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LIFESTYLE

Five things I wish every plus size teenager knew

Clothes, romance, the internet: social content executive Bethany Rutter sums up the five things she wishes someone had told her when she was a plus size teen.

Editor: Bethany Rutter

As a plus size 26-year-old, I look back on my teenage self and sort of want to cry for how scared I was of my future. I really thought I would be able to achieve no personal happiness if I stayed fat, and counted on losing weight to make me the adult I thought I should be. I’m really glad that instead of doing that, I found out how fun and fulfilling life can be when you’re plus size. Here are five things I wish every plus size teen knew.

Your life is probably not going to be a romantic wasteland. I mean, I feel compelled to say it might be, but it probably won’t. Teenagers, especially teenage boys, are damn fools and beholden to the opinions of their damn fool friends, and if they’re not old or mature enough to decide what bodies they find attractive they’ll side with the pack out for safety. Even if you spend your teenage years feeling undesirable, that will probably burn off the older you get, with the more experience you get.

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You’re probably never going to lose weight. If anything, you’ll probably put weight on once you leave home and have to properly look after yourself full-time. If you were pinning all your hopes and aspirations for your future self on the imagined thin version of you, then drop that belief ASAP. Even if you stay the size you are now, forever, and never reach that dream Thin Girl status, you’re capable of having a great life with vibrant friends, romance if you want it, interesting work and great clothes.

Speaking of clothes, you’ve got it really good. There was a time not so long ago when there was one choice of plus size shopping destination, and their products were based around the idea that your number one goal should be to conceal your body. Now, though, there’s a whole world out there full of bright, tight, short, fun, patterned, leather, satin, playsuits, short shorts, swimwear, evening dresses… and so on. I won’t pretend it’s always easy or fun to shop for clothes when you’re plus, nor will I pretend it doesn’t get harder the bigger you are, but honestly, you’ve never had more options.

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Another thing you’ve got now that plus size teens of previous generations didn’t is the internet. This has facilitated so much progress in fat activism, fat positivity, fat pride and plus size fashion as movements, and, likewise, so much bonding between people within those movements and communities. If you’re ever feeling isolated, hit Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook groups (my favourites are Flawless Fat Babes, and the plus size exercise group Fit Fatties) for solidarity and support.

Honestly, you’re great just as you are. I hope loads of people are telling you this and mean it, but if they’re not, I will.

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Bethany Rutter

Editor: Bethany Rutter

Social content executive at navabi. Body-positive warrior and fashion obsessive. Likes looks and books.

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