The Trials & Tribulations of Dating While Plus-size

People are embarrassed to admit they’re interested in a plus-size person.

Let’s get real honest here. In 2021, It’s extremely hard to find people who want anything meaningful. Between dating apps & societal standards, people see each other as disposable or “not real” because you’re chatting through a screen rather than in-person & COVID ain’t make it no better! I’ve been waiting to talk about this topic y’all, so let’s not waste any time!

Dating as a plus-size, black woman in her early 20s, I’ve been exposed to some pretty “interesting” men and been on some bizarre, traumatizing dates. I’m not the most extroverted woman & I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety, so I’ve always been the type to engage in dating apps, I love my space and my comfort. Instead of going out and meeting men at a bar or club, I would use Tinder, Hinge, BLK, etc. This way I can be in my comfort zone. It’s convenient and it allowed me to “Swipe Left” without dealing with the wrath of a butthurt ass stranger. So, talking to these men & getting to know them (if it even got that far) I came up with a conclusion. Dating is uncomfortable and stormy regardless of your body type, but I had noticed a few common themes in my relationships/situationships that seem to correlate with being a plus-size woman and a black woman as well. From fetishes to fantasies, I have witnessed it all. Let’s start with the good, you have the men that completely accept you, rolls, flab, fat, and all, and are genuinely in it with you, FOR YOU. You guys have a genuine connection emotionally, physically, and spiritually & you live happily ever after, which is what I hope for all my women out there! But now, let’s get into the real, you have the men who seem interested, but then randomly ghost you, you have the men that either have a fetish or fantasy when it comes to your body and race, or they confuse their lust and hypersexuality for a genuine connection.

Most of the time I wonder if it’s because of my size and race they’ll assume that I’m good enough to fuck but not date or be seen out in public.

u/Calm_Brilliant_9236 – REDDIT

Let me get into a little story time with y’all, growing up, I’ve always been chunky. I’ve always weighed more than some of my friends and family & which would hinder my self-esteem and confidence. Boys I met at school would text me on Snapchat or Kik & say they liked me and thought I was beautiful, but when the night was over and I would see them at school the next morning, GIRL you would’ve thought I had the bubonic plague the way they would avoid me! I didn’t quite understand what the problem really was till about 10th grade. I had become friends with the new boy at school and had developed a crush on him which seemed to be some reciprocated energy on his end as well 👀 He would talk to me all night over the phone, but at school, he would be MIA. I would see him talking to other girls, but they looked VERY different from me & when he was by himself and saw me coming? he’d walk the other direction sometimes! so what was the issue??? I had finally confronted him about his actions and although he seemed to like me, he put it plain & simple. “You cool and pretty, but you a big girl, and I just can’t be seen with you. It’s not good for my image”.

Y’all…I let this shit really break me. I was embarrassed, hurt, frustrated, and my confidence was depleted. I bounced back better, but that feeling of rejection because of how you look is never a good one. Back to the point of all this, even at this big age we are at, THIS SITUATION IS MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK. Men will love a plus-size woman DOWN in private, but in the face of his homies?? the SHAME is just too much for them to bear & my one question is who THE FUCK (excuse my French, but not really.) cares? Why do we care so much about the physical preferences of others? People are going to like what they like and that’s just that on that, babes. Blame European beauty standards, Fatphobia, and body shaming, because that’s the REAL pandemic.

Anyways, this post has mostly been me venting. I know I’m not the only one who deals with this or feels this way, so I had to share my thoughts and experiences on my platform. The point I’m trying to make in all this is that dating while fat & black is hard and weird. I’ve gotten everything from “I’ve never been with a big girl before, and I really want to try it” (my body isn’t something you can just add to your bucket list, sir) to “Can I use your stomach as a pillow?” & the worst part is that when I first started dating, I looked at these as compliments. As a community, we have to demand respect and want better for ourselves ladies, and to the men, get ya head outta ya ass and start putting some respect on our name! Plus-size women are made to feel like they’re lucky to have someone be interested in them, so we overlook potential red flags out of fear of rejection. I’M OVER IT.

I’m not making plus-size dating seem very fun, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of trust issues & paranoia to work through over past relationships in relation to my body image, but I just had to be honest with y’all. It’s not always marshmallows and rainbows. Sometimes we do find a man worthy of our love and affection, but to get there, you gotta weed through the garbage just like everyone else. This is only my experience, and part of being confident and strong is knowing that there are mature, adult people out there who won’t treat you like a “cross that off the list” experience. I pray that any woman or man reading this finds someone who genuinely loves ALL of them. Every aspect. Flaws & all. It’s cliche, but it’s real!

Love y’all 🤍

The Spending Power of the Plus-Size Woman

Let’s talk statistics & the impact of the plus community in the fashion & consumer industry.

Despite significant spending/buying power, plus-size women remain a rarity in the fashion and marketing industry as a whole.

Many brands have a narrow view of who their customer is. They do the bare minimum & tend to lack inclusivity. There is a belief that plus-sized customers don’t spend as much as their straight-sized sisters. That could not be more false.  In fact, the only reason this appears to be true is because plus-sized women/men have far less clothing options to choose from, which results in fewer opportunities for them to spend their money. The average U.S. women’s dress size is between 14 and 16, meaning that plus-size is the new average, although it is not typically thought of that way. Yet plus-sized apparel makes up just a small percentage of the clothing on the market. WHY IS THAT?

Retail research and advisory group Coresight Research has estimated that the value of the extended-size market for women in the U.S. will grow to $32.3 billion this year, representing roughly 20.7% of the total women’s apparel market.


Lauren Thomas – CNBC

In the past, Lane Bryant was the only store for shoppers of plus-size women’s clothing, but now, many major clothing retailers such as Torrid, ASOS, and Forever21 cater to plus-size customers. The buying power of the plus-sized market is growing at a faster pace than the rest of the apparel industry. Annual sales of women’s clothing sized 14 and higher rose 17% from 2013 to 2016 and there is more demand than ever for fashion-driven plus-size collections. This surge didn’t come about overnight. But, the apparel industry was slow to respond to the cultural shift. Retailers would do well to tap into the buying power of this segment if only they would risk embracing the category. It appears that retailers are simply ignoring this buying power, therefore turning plus size women away from in-store shopping and forcing us to turn to the online market to find fashionable clothing in our sizes.

Personally speaking from my own shopping experiences, when I can’t count on finding my size at a particular store, the store is removed from my list of options, meaning I lack the desire to ever go back because I now know that I am not included in their target audience. This is incredibly short-sighted on the part of the retailer. 

Factors that are often cited as an obstacle for retailers is the cost of redesigning clothing and the extra fabric in the manufacturing process, but E-commerce sites simply offer plus sized women more consistency and variety. The disconnect between what customers want and what stores offer is plagued by an old stigma in the fashion industry. For years and years, brands have shied away from plus sizes in the belief that they are “bad” for the brand. On the retailer side, stores think of plus size as an add-on to their businesses along with petite-sized and maternity lines. It is so much more than that & deserves to be acknowledged as it’s own market.

On the positive side, however, beauty is increasingly being defined in this new era by individualism, confidence, and a celebration of body positivity and the diversity of body types, not so much by size or weight. With that being said, there is still a growing need for fashionable, colorful, on trend clothing (as well as traditional and business clothing) that fits plus bodies, despite the re-invention of the once-tired plus-size apparel category.

Mini Fall Fashion Haul 🍁

Hey y’all! I just wanted to show y’all a few pieces I got from Fashion Nova & SHEIN for the fall. Let me know if you guys want more hauls! I plan on highlighting fall/winter pieces the rest of the year.

More hauls coming soon….🧡

Plus-size Models/Influencers that YOU should know & that I admire! 💅🏾

Everyone has someone or people that they look up to or that inspires them. So, I wanted to take a moment to shoutout the women who inspired me to do this blog in the first place, and have shaped my perspective and outlook on being a plus woman.

  1. Lauren Nicole

Lauren is one of my favorite plus-size influencers/models and is a FASHION KILLA! She is a true inspiration because she’s relatable and transparent with her experiences as not only being plus, but as black woman in society as well. Lauren suffered from body dysmorphia years ago, but after being scouted on Instagram, she quickly found herself modeling for the very first time. Her strength and drive is admirable and I love how she uses her platform!

INSTAGRAM: @laurennicolefk

2. Tabria Majors

Talk about breaking down barriers! THE plus-size model, Tabria Majors, is a HUGE inspiration to me & is really the reason why I began to take my Instagram pictures to the next level. Her work ethic and production mastermind are what really set her apart. I aspire to be as motivated and goal-driven as she is because she gets thing DONE, okay? BOOKED & BUSY!

INSTAGRAM: @tabriamajors

3. Precious Lee

Precious Lee has solidified herself as a force in the entertainment and fashion/beauty industry. She recently made history as the FIRST African American curve model to walk in Versace’s spring 2021 show. Y’all hear that? FIRST! as in #1! TOP 2 AND NOT 2. She brings a fierce energy to the table and is a self-love advocate, she carries triumphs that the girlies could only dream about! Love her!

INSTAGRAM: @preciousleexoxo

4. Jazzmyne Jay

Literally the badass of all BADASSES. Apart from being a plus-size model, Jazzmyne is an LGBTQ+ advocate and uses her platform to promote body positivity and to empower women, women of color and the queer community. As a heterosexual ally, Jazzmyne inspires me to be authentic and remain unapologetic for being ME. Her unique public image is extremely admirable and her attitude just gives IDGAF & I love it. #Respectfully

INSTAGRAM: @jazzmynejay

Who are some of you guys’ inspirations? 💞

Plus-Size Women & Stereotypes 🙄

Just because I’m big, doesn’t mean I’m not bomb.

So…Let’s talk about stereotypes, sis. Plus-size women have some pretty weird misconceptions that society has created in order for us to feel like we are the ugly ducklings of the beauty community. As a member of the plus-size club, I feel as if there are some things we need to shed light on that have been totally offensive and just down right strange. There are many different reasons someone could be overweight, which is why the stereotypes are so aggravating. Let’s discuss some of the ones that really grind my gears.

  • The phrase “you gotta be two something to do something”
    • This phrase actually physically makes my stomach hurt. Although many plus women see it as a compliment from men, saying that their preference is a larger woman, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Many people have recently shown an outpouring of support for plus-size women, but this particular type of “support” is low-key fetishizing and just feels like a “for-the-moment” type trend.
  • We’re always eating.
    • LISTEN. If I’m hungry? Guess what I’m gonna do? EAT!  it’s a common stereotype, and it’s annoying. In almost every TV show/Movie I’ve seen, the token fat character is either lazy or stuffing their face as a little jokey joke. It’s really not that funny y’all, retire that. Give the fat character a good, busy, fast – paced job and hobbies, and stop portraying them as “inactive”. Oh, and make them vegan with a meal plan sometimes. 🤨
  • We’re jealous of skinny or BBL body types.
    • Let me just say this first, these women are absolutely beautiful. Their bodies do not define who they really are as a person on the inside. I will never be jealous of any woman and I stand on that babes! I don’t care about who is thinner than I am! I’m not comparing myself to them! We are not all jealous of people who are smaller than us, some of us are perfectly happy with who we are. PERIODT.
  • We have some type of body dysmorphia
    • We know it. We see it everyday. There is no need for you to remind us that we are indeed, fat. I am aware some women have body dysmorphia and suffer from it greatly, but if you feel the need to point out what I’m looking like, because I’m wearing a short skirt, my tummy is hanging out of my crop top, and you can see my stretch marks on my arms in my tank top, it’s not because I “think I’m skinny” it’s because I can do what I want and I don’t care. It’s MY body, girl.
  • If we’re overweight, we must be unhygienic. 
    • It’s this one for me! How does me being bigger, equal me being unhygienic??? It’s giving….ignorance! I’ve been around too many stinky skinny people for this to be any type of true! This is one of the more common stereotypes or we wouldn’t see the fat, sloppy character in a TV show/Movie portrayed as a slob. Cheeto stains on the shirt and fingers, wrinkled clothes, unkempt appearance. This shouldn’t even have to be said, but not every overweight person is nasty and dirty. I actually smell like blueberries. lol
  • The real kicker, we are either lesbians or bisexual. (???)
    • I- honestly, don’t even get me started with this one y’all. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone outside to Target or the grocery store with some sweats, a hoodie, and a baseball cap on and been asked if I was a stud or stem. It literally blows my mind. “you just look like it.” HOW? I have never heard of this happening to a thin woman before, but I hear it all the time with plus women. There is nothing wrong with being part of the LGBTQIA+ community because I love y’all, I just find it super interesting that we get asked if we like women a lot more than the average woman.

On a more serious note & in conclusion, stereotypes and assumptions can be hurtful and destructive to a person’s feelings. This is where discrimination is born. We need to make it a point to educate ourselves and look outside of our box that we live in day by day. It’s not cool to discriminate against someone for any reason, and size is not an exception.

Love,

Tay Slay 🤍

Introduction

Who is the creator of PLUS PASSION? 👀

Welcome to my first blog post y’all! I am super excited to take this step into the world of blogging and I hope that my content is enjoyable, relatable, and most importantly, INSPIRATIONAL!

My name is Taylor York, but nickname is Tay Slay 💅🏾

A little bit about me:

  • I am from Los Angeles, but currently reside in Atlanta, GA
  • I am 23 years old & my birthday is July 10th (Cancer Club! ♋️)
  • I am currently enrolled in school and my job is being a Social Media Manager

My passion for beauty truly blossomed at the end of my high school career. I was 17, and I was going to a Music Academy in LA, my main focus was just being able to find opportunities to sing and making sure I graduated. I would get compliments on my makeup and how I’d change my hair all the time, but I didn’t truly think anything of it till I was approached by a modeling agent on a Saturday on Rodeo Drive. I vividly remember her saying that I had a beautiful face, but in order to break out into the world of modeling, even in plus modeling, I needed to lose weight. I was a bit confused considering I was a size 14 at the time and that was a sweet spot for plus models, but she said a 12 or 8 would make me more marketable. This stuck with me for weeks. I wasn’t a huge fan of exercising (besides P.E. and ROTC) and eating healthy was just something I couldn’t afford on my own. My parents would cook light & fresh meals, but at school? it was a whole junk food fest! I finally sat myself down and set up goals of how I would market myself being just simply who I was. I would still try to lose weight, but that wasn’t my main priority, I was going to invest in my skincare, makeup, hair, and clothes because bodies don’t change overnight, so why not just be the most beautiful you and take pride in the creation?

Hygiene and taking care of yourself as a bigger woman is MANDATORY. There are already so many tropes and stereotypes around plus-size women and my mission is to debunk every single one. We are no different than average or skinny women. Our curves, dips, rolls, and ridges are the most beautiful parts of us. Being bigger does not automatically resort to us being UNHEALTHY! Lizzo is a vegan and works out like 5 days a week & Ashley Graham has the best skin I’ve ever seen, the proof is in the low-cal pudding babes!

I want this blog to be about the real experience of the plus life, honestly the nitty-gritty. It will sometimes expand past the simple lifestyle & Hygenic beauty aspect. I want to talk about dating, cultural differences, health, ya know? the hard-to-swallow type pills. I hope y’all are ready for me because I’m ready for you. ❤️

LET’S GET INTO IT 🗣

Mainstream media has always defined beauty by the number on the scale or the inches of a tape measure. Beauty has always been limited to such a small box

Alexandria Sundstrom – “Chubby Struggles” Blogger