True love can often seem like a feigned construct of fairytales and rom-coms. It can feel like a myth — a lie. Words like "dating," "romance," or "long-term relationship," become grouped into the categories of, "Things I can't focus on because of my career," or in some cases, "things I don't deserve because I'm different." And so, we turn instead to those films and novels and anecdotes, for they seem more a reality than true love in the real world ever can be. Which is why Addition Elle's Meet My Love Campaign is so incredibly perfect.
If you're a plus-size woman, you've probably heard before that you must lose weight if you are ever to attract a partner. Or, perhaps, you've been told you must only date someone larger than you so that you don't look quite as big. Even if that means jeopardizing the chance with someone genuine and kind, but slim. Personally, I think finding true love is a difficult feat no matter your size, your sexuality, or your preferences. But when you add being plus-size to the equation, it can sometimes get a little more difficult. Not because there aren't people attracted to larger women, but because we're so often told otherwise.
Last week, Montreal-based plus-size fashion brand Addition Elle released its "Meet My Love" video. Featuring bloggers like Nadia Aboulhosn, Gabi Gregg, Nicolette Mason, and several others babes, this video set out to share the love stories of the ladies we so often follow and turn to in times of confidence struggles or body issues. And it couldn't be more perfect. It's not one of these, "Look at me; I'm fat and I have a hot partner," type of things. Nor does it set out to say that any one body type is preferable to another. It simply shows how love can exist at every size, for every person, no matter where they come from or what the number on the scale says.
Perfection, isn't it?! The video is filled with precious moments, like how Gabi cannot stop hugging her partner, or learning that Otis refers to Nadia as "squirrely," and hearing Karyn admit to saying sorry "sometimes." But Nicolette really summarizes what I think is the goal of the campaign when, in a scene with her fiancee Ali, she says:
I think it's really horrible that our society teaches women that we're not worthwhile unless we look and act and feel a certain way. [We should] be able to talk frankly about relationships and say, 'Yes, I do deserve this. Why would I hold myself back from something so amazing?'
This statement and admonition that we all do deserve to feel loved, and to be happy, is one that can be difficult to acknowledge when you don't fit whatever the mainstream is defining as the norm. If you're gay or trans, if you're plus-size or incredibly tall, you will stand out. And sometimes, people will try to make you feel unworthy. It isn't easy to come to the conclusion that those people are wrong, when there seem to be so many of them. But that's why I adore the #MeetMyLove campaign. All the men and women involved are unique. They are all different sizes. They all have their individual styles. And they all found love.
Seeing a brand embrace body positivity to this degree is pretty special. Sometimes, we start to think all designers and retailers can do is make bigger sizes, cater to more women, and subsequently prove that they believe in size inclusivity. But thus far, it hasn't been quite enough. A lot of companies still fear incorporating bigger sizes. And a lot of brands don't really engage with customers enough to know what it is the public wants and needs from the places they shop. So what Addition Elle has done is wonderful. By involving bloggers, and showcasing such an important message — that not only do we all deserve love, but that finding love regardless of your size or sexuality is in fact totally possible — they've really created a magical little outlet for self-love, empowerment and hope.