Well, it's January...and you know what that means. More airtime for diet company commercials, more chatter about new years resolutions on social media and more people complaining about overcrowding at their gyms. Body positivity is a hard place to get to in our society, especially if you're plus sized.
For the record, I personally believe that all bodies are beautiful and do not subscribe to the whole "real women have curves" notion. I'm not about to throw my skinny sisters under the bus like that. The thing is, I've never been skinny, and barring some sort of life threatening illness, I never will be. Even if I starved myself and worked out obsessively, I'd still be considered big. Been there, done that. So that's where I'm coming from when I write about body positivity. I know about being a fat woman, and well, you know what they say, write what you know.
Some things I know for sure:
1. I'm fat. I'm OK with that. This is my body and I love it. It is healthy and when it's not, I try to help it get better. It looks good in skirts and low cut tops, it's great at cuddling, going for long walks and it gave me a daughter. How can I be mad at a body that does all of that, just because it's big?
2. Concern trolls need to stop already. Are you worried about my health? Really? Or do you just not like to look at my thighs? I'm thinking it's the latter. Fat does not equal unhealthy. Skinny does not equal healthy. And you know what else? You don't get to have an opinion about my body and what I do with it. You just don't.
3. You have to start with you. All the hate in the world can't penetrate your soul if you don't let it. I've been fat shamed in pretty much every way I can think of. I do not take that stuff on. You can't take that stuff on. You need to, in the parlance of the kids these days, "do you". Do you, you guys, just DO YOU.
|I KNOW it's not just men that have a hand in this, but I found this image too powerful to not share.|
5. I want to be a positive role model for other women. Here's the thing, when I worked occasionally as a plus sized model many years ago, I was teased by some of the women I worked with because I was young and, although plus sized, smaller than they were. There was a lot of shade thrown my way. I resolve to never throw shade at younger, thinner women!
Now, when I work as a photographer, women of all shapes and sizes are hesitant to get in front of my lens. I understand that impulse. Sometimes, I just want to hide too. But what I want to help other women understand is this: they are BEAUTIFUL. Their wrinkles, their messy hair, their extra 20lbs? BEAUTIFUL. I resolve to help other women feel beautiful by showing (not just telling) them how beautiful they are! I want to help my clients understand that they should embrace their now and document it. They will regret it if they don't down the road and maybe, just maybe, doing it now will help them on the road to self acceptance.
6. If you can't laugh about it, you're truly fucked.
|Working on my night cheese.|
|Sam Weir: body positivity trail blazer!|
|I really don't.|
7. I'm going to keep sharing my adventures in fashion here in the new year because there is safety in numbers. Fat women need to take control of their own inner monologues and their own media. Put down Vogue, ladies and take to the blogosphere.
Next week: back to our regularly scheduled programming!