Not your average “body positive” blogger

I want to preface this blog by stating that it is NEVER ok to treat someone like shit simply because of the way they look.  If you treat someone as lesser of a human because you don’t find the individual to be aesthetically appealing, you’re an asshole.  However, it is ok to challenge and criticize others ideas.

If you’re the type of body positive advocate who thinks you should like yourself even if you’re abusing your body, you may want to stop reading.  X out of this screen, do not pass go, do not collect $200. This blog will only piss you off, you will end up taking the things I say as a personal knock against you, instead of me being critical of harmful ideologies.

No one should hate their self. Self hate doesn’t get anyone anywhere.  Self hate doesn’t promote change, it often just causes depression. Depressed people are less likely to make positive changes.  HOWEVER, it IS ok to not like yourself.  If you aren’t the best you know you’re capable of being, it’s perfectly ok to look in the mirror and say. “Ya know what?  I’m selling myself short, I can be better, I can be happier, I can be healthier.”  It’s ok to strive for better.  It’s ok to look in the mirror and say, “Ya know what?  I don’t really like that muffin top, I’m going to construct a healthy eating plan and maybe start working out”.  If someone is an ugly person on the inside we encourage them to change and become better.  Why don’t we do the same when it comes to our health?

What I see with many body positive bloggers is that they’re simply settling for what they have, rather than striving for better.  It comes across as an attempt to be contrary to societal norms.  They’re trying to sell it to other big girls that changing your outer appearance is society’s way of telling you to hate yourself.  In some kind of backwards, spiteful stance many body positive and fat positive people are hurting themselves in an effort to tell society to fuck off.  These people are telling you to not care what society says, yet society is driving them to act a certain way and treat their bodies a certain way.  It’s much easier to settle than it is to change.  I say this as someone who IS fat. I say this as a woman who has lost 100 pounds.  I say this as a woman who has struggled with finding her place within society.  I say this as a woman who truly doesn’t give a shit what other people think of me.  What *I* think of me is the only thing that matters to me.  Part of loving yourself, is not abusing yourself.

I woke up one day and put on a pair of pants that happened to be the biggest size I’ve ever worn and they were tight.  In that moment I said, “no more”.  I was tired of being tired.  i was tired of being out of breath anytime I walked up 10 stairs.  I was tired of not being able to keep up with my kids.  I was tired of being unhealthy.  My unhealthy lifestyle was directly responsible for me being unhappy.  It wasn’t society’s fault for being “fatphobic”.  It wasn’t Victoria Secret’s fault for hiring thin models.  Society wasn’t the cause of my unhappiness.  *I* was the cause of my unhappiness.  I bought into the body positive, fat is beautiful rhetoric.  That rhetoric became my excuse for settling with my current state.  “Body positive” became my justification for not wanting better for myself.  While it was empowering in some ways to say, “Eff your beauty standards”, I was also slowly killing myself.  That small amount of spiteful, self-destructive empowerment wasn’t worth the abuse that I was inflicting onto my body. There’s nothing empowering about going into a restaurant and being worried that you may not fit into the booth the hostess offers you.  There’s nothing empowering about avoiding movie theaters because your ass is too big for the seats.  There’s nothing empowering about asking for a belt extender or buying a 2nd seat on an airplane because you don’t fit in one seat and you spill over into a 2nd seat.  There’s nothing empowering about heart disease, diabetes, increased risk of stroke, increased risk of cancer.  There’s nothing empowering in abusing your body just to stick it to cultural beauty standards.

Whenever we see a woman who suffers from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, society pities her.  We don’t say, “look at that woman living how she wants to live, YASSSS!  Good for her!  Get it girl”!  Why do we champion obesity? Why do we look at severely overweight women (Think, Tess Holliday) and say, “You go girl”!  Being morbidly obese IS suffering from an eating disorder.  Being obese is just the other extreme end of the spectrum.  When it comes to things like anorexia and bulimia, we see these individuals as suffering from mental illness.  We encourage change to become healthier.  We tell them that there IS something wrong with the way they’re living.  We don’t accept their ideology as healthy.  We see them as sick.  Overeating to the point of obesity and calorie restricting to the point of severe malnutrion are both signs of emotional issues and should both be treated the same.  Neither should be encouraged.  We should of course be empathetic and we shouldn’t treat these people as if they’re less.  We should not view either as some type of false empowerment.

If your best friend was in a relationship with a man who abused her in some way, would you tell her it’s ok to settle for him?  Nope.  You would likely give her a pep-talk about how she deserves better. You would tell her how wonderful she is and how she deserves to be treated like the amazing girl she is.  So why when it comes to our own bodies we’re ok with settling?  We are ok with abusing ourselves.  We accept it and attempt to turn our self-destruction into empowerment.

My goal is to change the way we look at body positivity.  Body positivity should be about doing what is best for our health.  It should be about celebrating hard work that we put into being the best we can be.  Body positivity should be about loving ourselves enough to want what’s best for ourselves.  Body positivity is looking into the mirror and being proud with the hard work you’ve put in to being healthy.  It’s not body positive to try and force a narrative upon society that says in order to be accepting you have to agree with the ideology That self harm is empowering and should be advocated.

Let me end this blog the same way I prefaced.  It is NEVER ok to treat someone badly because of their physical appearance.  That is always unacceptable.  It is acceptable to question and criticize harmful ideologies.  If you find yourself being hurt by the words of someone else you probably need to do a little soul searching and figure out why words hurt you.  You may just find that you aren’t as happy with yourself as you believe. Love yourself enough to stop self destructive behaviors.


The “F” word

No not that one, the other one, F-A-T.

Why do we allow this word to have so much power over how we feel about ourselves?  As a woman, you could be having the most amazing day ever, got a promotion,  got that winged liner just right, eyebrows seriously on fleek, or just won $100 million dollars in the lottery but  some asshole calls us fat and we instantly feel like the most worthless person to have ever walked the earth and we forget what happiness feels life.  We dwell on it, pick ourselves apart in the mirror, reminisce about when we weren’t so…fat.  All because of ONE word. One.Fucking.Word.

The power this word has is amazing.  From as young as five years old it’s something women are terrified of being viewed as.  Today while I was picking my five year old daughter up from school a couple of kids were who couldn’t have been older than eight, were throwing verbal jabs at each other and being silly.  Nothing serious.  Until of course, the little boy said, “well I think you’re stupid AND FAT”.  The little girl, wasn’t fat.  She was actually quite thin, tall and lanky.  She immediately started crying. When he called her dumb, told her she had weird teeth, told her that he thought her backpack was ugly, it was all giggles and witty retorts but the moment he dropped the F-bomb, it broke her.  You could see the exact second her heart broke.  It was really kind of eye opening and soul crushing.  What was most jarring is how the little girl immediately became quiet and backed down.  She felt like less of a person.  Even at such a young age, one word has such a colossal impact on a female.  Even at that young of an age, as a female we know that society doesn’t value you if you aren’t the accepted societal idea of beauty.  At such a young age, males know exactly what they need to say in order to shut a female down, they know that even if she isn’t fat the insult will do enough damage to claim some kind of victory.

I thought about that scene the entire drive home.  I began to go through instances in my head where I had been called the dreaded “F” word.  I recalled a time when I was in 1st grade and an 8th grader called me fat, totally cried and wanted nothing to do with anyone the rest of the day. Another time when a boyfriend called me fat, completely destroyed me and at the time I was in the best shape of my life but his perception of me being fat was enough to do me in, was enough to let me know that he viewed me as less. Also a time when a complete stranger called me fat. I didn’t snap back, I had no clever comeback, just silence and self doubt.   I felt the same way each time.  Ashamed and humiliated and I reacted the same way in each situation.  I retreated, became almost submissive.  As adults, we react to that word in the same manner as that little girl. We instantly retreat and become hypercritical of ourselves. Why do we question our worth as a human being based upon what a number on a scale says or how some asshole views you.

I wanted to grab that little girl and tell her that our physical appearance does not define who we are as human beings.  Being fat doesn’t automatically qualify someone as worthless and being skinny or fit doesn’t automatically mean someone is a shining beacon of worth.  Our daughters need to react to being called “fat”, the same way they react to being called dumb or weird.  With apathy.  Our daughters should not donate one single fuck to what anyone thinks about their physical appearance (and neither should you!). Our daughters should be raised to care about how they feel about themselves and if they’re truly happy with who they are and how they look, fuck what everyone else thinks. If they aren’t happy with something about themselves, we should show them the importance in changing for our selves and not because of the way someone perceives  us.  This goes for all you adult women, too.  If you aren’t happy, make a change for YOU, not for anyone else.  If you do something for the wrong reasons, you will never be happy with yourself.

FOR THE LOVE OF DARWIN, STOP GIVING THE WORD SO MUCH FUCKING POWER.  A single word should not make or break anyone!  It’s a word.  A simple three letter word.  The word no longer bothers me.  I AM fat, so what?!  I’m still pretty, I’m still smart, I’m still funny, I’m still awesome, I’m still a great mom, I’m still a good person, I’m strong and I’m worthy of love and kindness.  Being fat doesn’t change any of that.

If someone wants to strip me down to just my weight, that’s on them, NOT ME.  I will not apologize or feel badly about myself any longer because I’m not what society says I should be.  *I* know what I am, I’m amazing and I just happen to be fat, too. 😉