Reflection: A Society of Acceptance
We keep saying that society is changing, and that we are in a newly rebounded progressive era. We say that everything is acceptable now, and that we all love one another. If we keep saying this, then why do we continue to face negativity time and time again, from our surroundings and from ourselves?
I grew up constantly fighting the power of body image. I don’t remember a time where I didn’t wear a size large or above in clothes. When I would go shopping in children’s apparel stores, 14-16 was my go to grab. I never particularly ate poorly nor did I learn any poor habits from my parents, but I simply have just always been bigger. It’s something I face everyday, but it is a fact. There’s nowhere to go with facts except through them.
In this digital world where media is more consuming of our attention than anything else, the way that content is presented has become one of the most influential cues to our perspectives of life and how we should view its aspects. Many companies have begun to sell inclusive sizings, or have constructed completely separate plus size lines for both men and women who are on the larger side. This revolution is something I’m beyond grateful for, as the opportunity to explore the real fashion world is finally opening up. What I wish for, however, is for all body types to truly be represented.
When you log onto the plus page of any major retailer - Macy’s, Asos, Forever 21, take your pick - the items are stunning. They bring a smile upon my face, and tears to my bank account. What you also see, however, are the same three models, with the same exact body type. This isn’t me bashing these beautiful women, because they are killing their game. Realistically, though, I would like to see what that dress looks like on a plus model that doesn’t just fall out of the straight sizing spectrum. I want to see someone with a tummy. I want to see someone showing off the stretch marks on their arms. I want to see raw beauty.
The only way that we will ever reach this goal of total love and acceptance for all is to publicize all. We allow people to slide when they engage in discriminatory acts by writing fake excuses on their reports. They’re not familiar with that, it reads. That can be shocking to see, it says. It’s kind of weird for someone to see, it shouts. If we always give a free ride, we are only building a society of accepting ignorance. We need to raise the youngest generations to grow up to be so passionately open minded and loving that activism is on the same level as personal hygiene.
We cannot move forward if we do not rip the seal and begin to push through the boundaries. From plus size models to homosexual governors, normalizing reality is something that has been set aside for too long. Seeing a woman wearing a hijab on television should not cause shock across family rooms. Hearing that an African American man won a prestigious award should not be jaw dropping. We need to realize that every being is capable of everything that the next is. We need to realize that our differences do not make us weaker, but make us wiser. Accept all. Love all. Move all.