I Guess I’m Considered “Plus Size”


Okay, Calvin Klein, you really got me laughing. Like I hope you were kidding, because you’re making me nervous.

I was born small–too small for my own good. From the day I was born into the first few years of my life I had to have weekly hospital visits, was given various shots, and every single thing I ate had to be monitored. I have always been little and I’ve learned to love the skin I’m in. When I finally started making it onto the charts my senior year of high school I was ecstatic. My height was finally “normal”, my BMI was finally “average”, and I had a healthy, happy body. Besides the fact that I am a late bloomer in all aspects of growth, like getting my period in my sophomore year of high school and still growing at 20 years old (I know!), I have never been considered “plus size”.

But Calvin Klein just called me that. And Calvin Klein just called a lot of girls that.

Usually I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum, with skinny shaming, and getting told to eat a burger. To bulk up. To go lift weights. To shop in the kids section. So when I first saw what was considered “plus size” by Calvin Klein, my whole world shook.

First off, there is nothing wrong with being plus size. “Plus-size” doesn’t mean fat. It doesn’t mean unhealthy. It doesn’t mean overweight. Plus-size means being larger than the normal range and that definition is as vague as they come. There is also nothing wrong with being a double zero. It doesn’t mean anorexic. It doesn’t mean underweight. It doesn’t mean unhealthy. Our bodies are for us to love, no matter what size, shape, or figure. We all have our flaws, our insecurities, and our idealistic bodies. Although a lot of this comes from within ourselves, there are external forces messing with our heads as well.


Okay, this is Calvin Klein’s first plus size model. This is her. Did your jaw drop to the floor too? This woman is fit, healthy, and GORGEOUS.

So where does CK get off on calling her plus size? She’s tall. She’s skinny. She’s built. Maybe on BMI standards I could see that she is above the normal range based on height and muscle. But calling this woman plus size is offensive. This leads young women, middle school girls, fifth grade girls, college women, to rethink everything. If this is plus size, then what is “normal”? What is an “average” female body?

If she is called plus size, then I’m plus sized and proud. I’m grateful. Because I want to look like her. Look at how fit she is, look at her curves and edges, and look at how beautiful she is. I’m ashamed for Calvin Klein. Thanks for telling girls that this is “larger” essentially, that this is “bigger”, and that this is what “realistic” looks like.

This is not plus size. This is not okay. This is not justified. This is our society.

This is a happy, healthy woman. This is a strong, stunning woman. This is normal.

So thanks, Calvin Klein, for altering the ideas in the minds of women worldwide of what you “consider” plus size, when I only see perfection.





Why I Decided To Spend My Summer Volunteering

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Gandhi


Being a broke college student made the idea of volunteering all summer a little unappealing. I wanted to make bank before the upcoming school year, and also be able to pay for all the food I would eat this summer and any adventures with my friends. But instead of taking a nicely paid office job thanks to my parents business, I chose to work as a volunteer for my summer.

By volunteering at two separate places throughout the course of the summer, I would be getting solid experience under my belt. I was working with animals, both in different environments, creating relationships with all kinds of people, and learning a lot about myself. I knew if I could get up at seven each morning, force myself to go into work, and still not get paid for it, then I was on the right career path.

I know money isn’t everything. But relying solely on the savings I hadn’t dug into during the school year makes it hard to choose to go out to fancy dinners or head to an amusement park for the day. I’ve been watching my money extremely carefully while occasionally giving in, and its getting harder as time goes on.

But by sacrificing my time and potential earnings, it has shown me how truly passionate I am about the field I am going into. Volunteering is definitely a real job and real labor, and working for non-profit organizations makes me feel good. I am making a very small difference, but it is still a difference nonetheless.

I decided to spend my summer volunteering for selfish reasons; for myself. To find out how compassionate I was. To feel like I was doing something worthwhile. To know that I didn’t need money to have fun, even if it made life a lot easier. To understand that hard work doesn’t always pay off. To leave a better trail for those to come. To make a difference. To gain a piece of myself I never had before.

But volunteering has also taught me that its okay to feel happy about the work I am doing. That no matter how many hours I put in, a barn will still get messy. That every animal I help treat is one less animal living on the streets. That the best person I can be is who I am when I’m around what I love. That sometimes I don’t want to help, but I do anyway. That people can be worse than animals. That there will always be more to do. That my boots are meant to be muddy, that my jeans are supposed to be dirty, and that my heart should be full of hope.

That no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. That I matter.

Matthiessen State Park, Utica, IL

June 2, 2016

Dogs are allowed (and encouraged!).

Having been to Starved Rock State Park already, Matthiessen State Park, just further down the same road, seemed like the next hiking day on the to-do-list.

Compared to Starved Rock, Matthiessen seems to have less elevation gain and loss as a whole, but also many more untamed trails. Starved Rock is pretty well-kept and popular, whereas Matthiessen is more of makeshift bridges made out of bridges and trucking through mud.

As a whole, Matthiessen was pretty dang cool. One thing I didn’t account for is how muddy the park was going to be, as well as the amount of water I would be walking in. I would suggest not wearing any favorite shoes or being willing to get them soaked in all the elements. If I had known earlier, Chaco’s would have been my choice.


For this adventure day, the sun was shining and it couldn’t have been any nicer weather. For the most part, the canopy of trees provides great shade and there are multiple waterfalls to keep cool.

The first fall we visited amazingly big. It was easy to climb up and behind, as the rocks weren’t too slippery, although the water was freezing. Getting to this waterfall was a challenge, with all of us ankle-deep in mud and barefoot. Not to mention, there are plenty of creatures on the way to wonder about and if they are now sticking to your feet as you trudge through the mud. It was totally worth every second.


From there, heading the opposite direction, a small river led us to an opening. We waded our way to the main river path and sand filled our shoes. The rest of the day consisted of us being in the company of each other, following random trails, and some great hiking. It’s easy to have fun when you get to spend the day frolicking through the woods with the people you love.

Matthiessen had some awesome secret spots to check out for sure, and I definitely wouldn’t mind going back. Although I like Starved Rock just a little bit better, Matthiessen is a very close second. And when it comes to Illinois, I couldn’t be more grateful that these two state parks are only an hour drive away.

Here’s to more hiking this summer.



But It’s Just Enough


There is nothing worse than not knowing. Not knowing if someone is mad at you, not knowing what others think of you, not knowing if you’re doing the right thing. It will drive you mad overthinking and overanalyzing things, especially when it comes to the opposite gender.

We’ve heard it all.

Boys will be boys. 

If he’s mean to you, it means he likes you. 

Even use of the term f*ckboy. 

We as society make excuses for it to be okay, justified, or even normal, for the ways men treat women. We teach women what they should do in case of an attacker, assaulter, or rapist, instead of teaching men not to rape. We grow up learning that if a boy pushes you down on the playground, you should be happy he’s paying attention to you. We are supposed to think that a man being possessive and obsessive is “cute”, not dangerous.

This is not all men, but its enough. Enough of them to keep us on our toes when we walk alone down the street, enough of them to make us think this is what a relationship is supposed to be like, and enough of them for it to happen to someone we know. It’s just enough. 

No matter what you do, what you think is right, or what you want, you will be judged. Maybe you feel ready for the next step in your relationship and next thing you know, you’re called a slut. Maybe you want to wait for the right moment, but now you’re a prude. 

A guy hits on you and you turn him down. You’re instantly a bitch. He goes on to say that he was just bored, so you’re being full of yourself. You’re not worthy of him, you’re only a booty call. 

You get a number from the boy you like and call him up, now you’re easy. Now you’re the girl who talks to random guys and responds to their messages at any time, you’re obsessed and stalking him. 

But boys will be boys. If he’s mean to you he likes you. Take your pick girls: prude, bitch, slut, whore, easy, crazy, loose. So instead of raising boys, who turn into men, to treat girls respectfully, safely, and to be considerate, their actions are justified. Their actions are normal. Their actions are okay. But as for girls, when you wear shorts in the summer and show your shoulders, “you are asking for it”. When you get sent to the office for the dress code, its your fault, not the boys who are distracted by that. That black eye was an “accident”, one that wasn’t supposed to happen again, but did.

When you want something more out of a relationship than the physical aspects, you’re needy. When you feel like he is seeing someone else, you’re paranoid. When you consider a future, you are out of your mind. You forgive him time and time again, because you love him, because you were taught that this is how its supposed to be. This is what love feels like. This is a real relationship.

When you’ve both been drinking and he takes advantage of  you, its your responsibility too for him sexually assaulting you. And later, when society finds out you didn’t give consent and he didn’t care to ask, you’re blameworthy as well. When you weren’t conscious and he went inside you, it was “life-ruining” for him too as he had you on the ground behind a dumpster. When he gets six months, out of a fourteen year sentence, six months because it would have a “severe-impact” on him, you are the one who is still to blame. 

This is the reality for women, not all women, but just enough. Just enough of us, to affect our lifestyles, our actions, and our society.

Just enough women because of just enough men.