Size acceptance – Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

In the past few years I have noticed a shift in main stream media towards size acceptance (or should I say size tolerance?). It seems like every day my Facebook and Twitter feeds are lit up with more and more size positivity. How great is that?!  Plus size model Ashley Graham made history recently as the first plus size model to pose in the Sports Illustrated’s swim suit edition. Newly signed plus size model Tess Holliday is making waves in the fashion industry.  MiLK modeling agency added the gorgeous Holliday to thier talent line up and she has been breaking down size barriers with her 5’4″ size 22 frame ever since. YouTube sensation Whitney Thore, known for her viral YouTube video ‘fat girl dancing’ and her no body shame campaign , recently signed with TV network TLC for her own series called My Big Fat Fabulous Life.  I’m even seeing more and more cute little body positivity ad campaigns than ever before. Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty, Special K® More Than A Number and Shhhhut Down Fat Talk commercials, and the This Girl Can advert for are just a few of the newest and most popular size positive media examples that I’ve seen whirling around lately and I’m absolutely loving it! I am THRILLED beyond belief to see these new trends inspiring self acceptance, self love, and body positivity because as you all know this is what I am all about baby!!! It feels like society is FINALLY starting to climb out of the waif-thin  model adoring, thigh gap worshiping, surgically enhanced and very nearly humanly impossible hour glass figure seeking hole that we dug ourselves into over the last 3 decades.

The icing on the cake here is that mirroring the main stream media shift towards size acceptance, I am seeing the same shift in the equestrian community! No way you say? WAY! It feels like I am getting new emails almost weekly from size-friendly barns and lesson programs asking to be added to our directories. Professional trainers like Jane Savoie are becoming more vocal about size positivity and there are more plus size friendly social media groups cropping up everywhere on the world wide web. I see more plus size friendly resources on the market and my resource pages keep getting longer. There are more 18-20″ saddles on the market than ever before, saddle pads are getting longer, boot shafts are getting wider, more equestrian apparel companies are producing extended sizes and more tack shops are carrying the larger sizes the apparel companies are making. Lesson programs, trail riding outfits, and equestrian vacation destinations are adding more size-friendly horses to thier strings, even bigger horse trailers are becoming more readily available to accomodate larger horses. I mean… five years ago when I started EighteenHands there were 3 companies who could be easily found via web search making plus size breeches. THREE. It took me almost an entire year to find a good quality, affordably priced 19″ english saddle, and there was really only ONE equestrian apparel company who really dominated the market for plus size riding apparel. Today is totally different. The resources are out there and the number of resources available to plus size riders is growing at a surprising rate. 

A world where plus size riders (or plus size folks in general) aren’t being discriminated against by someone, somewhere is not a world that I will ever live in (I can dream,  can’t I?) but I see a definite and distinct shift towards size acceptance as of late. If we as plus size riders keep putting ourselves out there in positive ways (like requesting more plus size products from equestrian brands and tack shops, participating in more shows and competitions, and just getting out and being involved in the equestrian community more) the more positive change will come our way!  Things are only getting better from here on out ladies and gents, you wait and see!

So I ask you…

Is it just me, or do you agree? Is there a light at the end of the fat-hate tunnel?

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