If you’ve ever met me or read any of my other blog posts, then you would know that I am by no means a small chick. I am in fact a self-proclaimed plus sized woman and you will often hear me say that I am proud of it. So of course it’s only natural that I am on the ban fat shaming wagon right? Right. What I didn’t realize was just how hard it would be to actually climb on the wagon, it wasn’t just a hop skip and a jump for me.
What is your reaction to this photo on the left? Well as a fellow woman with love handles and a fold or two, my automatic non-fat shaming response should have been “look at this glorious celebration of the female form!” I should have been deeply overwhelmed by the fearlessness of this woman, by her pride. My actual reaction you ask? “Why the hell would she leave the house like that?” My reaction seemed completely natural to me, after all it is not often that I am faced with an image of a woman, unashamedly showing who she is, when she isn’t a smaller size or has all of her “jiggly” parts neatly tucked away. Then I remembered, ” oh yeah I’m supposed to be against fat shaming”, so why would I react like such a vapid, skinny, person?
Well I took time to honestly sit down and think about it, I mean I spend all of this time reading about body positivity and follow some of the most amazing body positive women on Instagram, so I should be completely comfortable with a picture like this. Then it really hit me. The saying goes “Who’s going to love you, if you can’t love yourself?”, but I asked myself , if no one loved you then from where do you begin to learn how to love yourself?
When I was smacked in the face by this revelation it occurred to me that there is a clear process to self acceptance and even more, acceptance of a different concept of beauty. We have spent most of our lives having it drilled into our heads and our subconscious that beauty is very specific. It has only been recently that brave and revolutionary individuals have stepped up and taken the concept of beauty into their own hands. It is only recently that the fatosphere popped up and there surged forth this massive wave of self acceptance, self-image reform, and the embracing of the female form in its most natural state. The biggest part of battling fat shaming, is battling the body ideals we were set up with. I’ll be the first to admit that I love my Spanx,
and every chance I get I remind myself to suck it in, tuck it away, and cover it up. But there comes a point now where I find myself slowly asking, why? Why am I trying to cover it up? Why am I trying to hide it? I say to myself that I will wear that crop top after another 10 pounds or I’ll buy that skirt when I can officially fit in a size 10, but why? The answer is, I’m still working on accepting the fact that my body has bits and pieces that I don’t want to show to the world. I don’t want my muffin top to become murmurs among my peers; I am still quietly ashamed. On occasion I still catch myself glimpsing a girl on the street with a shirt that shows of her rolls and questioning why she thought that was okay. Then I remind myself, why did I think that it wasn’t, knowing damn well when I go home and take off my shirt I look exactly the same.
I say all of this to say that for all of my other large, lovely, ladies who have not yet found it in them to completely banish their fat bashing ways, understand that it is not necessarily an overnight thing. It is an uphill battle with yourself, where you have to learn to slay the notions instilled in you for years. Stick with the battle, because some of the worst culprits of fat shaming are ourselves. Just like the standard image of beauty was drilled into us until we accepted it, the new concept of beauty has to be drilled just as hard.
Need help? I would suggest following some body positive women on Instagram. It sounds simple,but consistently presenting yourself with images of body positivity will do wonders for the mental part of this challenge. Some of my personal favorites and sources of inspiration?