Being Broadtail: “Ask Me A Question” heats up Instagram
Last week my favourite social media platform, Instagram, launched its “questions” feature, which allows users to further engage their followers through the popular “stories” interface. I got excited and decided to give it a try to see if my “followers” would really ask me questions.
Little did I know wha “mi woulda buck up inna”!
The first set of questions were laced with sexual innuendos from users I have never had interactions with before, who were glorifying “the broadtail” that they think I carry so well. For a minute there, I was wondering if all these men are secretly loving the “fluff” but hiding behind weird profile names or were they just bold “chubby chasers”.
I am not sure if the users realised that I could see who asked each question, even though when I chose to post responses to the questions the user would be anonymous (unless I choose to tag them in the response). I kept wondering if men were actually ashamed to like/love full-figured women publicly and if it made them feel more comfortable to pursue us in private.
In my 20s, a young lady asked me “how come that guy likes you?”. I wasn’t sure what she meant, but after a series of questions, I realised that the guy she was referring to was deemed one of the well sought-after black men – tall, handsome, athletic and smart – and clearly he must be settling to like and pursue the broadest tail of them all.
Clearly that conversation did not end well and had me “in my feelings” for a while. It led to questions like: “Is being plus size perceived as the worse thing that can happen to a woman? Shouldn’t our bodies be seen as sexy too?”
Now don’t get me wrong, everyone has the right to have their “type”. As we say in Jamaica, “every hoe have dem ‘tick a bush”. But I have a problem if someone thinks that they can’t openly say they adore the body of a full-figured woman because some factions of society may not deem her sexy. Equally puerile are women who think that just because another woman packs extra pounds, she should be denied the adoration of the “crème de la crème” of the male species. As a matter of fact, my experience is that those super athletic men are quite enamored by the physique of the “sexy plus” among us.
But I digress. After sifting through the “questions” the day after initially inviting the interaction, I realised that 80% of the questions surrounded my weight. Questions ranged from: “How do you remain confident as a full-figured woman? Have you ever been bullied about your weight? How do you keep your belly flat with your weight & how do you remain confident when you look different from everyone else?”
“I am not confident as a full-figured woman, I am confident as a woman.”
“I have never been bullied about my weight because as soon as you meet me you realise I love myself and somehow that allows persons to love me for who I am… I am so much more than measurements on a scale.”
“My belly is by no means flat! I try to eat good carbs, exercise (from time to time) and wear great girdles.”
“I actually don’t think I look different from everyone else. The media sometimes allows us to think that as plus-size women we are different, however, what they show as being normal is actually what is 'different' from the reality!"
Until next time, remember to hydrate, use sunscreen and mind your own business!
Dania Beckford is the Managing Director of BroadTail Designs, a full-figured apparel company in Jamaica that specializes in resort wear. She is also a Brand Communication Consultant.
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