For the First Time in My Life I Wasn't the Fattest Girl in the Room & It Was Glorious

torrid fashion show
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
I'm going to go out on a limb and speak for all bigger women for a moment. At some point in our lives, we've all entered a room and assessed whether or not we were the biggest person there. It's a terrible thought to have, especially as it is rooted in the negative thought pattern that big = bad, meaning we don't want to be the "worst" in the room.

Changing the way I think about my plus-size body has helped to banish that destructive thought pattern from my psyche, but as I stood in a cramped lobby waiting for plus-size retailer Torrid's very first NYFW runway show, it popped into my head -- but it took on an entirely different meaning.

  • As someone who doesn't love crowds to begin with, I was pretty nervous to attend my first runway show.

    torrid runway show
    REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

    I stood with my good friend -- plus-size blogger and influencer Jessica Torres -- and watched the nearly empty room begin to flood with people. Everywhere I looked, I recognized a face.

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    Plus-size models and influencers like Essie GoldenFaith Costa, Dana Martinez, Gabi Gregg, and even THE Project Runway curvy queen Ashley Nell Tipton were there -- and I was entirely starstruck. 

    Women (and a few good men) were embracing each other, complimenting one another's outfits, and excitedly chattering. 

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  • But as everyone found their seats, I was hit with a huge realization: I've never been in a room with this many plus-sized people before.

    torrid plus size
    Lauren Gordon

    Everywhere I looked, I saw big women. And not just curvaceous figures -- women of all shapes and sizes in the plus-size world. Though the room was so diverse, it was plain to see that it was mainly occupied with bigger women. 

  • The feeling was indescribable. Everyone in that room understood what it is like to live inside a body that society too often rejects.

    torrid plus size runway
    REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

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    No one was staring at me, singling me out as the lone big babe. I didn't feel like anyone was whispering about me, or looking at me funny for the clothes I was wearing. I didn't feel the need to hide my stomach with a pillow when I sat down, or choose the seat that offered very few angles to my sitting form. 

    I simply existed, the way so many thin people get to, and until that moment I hadn't realized just how on my guard I had been in every other room. 

  • While I absolutely value my friends of all sizes, being in a room full of women who somehow looked like me was an experience I'll never forget.

    plus size bloggers and influencers
    Jessica Torres

    It's important for fat women, women of color, and other marginalized groups to have their own spaces. Too often when integrated with the "socially acceptable" parts of society are we made to feel ostracized and critiqued.

    Until that changes, we need to be given our own spaces inside mainstream events to really thrive in. Watching women who look like me walk down a runway and congregate in a room at a major international event was exhilarating.

    And I truly can't wait for the day until I feel that free everywhere I go. 

emotional health body image body positivity plus size