Imagine yourself a twenty-something going through heartbreak in the lonely City of New York, feeling like your dreams have come to die in a dead-end office job and suffering from mild depression—all the while packing on the pounds from emotional/binge eating.
With that as the starting point, I didn’t expect to sink lower when I flew to Los Angeles to attend a summer wedding. Once home, my baby sis needed a dress to wear to the wedding so my sister and I took her to Ross. I decided to try on a dress too because it was just twelve bucks and when I turned around in front of the mirror, the three words spontaneously uttered in my mind was “plus size fairy.”
That was the only combination of words appropriate for such a situation. There I was, a woman twirling in front of the mirror looking like she’s about to burst out of a much-too-tight pixie dress—like a plus size fairy but without any of the magical charm associated with the mythical creature. And in the poorly lit dressing rooms of the bargain clothing chain too … I was feeling pretty pathetic though amused.
And so the plus size fairy was born at the age of twenty-six. I didn’t fully comprehend the meaning of the plus size fairy immediately but over time I’ve come to understand her as a twenty- or thirty-something disillusioned with a reality that does not match the fairy tales she grew up on. Too heavy to be a real fairy, she cannot fly and has no magical powers, which makes it a struggle for her to completely break free of the mindset, formed by societal expectations, of finding a significant other as the only happy ending.
We are a generation of plus size fairies bred on unrealistic expectations and untrue notions of true love. Though the concept was codified in my mind as a rather derogatory term for myself, I decided it’s time to reappropriate the term—through music, through writing, through art.
I know this is a lot to process from coining to reappropriating a term that’s so new but the spirit of the plus size fairy has been around for a while. I’m still unpacking aspects of the plus size fairy myself and hope that you’ll follow along as we discover together. Or at the least, I hope that Google comes to understand the plus size fairy enough to stop showing me ads for plus size clothing.