Whenever we millennials were young, we were always told to be humble. We were fed this idea that owning our success made us egotistical and full of ourselves. While I believe this can become true if we don't stay humble, I believe it is this life lesson that makes many in my generation feel like they aren't successful in life.
Let's talk about the four reasons we need to change our perceptions on owning our successes. I've added some photos highlighting some of my personal successes! I'm super blessed to have been given the gifts that I was given and growing up with a mom, brother, and grandparents who always encouraged and supported the cultivation of those gifts.
1. STRAIGHT UP, SUCCESS IS EARNED REGARDLESS OF
First female Drum Major at my college
Success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose." If you set a goal for yourself at your job to complete a task and you completed it, you were successful!
Success by definition must be earned. It comes usually through hard work, passion, and determination.
There is a right and wrong way to celebrate your success. You can acknowledge your success without coming off in a conceited way. This could mean that you accept an award, reporting on your success, or you simply share your success while never forgetting those who helped you accomplish your successes. For me, that means acknowledging that I do all things through Christ. I'll talk more about this later.
Think of owning success as a type of currency. When you work a job, you expect to be paid for it. When you complete a job, you can take the pat on the back!
2. IT IS SERIOUSLY DAMAGING OUR PSYCHE
Recent studies show that the millennial generation is the most anxious generation yet. A big stereotype attached to the millennial generation is that we feel we should be rewarded for every little thing we do right. But, I have a counter to this opinion.
I feel that millennials actually aren't rewarded for even the big things we do right. Back in the day, if you worked hard at your job and took on more responsibility, management saw your commitment to the job and rewarded you with raises and promotions.
Member of the Millennial Commission for the City of Fayetteville, N.C.
Forbes Magazine even dedicated an entire article to the topic "Why Are Millennial Salaries Disproportionately Low?" They found that millennials have a large unemployment rate, not necessarily because of laziness, but because of the demand for experience in the work force.
Millennials are also saddled with an average of $37K in student loan debt after being told by the generation before us that college was needed for a better salary and benefits.
As a matter of example, I was making $11 and hour as a journalist with my degree right out of college. My husband has no college degree and makes about the same amount working in landscaping right now. I know this isn't everyone's story.
All of this was to simply say that we've taken losses in a lot of areas our parents didn't necessarily have to. We are anxious because of money and a lack of feeling successful, but we simply don't celebrate the successes we do have because we were told by society to be humble when we were younger!
With so much already stressing out our generation, we should lift ourselves up when we accomplish something great!
3. WE SHOULDN'T LET OTHERS CONTROL US
2015 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System's Best On-Air Personalities Finalist for our college radio show Gabbie and the Ghost!
The perception of others really shouldn't control us, anyway. Like, who cares if a relative you see once a year doesn't "like" your Facebook post about being selected for a new leadership position at your job?
Who cares if a toxic friend is upset that you posted about a recent success?
At the end of the day, remember this saying that I think I just made up: "You ain't a remote, so stop letting people control you." Be proud of yourself and let those who truly care about you be proud of you, too!
We all spend FAR too much time caring what other people think. At the end of the day, you have to live in your own body, and that means you need to be happy with yourself.
4. WE HAVE TO OWN OUR SUCCESS FIRST
If you lack self-confidence, it can be hard to recognize what you've accomplished. I'm still struggling with this personally. I am a Christian and there's a lot of stigma about success in this faith. However, I credit all my successes in life to Jesus first, but recognize that I was given talents and gifts in this life to help connect other people to the Lord and to themselves! If you don't believe in yourself and the ability to accomplish great things, it simply won't happen.
That's why it is so important that we recognize our own successes first.
2014 Miss Methodist (College Pageant) Miss Congeniality
In these cases, you can't simply write off your success because someone else didn't recognize you for it. Set goals for yourself. Accomplish things for yourself. It makes being recognized for those successes that much more fulfilling!
1. DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT OUR LIFESTYLES
A lot of people assume that plus sized people are lazy, don't eat good food, and overall that they choose to be the size that they are.
This is a photo of me when I was younger. Only a few short years later, I blew up and became pretty big for my age. Things stayed that way despite my being involved in some sports like softball and track and field (the field part) as well as marching band.
I loved fruits and veggies (still do) so much so that I actually remember getting carrot packs in my stocking!
2. DON'T DISCOUNT MY GREATNESS BECAUSE I'M PLUS SIZED
I recently went on a bit of a rant about this on my Instagram (go follow me!) because I faced a situation where I felt like someone with the same or fewer qualifications as I have was lifted above me and given recognition. The only difference was our size.
This seemingly happens to me all the time. Because I don't meet an expected standard of societal beauty, I'm completely discounted. I'm not smart enough or pretty enough to be recognized for my greatness.
This is one of the few -isms that still exist without a lot of people being angry about it.
3: CHARGING AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR A SMALL SELECTION OF SEMI-STYLISH CLOTHING
68 percent of women in America are considered plus size. However, 16 percent of retailers actually sell plus size clothing.
As someone who is plus size, I can tell you that I have very limited options for shopping for cute clothes, and most of those options are crazy expensive. I'm talking about stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid. Love their stuff, but it's really expensive.
You would think with the number of people who get upset at plus size women wearing clothes that are "too small for them," more would be done to provide better options. If you want us to wear clothes designed for our bodies, help up campaign for affordable clothing for our bodies. I personally feel that anyone should be able to wear whatever they want so long as their cash and prizes aren't hanging out (just for a bit of decency in public).
But this is a major issue.
4: STOP MOVING THE GOAL POST
In an effort to skinny-fy the world, retail brands are moving the mark constantly. They are actually changing the sizing on their clothing. You can find a number of videos of women going to different shops and buying the size they usually wear only to find that some don't fit, some are perfect, and some are too large.
Why isn't there a standard? We need to make this happen!
5: DON'T TROLL PLUS SIZE HASHTAGS TO SELL YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
If you're doing this, that's probably why you have to troll hashtags to find clients in the first place.
As a complete stranger, you don't know what I have done or am doing to lose weight. Some plus size people have actually been told by doctors that they need to get surgery because nothing else seems to be working for them. Many plus size people are confident with their bodies and don't want to come on to Instagram to that. I personally am for losing weight for health reasons, not for vanity. But your assumptions about my lifestyle will not result in a sale!
So, for today's post, I want to make the case for a plus-size Disney princess. With more and more children becoming body conscious at earlier ages, I think it is important to provide them with a realistic role model. I'll get in to that more later. So, here's the list:
DISCLAIMER: Being skinny is not a bad thing, and my intent is not to "skinny shame." I think we can all agree that extremes on both ends can be very dangerous and shouldn't be promoted. Please remember this as you're reading!
1: WE FINALLY HAVE REPRESENTED A LOT OF OTHER DEMOGRAPHICS IN DISNEY MOVIES
While it took way too long to have a good representation, we finally have princesses who are people of color on the big screen. We also have the “I don’t need no man princesses” which of course are speculated to be the LGBTQ+ princesses. Not saying that is right, but it is at least something. So why don’t we have a plus size princess?
The only plus size characters in Disney movies are fat villains or secondary characters that walk around in the back ground.
2: MANY PEOPLE AREN'T PLUS SIZE BY CHOICE
3: EVEN SO, YOU’RE NOT PROTECTING PEOPLE AGAINST DANGEROUS HABITS
Did you know if you go on to Instagram right now and search #skinny, you’ll be prompted with a message that asks you if you’re OK with looking at those sorts of things? But, if you look up #fat, you’re directed to the page with no problem.
I want to make sure everyone knows that I never search this hash tag, so Instagram isn't "tracking" that I'm looking at this hash tag. It's not like they are targeting repeated searchers of this hashtag. Everyone who searches this should receive this message.
Furthermore, this is what you're greeted with before you get to the featured page. If you try to look at the "most recent" posts, it blocks you completely!
It seems like expectations to meet a standard of skinny beauty is more harmful than promoting a girl with a lil meat (or fat) on her bones.
4: BIG WOMEN HAVE BECOME FETISHIZED
There are so many people in the world who don’t prefer skinny to plus size. I have another Instagram example. If you go and search #bbw or #bigbeautiful woman, you used to be met with half-naked photos of larger women.
Now I saw this message for the first time today, but usually the aforementioned posts are what are out there. I think Instagram decided to crack down on this out of fairness, which I agree with.
Now, while I believe that many of these women are super confident in their bodies, I also believe that many think that the only way they can get attention is to become someone’s fetish.
By not giving young girls the ideal plus sized woman to look up to in a Disney film, you’re perpetuating the notion that skinny is always prettier and better than fat.
5: SUPER-SKINNY PRINCESSES ARE NOT REALISTIC AND DO NOT MATCH THE BODY TYPES OF MOST PEOPLE
Of course I'm going to say that I never looked at Cinderella's waistline as a child and wondered why I couldn't be that thin, but I know that other children may have. Obviously, a lot of princesses were from a time when corsets were used to shape their bodies under dresses, so the figure makes some historical sense.
However, does a kid know that? I didn't wear a corset until prom. Event then, it was more like a long-lined bra.
Furthermore, the number of children growing up fat is increasing for different reasons. Almost always, this is attributed to laziness and poor eating habits. A lot of people are against a plus-sized princess because they believe she would "glamorize" obesity. I don't think so.
In college, I had joined some of my sorority sisters in trying to get in shape. One of my sisters had been going to the gym every day, eating healthy, etc. She was a plus-sized girl, but she ran laps around our skinniest sisters. That's because she was active. Bodies don't respond the same to weight loss efforts. You can be in terrible shape and be skinny, and in a pretty good shape while plus-sized. This isn't a weird portrayal.
THERE ARE OTHER REASONS
COMMENT: Do you think a plus-size Disney princess is a good or bad idea? Tell me why!
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Plus Size Children
That's My Opinion