I spent all of high school, and probably a decent amount of middle school, in the mindset that I was the chubby girl with a great personality.
I had a couple crushes, even one or two short lived boyfriends, but I was always convinced that whoever I was engaged with romantically would see past my weight, see past my tragic flaw, and fall in love with me because I was funny, because I was caring and and nice and supportive. It never occurred to me that someone could want to pursue me for the shallow reasons, for my hips and my figure that I thought was awkward and bumpy. I told myself I wanted the real romance, where he loves you for your heart, but I longed for someone to be mesmerized by my body, not just “me”, like other guys were with my friends. It didn’t help that I was always the go to, “Hey your friend is so pretty, do you think you could talk to her for me?” I shook off that desire and chalked it up to jealousy, but it was honest and something rooted deeper than a quickly dismissed thought.
I even spent the first couple of months feeling like this in my current relationship! Not because Tyler didn’t say I was beautiful or sexy, but because I just thought he was being nice. I was overjoyed that he could see past my looks and call me beautiful just because he wanted to make me feel good, not because he actually thought I was attractive. I look back on this time and I can still see why I felt that way, no representation in media and the representation that chubby girls did have was that of the funny friend, but God, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It took millions of conversations and days of convincing for Tyler to get it through my head, I am actually, honestly, and one hundred percent truthfully so attracted to you and so are so many other people (as much as it pained him to say that last part lol). It took specific complements, not just the overall “you’re beautiful” that was really only said to me to deflect feelings of insecurity when I brought it up to others.
It took time, I had years of perception to rewire and years of misinformation to see past. It took work, from both of us.
Although loving someone for their heart instead of their attractiveness seems ideal and seems more romantic, I relish the times where Tyler is mesmerized by my body and can’t take his eyes off of me. It’s not shallow, it’s not superficial, it’s important and makes me feel strong. Self love can only blossom when you yourself can push past the opinion of others, but there is nothing wrong with teamwork and support, especially from your significant other. I still have days where I have the hardest time understanding why I am beautiful and sexy, often when I sit down and my stomach transforms into squishy rolls. But thankfully, there is grace for that, and there is always tomorrow.
From a young age, I had heard that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16.
And that helped. While her hourglass figure is something I have always kept in the back of my mind when sizing gets me down has been nice, it wasn’t until I found Hilda that I truly grasped the concept that full figured, squishy women are not left out of anything.
Hilda is thick. She is messy. She is unabashedly feelin’ herself and isn’t afraid of the unflattering angles that I often avoid like the plague.
While Hilda isn’t modeled after a specific woman, she is a creation of artist Duane Bryers that I think encapsulates the whole message of my experience and the experience of so many other woman: plus is equal, plus and sexy are not mutually exclusive, it’s not a curse, it is a blessing.
I hope you enjoy Hilda’s many sexy and fun adventures, and I hope you show yourself some grace. I hope you see through years of misrepresentation and misunderstanding that you may have. I hope you know that you aren’t just a personality, that you aren’t just funny. You can be more than one thing.