I’m plus size. Let’s talk.

Okay in case you’re not up on the latest, there’s this whole thing.

Amy Schumer’s “plus-size” problem with “Glamour”

If that’s TL;DR for you, basically Glamour magazine produced a plus-size issue (Why is this even a thing? Because it’s Glamour magazine. Deal.) and included Schumer in this issue and she proceeded to post to Instagram that she was included in their plus-size issue without her knowing and (please imagine me doing a whiny voice with this) she’s only a size 6 – 8 so she doesn’t BELONG in that issue! Waaah! (end whiny voice) Now she claims she just doesn’t want girls to look at her and think that’s what plus-size is and I guess I can see her point, sort of, but also, who cares?

Okay first of all, let’s just get this out there: I am plus size. Disgraceful, I know. I understand if you want to stop reading now, unsubscribe from my blog, pretend we never knew each other, etc. I realize that at 6′ tall, it might sometimes be hard to tell that I wear a size 16 dress, but obviously, that’s important information in deciding a person’s worth, so I probably should have been up front about it from the beginning. Additionally, it should be noted that I wear a size 18 pants, generally, because I am genetically blessed in the hips and butt department, so I guess I should apologize for that too, because claiming to be a size 16 is also kind of a lie.

Now that that’s all out on the table, allow me to say: Who the fuck cares? Why is this a debate? Why is this a thing? My friend Jen says she has way bigger priorities than her waistline, and while I have to agree, I do indeed worry, constantly, about how I look and my weight. Whether that is due to media pressure (of course it is, at least somewhat), the way my father was when I was growing up, or my own vanity is up for debate, but the fact is, I do care what I look like and how I am perceived.

But my dress size? Really?

I was about as slim as someone with my body type can be in my teens and then again in my mid-twenties (the depression diet), and at 6′ tall I was still a 12 – 14. The only reason it ever bothered me was because it’s tough to buy off the rack in a 14.

I’m heavy now – THANKS, CHEMO – almost as heavy as I have ever been, so I am probably close to a size 18. Even as I slim down now that chemo is through and I can take back my body, I don’t expect to get back down to a 14. It’s possible, but I am healthy and comfortable at 16.

Okay, stop me, I just wrote several paragraphs about my dress size, but the only sentence that matters is “I am healthy and comfortable at 16.” In fact, the only part that matters is “I am healthy and comfortable.”

Can we please stop talking about women’s sizes? Can we please just see a beautiful woman and appreciate that fact alone? Can we not compare Amy Schumer’s body to either Ashley Graham’s or Karlie Kloss’? Can we all just agree that Marilyn Monroe was the epitome of femininity and we have nowhere to go from there? (Okay, I slipped that last one in to see if you were paying attention.)

Ladies, live your lives. Love yourselves. Do what you can to honor your body and keep it healthy. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not a “size 0” (which, I mean, how is that even a size? That right there should be your indication that something is awry with the sizing system. And I say that with NO OFFENSE intended to the size zeroes out there – you go on with your bad selves, too.) Size, like age, is just a number. I just turned 38 but had the revelation the other day that I’m really 34 (on good days, 29).

I don’t give a shit what size you are, and neither should you. A size 22 can look sensational in a great dress and a size 2 can look like a slob in sweatpants and a dirty tee shirt – and vice versa. It’s not about the number, it’s what you do with it. Stop obsessing over sizes, and for God’s sake, stop creating divides (Glamour, I am so giving you the hairy eyeball right now)! Instead of producing an entire issue “honoring” plus size women (read: singling them out because you don’t include them in your regular issues), how about just, you know, INCLUDE THEM IN YOUR REGULAR ISSUES? Just because I happen to wear a certain size doesn’t mean I need my own special issue of women my size or larger to “inspire” me. I am inspired by Helen Mirren and Estee Lauder, and I don’t know what dress size either of them wears.

We are all women. We are tall, we are short, we are slim, we are heavy, we have large breasts, small breasts, one breast, no breasts. Some of us are conventionally “Hollywood” pretty, some of us have beauty that shines out from our enormous hearts. And people will always judge first based on looks alone and of course that’s not fair but it’s life, but the point is – someone can’t see your actual dress size when they look at you. So “plus-size” should just be abandoned as a criteria altogether. And once we do that, maybe we can work on just embracing beauty as beauty instead of insisting that it has to be divided into boxes based on race, weight, and other arbitrary factors. Maybe we can just say, “That’s a beautiful woman,” and celebrate it.

If you’re a woman, look into a mirror. If you’re a man, find the nearest woman. And say, “Now that – that’s a beautiful woman.”

Blah day.

I’m already in a grumpy place because it’s raining here AGAIN while it’s snowing like crazy on the east coast. I loathe winters here anyhow – all gray and rainy, nothing to love – but knowing that they’re getting snow in the place where I’m from (and where I’d rather be living) is the icing on the cake.

But that really just sets the scene for the thing that’s really annoying me. Chemo is causing me to gain weight.I have struggled with my weight/body image issues for literally as long as I can remember – so over 30 years, which is a long time. When I started chemo, the nausea was preventing me from eating normally, and I initially lost 5 pounds. In the weeks since, however, I have noticed that I am nauseated for the first week, then ravenous for the next week. I’m not sure that’s 100% of the problem, though – I suspect it’s more about the Lupron, which I get a shot of every chemo cycle to keep my ovaries shut down. 

I’m about ten pounds up now, still about 10 pounds less than my all-time high, but I feel absolutely miserable. I’m all wide hips, thick thighs, and big butt, with a small, bald head at the very top. I feel like an ostrich. But without the long graceful neck or beautiful plumage. 

Anyhow there’s no point to this post except to say damn it, Hollywood, your portrayal of cancer/chemo led me to believe I’d be wasting away to nothing and instead here I am fat and bald. Thanks for giving me unrealistic expectations yet again.