For as long as I can remember I have been on the "chubby" side of the body spectrum. This didn't bother me really, until I reached middle and high school. Finding clothes that fit me just right and feeling comfortable was an everyday struggle.
I wanted to be like every other teenage girl and be in style. During that time, Hollister and Abercrombie were huge! I remember going into those dimly lit stores, practically suffocating from the perfume that they sprayed like clock-work, wanting a pair of those jeans so badly. I grabbed a few of the largest size they went up to, which at the time was only a 9. I thought, "I can fit into these; a 9 is definitely big enough". Boy, was I wrong. Those jeans did not even make it past my knees. EVERY. SINGLE. PAIR. I hated shopping. Fitting rooms seemed like a dream for every other girl there. But for me... I thought this is surely what hell must be like.
It seemed that all of these stores were making clothes for one type of girl, and they were the ones that were displayed in their windows and on their bags: tall and thin.
So, I suffered through middle in high school in low-rise jeans where the pockets sat on the back of my thighs instead of my actual butt. Jeans that suffocated my legs and gaped around my waist. I forgot to mention that I live in Florida where its blazing and humid almost all year 'round. I wore shirts that were too long because having a short torso wasn't a thing back then, apparently. This is when leggings became a huge game changer. I know so many people say leggings aren't pants, but for me and a lot of other Thick-Thighed-Gals, these were life savers; especially in the hot air that is the south.
Fast forward to the year 2018, a decade later, and I must say I am so thankful for the way that the fashion industry has grown. Grown in terms of being body inclusive, as well as representing different races and skin tones. I can finally go to the store and enter the fitting room without dreading it. Jeans are made in more than just low-rise (barf), which is great for those of us with big butts. It helps jeans stay up where they're supposed to. Shirts aren't all made in one size fits all. My favorite part is that there are girls that look like me in the ads with a little extra thigh, booty, and hip action. It makes you feel like you can be included in looking nice and being in style.
Women like Iskra Lawrence and Ashley Graham have made a huge impact on the modeling industry.
It's nice to scroll through my Instagram feed and see ladies that look like me and are killing it. For so long the modeling and fashion industry has belonged to thin, mostly white, women. Today I love my curves and being able to be comfortable showing them off. Representation definitely matters, and although I wish it was around when I was younger, it's better late than never.