in freedom of speech and love hearing other peoples thoughts and opinions on things. I draw the line at offensive , abusive and down right nasty words though. That my friends has no place on public forums or indeed in life. As my mother always says ” if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all “. My father once didn’t speak for 3 days after being told this advice. In that time of silence he was able to reform his opinions and see things in a different light. True story. I had the idea for this post drafted up as something i wanted to bash out but something happened which changed the direction. There is such an emphasis on size. So here i am asking does size matter?
Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen that i posted a new travel video this week. A video that took me a really long time to make. One that i had been stressing about for weeks as it was really important to me. I put my absolute all into every single piece of content i publish , otherwise i just don’t see the point. Somebody i don’t know went out of their way to comment under a sharing of this video. This person firstly posted a vomiting emoji. I thought this was strange but didn’t respond thinking maybe it was a mistake or meant in some other type of way. What followed was a comment in a foreign language to me. Facebook being at the height of technology automatically translated the text for me. I could not believe what my eyes where seeing. The words read ” Too much pizza, fries … Mc donalds! ugh “. So i hadn’t taken the emoji up wrong at all. Apparently the sight of me was enough to spark this reference. The comment was not about my video. Not about the quality or my ability, but instead my physical appearance. It was not even a sort of constructive criticism. This troll felt the urge to to comment as they did with relation to my size. The assumption was made that i must eat too much fried fast food.
1. the relative extent of something; a thing’s overall dimensions or magnitude; how big something is.
“the schools varied in size”
synonyms: dimensions, measurements, proportions, magnitude, largeness, bigness, bulk.
2. each of the classes, typically numbered, into which garments or other articles are divided according to how large they are.
“I can never find anything in my size”
Folk will say not to give your senses to these people. Generally i would tend to agree with that saying, However in this instance i thought hang on a second. I asked one question. Well two really. I replied to this shallow and ignorant statement by asking ” Do you know me? , How do you know what i eat? “. They don’t know me nor do they know my diet. Again an assumption was just made. Yeah i love me mickey D’s as much as the next hungover. Pizza is an iffy one for me and we fry nothing in this house. Not that i need to justify myself. You may have read my story about my health that i only recently was able to share. If you read this you would have seen me mention the affect that my illness has taken on my physical state and weight. If anything most days i wish i could eat more. I wish i had more of an appetite and could enjoy my meals. Is this stranger, who so easily commented , at home with me in my house when i go from one end of the day to the other without eating? Do they see how often i throw up? How nauseous i can be from pain and tiredness that leaves no room or thought for food.
I was never a slight girl , well not since puberty hit. My mother was the same and would be typically a size 14/16. That is the build my sisters and i genetically inherited naturally. That has always been me and I’ve always owned it no bother. I had a big chest since primary school but not a backside to my name. I’m all belly , arms and chins. My legs wouldn’t be huge or in proportion to the rest of me but again that is just me. As i touched on above my health took a turn at 21. The physical affects this took on my body are plain to see. It wasn’t something that i dwelled on as the pain i was suffering took center stage. My illness comes with weight gain as one of the varied life altering and debilitating symptoms. I am swollen most days with the inflammation that’s in my body. I take a lot of medication, most of which comes with further weight gain. This is never something i even considered as to be honest i would take crack some days if i thought it would cure me. As much as carrying more weight does not help with the pressure on my joints etc but it’s a catch 22. I will do what i need to and will continue to try what i can to help my with my health. In recent years i’ve added PCOS to the tally and that has further added to the number on the scales. That again is something totally out of the control of the person, it’s the cards they have been dealt.
Again i’m not justifying myself nor do i have to. It’s more that i want to reiterate that you do not know that persons circumstances or story. I have this platform and deal with things the way i know how by getting them out of my head and up here.
When i started this blog i expressed that it was out of sheer frustration. I needed an outlet but i was also finding it very hard to relate to many blogs or bloggers that i came across. The one size fits all thing just wasn’t for me. I’d imagined it isn’t for most of ye either. I tried to do something positive and create a place that is for everyone regardless of age , shape or size. Fashion as an industry can be very exclusive. We all have to wear clothes though and why not enjoy that. Being “plus” doesn’t affect what i do here. I get the nicest messages from ladies who can relate to that.
I was absolutely honored to be asked by the team at Littlewoods Ireland to do a collaboration to launch the V by Very Curve range a couple of months back. To me this was a really positive thing and a step forward with size inclusion across the board from petite to curve and in between. While i feel that i am doing something positive with my time and maybe in turn helping others , comments like this are a reminder that no matter what i do or achieve, for some people all they will see is my size. The label on my clothes or the amount of space i take up does not affect my abilities , talents or brain. It shouldn’t affect your opinion of me either. I am not less of a person just because there is more of me.
The whole of my adult life i have been told that i have a pretty face. People will say to my mam ‘ Your Kiera has a good face ‘. We have had multiple conversations about this. Sayings like ‘She is pretty for a big girl’ is the same and personally i feel that is a back handed compliment. If you think somebody is pretty then why not say they are pretty? Why does the face have to be detached from the body? This implies the body is not pretty, big girls aren’t pretty. I know that is something that society has invented and made acceptable. In some parts of the world though size can mean other things. For example if you carry more weight you are seen as well fed which in turn means you are wealthy and hold stature. Bigger girls can also be seen as more attractive or desirable in certain countries. My friends in Turkey playfully pinch the chub on my arms as you would with a babies cheeks as an act of endearment. Infact it is not considered rude or taboo to talk about weight openly in Turkey. This can be a hard one for some to grasp when they first encounter the topic in conversation.
Fat will always be the first insult someone will throw at you. It is the easiest and requires zero brain cells to think up. The word fat has become more of an adjective than a noun. This is one thing i don’t like. I am not fat. Yes i have fat but i am not it. I have fat in my body just like we all do , i may have more of it but i am not fat! Nor are any of us. The average human body is made up from 60% water. Are we going to start saying ‘ohh look at her shes so water ‘. Stupid right. Commenting online or in real life, in a nasty manor about looks says more about you as a person.
There are a lot of perceptions made about a persons size. My only experience is plus so that is all that i can personally comment on. Assumptions can be made that you are lazy , unfit and an over-eater. These are all things that a person of any size can be though. Stereotyping is not a positive or reliable thing. There is a lot of negativity when size is the topic of discussion and health is always at the center of that. There are health implications with weight at either end of the scale but a person may weigh what they do because of their health. Be that mentally or physically. That has to be hard and having comments made about that surely can’t help matters. There was even a documentary made last year about the backlash plus bloggers were receiving. I actually jotted down my thoughts on this quickly here. Again how does size affect ones ability to blog?
Things like this don’t cut me that deep but said to the wrong person could have detrimental consequences. So dangerous. For the most part i am ok within myself and confident with who i am as a person. Another thing i know is that i don’t have to explain myself to strangers on the internet who judge and make unjust assumptions of me. I do however want to say that nothing gives you the excuse to judge somebody and make assumptions about them in such a crass and negative manor. You do not know a strangers story and how these things could affect them. There is already so much pressure put on both men and women today to look a certain way. Eating disorders and mental health issues are rife within society and how can we as the public play a part in that? You will always be too something for someone.
When i mentioned to my Dad that i’d received this comment he said that by putting yourself out there i was opening myself up to possibly having these kind of things thrown at me. I get that but my take on this is that walking down the street is technically putting yourself out there too. No matter the location, nothing gives anyone the right to be cruel or make cutting remarks about another’s personal appearance.
I know who i am and i know that i am more than the skin that i am in. For me , on the whole , size does not matter.