Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — I am size 14 and work in the Junior’s department. I’m on commission and I realize I’m not making as much as some of the “skinny girls” in the department. When I talked to my co-worker about changing my shift, she suggested I lose some weight. WTF? Do I have to lose weight to be successful? — A Queen Like Latifah
When “success” is defined by ‘Never too rich, never too thin’-thinking, that’s the problem. Not your weight (but whether girls or girlz, wellness first). This sort of thinking is fraught with judgments of what’s supposedly universally good and bad, and extremely self-limiting for those who buy into it. And none of that even touches on the fact that at size 14, you are the average American woman’s size! — and that Junior Plus starts at size 16. Can she say Miss Informed a little louder?
You sweet juicy Pear, I like how you functionally and quickly identified the most likely probability, and came to a solution right away. Big ups on the maturity and self-responsibility you exhibit. Lean on your instincts to figure out a workaround that works for you — and (aside from putting your health and wellness first) don’t buy into her misguided smugness, or fear, or well-intended advice. The only thing you did “wrong” here was to talk to a Banana who just doesn’t seem to appreciate your brilliance. While we can’t immediately change the problem inherent in the fashion industry behind Junior departments (odd sizes from 0-19) of America, we can all try to become more constantly open-eyed and -mind aware of the insidious nature of media images on the development and (self-esteem) stunting of young girls and women, and the often resulting cock-eyed self-images, and societal prejudice they produce.
Media isn’t going to go away – nor would this media junkie, ever want it to! One way I consistently personally recommend to avoid becoming a media zombie, is to train ourselves and children to become critical thinkers. This vital skill is woefully and ironically underrepresented in our schools, and long before all the current education systems to-the-bone budget cuts. Critical thinking saves!, and is certainly not for university students and eggheads only but should be taught as young a possible as a way to ascend the chaos.
You go on with your gorgeous, smart, thinking and self-believing identity, Queen Pear! Admire all your full glory nakedness in a full-length mirror and hug and thank your curves, sweetie. There’s so much of you to love on so many levels, right? It’s your job to keep on showing your real self (including your insecurities as you work on losing the weight of those) to the world — not an option to hide any aspect of your radiant self from the world.
Self-love & wellness,
BW, a Strawberry
No, girl, you do not have to be some Skinny Minny to get ahead! Just like Queen Latifah has put forward a new definition of sexy, so can you. Carry yourself with confidence that doesn’t wane. You’re not overweight. You’re Phat!
Now, that said, if you feel your weight may be posing health risks, like increasing likelihood of diabetes or slowing you down because you can’t catch your breath when walking up a flight of stairs, that’s not sexy. Those may be the signs to drop a few pounds—for you. If, however, you’ve got Queen Latifah’s curves and are styling and carrying yourself like a Queen, other people will treat you like one. But if you feel “less than” because you are comparing yourself to skinny co-workers, then neither customers or coworkers will treat you with less than the respect you deserve.
Go in there, looking good with your head held high. Show customers you know how to put together great outfits. Size does not have to matter, even in Juniors. Want some inspiration? I suggest watching Monique’s Phat Girlz. It’s not the greatest movie, but it is an inspirational look at putting aside society’s view of weight and taking on self-confidence and self-love. Good and good for you. Another great show, Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. This show looks at the re-birth of a model into the body of a previously downtrodden Plus Size attorney. The great part of the show for me was watching the transformation from downtrodden to banging. No she didn’t diet or lose weight, she just brought her Covergirl attitude to a Plus Size body—and a diva is born.
Let your Covergirl reign supreme! Work the products in your department to look styling and of the moment. If you know how to work the merchandise, you’ll be a hit with customers. Let’s face it, everyone shopping there is not a size 2. Go ahead and show how you can work the looks and many, many customers will come to you to show them how to work it too. I know you’ve got the goods, cause you’re a queen and you claim it. Work that style and claim the rest of your confidence. Remember, sometimes bigger is better!
Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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