Breaking Free From Barriers as Plus Size Women
By Linda Peavy, Cultured Curves To live the life we deserve, the path to breaking free from barriers as plus women is a mountain worth climbing. Having lived in this plus size body since I was about nine, there have been times when I felt trapped. Not so much by how I felt about me, but rather the cages that others placed around me. Being plus size in America is one of the last forms of legal discrimination in this country. We are too often viewed as "less than"and unworthy of many of the same freedoms afforded to others. We are stared at in restaurants because we certainly are not supposed to eat…ever. After all, we are fat, therefore, what do you need food for, right? Sounds ridiculous, right? As an avid traveler who has flown to 40 of the 50 states as well as international destinations, I have been invisible on airplanes. There have been too many times when flight attendants have not wanted to acknowledge my very existence. When it happens once, you think maybe she/he didn't see or hear me. When it happens on different airlines by different flight attendants, you realize that it is a pattern. To have a fighting chance at living the rest of our lives in a happy place, we must begin the process of breaking free from barriers as plus size women that society place on us and we also place on ourselves. Society's Limitations There are such strange limitations that the culture places on even the level of our accomplishments due to our size. We cannot ascend to the highest heights in our profession because we are deemed "too big." Remember the discussions about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's weight in his bid for the presidency? There is also the assumption that as big women, we are lazy and must be on some form of government assistance. Wrong again. I know many extremely accomplished women who are plus size. Even if we are on government assistance eating bonbons every day, are we not STILL worthy of respect and love? I think those false perceptions is one of the reasons why I always dressed up (even to this day) whenever I went shopping, even to the grocery store. I never wanted that perception of being looked at in ways they made me feel like I didn't belong. What are Your Barriers? What barriers have you experienced? Which ones are self-inflicted and which ones are put upon you by others? We have to be careful not to begin believing the perception (deception). As a plus size woman over 50, you are beautiful, as is. You have EVERY right to move through life freely without judgments based solely upon your size. However, it is a process. I am still working on it too. You are not alone. Self-Inflicted Barriers What have you allowed your size to steal from you? Is it going to the swimming pool, traveling, dancing or something more substantial like marriage? Are you waiting to lose those first or last twenty pounds first? What if you never do? Should your life remain suspended because of the number on a scale? THIS is why living in the present is important. It is not just a buzz phrase. You are a certain weight RIGHT NOW, TODAY. It should have no bearing on relishing today and loving yourself today. Even if you are going to start a weight loss plan, it will take some time to lose weight healthily. What happens in the interim? Your weight loss in the future cannot determine your happiness in the present. Breaking Free To live the life that we are destined and exist in our purpose, breaking free from barriers as plus size women are paramount. Too often, we live with them for so long that they become undetectable. We can be so accustomed to their grip on us that the restraints become comfortable. Right now, at this moment in the universe, you are as worthy of as much love as someone who weighs what you consider to be the ideal size. Embrace you. Love all of the flaws, lumps, bumps, and cellulite. All of it. You are not your thighs. You are not your hips. Every inch of your body has a purpose. Several years ago, I was in a car accident and totaled my vehicle. My knees hit beneath the dashboard so hard that they left knee prints in the plastic. If it weren't for the extra cushioning that I have on each knee, both knee caps would have been broken. Who knows if I would have been able to walk normally ever again. You are Worthy of Love Now, whenever I leave my house, I hold my head up high. There is an invisibility shield around me called self-worth. When I turned fifty years old six years ago, my self-esteemed turned up a notch. Not everyone makes it to fifty years old. No day is guaranteed. Not all days are easy, and sometimes we have to encourage ourselves and CONTROL how we let others' deeds, words, and actions affect us. One of my favorite sayings is, "don't let people rent space in you head." I keep this phrase close to me wherever I go. I am a very spiritual person and pray daily. God has given me the strength to overcome the negative voices that sometimes still enter my head. I remind myself that no matter my size, I am worthy of love and respect, and so are you. Are You Living Your Best Life Now Ask yourself, "Am I living my best life?"If not, at over 50 years old, what are you waiting for? What barrier is holding you back? No one can break your chains but you. The will must come within. And you can start with one step in one area of your life at a time. Make your life better in the next fifty than it has been in the past fifty years. It is time to live free. About Linda Peavy Cultured Curves: Sophisticated Style, Fashion, and Beauty for Curvy Women over 50 Linda Peavy is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and founder of Cultured Curves: Sophisticated Style, Fashion, and Beauty for Curvy Women over 50 blog. As a plus size girl since the second grade, she has been passionate about beauty and fashion for several years. However, after an epiphany of her true calling when she reached the mid-50s, she felt the need to empower mature curvy women through motivational messaging, fashion, and style advice. Thus, Cultured Curves began officially in June 2019. The goal of the blog is to encourage, inspire, and motivate plus size women over 50 to live their best life..now…in the present. Says Linda, “In this current ‘plus-size boom,’ women over 50 have not been equally embraced as part of the market. We are vibrant, intelligent, sexy, and should be acknowledged.” Linda is dedicated to bringing awareness of their unique needs to the forefront of plus size fashion and beauty markets. Cultured Curves has been named “One of the best blogs on the planet for women over 50.” by Feedspot. Itsrosy.com states Culturedcurves.com as one of “The Best Bloggers Over 50.” They further share, “Here’s a classy, sophisticated site for all the curvy ladies out there. We’d actually recommend this blog for curvy ladies of all ages, because the positive reinforcement is so necessary. Peavy’s message is to keep improving but accept and appreciate yourself at all stages. Dressing in a flattering, fun way is your right!” Linda is the owner of LiPav Consulting, a marketing, grant writing, and communications firm. Clients have included the Miss America Organization, At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy, American Baptist Churches, and other organizations. Linda earned a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing and an M.B.A. in Management from the University of Akron. Her motto is, “never let mediocrity be your measuring tool.” She is single and resides in Willoughby Hills, OH. An avid traveler, her favorite destinations include Paris, London, and Honolulu. Linda can be reached at Linda@culturedcurves.com.