No one likes being told that they can’t or shouldn’t do things. Now imagine, if you will, being a woman and being told that because of your size you shouldn’t do activities like yoga, or dance, or even go to the gym. Being told that you are “too big” or “too chubby” or “make people uncomfortable”. Getting the side eye when you walk into a yoga or dance studio or snickered at in the gym. Being told that you won’t be able to do a particular move before you try it or just not being shown something that everyone else is. These are the kinds of things that plus-sized women face all the time.
There are always people who are quick to judge or make assumptions about someone based on their size or shape, and it is well past time that it stopped. Looking at someone, you have no idea what they can do or would be capable of. You may think you know, but I would bet money that you are wrong more times than you are right if size is the only thing you base your opinion on. Just because someone doesn’t have six-pack abs does not mean that they don’t have unreal core strength and could hold a plank for 2 min. A tummy doesn’t mean someone can’t touch their toes, and perhaps those thighs that touch can also do a triple pirouette or the splits. You don’t know.
Even clothing companies try to dictate what activities plus-sized woman can or can’t do. Many high end yoga clothing companies choose not to make their products beyond a Size 10 or 12, and often the places that do make bigger sizes either make things that you wouldn’t want to be seen in public in or are simply not made to flatter.
When I was doing pole dancing, I was once told by the rep of an active wear company who was in the studio marketing to the students that they “didn’t make clothing to fit me” without ever asking my size. She took one look at me and without any other information, decided that I was too big for their line. That stung and shook my confidence greatly. Here she was, picking out pieces and encouraging the other women to try them and without even asking my size, decided that I shouldn’t even bother trying anything on. That one interaction put me off that company for months, till one day I desperately needed new shorts and someone encouraged me to try them. I was totally head shy as I recalled the way the rep had looked down her nose and me and passed judgement and I was afraid to even try them on. As it turned out, the largest size was actually too big and I needed one size smaller. Without my friend encouraging me, though, I would never have found that out.
Feeling comfortable and badass and awesome goes a long way when you are taking part in an activity, regardless if it is your first time doing it or your two hundredth. This is true for people of all shapes and sizes. You should never feel unwelcome or like you don’t belong somewhere simply because of your use.
That’s why I really feel that it is important that there are companies who celebrate diversity and size, such as Penningtons, showing that just because you may not have a “stereotypical” body for ,an activity doesn’t mean that you can’t be amazing at it and blow those stereotypes out of the water.
As advocates for body diversity and size acceptance, Penningtons is proud to release the new #iwontcompromise youtube video campaign on January 4th, 2016. The movement celebrates doing what you love, wearing what makes you feel good, and being who you are without compromise. As actions speak louder than words, this campaign looks to show society that a body, no matter what size, is capable of anything. Stigmas and stereotypes do nothing but hinder potential and happiness. We invite everyone to participate in the conversation and share their stories of strength, happiness and inspiration.
I am a big advocate for not limiting yourself because you aren’t a size 2 and just going for it, even if things seem out of reach. You don’t know what you and your amazing body are capable of if you don’t try, right?
Have you ever had to challenge stereotypes made because of your shape or size?
This post was sponsored by Penningtons, however, I am sharing this with you because I believe it will be of interest or value to you. All opinions are mine, and as always, if I didn’t think it was interesting, I wouldn’t share it with you.