Taking my space

Last night I went to a ladies evening to meet and mingle with the local ladies in the expat community. It was a lovely evening, lots of laughs and good conversations.  At the end of the night when I had returned home I looked at some pictures that were taken and I stood out, being so much bigger and taller than the rest of the women there.  I had a bit of a moment looking at the pictures and my old insecurities started to arise.  That word ‘big’ it’s like a knife to my heart every time someone says it to me. I creates an immediate response of shame, like I have to apologize to the rest of the world for taking up more space than them.

I didn’t  like the response I had to this word so I took some time for reflection. Some time to figure out what the word ‘big’ truly means to me.

Recently my father was speaking of the gorgeous plus sized model Ashley Graham and he said “oh that big girl!” I cringed and my response to him was that you should never, ever call a woman big! He didn’t seem to understand why big was so bad. After all he married my Mom and she is a gorgeous tall woman herself and he just adores her. So why then, can my father look at my mother and say “you’re a big, beautiful, brilliant woman” and mean every word with love and all my Mom and I hear is BIG?

I suppose I could start blaming the media, the fashion industry, movies and television but blame doesn’t solve anything. What I need, is to change my inner narrative. I want to hear the word big being used to describe a woman and think, that woman is powerful, she owns her space, she is BIG and she is exactly the way she is supposed to be.

I want to feel that way and I know with some hard work it’s possible. There is great power to be had from affirmations and positive reinforcement. So although now it’s a struggle; I know that someday in the near future I will look at a picture of myself standing tall and owning my space and think, Catherine you’re a BIG woman, and I will smile.

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4 thoughts on “Taking my space

  1. Sweetie, you had me in tear’s reading this… I know exactly how you feel. I look at some photos of myself and have felt the same way. But we are big, which is how theworld views tall people like us. We come from a history of tall women. My great-great grandmother was over 6 feet tall and was considered big. It’s all in our perception of that word and how we’re viewed…we need to stop thinking of the word big as a nasty and insulting word and embrace it for what it is. We’re big, beautiful women who are here to take on the world as we see fit. It’s taken me many years to finally accept that I’m never going to be a size 5, but having the love of a family like ours and the acceptance and love of all our friends should be enough to make us see that we’re special in our own way.

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