Original Post at Curvy Chic Chick– The other day I shared a post on Facebook about my experience going out to a club and being approached by a gentlemen who was into bigger women, but was with a male friend, who didn’t approve of his choice to approach me. My feelings weren’t hurt by this scenario, but I felt sad for this gentlemen because I know what it’s like not to be able to live your truth and I understand now more than ever why this play out the way it did.
The comments came pouring in, ranging from anger towards the man who approached me for not standing up to his friend, anger towards the situation and lack of respect and class, to understanding that the world we live in, doesn’t always allow people to live their lives the way they’d like to. One friend commented “Peer Pressure is a major problem for people who want to live their truth” and this really had my wheels turning on the subject of Peer Pressure.
In the past six months, I’ve embraced how my life has been affected by the plus size community and by attending size friendly events, but that’s just my experience, an female perspective. After posting about this experience, I hopped on live on Instagram and Facebook to talk with my followers. I wanted to know more about this type of peer pressure. The general consensus was that if a man, couldn’t be proud of his interests, without his friends making negative comments, not only are those not true friends, but he’s not confident in who he is. I’m not here to shame the guy who I interacted with briefly last weekend, but I think because I’ve lived in fear of embracing who I am for so long, I can sympathize with someone who feels that kind of pressure but I also know that someone allowing their friends to dictate who they should be with, is what catapulted me into this world and lit a fire in me.
I was also reminded of a story by my boyfriend, Andy, about why he started attending plus size events a few years ago. He told me about a group of friends he had in college, that would give him grief for the type of women he would approach in the club, and invite to spend time with him around his friends, would often times, walk away entirely, and leave him to himself and then later in the night make comments about it. It eventually reached the point that they told him, if you’re going to hang out with us at the club, you can’t approach those type of women when you’re with us. That ultimatum was what led him to distance himself from their group, and start seeking out Plus Size events. In attending these events, he’s found a group of friends that not only share similar interests but respect each other for their interests and don’t think twice about the size or body type, one another chose to interact with within the community. Ding, Ding, Ding! Size Acceptance events positively impact men too!
Size acceptance needs to be a conversation we’re talking about often and loudly. Size shaming & peer pressure is the reality we face, every day, as plus size women, but also men, who chose to admire women of size, or who even experience their own body image struggles. The message needs to be two parts.
Anyone should be able to live their life how they see fit regardless of size, body type, sex, gender, race etc.
Size acceptance events are for everyone, not just women, of varying body types. This means that a female that’s a size 6 should be welcome, and treated with the same level of respect and kindness as a size 26. This also means that it’s a comfortable and welcome place for men who struggle to find friends who share common ground, or who struggle with their own body image.
Size acceptance means, total acceptance. It doesn’t matter what gender, race, sex, or shape you identify with, you should be welcome to live your life and your truth as you like.
Featured image can be found at https://studybreaks.com/culture/body/