I’ve been called many names in my 24 years of life. Big Bird, Baby D (from Next Friday), Husky, Fluffy, solid, big boned, thick and the F-bomb; Fat. My family had me on a meal plan made by a nutritionist. They celebrated my weight loss never knowing that my light was dimming in the wake of this new shiny image of what I was supposed to be. I’m not angry with them, no parent wants their child to face hardship or ridicule. They had to endure comments about my appearance from their family, friends, and peers. In the end they projected their insecurities about my weight onto me. This was problematic because every child needs to be told that they are beautiful, important, and intelligent or they’ll seek affirmation elsewhere. I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to form my own opinions about the way I looked. It felt like a contradiction to be told to change but also to be told I was good the way I was. But once you sand yourself down into these shapes or try to squeeze yourself into molds that you didn’t create a habit of sorta forms. You are constantly striving, half heartedly, toward someone else’s goals.
I can’t expound on how vacant I felt. I couldn’t treat others how they deserved to be treated because I couldn’t tend to myself accordingly. But my healing happened gradually. I began to notice people who looked like me, who lived according to paradigms they had the power to build and destroy. Actress and comedienne, Monique always talked about being herself for herself. She was fat girl who decided to lose weight, which was her choice. Monique made it known that we decide who and what we want to be–we define our beauty. Tess Holliday was huge for me! She is so beautiful inside and out and handles adversity with so much grace. She is my size and is undeniably beautiful. The way she talked about loving yourself even while trying to be more healthy was so admirable. I had to admit that these women didn’t allow society to shape their perception and their self-worth. They defined who they were for themselves, and admitted that their image was only a fraction of who they were as people.
I began to notice that my favorite things about myself were almost never external. I picture my self as an egg. My shell is only a portion of who I am as a person, but the whites are my purest self, and the yolk is made up of the good and bad and the distinctly human aspects of my soul. Sometimes society can trick us into thinking that we all have to be the same way to be attractive. Our souls are even more distinguished than fingerprints. when someone ignites something in your soul it leaves an imprint.
In the end esthetics can catch an eye, but our character, our intellect, and the way we approach people and situations is what maintains relationships. Whenever I refer to myself as fat, people present react with dismay. I’m not uncomfortable with the word fat because after years of being teased I realize that if use fat it removes the power and negativity it held over me. Owning what we are, the good and the bad, allows us to self soothe and mend our relationships with ourselves and others. It is important to be body positive because everyone has their own normal. We can’t define anyone by a “normal” body type because we are always going to be different. Being body positive allows you to be comfortable and loved in the skin of your choosing. To be loved for who you are and not what you are is an amazing thing that we all deserve.