Being curvy shouldn’t stop me wearing hot pants and crop tops

Just look at Tess Holliday

bikini birmingham confident crop top fashion happy holiday love night out plus size selly oak Tess Holliday the tab brum weight

For years, I wished I was skinny. I wished I was naturally petite, because petite girls always looked better in the clothes they wore.

I was always convinced if I wore the exact same outfit as someone who was a size eight, I’d look like a potato next to them. But as I’ve got older, I’ve realised even though I’m classed as “plus size” or “curvy”, I can still wear what the hell I want.

There’s always been a stigma towards big girls who wear things like crop tops or leggings. If I want a comfy day then I’m going to wear some leggings and a hoodie. If it’s hot, then I will happily slip on my favourite crop top or bralet. I’m not ashamed of my curves and there’s no way I’m going to bury myself in baggy clothes because society thinks big girls can’t pull those clothes off.

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I’ll happily wear a bralet or crop top

Thighs out on a night out.

Night out, thighs out

I was always convinced I couldn’t wear shorts. Shorts were for skinny girls, not for thunder thighs. But my main fear wasn’t even what people would think. It was chafing – big issue for big girls – and revealing my stretch marks and cellulite to the world.

Who cares if you’ve got a bit of cellulite. Look at Tess Holliday. She was the first plus sized model to be signed by any major modelling agency, and she has taken the world by storm. As well as supporters, she was welcomed by a sea of criticism. But the best part was, she didn’t give a shit. As long as she was happy, she was still going to model. Why should she stop because a stupid little nobody told her she was fat?

For the record, I'm the milk bottle in red

For the record, I’m the milk bottle in red

But as much as I go on about not giving a damn, of course it’s not always so easy. Bullying was always an issue for me. The saying, sticks and stones is bullshit. The names stung me more than any physical pain and this affected me for years when it came to clothing.

The summer was a nightmare. I spent more time worrying about what was acceptable to wear as a plus sized woman than actually enjoying my holiday. My mind was way too fixated on what would make my legs look slimmer, or would make me feel cooler. But then September rolled around, and I started to think, fuck it, I will wear what I want.

Luckily, uni is a place made for self expression, and judgement is rarely a thing. As someone who suffers from anxiety, walking into uni for the first time was the ultimate challenge. But since I did that, I feel completely liberated. In fact, I found that after I stopped caring, I received so many compliments on my choice of outfit, and I could feel my confidence rising.

Queen of sass

Queen of sass

I’ll still look in the mirror and think “God, I look fat in this” – but, that’s okay, because that’s what I think. As long as I think I look good, why should I care what other people think? Just because I’m bigger than your average girl, it doesn’t mean I’m going to dress in a bin bag because that’s what seems acceptable. You should dress to reflect your personality, not your size just because of some stupid societal status quo.

Self-love is worth a thousand times more than self-loathing, and it’s about time we all started to feel the love. As the phrase goes, bigger is better, and I’m finally starting to feel free.