You think plus-size people don't work out, that they don't care what they wear. You think maybe we just want to put on an old Richard Simmons sweat suit.
That is not what we want. We want to wear the exact same clothes our straight-size friends are wearing.
The plus-size athlete is a person. It's not someone trying to lose weight until they get down to straight sizes. The plus-size athlete has a life, and she does things, and she deserves to have a full wardrobe that matches her sport. I used to wear baggy clothes to hot yoga-because that was my only option.
Baggy clothes are antithetical to being in a hot room. Hot yoga is really sweaty. So form-fitting, breathable, sweat-wicking designs and materials can make the experience much more pleasant.
But when I did yoga for the first time at age 16, there were just no cute athletic clothes for plus-size women. It was all sweatpants and hoodies-clothing that said: I'm not showing off my body. I'm fat. Don't look at me. The message: Plus-sized people are supposed to wear clothes that cover up their bodies as much as possible.
(COURTESY OF THREDUP)
The next time I tried it, at age 24 (yeah, I hated it that first time), the options weren't much better. I found one pair of shorts-they were like bike shorts, but still pretty long-and a couple T-shirts, and I wore them to every class.
Dude, those shorts got wiped.
Even when I found plus-size workout gear, it wasn't the same as straight-size-it was not fun, sexy, exciting clothing that made you want to be active. It created this feeling of I am not worth what the person next to me is going to get. I've always preferred my birthday suit to all other outfits.
So, one day when I was doing yoga at home, I decided to practice in my underwear.
That was so freeing, because I could actually manipulate my flesh. It was okay to pick up my thighs, and show love to them, and not send negative energy toward them.
It evolved into this body-love conversation with myself. I realized: It's your body; you can touch it and show it; you don't have to explain it away or hide it. The way you are made is perfect. I never would have had this conversation with myself if I'd been wearing clothes that covered me up. Eventually, I transferred this attitude to the yoga studio.
I used to have this feeling that plus-size people were not allowed to just wear a sports bra in class. I had to wear a top, because if I didn't, it was disrespectful to other people in the room.
Stop with the fat girl accents. We don't need a pant with a baggier leg-we just need a pair of leggings that fits correctly.
Today, my feeling is, yes, I have a fat belly, but if anyone has an issue with that, it's his or her issue.
Now that I'm a yoga instructor, I rarely teach wearing a shirt, because when I just wear a sports bra I notice that other people will inevitably take their shirts off, too, and I want them to feel the freedom to do that. Athleisure for fat people has never really been a thing.
Today, you can go out and find plus-size options, but that doesn't mean they are going to be constructed well.
Plus-size women need leggings that actually go up over our stomach so they don't slide down. We need leggings that are not sheer in the butt-so if we have a big butt, we don't have to worry about everyone seeing our asses when we bend over.
Right now, bralettes with wild cutouts and sheer panels are super-popular in straight-size activewear-but those sexy details are almost impossible to find in plus-sizes.
Every plus-size athletic line should have trendy bralettes that fall into the category of sexy. Not just cute-but where that person is going to feel vibrant and kickass, and can go out and tackle the world.
Also: Whenever I see a straight-size clothing collection and a plus-size collection next to one another, I notice there are extra plus-size options-like a pant with a baggier leg.
Stop with the fat girl accents.
We just need a pair of leggings that fits correctly-and would it be too much to ask for some fun patterns, too?
Wearing sexy, fun, exciting activewear can make such a huge difference in whether or not a person wants to work out and be active.
(COURTESY OF THREDUP)
That's why I want to help other women find more options and sizes.
These days, I receive so many types of athletic wear from brands that other plus-size women don't have the opportunity to shop. That's why I'm partnering with thredUP to create a Shop Her Closet site full of items from my own wardrobe.
I'm including brands like K-DEER, which makes great high-waisted leggings, Nike, which makes dope plus-size clothes, and Torrid, which is my go-to for bras and bralettes.
When I put these clothes on, I want to go to class, and afterward I don't want to hide. I want to go grab juice with the crew, do things, be active, and be around people. If you feel good about what you're wearing, it shines through in other ways.