This year's topic for Blog Action Day is Inequality. Inequality is something that has been close to to me for a while. From the moment I became aware of the world around me, I've always thought we would all be better off if we treated everyone the same. I once wrote a (Writer's Block post) about polygamy and said that as long as all parties are consenting, who does it hurt?
But even with all that, inequality hits closer to home than even I imagined. It hits me when I walk into a clothing store, it hits me when I open up Vogue or Cosmo or Redbook, it hits me when I check Pinterest for cute photo ideas for the inevitable moments where I'm taking engagement, wedding, or maternity pictures.
In every store ad, every magazine, every cute photoshoot that goes viral, the people are thin. They're thin and cute and look good in a wedding dress or have the cute "basketball in the shirt" baby bump. Dresses don't flow out on me, and I'll barely have a bump, if at all. I don't think I'll see a cute viral image with a woman that looks like me.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg for me. There's also the "fat tax," the fact of life that a piece of clothing will cost $10 more in a size 20 than it does in a size 12. There's the look of contempt when I sit down to eat at a restaurant, especially when alone.
It's the fact that clothing companies think the only thing I want to go swimming in is a bulky swim dress. It's that I should never be seen in shorts, or a tank top. ("Why do you wanna display those fat arms/legs oh my God!")
It's the fact that people assume I am not worthy of love. Or sex. News flash: I have both. But I'm not "supposed to." I'm just supposed to live my life alone, probably with cats (unless, of course, I do decide to lose the weight. Then I'll be attractive.)
It's the people "concern trolling" and telling me I'll be much healthier if I just lose a little (or a lot, I have heard both) weight. Excuse you, I am most definitely healthy, thank you very much. I don't need you worrying about me, okay? You do you.
It's the fact that this is so perpetuated that for the longest time... I believed it. I believed that I wasn't beautiful, that I wasn't sexy, that I needed to conform in order to be either. I've been very fortunate that I was able to over it and feel beautiful in my own skin, love handles and all, but there are still people who are stuck in the cycle.
I have made many leaps of progress in my self-image, but there is still a long way to go. I no longer have to order clothing online (unless I want to) to find something in my size (I had to do that with my prom dress ten years ago. The mall trip leading up to that point was a nightmare.). I no longer think I have to drop pounds to feel sexy. But that was something I did on my own, society didn't help me much. We need to get to a point where every woman, regardless of size (or color or level of femininity) can feel comfortable in her own skin.