my new life as a “plus-sized” woman.

It’s taken me several years to get to this place, but I’m pretty comfortable as a size 10.

I’ve been this size since the beginning of college and I know that it’s not the skinniest  size by any means, but it’s average-ish. It’s not model skinny or plus-sized. It’s right in the middle, I think, and I am happy there. A 10 is perfect for my body build. I feel comfortable. I feel healthy. I feel good.

But as my luck would have it, my days as a non-plus-sized woman are now over. And no, it’s not because I’m pregnant; at 14 weeks, I’m still rocking these snug 10s. It’s because that, according to the fashion industry, anything size 6 and up is now considered plus-sized.

What?

I’ve been buying size 10 clothes for the past eight years and never once have my clothes been labeled as a “plus size.” I’ve also never known any of my size 6 friends to experience this, either. Nor my size 12 friends, for that matter.

Do you know the last time I wore a size 6? You probably don’t because, well, you probably haven’t known me to EVER wear a size 6.

The last time I wore a size 6 was in the SEVENTH GRADE.

What would you do if your 13-year-old daughter stumbled upon the misinformation that her size 6 jeans meant that, despite the obvious fact that she wasn’t done growing or maturing or developing yet, she was already considered “plus-sized?” What is this nonsense?

Here’s a video of some CrossFit athletes (many of them a size 6 and above) giving their reactions to this ridiculous claim.

I don’t care if a size 10 is somehow now considered a plus size. That doesn’t matter to me. What matters is how healthy I am and how good and beautiful I feel. No arbitrary number conjured up by a twisted industry can steal that away from me.

big anger.

Next April, I get to be a bridesmaid for the first time for my friend Chrissie! I’m really excited!

One of the most fun things about being a bridesmaid is accompanying the bride to try on wedding gowns. I had the best time doing that when I was a bride (except for a minor snafu at David’s Bridal that resulted in a tearful breakdown, whatever…) and going along with Chrissie has proven to be as fun as I imagined it would be.

Courtesy: Ashley Poole Photography

[This post inspired me to put my wedding gown back on and have fun in front of a camera.]

Last weekend, Chrissie, myself, and a few other bridesmaids/friends were going to go on our second dress shopping trip. Beforehand, Chrissie and I met up and had lunch at another bridesmaid Chelsea’s house with TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress on in the background. It seemed appropriate and, let me tell you, that show is mesmerizing. I’ve been known to silently waste away on my couch as a slave to SYTTD marathons. (Can you ingest crack via cathode tube rays?) However, sadly, my husband and I really can’t afford cable right now so we have been forced to downgrade to the least expensive package until our contract expires in September. Therefore, I haven’t had TLC or seen an episode of SYTTD in ages.

While I was slicing up strawberries to put in our champagne glasses (I know, I’m a classy gal) Chrissie and Chelsea started talking about a spin-off of SYTTD called, Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss. (Now, I may be late to the party on this, but remember, I haven’t had TLC in months.) Naturally, my ears perked up and I demanded to hear more about this.

According to Chrissie and Chelsea, SYTTDBB (I am LOVING these abbreviations!) is essentially the same as the original show, but the women featured are plus sized. My first reaction upon hearing this was nowhere close to big bliss. I was angry. In a big way.

BUT, I didn’t want to get all huffy and puffy about something I’ve never even seen before. That’s not fair to TLC. So I consulted the YouTubes on the Interwebs and watched some promos and short clips of SYTTDBB.

Take a look:

Okay, yep. I’m not happy about this for several reasons.

Courtesy: Ashley Poole Photography

  1. The title itself brings ridicule upon those it features. Unfortunately, the word “big” is not one that society has allowed to be a positive (or  neutral, even) adjective associated with women. In a culture that demands that women need to shrink down to almost nothing in order to be acceptable and beautiful, the title “Big Bliss” implies that these women are outsiders. Awww, how sweet. Outsiders can get married, too. (Seethe.)
  2. This means that on the original SYTTD, producers and other higher-ups had consciously decided that they never want to feature any girls who are plus sized. I can’t believe I never realized this before, despite my failure to pry myself away from marathons. [Edit: A bunch of my super-smart readers have informed me that plus-sized brides have been featured on the regular show. But I must ask — was their size ever mentioned? Was it ever pointed out? This is your next assignment, readers. Fill me in.]
  3. The issue of their weight is designed to be an integral part of the show. In the interviews, the girls talk about their weight and how comfortable or uncomfortable they are trying on wedding dresses, and I can only imagine it’s because the interviewers are bringing this subject up. This further perpetuates the idea that they should feel uncomfortable in wedding gowns simply because they’re overweight. (Seethe again.)

Nice try, TLC. I bet you thought that by broadcasting a show that features plus sized women that you were doing them a favor. But as a woman toeing the plus sized line, I’m nothing short of completely offended.