MollyMay+ Season 1 Ep 1: I'm Molly May

MollyMay+ Season 1 Episode 1: I’m Molly May

00:02    I’m Molly May and I'm a big girl, I'm a wife. I'm a dog mom I'm a designer. I'm a photographer. I'm a farm girl from Iowa that has tackled the Midwest one state at a time. I went to the University of South Dakota for my Undergrad to be a dental hygienist. Um, and as this podcast continues, you will understand how hilarious that is. And I fell in love with cheap beer and Mcdonald's really an Undergrad, has a lovely diet, still one of my favorites. Um, and then I moved to Minneapolis where I am today. I moved there, originally to get my master's degree in design. I'm very fortunate that my now husband then boyfriend stuck it out with me long distance. We've been together for 11 years, 11? 12. 11. When you get double digits, it's hard to remember. And we recently got a dog and it's the best. It's the best. I don't know if it was turning 30 and someone like flipped a switch and I was like, I want a home.

01:34    I want a home, I want a dog, I want a dog, we can do this. And it's like we're kind of getting obsessed with getting our credit score up. I always thought it'd be a party girl in the basement house party, House party, basement beer, chugging girl for my entire life. Now it's like, ah, I can only do that. On the weekends.

01:58    My master's thesis was called you ass and it was promoting behavior change one ass at a time. And it started from a real life story that had happened to me. And consequently enough, it has happened to me probably about 10 to 15 times in my life. Um, my story that I like to call, I'm not pregnant, I'm just fat, which really propelled me into owning my body. And you know, this perspectives that other people have of me are their perspectives. They're not mine. It doesn't dictate how I have to feel or how I have to dress or how I carry myself.

02:40    So the story is 2008 I again was really into beer, cheap beer, mass quantities of cheap beer. I was really into, um, my graphic design work so I would stay up late and anything I could to stay up late and I would reward myself with food. And the pounds slowly came and I had like five jobs. I mean like I was hustling all the time and um, I'm going to do my belt and get real comfy. We gotta, we gotta breathe. Um, I worked at a store and this woman came in and like I had helped her for like an hour and she was doing that whole thing where you hurry to try on clothes and then you, you know, take the denim off inside out, which is just like incredibly rude and throw it on the floor.

03:39    And I'm like, these are brand new clothes and you don't even own them. And then I am your servant that has to go and pick them up and bring you new. So she finally gets the things that she's purchasing and which were like the ugliest denim like rhinestoned butt pockets and then like down the leg and not like a cool, like punk rock, bedazzled, distressed way. It was like real deal Swar, Swarov, Swarovski, how do you say that? Swarovski rhinestones, really ugly. And I'm checking her out and I'm wrapping all her stuff up really pretty. Um, and then she's like, you look great for how far along you are.

04:28    And this was like, uh, she's talking about school because I am in my first senior year and went to school for five years and then seven and I'm not a doctor, so it's not good. She's like, yeah, you look really good for how far along you are. And then I got the courage to be like, uh, what do you mean? She was like, she said it so excited, "your baby!" I was like, ah, I'm not pregnant. And like I couldn't leave that interaction. I had to continue to serve this woman and I was just like, Eh, this is the worst. And I'm so red faced and holding back tears. And this was the first time that someone had really put that shit kind of felt so shitty, that label on me of you're fat without really saying you're fat.

05:32    And from then I kind of took this stance of I'm going to call myself fat before you can. Like I then had this weird shield up that I need to protect myself. And it became like an existence of self deprecating humor. I would see people looking at me in a way that like, I mind you, I was probably like 70 pounds than I am now. And I was like ugly fat compared to what I am now. Like I'm like, I don't even know that person anymore, which is interesting. It was um, a really ugly internal battle for a lot of years and I used to pride myself on like calling myself the fat funny girl. Like even out of a friend group or like the Duff, right when that movie came out, like the designated ugly fat friend and Mae Whitman isn't even fat.

06:38    Oh my God, this is ridiculous. And you know, the average size woman in America as a size 16 and I have been a size 18 for 10 years. And the fact that I was an outsider because I was just like slightly above average and even like a size 16 is seen as it's considered plus size. And that's so crazy because it is, it should be the norm. Right. My perspective really started to shift its interesting cause it was like three different incidences that all happened within the same year. My godmother, who I have considered my Buddha, um, is a fairy godmother. She's a magical woman. Um, and she has these great CG one liners and one day she just said to me, she was like, you know, all that we have in our life as our relationships. She's like strip everything down and all we have as our relationships. And then I did, you know, like a self reflection of I'm not showing up in my relationships because I am so concerned and in my head about how I might be fat or how I can't sit in a chair because, you know, how they might look at my belly roll. Um, I made a mental shift of like, why wait, why am I waiting to wear that body con skirt and a crop top dancing. Like I really want to wear that dancing. I'm showing up and like blazers to a club, that's ridiculous and why am I not wearing what I want to wear? And it was, you know, it was a slow shift.

08:42    Um, I have always been really into fashion and experimenting with it. And you know, it really started a lot with exploring makeup and you know, I've always been into really big like gawdy jewelry like the bigger and flashier, the better. And fake nails. Like I love it all. And the thing that was missing is like wearing what I want to wear. Um, and I think like the beauty industry is slowly getting there, but like I still cannot shop in a brick and mortar store because they are just not places. Um, and it took a long time for me to be like not concerned about the number that was inside my pants tag and like wear what fits my body. It was like that whole Stacy London effect of when you put on a pair of pants that actually fit you instead of like a low ride fake pant that's not a pant like jeggings. No, no thank you jeggings. It was, it opened me up to this whole like I don't look like I am a size 22 right now because I wearing clothes that fit and I feel so good in the clothes that I'm wearing and that to me clothes are such a feeling. I have said since Grad school that no one can have a good day in sweatpants or I can't.

10:19    There were a lot of people that have really great days and sweatpants, but like if I have to go out and do things I [inaudible] I need to be like in a full architectural, flowy like Kate moment complete like a big flat brim hat. Like I could do all the things in one day. And to me, dress and fashion has such a big impact on my mood and on my confidence. And you know, I have my grandpa Mays rounded shoulders and when I am wearing a garment that has shoulder pads, I remember to stand up straight and it's amazing and I look so confident because I'm standing up straight. Confidence equals standing up straight lesson of the day. You'd be so surprised an ad came up in my Instagram recently that was like a little magnetic pin that you wear. It's like where are you in the name of like on your lapel and name tag words what?

11:24    Um, and they come in white and black and it sends a vibration that sounded really dirty. It sends the vibration through your body. It, the device vibrates when you are slouching. And I have thought about this device every day and like, oh my God, what would that do for me? Like I obviously could not do it like while I was driving or like if I had a buzzing device, like every day that I'm sitting at work, I mean it would be going off every 10 seconds and I was like, this is, this is fucking brilliant that someone created this. But, and then I was like imagining myself in a meeting because like when people's phones vibrate on the table, like you hear them in a meeting. And so like if I'm sitting in a meeting and all of a sudden there's like this, this, and then I like shoot straight up, I shoot straight up and then I would think that someone had like those, like the vibrating underwear.

12:33    So then I was like, I cannot get this thing cause people are gonna think I'm jacking off at work and I'm the girl at work that people would think that I would do have vibrating underwear. I don't, I don't, let's make this, let's be clear, everyone listening, I did not have vibrating underwear. I go to Instagram, the sweet little corner of Instagram when I'm like, I'm having an ugly day or I'm, you know, I even need like fashion inspo and there's, I'm okay at the Internet I feel like, but I have like five solid go tos that I will like actively search. Like what is she wearing today? What is she doing? And they're just like so raw and open. And I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these people and it was like almost meeting family cause it felt like we were in like a sweet little secret club of like, Oh yeah, you're killing it.

13:44    Oh my God, you look so great today. And so it was like the rest of the women of the world could take a cue from us, big girls that are building each other up because you never hear a big girl tell another big girl, I don't think you should wear that. And I think it's from a space of like, I see myself in you. And like without even knowing that person, just like seeing that person is, I know what you're going through and I see what you're doing. Like I see you and I like what you're doing. You're empowering me. So I want to empower you. Like, let's keep that cycle going. Um, and that's what I found, this sweet little corner of the Internet to be. Um, like some of my favorites are, you know, Alex Michael May, who is a creative director and she just kills it.

14:42    And like, the coolest thing about Instagram is like direct messages be, um be like, girl, like you look fucking sick today. Like this is awesome. And now like send a heart Emoji. It's so great. It's like quick friendships. Like the first time that I had seen a group of my big sisters in person was, um, last spring's Fashion Week, Minnesota event. And it was like, I was on the panel and it was so fun and so scary at the same time. But then as like the crowd showed up, I was like, oh my God, I know you. Oh my God, I know you. I know you, I know you. But I didn't know them. And it's like, we have created this safe space on the Internet. And then we had finally been able to like come together physically and it felt like, I don't know, probably how class reunions are supposed to feel.

15:43    Um, I want to be vulnerable and just talk about the every day. I mean that's like the, what Instagram is like when insta stories came out, it was like, ah, I can broadcast how I feel in my favorite pants today. Like I look like a coal miner and I want everyone to know about that. Then I think that with the podcast we can like dive even deeper and you know, like, I mean I've already teared up once today and there's probably going to be like a lot more crying cause there's like, this is therapy. Like I want this to be therapy. Like as you're driving in your car, you're not alone. Like there are a lot of big girls that have these shitty feelings about themselves but like, the big thing is you're not alone.

16:30    I'm going to segue back to how grateful I am that before, like Instagram really blew up. I was fortunate to meet one of my greatest friends who is a big girl who were really kind of brought me out of my shell in terms of, ah, I can dress how I want to dress. Um, the world knows her as Ereyouknowme. And when I met her, uh, technically the first night was that first half and she was wearing a cat printed one piece and a mini skirt and she had a long ponytail and she's just like bopped over and burped. And I was like, this, this is my soul sister. This is my sould sister. And I saw her again at a bar maybe a month later and we were like perfectly tipsy and we were in the bathroom. I was like, God, we do kind of look alike. And we had that moment of I see myself in you and I like what you're doing.

17:44    And from there we have grown in a comfortability and like, you can wear this, let's go shopping together. Like a typical girlfriend kind of thing. And that fell to the wayside for me when I became a plus size girl. I didn't get to share clothes with my friends. And so that felt good. That felt so good. Um, and from there it's just blown up. And that confidence that we find when we find like, our people that fill your cup up. And then, you know, it is, it certainly translates to our individuality. Yeah. So I was fortunate to find that off the internet at first, but now I think there's, there is that space of quick friendship that the Internet can give. The biggest thing for me certainly was God always being concerned about what other people may be thinking of me, which is like, okay, if someone is sitting there thinking about how fat I am in a certain shirt, like they're an asshole, I don't want to be associated with an asshole.

19:05    And the fact that I am giving this person the power to tear me down in a way that isn't even for a certain, I'm making that up in my head. Like I have that skewed perspective that they may be thinking something about me. Like you got to ditch that. Because really all we can own as ourselves is that cliche. Like you're only in charge of yourself. But like that's true. And like if you walk into a room with your shoulders back and you're sitting up and you are exuding confidence, like just just like try it one time, walk into a room and be like I'm a fucking boss. And like see how that can carry through your day and probably like don't wear sweatpants when you do it. Because my tip.

19:58    I hope that I am coming off as real. Um, and I have been trying to get to this space of my body is my body and you can't tell me otherwise. But it's like it's a real deal relationship and like all relationships, it requires work. And I have bad days and I want to expose those bad days. I am not to that pinnacle beacon point of I'm a size 18 to 22 you know it depends on the time of year.

20:34    The purpose of my show is to de stigmatizing chubby. They're like okay you're listening to my voice. You have no idea what I looked like. And like that's, that's the whole thing. I want the world to look past what I look like and what size I wear. But that's interesting because I really like to punctuate how I look that's, we can dig into that someday. I want the show to like even if it's one person to empower them to like be brave and where that thing that they have hanging in their closet for their skinny days. But like throw that out and buy that same thing in this size where you can wear it now because you're going to look bangin'. Because you're going to feel good in it.

21:28    Choosing to be happy was like a really slow start for me. And I think it started in like living up in like really practicing my gratitudes. And I used to write down my gratitudes every morning before work and I would do it until I cried. And then that, that grounded me in gratitude for the day. Like even if it would continue. Okay. So like I would write an entire list and then I'd be driving in my car and I'd be like, wow, I am driving to work in my car. Like I'm so grateful for these tires that these tires are not popping. And that kind of bubbled up and bubbled up and bubbled up and bubbled up and soon that practice, um, became my reality in terms of a perspective shift that I've seen in myself as I look back. You know, it certainly wasn't like a poof, Molly's happy.

22:32    Um, it, it takes a lot of work and it's, and it's hard. Um, but I can, in all the moments that we have, we can choose to be happy and okay, so there's like the example of I stub my toe in the morning and I can either be like, ah, man, I stubbed my toe. That sucks. I'm going to have a bad day. Like that's a terrible omen. Or it can be like, Huh, oh, that hurt. I stubbed my toe. And then if I take that negative perspective of I stubbed my toe and then I spilled my coffee and then I fell on the ice. And then I was late for a meeting. And then my coworker was a dick. Or all those things could come at me and I could be like, that's just like a small little blip of the day. Just a small little blip. Um, and it's, it has changed how I react in those annoying little everyday moments and it bleeds into everything. And I hope that this podcast, like if anything can be a reminder even to do your gratitudes or to set up straight it sounds like. So momish and I'm, I'm not even a mom. Um, like I'm sitting in a chair, I'm not on a dirt floor in a hut like wow. And like watch how that perspective shifts and wow, I am a woman living in America listening to a podcast on my way to work. Oh, before I go to bed or how I wash my dishes. I like how fortunate that is. And then the little, the little blip of I'm fat and I can't find pants that fit seems to dissipate in the big scheme of things.

24:36    And if you got this far in the Pod, I'm impressed as fuck and really grateful to have you listening. If you want to know more information about me or the show, check out the show page on where we host all of the, what I can't take off our progressive Spotify playlist from the songs of the week. And, uh, obviously the reminder of who to follow for the week. All in a nice little fucking matriarch digital media bow. Theme song is Molly May by Ben Caron. I'll never get over saying that. It's so good. Right. Uh, thanks for listening. You're so cute.