Guest post by Harleen Vij, a trendy plus-sized activist in the process of launching her first book:

Read a post last night about Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jefferies’, reason for not catering to plus sized women and was urged to write down this post.

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either”

                                                                             -Mike Jefferies

Such comments coming from clothing brands can sabotage women’s confidence forever. It gets difficult to deal with such comments in real life. I myself have been through this and thought of sharing my story to motivate other women like me.

I am a 25-year-old, confident and bold 21st century woman but I wasn’t like this always. The world is filled with people like Jefferies and from time to time, I have had to encounter such narrow-minded people.

Being a fat girl, in India, wasn’t easy; I used to believe this until I read this post. I’ve come to realize now that a fat woman isn’t acceptable anywhere around the globe. People fail to understand the plight; the mental trauma people like me go through. I used to be the laughing stalk amongst my peers. Whether it was school or junior college, I was teased for being fat on every damn chance they found. I went through this trauma even within my family. My cousins and relatives too used to make fun of the way I looked. To top it all, I had a dark complexion, which was another reason for being teased and bullied.

Wherever I passed by, people especially boys; used to pass lewd comments and I couldn’t reply back. I was an innocent, under confident, self-conscious girl. People and their behavior towards me made had me like this. I had lost all confidence. I used to feel shy and hence remained in seclusion always. My peers used to feel ashamed of having me in their group or calling me their friend.

I was good at academics up to grade 6th, after that my grades dropped. My mother could never find a reason to this. She only thought that I am careless and not interested in studies anymore. But this bullying was the reason that affected my grades and me. Despite being fat I was physically fit and into sports. I was a good runner, swimmer and badminton player. I had participated in various other sports during my school days. I still play badminton and go for swimming.

Plus sized clothes were a huge problem. I used to wear ordinary trousers with kurtis that I got stitched from a tailor. Fashion was not meant for me, I used to think.

With time things began to change. I met my best friend (won’t name for personal reasons) who was fatter than me but had a  fair complexion. She was a beautiful blue-eyed girl with a flawless complexion but fat. She was like normal fat people- bubbly and chirpy. She too had this complex but she had learnt to face it with confidence. She wore stylish clothes and was very trendy.

My complexities were within me. Nobody ever noticed or realized them; Neither my parents nor my friends. My best friend came as a blessing in my life. I learnt a lot from her. Unknowingly she had taught me how to live fully despite being fat. In her company, I gained confidence and learnt about fashion too. My clothes too became quite fashionable and there was an evident change in me. I became confident and smart.

This change started taking place when I was in 10th grade and by the time I started my graduation, I was a super confident smart girl. After that I never looked back at those days. They were a nightmare, without a doubt, but I learnt a lot from those days.

Today, I am a smart and stylish woman all set to make a mark in this world with my first novel. I have left those voices way behind me. I believe in my dreams and myself. Being fat isn’t a curse (physical concerns being a separate thing) you just need to accept yourself the way you are and you need to believe in yourself. If you won’t believe in yourself, no one else will. And if you do, the world will believe in you.

I wear clothes that I want to wear, that I feel good in; irrespective of what people think/say about the way I am dressed. I just make sure to wear confidence with whatever I am wearing. Don’t get bogged down by such comments ever. Styling is meant for us too, after all we do have curves and flesh at the right places to flaunt. If you like a dress or a top in a showroom and didn’t find your size, don’t worry, get the same design stitched from a boutique. And bang there you have that beautiful piece of clothing you always eyed.

People will suppress/overrule you if you’ll allow them to do that. Confidence is the key. Being fat is just a state of mind. Put it behind you, put the discouraging people behind you and walk forward towards a new, confident and happy you.

The article can be read here:

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Explains Why He Hates Fat Chicks

http://elitedaily.com/news/world/abercrombie-fitch-ceo-explains-why-he-hates-fat-chicks/

Comments
  1. Genb says:

    Hello…

    I don’t think it’s all about the clothes and why these brands does not accept certain body types and attitudes…the cool ones and the not cool ones. One can wear a 1 dollar dress and will still look fab and fashionable too, it all depends on the attitude and personality of the person on how she carries herself.
    It’s not being cool and sexy on the clothes we wear and people will admire it’s all about being healthy.
    Also–yes we were born with certain body types and shapes and as we grow in age it changes, with lifestyle and eating habits. In our lifetime we only have our bodies and the most important things we should take care, love and respect our bodies.
    We all have the options on what to do with our bodies. A person can eat and eat and sit all day and the result is an out of shape unhealthy body. A person can eat sensibly and do some exercises just like minutes in a day and the result is a healthy body. Being busy, getting older, having children are just excuses, because there are those women who have 5 children or more and are still fit and fab.
    It’s a matter of determination on being healthy and getting back into shape. What we take think and take inside our bodies is the result of what we are outside. In our minds we know for ourselves if we are healthy or not healthy, we always have this small voice inside everyone of us–telling us what is right and wrong and always we should listen to the right ones which will bring good results.
    Yes…there are those we look at and they seem to be healthy but are really have sick bodies but those are exceptions.
    So it’s not about the clothes that does not like certain body types and who cares, I won’t spend money on these brand of clothes which does not like me at and who considers me ugly. Besides if I buy one it likes giving my money to the designer who does not like me and make him rich all the more—but it’s more about myself, my self-esteem and confidence and the respect, love and how I take care of my body.
    As for the skin color, why I will be ashamed and hide behind my skin I was born with it and it’s all that people will see in me. Shouldn’t we think that because of our skin, it protect our bodies. Yes…there are really cruel people, but who cares again–do they have perfect skin? Do they have no imperfections in them too. Those who insults and find imperfections in others are the most imperfect, sad and insecure people in the world.
    The thing we can do best is to smell fresh and good—and people will say, this person is so smelling fresh and good….

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