Thursday, August 14, 2014

for the tall, thick, awkward, and different.

I'm obese. That's the technical term right? It means I'm overweight. I'm bigger than your average 5'11 woman, based on the chart that adorned the locker room in high school. It was the same chart that the girls referred to, after we'd weighed in for our physical exam. I was 230 pounds. The gym teacher said it loud enough for everyone to hear. The girls giggled all period and waited until it was time to hit the showers to expound on my heaviness.

"Next period is lunch Erica. Go easy." 

I'm obese, because when I use "fat" my friends are appalled. They throw their hands up in the Forever21 plus size section and guffaw, when I pick up a size 14.

"Girl that ain't your size! You're not big, you're healthy."

Whatever that means.

I know what I look like. I'm not as big as I used to be, but my stomach still spills and I have thighs for days. I'm still a size 14. I'm plus sized.

I'm big foot. We (my mother & I) always have to go to specialty stores to find shoes, for my size twelve feet. I always have to remind my friends that we're going to the men's section when I'm buying sneakers. I've never quite been balanced or been able to wear my heels with prowess.

I'm awkward and different. I tried to describe this to the fashion designer who created my cape, for the reveal of J.K. Rowling's last book on Harry Potter. It was even more difficult to describe, to my boyfriend at the time.

"Wow. I didn't know you were such a lame." 

I once had a female friend tell me: You can change everything, but your shoe size. You can lose weight, dress differently, tone down the nerdiness. It can be done.

Needless to say, she isn't my friend anymore.

Commentary and judgment led to insecurities I never owned, until they were spoken out loud. I don't need anyone to tell me anything about myself. I look into a mirror everyday and trace stretchmarks. I slip my feet into extra large vans, before I go skateboarding. I trip over left out comic books and paraphernalia. I know exactly who I am.

I know exactly who I am, where I am, and who I want to be. I also know what I want for girls like me.

I want to be able to disrobe for a lover and not be cognizant of my 'extra'. I jiggle. I find it interesting, the way my body shapes what it's been given.

I also want to be so sure of myself that a lover's words don't define my security, in or out of the bedroom.

I want us to be bold. Bold enough to raise middle fingers to anyone who tells us that we're not society's depiction of beauty.

I want us to not be afraid of vulnerability, to show all of ourselves. I had/have this habit of meeting boys/men, behind computer screens. I would've kept them pen pals if love would've allowed me to. I would've stayed hidden, for as long as possible. I would've liked to meet them as myself: no makeup, no spanx, no dress that I bought yesterday. I would've embraced them, if they did the same for me. I would've embraced myself, if they didn't. I wouldn't be altered, either way.

I want us to be sown; sown into the psyche of all the little girls who think something is wrong with them. Too nerdy, too clumsy, too smart, too loud, too anything...

I want unabashed love. I want the kind that wants me, all of me. I want the kind that doesn't ask me to suppress any parts of myself.

I want us to be angry. I want us to stop accepting the norm. I want us to dance in the train, as if no one is watching. I want us to boast PDA. I want us to read mythology and history and realize that scarcely any woman was that small, back then.

I want good friends. The holistic kind. I don't want the ones who're only around when you're doing something that interests them. I don't want the kind that smile in your face and wish you stumble, behind your back.

I want us to stop pretending like we aren't fierce; that 5'7 & up gals can't put on heels and talk to Gods.

I want us to know that when we enter a room, without speaking, we still command attention.

I want us to know that DIFFERENT is everywhere. There's ALWAYS someone who's interested in what you are. They're out there waiting for you to join them.

I want us to tell the naysayers otherwise. I want you to tell them that you're aware of who you are and their critique isn't welcomed or necessary.

I couldn't subdue me, if I tried. All things unique, always surface. If you open my briefcase, you'll find a figurine Wonder Woman. There's a pair of Jordans and an extra skateboard, in my office. I keep a HP wand pen, in my writing desk. 

I want us to know that nothing will change, if our internal doesn't. You can lose the weight, adorn your face in makeup, shed yourself of oddities. None of that will change anything. Knowing that every part of you is special, is the only thing that will.


Veronica said...

Beautiful, truthful & inspiring!

Love this...Can I share this post on my blog at some point?

riva. said...

@veronica Absolutely!