In the world of business, being a woman often means navigating a labyrinth of challenges that our male counterparts rarely encounter. The journey becomes even more intricate when you’re a woman who doesn’t fit the conventional mold of ‘thin and beautiful’ – a narrative I know all too well as a plus-size female entrepreneur in the therapy industry.

Therapy, as a field, is unique. It’s one of the few industries where women are the majority. This has been a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, I’m in an environment where female leadership isn’t an anomaly. On the other, I stand out for reasons unrelated to my skills or business ability – my weight.

Navigating the business world as a plus-size woman has been an odyssey filled with subtle prejudices and overt assumptions. Despite my experience and expertise, I often encounter the presumption that I am not the person in charge. It’s a baffling experience, to say the least. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been mistaken for an employee rather than the owner of my therapy practice.

These encounters are not just mere misunderstandings; they’re reflections of deep-rooted biases in our society. It’s as if my weight acts as a lens, distorting others’ perception of my capabilities and position. This bias isn’t just demeaning; it’s a roadblock to professional recognition and respect.

Another stereotype I frequently grapple with is the notion that my success must be attributed to ‘family help’. It’s a thinly veiled insinuation that my achievements are not wholly my own, that somehow, my weight makes me less capable of building a business without external assistance. This couldn’t be further from the truth. My journey, like many entrepreneurs, is one of self-made success, built on long hours, relentless dedication, and an unwavering belief in my vision.

The therapy industry, while female-dominated, is not immune to the broader societal biases that infiltrate the world of business. The assumption that a plus-size woman cannot be a successful entrepreneur without external help is not just offensive; it’s an outdated stereotype that needs to be dismantled.

I’ve learned that owning your narrative is crucial in a world quick to write it for you. My size does not define my business skill, my leadership abilities, or my entrepreneurial spirit. I am more than my physical appearance. I am a skilled professional, a driven business owner, and a leader in my field.

I’ve also realized the power of representation. By simply existing as a plus-size female business owner, I challenge stereotypes and offer a different narrative – one that says success is not size-dependent. It’s also about resilience and breaking barriers. Every day, I challenge the norms of what a leader looks like, pushing against the biases that try to box me in. Owning my identity, in all its facets, is a powerful statement in an industry and society that often tries to dictate otherwise. My presence in the industry serves as a beacon for others who may feel marginalized due to their appearance. It’s a reminder that diversity in business goes beyond gender and race; it also encompasses body size.

Despite these challenges, my journey as a business owner in therapy has been incredibly rewarding. It’s an industry that, at its core, is about understanding, empathy, and acceptance – values that have been a core of who I am since I can remember. If you or someone you know can relate to this story, know that you are not alone.