We are living in a world where most women only feel beautiful when they are slim.
And only slim and beautiful women can feel happy.
Do you believe that in order to love who you are, you must first of all change who you are?
We spend endless amounts of time, energy and resources sculpting our bodies as if they were the key to unlocking happiness. Society behaves as if fat is the worst thing that can happen to a human being.
But what's worse is that we believe it!
If we are constantly trying to fit into what society says is perfect we will spend our best years chasing something that doesn't even exist! First it was Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, Elle MacPherson, Kate Moss, Kim Kardashian... the list goes on and not one body type is the same!
If your level of happiness is directly tied to your level of body fat than I am at a
personal loss to understand how happy I "should" feel. I am somewhere in between muscular and wobbly, athletic and voluptuous, lean and jiggly!
There are times when I am desperate to fit into a category just so I can feel like I belong! So, instead of embracing my uniqueness I insist on shaving parts off me (figuratively, of course) in order to fit a mould.
This compartmentalisation really got me thinking!
As much as I want to feel like I fit in, I also hate categories and labels! As a women I understand that my body will change (puberty, pregnancy, menopause). My body won't always fit into the same category.
Body acceptance is a difficult and challenging journey that I would prefer to only tackle once. There is such a large part of me that just wants to love me. I want to embrace my uniqueness! But I am usually catapulted back into the body image merry-go-round by some ass hole who says my wobbly bits are not loveable.
I effin love my wobbly bits, ass hole!
But there is one body type category that is constantly under fire, shamed and criticized! It has been ongoing for so long that young women have developed self limiting, fear inducing beliefs around what this body type means for their happiness and their life.
Resources are being used to tackle the nutritional causations and to promote the importance of physical activity - the physical and medical side is progressively being looked after!
But what about the beliefs these young women are developing about themselves as human beings? Young women believe they are ugly, worthless and undeserving all because of a three letter word.
Who is is going to tackle that?
Do you believe that fat can be beautiful?
Do you believe that only beautiful women can be happy?
Fat bodies are believed to be lazy, ugly, inactive, unattractive, asexual, unhealthy, unsuccessful and unhappy.
Our attitudes to fat are such that we perceive things like wearing bikinis, revealing clothes, dancing and sport off limits for fat people - these are healthy things reserved for healthy people!
We expect fat people to want to lose weight and be healthy but we forbid them from doing it in public – we forbid fat people from engaging in healthy things! We act as if our judgemental and hurtful comments are fair and in the name of their health and happiness.
Fat women are mocked if they do healthy things – photos are taken, comments that can never be taken back are made and articles are written that reaffirm the same ideals and beliefs that fat is ugly.
We have been taught to fear fat. We have internalised this fear so much that our culture does not allow us to contemplate beauty, happiness, health and success if you are fat.
We forget that there is our mental health as well. We forget that body acceptance is about more than just conforming. We forget that life is about more than what people can see on the outside. We forget that all people, regardless of their size, can love their body!
Yes, she can be happy!
You can accept your body and still want it to look and perform differently
Did you know that it’s OK for a fat person to be so in love with their own body and life that they accept both unconditionally? Body acceptance is about loving who you are without judgement, fear or criticism.
Were you ever taught that this was OK?
When we see big women in bikinis, shorts and crop tops we think “they shouldn't be wearing that. They need to dress for their body type. They don't look healthy”. We rationalize our own discomfort this way!
Are fat people forbidden from enjoying their bodies even if they are unhealthy? Should fat people refrain from wearing bikinis, short skirts and crop tops because of their perceived poor physical health?
Have you forgotten that our mental health is just as important? That time you saw a fat person wearing a bikini could have been the day they liberated themselves from the shackles society put them in with one glorious "f*ck you, fat can be beautiful".
On the other hand you might even think fat people are courageous for showing off their body!
However, I would rather not be the reason they feel courageous. Because if I am the reason they feel courageous I am also a part of the reason why so many other women live in fear of their bodies.
I would like to think as women we can wear whatever we want because of how it makes us feel - all women are allowed take pleasure in their body!
Fat shaming is the standard response when we see fat people owning their body and rocking it with confidence. Fat shaming disgusts me!
If a size 10 walked around with the same confidence as a fat person would there be a problem? No! A fat person who owns their body has what what we all want (happiness and confidence), they just got there without the diet.
I would like to think that there is more to our bodies than how they look. I believe that bodies are more than things to be made skinny, lean and pretty and I would like to be the sort of person that supports women feel beautiful. All women!
Loving our bodies is a difficult and important journey for all women (and men) and regardless of our size we all have a right to feel beautiful.
Fat people are beautiful. Fat women are beautiful. And my wobbly bits are bleedin' gorgeous!
* Fat bodies: Initially I was very uncomfortable using the words “fat people” in this blog, but after a lot of research I discovered that these are the very words used by body image activists all over.
* To the women in this photo: I chose this photo for my blog because I thought it was really important to include a photo of a beautiful and happy looking women. You were it! I thought of cropping your head from the photo to protect your privacy but then I asked myself would I do this if you were a a size 10, and the answer was no!