It’s a very hot day; I look at the sun and smile. I love the sun, I always have. I take a look at the calendar; it's mid-June and everyone I know is going to the beach. I am very excited myself and I look in the mirror and suddenly I feel my stomach ache. “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the thinnest of them all?” I say in a sarcastic tone.
Even though it’s my favorite time of the year it always makes me anxious! It’s not hard to guess why; I am a plus size girl living in Egypt and it’s beach time!
I go to the shopping mall, walk into my favorite stores and I see all the gorgeous swimsuits they have with their amazing colors, patterns, fabrics, and design but one problem is the SIZE. Just like a ghost, I feel invisible to the fashion industry and this is the part when I start to get angry at myself for being overweight and my anxiety kicks in.
But why am I doing this? Shouldn’t clothes be made to fit people, not the opposite? I get back to my senses and look in the mirror once more and tell myself it’s not my fault and that beauty comes in all shapes and all sizes - even if the Egyptian market for some reason doesn’t understand this fact yet.
Now let’s talk numbers. Egypt’s obesity rate is always on the rise; we actually have one of the highest rates in Africa, so it’s only normal that we have so many overweight women. I face the mirror once more and this time I take trip down the memory lane 11 years ago when I was in the United States for a visit.
The fashion industry there is huge; I could tell by the number of different brands one can find in a local store or online. The best part? Plus size fashion was everywhere and it had everything, including beautiful swimsuits. One-piece, two-piece, bikinis, tankinis, everything!
One thing I understood from this was that the fashion industry there was very aware that women are diverse and different and they all have the right to dress and feel great.
Nowadays some local stores are trying to work on the plus size issue but not much progress is made with swimsuits. All I hope for is that one day I can go shopping in Egypt without feeling invisible.