Loving the skin you’re in is super important. Yet, so many don’t.
Social media and magazines are full of images that send conflicting ideas of what beauty is supposed to look like. As a result, many try to keep up with what society deems beautiful. It’s no wonder so many women are confused, thinking everything they see is real… the hips, the butts, the boobs and everything else. We are in a world where if you want it and have the money, you can get it.
And that’s cool. I believe whatever makes you happy, go for it. If you’re happy, then I’m happy for you.
After all, you know the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So, if you know you are beautiful and you act beautiful, then girl, you are beautiful. Your confidence, your walk, your talk, your swagger, and your thinking is your beauty. It all helps to create the beautiful you—inside and out.
What I’ve learned is that beauty is not about a size but about how people feel about themselves regardless of other people’s opinions. For instance, there are small women who don’t feel beautiful for whatever reason versus other small women who absolutely love their size and beauty. On the other hand, there are plus-sized women who hate their size and struggle constantly to get the weight off. But then, you have plus-sized women who love who they are and the way they look. It’s amazing how ideas of beauty can vary so much.
If you think about larger women, they tend to be confronted with unfavorable comments and treatment in their lives. Imagine being a larger woman who constantly worry about what people say about you, so in an attempt to minimize the attention, you hide and cover up instead of embracing who you are. But thank God, recently, society has come around to accepting all sizes, including plus-sized women.
With that said, I introduce you to Shanice Crossfield, a plus-sized woman who has learned to love her body… just as it is. She is confident in her mind, and with her body and look. In fact, she has made it her business to display all of her wonderful curves to the world as she lives out loud and on purpose. Her message is you can love the skin you’re in, even if you are a plus-size.
3WV: Tell us about yourself. Who is Shanice Crossfield?
Shanice: This question is always so hard to answer for me. I never really know what information to reveal and how in-depth I should get. I am currently residing in Maryland. I was born in Jamaica and moved to the states when I was just three years old (my accent is almost non-existent). I have a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, and I am currently working on my master’s in industrial and organizational psychology. I would consider myself a plus-size fashion and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber. I absolutely love panda bears, even going as far as tattooing one on my wrist. I am a daughter, a friend, a child of God, a confidant, a dog-mom, an employee, and a proud Black woman. I am just a young girl trying to navigate this thing called life.
3WV: Have you always been plus-sized? If not, what were your feelings when you started to gain weight and how did you handle it?
Shanice: I always thought I was plus-sized. I was a solid 12 for quite some time and did not realize that I was gaining weight until one miserable trip to Target. I had just been offered a new position, which meant I needed clothes to fit the part. I went to Target because it’s my tried and true. I tried a size 12 pants and was shocked when I couldn’t get them above my upper knee. I kept going back out onto the floor and then back into the fitting room with bigger sizes. I finally pulled on a size 18 that fit perfectly. I remember sitting in the fitting room, crying my eyes out because I did not realize it had gotten so bad, or so I thought at the time. I did not handle the weight gain very well, and that started a rather deep downward spiral for me.
3WV: For women who are happy with being plus-sized, what would you say to them about ignoring the naysayers and learning to love the skin they’re in? How important is it for any woman to love the skin she is in?
Shanice: Naysayers are the absolute bane of every woman’s existence. We’re always told something is wrong with us, no matter how we look. We’re never skinny enough, and if we are too thin, then people think we’re sick. Ignoring is never easy, but understand, people will always find flaws in someone before they turn the mirror on themselves and look at their own shortcomings. People still speak on things they are envious of. They may not envy your body, but maybe it’s your confidence or fashion sense. Regardless, the opinions of others never matter. Being kind to yourself is what comes first. Be your own beholder, and whether or not someone finds you beautiful will not matter anymore. Look in the mirror and list all the great things about yourself and turn the negatives into positives. I started to despise how I looked, but I just started looking at myself and saying one good thing about ME. Loving the skin, you’re in will be the beginning of being able to ignore people and their opinions. It’s like armor, and it’s going to have to be strong because people will try to break you. Don’t let them.
3WV: List some lessons you’ve learned that can help plus-sized women stay positive in their lives? How important is it for any woman to be positive?
Shanice: The first lesson I learned at a very young age was that people will always find something to talk about. They will talk about you regardless of how pretty you are, how skinny you are, how slim-thick you are, how long or short your hair is, etc. So why change yourself? Why change who you are because somebody has something to say? Okay, let’s say you change that one thing they were talking about, then they find something else to speak on, are you going to change that too? No, and you should never.
Wearing giant clothes does not conceal your body. It can actually make you look a lot bigger if you try to hide your body. So, don’t! Wear those curves proudly. It’s not about the type of body, it’s about how you dress it.
Never listen to fashion myths about your body. They are just that, myths. Horizontal stripes won’t make you look fuller, and you can wear that crop top… love.
Do not force yourself to try on a size that you know won’t fit. I used to go to the mall with my straight-sized friends and go into stores like H&M, knowing they did not have my size in their stores, but trying anyway. It would depress me. So instead of choosing things for myself, I would help my friends choose.
It is beyond important for women to be positive. The more positive you are, the better you feel about WHO you are. Dwelling on negatives is like giving yourself self-inflicting wounds.
3WV: You post a lot of pictures on social media and have a YouTube channel. How did you gain your confidence to display yourself so publicly?
Shanice: Honestly, I’m still on my confidence journey. When I first decided to start blogging, I would ensure that my photographer didn’t get pictures of me from the side. I figured that if people saw me from a front view, they wouldn’t be able to tell how big my tummy is. With the pandemic happening, I didn’t go out on photo shoots, so I decided to start YouTubing again. I wouldn’t let myself be recorded from the side view unless I felt my tummy did not look so big or adequately concealed. At one point, I had to tell myself that I sounded stupid and was making up excuses. How am I supposed to be encouraging women to love their bodies, if I am not being authentic about my own? I’ve learned, it is more important to be genuine about my struggles than to hide my body from my followers.
My confidence comes from knowing somebody out there is experiencing or has experienced the same struggles; and if I share my story, it’ll help them.
Also, representation. As a child, I never saw plus-sized people represented in the media. If they were seen, then it was a supporting role or a “best friend.” I want some little girl to see me and realize that it’s okay to have a plus-sized body and not be ashamed of it.
3WV: How do you hope to impact women on your journey?
Shanice: I want people to normalize the plus-sized body. Not the ones that we see in the magazines with flat tummies and hips. But normalize having a belly without feeling the need to label that person as unhealthy. Normalize arm fat, back fat, rolls, thick thighs with cellulite, cankles, chubby faces, and other things that come with a plus-sized body. I want women to see me and relate that to themselves. Here I am publicly going through my confidence journey. Here I am still talking myself into giving people a side view of my tummy. Here I am still figuring out if shapewear is necessary for that dress. I want women to go through the struggle with me, which is why I say #letsgetthroughthistogether on every one of my posts because I mean it. I never want people to go through it alone… think of me as your plus-sized bestie who is super supporting. I want women to learn to love themselves and be authentically and unapologetically themselves.
3WV: What do you do for fun?
Shanice: Another difficult question! It’s hard to have fun between working full time, going to school, and blogging. I love watching movies. I only watch action movies because they keep me interested. I also enjoy reading, I’m currently reading, “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. I love spending time with my loved ones. I have a large family and a small but remarkable group of friends that I like to just talk to about anything. I used to love going to restaurants, but the pandemic happened, and I have been terrified. Yoga has been on my list of fun things to do and a great way to get some exercise. Lately, I have been focusing on renovating my home. So, I’ve been searching for furniture and paint colors, which is always fun.
3WV: What have been some pros and cons to being a plus-sized woman?
Shanice: Honestly, there aren’t a lot of differences between a plus-sized and straight-sized woman’s advantages or disadvantages. The only problem I sometimes face is that stores do not sell my size or make an exclusive plus-sized line that is muted and less fashionable. Also, we’re less accepted in society. Those are the only disadvantages I could think of. In general, being a woman is an advantage even though society sees women as weaker or minority. We are powerful beings, no matter what size we are. Women are so strong and so beautiful. We go through so much but come out on the other end much better than before.
3WV: For plus-sized women reading this, what points can you share to help women who are unhappy with where they are?
Shanice: Understand for some people, the journey to self-love is overnight. For others, it may take years, but never give up. It gets better every day. Wake up with the mindset of love for yourself and others. As women, we compare ourselves to each other all of the time. Someone’s always got an advantage over us. Stop comparing yourself to picture-perfect Instagram posts and start living life. The more you focus on your life, your positives, your beauty and strengths, then everything else becomes obsolete.
3WV: Over the years, how have you noticed people’s attitudes changing towards plus-sized women?
Shanice: People are more accepting of a plus-sized body than they used to be. Plus-sized women were made to be ashamed of their bodies in the past. We didn’t have many clothing options and were chastised if we even showed our bodies. Now, every big girl with the courage to wear a bikini or a crop top is praised for her confidence. We have more options; clothing lines are offering more size inclusivity. Body positivity is an entire movement, and brands want a piece of that action as well. I have watched social media go from mostly negative comments under plus-sized women’s posts to many, “Yass queens.” Straight-sized people are also advocating for size inclusivity, something that has never happened before.
3WV: What has been some of your personal struggles in life and relationships? How did you overcome them?
Shanice: As a big girl, I always thought I was not worthy of a healthy relationship. I felt I had to settle for lackluster relationships with any person who would have me. I thought nobody would ever truly love me at the size that I am. I dated a few people that I thought were in my league, which turned out to be mundane relationships going nowhere. I dated someone who secretly liked me but was afraid to show me off in public. I had to learn that just because my body is more significant does not mean that I am not deserving of the same love I see on TV, regardless of whether it’s fake. I deserved to be spoiled and loved. I deserve to be chosen, I do not want to be a choice or possibility. I deserve someone to love me in private and in public. My body has nothing to do with how I should be treated. And I get it, everyone has a type, and my body is not for everyone.
Also, just because a skinny man is with a big girl does not make him a chubby chaser, a gold-digger, or anything else. Maybe he actually sees her as beautiful and loves her for who she is. A bigger body is not stopping me from getting the spouse of my dreams. The only thing that would stop me is myself.
3WV: What would you tell women about how to find the fight within them to push through struggles?
Shanice: Think of all the strong women you know. Think of the stories you have heard about those women. A lot of the women we admire have been through hell and back. Some of them had to fight for their lives. Those very same women pushed through every obstacle they faced to stand as tall as they do today. Everything has a time limit. You are not always going to be in the same position. But if you never make a change, if you do not keep pushing, you’ll be in the same place you are today. Make the extra effort to produce some sort of progress daily. Six months from now, you’ll look back at all of your progress and be glad you made that effort.
3WV: What do you want people to understand about you?
Shanice: I want people to understand they may see my Instagram posts and YouTube videos, and I mostly talk about fashion, but I’m more than that. I have a passion for helping people, this is why I went into Human Resources. All I want is to make a difference in someone’s life… in any way possible. I feel like it’s my destiny and calling to put myself out there to make a difference. I pray that God uses me as a vessel to help others.
3WV: Where do you see yourself in five tears, in your life and career?
Shanice: I see myself happily in a relationship with someone that loves and respects me as a person. I would like to have children. It has been my dream to be a mother. I see myself advancing career-wise. I just do not want to pigeonhole myself into a specific place when it comes to my career. I hope and pray that I’m utilizing this expensive degree. I see my blog reaching more women and hopefully making a difference in their lives. I see myself speaking on panels about body positivity, women empowerment, and fashion.
3WV: What last words can you share to empower or inspire women?
Shanice: Love. Love is a powerful word. Love shouldn’t just be given to others, but to yourself as well. Love yourself first before you attempt to love someone else. Self-love is probably the most important love you can have. It fuels your passions and desires. It allows for happiness to come from within. Start your journey of self-love as soon as possible. Do not let anyone get in the way of it. Protect your peace at all times. Sometimes you are all you have, and there is no better person to be there for you than YOU. Get to know yourself, find out your dislikes and likes, find out what will make you smile, find out what you require in relationships. The journey to self-love will open doors you never knew existed.
Also, life is too short to care about the opinions of others. When you look back over your life, do you want to say that you lived for yourself or others? Live life to the fullest, do what makes you happy, and wear whatever you want!
⇒⇒ Her Contact Info:
Blog link: https://iamshanice.blog
Article & Interview by: Debbie Stokes (Creator and Editor)
⇒⇒ To be featured in the blog or to be a guest writer – contact: Debbie3wv@gmail.com
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