Women of all sizes feel pressured to look put together and well-dressed on a daily basis, but as a plus-size woman, blogger Lexie Manion says she feels that pressure even more so than when she wore clothes in the single digits.
Part of that reason, she notes in a recent Instagram post, is because there are plus-size women out there who hide their bodies under baggy clothes for long periods of time — whether it’s because they’re ashamed to show their bodies, or because they have little access to clothes they like that fit.
“Another part of this reasoning is because people judge. I already have a strike against me for going out in public as a fat person; I’m looked down upon and shamed. And I get another strike if I’m not dressed well,” Manion said in her post. “This world cares so much about image, so sometimes we have to conform to the pressures.”
As a woman, Manion notes, if she’s not wearing makeup, she’s told she looks “sick and tired,” and sometimes even “ugly.” If she opts for a simple, comfy outfit, she’s told she’s “not trying hard enough.” As a plus-size woman, if she wears comfy clothes, she’s also seen as not trying hard enough — but even more so “because (she’s) fat.”
“In many people’s eyes, fat equals lazy, unhealthy or gross. So it’s another strike of judgment when I’m not putting all my effort into that day’s look. And especially now that I have embraced my body as a fat person, people also expect me to ALWAYS be wearing risqué clothing.”
“I’m here to tell you to eff the rules. If you want to wear something baggy (I do for comfort or on days I don’t want to stand out), you are no less confident or worthy. You don’t HAVE to always look like a 10. What matters is that you feel like a 10, or that you are working towards that number (because you deserve to feel good about yourself!)”
The blogger reminds people that we’ll have days we don’t want to wear makeup, form-fitting clothes, or more risqué outfits. That doesn’t mean that you hate yourself or that you were faking being confident all along.
“It just means ‘whatever’ because it simply doesn’t matter,” concludes Manion. “You don’t have to wear sheer clothing, less clothing or tight clothing (unless you want to!) to prove you are confident or body positive. Confidence isn’t just how we look; it can also be seen in how we speak, and in how we treat ourselves and others.”
Manion’s post received more than 17,000 likes and hundreds of comments in a matter of days, with many praising the blogger for her beauty and candor.
“I’m an 18-year-old girl, overweight, with no self-confidence — and you gave me just a little bit, thank you,” wrote one follower. While another commented: “You’re simply stunning and incredibly inspirational. Thank you so much for the boost of confidence.”