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When I was asked to write an article on my experiences being a plus sized woman in today's tiny figured world, my first thought was how do I write an article that's not just two pages of bitching? After mulling it over for a few days and consulting my housemates who are also curvy ladies, I've written this article which will hopefully uplift but at the very least put a smile on the readers face.

In my personal experience, shopping for clothes has to be one of my least favorite activities. I tend to do the 'happen upon approach'. I don't go out specifically to buy clothes, but if I'm in a store I will wander by that section in case something catches my eye. Not the most efficient, but there's less chance I get aggravated at the world and give up on buying clothes that day. I've noticed a trend to make pants fit your waist but have enough excess fabric through the legs to hide small children under. I may have a larger waist, but my legs aren't shaped like corresponding barrels. As far as tops go, I think I'm one of the few women who dislike wearing shirts with things on them. Brand names, kittens, hearts and butterflies.The list goes on. I don't mind a t-shirt with an amusing phrase or picture, but if I'm getting dressed up nice I don't want the focus of my outfit to be the excessive, apparently roll distracting design on my blouse. And if you do happen to find that rare, magical top or pair of jeans that actually fits, it ends up costing a small fortune just to obtain it. My solution to this problem has been to make my own clothes or alter ones I've found to fit at least as close as it can be to my specific style. Or at the very least something I would actually wear.

This is the section that I was avoiding. I was also asked to write on how my size has shaped my views on life and relationships. If it has held me back or forced me to grow as a person and what would I like other plus sized women to learn from my experiences. This, for me at least, is a harder one to cover. I haven't had the easiest existence on this planet, and in all honesty life hasn't actually been going well for me until the last few months. I made a really hard decision to leave where I grew up and everything I was familiar with and move about 200 miles away. That might not be all that far distance wise, but situationally it's an entirely new world.

As far as my view on life and relationships is concerned it really wasn't the best in the beginning. I had a very negative outlook on both for a long time. But as I've gotten older I have come to realize that the best solution to the crap you get from the outside world is to surround yourselves with positive people and be that positive person for others. It is possible for us to lift each other up. I see quite a few women who compete for status and title against other women. Regardless of our size the last thing we should be doing is bringing each other down. We as women have enough opposition from society and naysayers. Marketing us crap that we don't need to try to get us to be who we aren't. Being plus sized just adds to that. We need to spread a positive body image and self-confidence as women regardless of what size we are.

My size has definitely held me back in the past. I wouldn't participate in things or wear certain clothes. I'm very familiar with being pre-judged because of my size. From work performance to intelligence. Even to the extent of whether or not I was fun to be around. How the hell that has anything to do with shape I haven't figured that out yet, but society has its stigmas. Through it all I've tried to stay true to who I am. So I had to learn to get over that fear of being judged and just do what I wanted to do. So what if others had negative opinions? Who were they to pass judgement? To each her own. When I learned not to care what others thought I became much more confident and began to actually enjoy life. It is not an easy task mind you. I'm not saying that any improvements will happen overnight. But everything has to have a beginning. You are fully capable of making the changes necessary for you to get the most out of life. I hope I haven't sounded too cliche, but when you go through what I've been through you discover just how true that is. It is possible for you to change your situation and it is within reach. You have to make that change and you are fully capable of it.

My hope for anyone reading this is that you've gained even a little extra oomph to try something that you've been putting off or hesitating to do. Go enjoy yourself! Talk to that cute guy at the coffee shop! Go out with friends after work! If anyone says anything, tell them to stuff it! You only have one life. Make each day your own. You are the only you there is. Try that meet up that you have been putting off going to! (I did that A LOT!) Be you and live life. Yes there will be bumps along the way, but if you don't try you really will never know. Also for those of you that are single, don't give up. You never know where life is going to take you. By making that big change it could bring someone into your life that you never thought existed. It happened to me I know it will do the same for you. Have fun and live it up!

Written and submitted by: Aida

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."
"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it."
~Chinese Proverb

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