The Lalathree Friends Standing By A Brick Wall

Being the Plus-Size Friend

Your friends are probably some of the most amazing people you have come across, which is probably why you are friends. They are fun and supportive, all the wonderful things good friends should be. Good friends never judge your appearance or what you like. Mine are all of these things, they are exactly the people I need in my life. However, there are certain moments where my body makes me feel left out or uncomfortable around them, even when I know that they do not judge me.

Friends At The Beach Hugging 2

As soon as there is any sign of warmer weather and sunny skies, everyone wants to go to the beach. My friends and I are some of those people, but due to school and work things, we have to wait until our breaks. A beach or pool trip is a great way to relax after some busy times, but my brain always manages to make me anxious about my body. While all my friends are radiant and enjoying their time, I am trying to figure out how to hide my belly or legs without making it too obvious. Although I am not the only plus-size friend in my group, we both view ourselves differently. All of us view our bodies differently and that’s okay. However, no matter how you view your body, you should know that it does not define your abilities or beauty! Being plus-size at the beach or pool should never be an issue, you deserve to enjoy all the sunshine in the world!

This summer, as a gift to ourselves, my friends and I are going to Hawaii. I came to the conclusion, once we purchased our tickets, that I was tired of never enjoying the moment or my friends. I am challenging myself to wear whatever I want during this trip, whether it be something I usually wear or something plus-size gals “should not” wear. 

Another situation that can make me feel uncomfortable because of my body, is going out to eat with my friends. Again, my friends do not care about what I eat or how much I eat, but my mind makes me believe that others are comparing how much I eat versus how much my friends eat. I know that what others have to say does not matter, but sometimes in the moment all you have worked for towards self-love disappears. There have been instances where I purposefully do not finish all my food, even if I did have room for it because I was afraid that my friends or others around me would judge me for that. Being a plus-size person at a restaurant with my friends has and still does make me feel uncomfortable, but I am learning to block out as many of the negative thoughts as possible and simply enjoy a nice meal with my friends. 

Thinking about all the different restaurant scenarios that I have been through, they all seem kind of silly now. Chances are that people at the restaurant are not looking to see how much those around them are eating, they are focusing on eating their food.

people standing and walking around at a mall

One of the first times I began to feel uncomfortable about my body around my friends was when we went to the mall. While most of my friends were able to walk into pretty much every store and find something that fit, I was left wandering and avoiding trying clothes on because I knew they would not fit. At that time, Forever 21 was probably the only store at the mall that carried bigger sizes, but even then I did not want to go to that section and confirm to my friends that I was indeed a bigger size than them. Eventually, I began to skip the mall trips with my friends and just do a movie or something because I didn't want to shop for clothes with them.

 

Fast forward to now, I have gotten over this situation that took away from the great shopping experiences I now have with my friends. One day I just started making my way to the plus-size section and they followed without anything negative to say. I have realized that a lot of the scenarios that we create in our heads about our looks are just negative thoughts that society and social media has helped create. They are negative thoughts that no longer want to keep around because they take so much away from me and I would rather enjoy every little thing the world has to offer.

 

Body and self-love are things that do not necessarily come naturally to many people. It takes many people years to feel comfortable with themselves, so let us feel no shame or guilt about not liking ourselves. Simple things and little steps are a way I encourage myself to become more comfortable in my body. I have stopped straightening my hair as often and let my natural wavy lock be, I have no makeup days, and even recently wore a spaghetti strap blouse without a jacket or cardigan. What to some may seem like crazy things to do or think, to others it takes a series of steps to overcome. We all have our own unique journeys, do not compare yours to your friends and it is more than ok to break the beauty standards that society has placed on us!