No Longer Playing the "Big Girl"

7 years ago

Must be overly cheery, smiley, and always happy. Not a complainer. Must take everything in stride. Must not shine. Can be pretty, but no prettier than the main character. Role of big girl is an attitude, not a number on the scale. Must be willing to dim your light so others can shine.

You all know this role. Its on TV and in the movies. Its in real life too. It might be your best friend. Your coworker. Your sister.

Maybe its you.

Perhaps you have gone through life always being the biggest girl in school. Maybe you were always the best friend of the girl all the boys liked. Your friends and family? Perhaps they are comfortable with you playing the role of big girl.

Hell, maybe you are comfortable in the role of big girl.

It certainly makes life more manageable when we know what’s expected of us socially. We know our place and act accordingly. Supportive friend? Check! Never create ripples with the family? Check! Date whichever guy happens to come along? Check! Don’t have to be our truly radiant selves because we carry a little junk in the proverbial trunk? Check, check and CHECK!

Don’t you know? That’s the role of big girl! No one shall feel put out or uncomfortable in the presence of big girl -- we’ll do that for you.

So what happens when you are no longer interested in acting in the role of big girl?

Who are you really, if you’ve always been cast in the role of big girl?

That is a very challenging question to answer. When you have created your identity around being the big girl, it is very difficult to shed that role and take on another. It takes a lot of ordinary courage as Brene Brown would say:

“The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has actually changed, and today, courage is synonymous with being heroic or performing brave deeds.

Heroics and bravery are important, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we and about our experiences (good and bad) is the ultimate act of courage. Heroics is often about putting your life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting your vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.”

You don’t know what is out there beyond big girl status. You might not know what its like to be treated otherwise. Your friends, family, the people you interact with on a daily basis know you one way. And inside (maybe outside, or not) you are becoming who you have always been. Becoming more of who you are.

Letting your light shine. Like a Northern star.

And that makes all sorts of people uncomfortable. If you are changing (inside and/or outside), what does that mean to our relationship? What does it mean to me if you are changing how you interact with the world? If you aren’t the big girl anymore -- who is? Am I?

I have changed. Transformed. Morphed. But if you ask those people in my life who I hold closest to my heart -- I have no doubt that they would tell you I have not changed. I know they would tell you I have become more of myself.

Find, know and love your true supporters. If you listen closely, they tell you who they are.

And the people that are threatened by you becoming more of yourself? Well that is simply a reflection on the relationship they have with themselves. It has nothing to do with you. Let them be. They do not at this time have the tools to be part of your inner support circle. And that is okay -- just take them as they are.

Lead by example. Do not let the fear of losing false friendships hold you back from shining your light.

Clouds and Sun rays

Are you ready to leave the role of big girl and step into the role of your true, radiant self?

I promise you -- the reward is worth the risk.

More Own Your Beauty on BlogHer

Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.

Read more about Own Your Beauty or add your name to our statement of belief now.


Hi! I'm Jen. I help smart women prepare their mind/body/spirit so they can heal their relationship with food. Yogini. I've let go of 140lbs so far. gluten/sugar/dairy free. My website is and I tweet @jensaundersyoga

Photo Credit: dotcompals.

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