Post by Kiarra McCain

My first thoughts have been simply…. Wow! I’ve had the luxury of getting to know a culture while living in it and the burden of difference. Clearly difference is not something I fear. Having studied abroad before, I truely appreciate the feelings and learning that come along with being in a new place with new people learning new things, but I’ve noticed a heightened awareness of self. As if to say before, I didn’t know this side of me.
One of the things that I pride myself in is confidence. Ive always seen myself as this living testimony and short of an open book for people to read, learn from and take from (in a metaphorical since) if necessary. Now, however I’ve noticed a different more vulnerable side of me, a side that I’m certainly not comfortable with, a side that I’m not sure I want to get to know.
Imagine walking through an unfamiliar world. Where the scent is indescribable and the people are shorter and slimmer then you. Now open your eyes and see a Black girl. With accessories to match her shoes and a shoulder bag to carry her possessions. She walks with an incredible confidence and fear but nevertheless she continues to walk. Now look to your left and right and picture those who look nothing like her. Skin, height and size all polar opposite. Now close your eyes and here the language. Not one familiar word or sound and when you open them you realize that those people were speaking about you. Pointing and questioning who or what you are. Only thing you can do, is keep walking.
Being plus size has been more of a blessing, then a curse. Ive used my confidence to promote high self esteem and the reconstruction of beauty pertaining to women, as well as art mediums to discuss social injustices and oppressive behaviors related to body images or the image of self as a whole (mind body and soul) but here I am a little weak. As if I left my travel size confidence at home next to my cell phone, coach bag and MAC lip gloss. At any rate, I will find away to navigate this world. Thailand look out for me.

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