It’s quite the time to be alive and existing in a plus size body! I remember growing up and never really seeing plus bodies in magazines or media or television; unless of course a plus body was feeding into some negative stereotype about the norms of fat bodies. You know, being the comic relief, the maternal figure, or the image of pity. Nowadays the plus community is a huge vortex of many different things including and most notably the self-love movement.
These days, more often than not if you see a plus body visible on social media, its likely they’re encouraging you to love your body, take up space, be fashionable, fall in love, etc. And grant it, there’s room for improvement in the plus body narrative; but at least the conversation is happening.
With the climate of self-love and body positive being pervasive when it comes to conversation surrounding plus bodies; a lot of women who have built platforms to engage with the plus community feel obligated to keep that narrative going; even when it’s not how they feel. Some decide to diet, have weight loss surgery or implement other major changes in their lives to lose weight. They do so quietly without all the melee and what results is noticeable body changes.
When it becomes so noticeable that their audience begins to see it; there is always a mixed reaction. Suddenly some people feel betrayed, as if they’ve been lied to. They assume that they’ve been sipping a fraudulent Kool-Aid only to find that the source of said Kool-Aid has been sipping from something else. Others are perfectly fine with the physical changes and even endeavor or aspire to be like their favorite influencer because down deep they want to be smaller too.
I watch this rhetoric and cycle of body policing happen all too often and I find myself slightly amused and slightly disturbed by it all. The problem begins with putting way too much stock into humans. People are imperfect, people lie, and people change their minds. People are literally just people. If you put these people on pedestals as if they’re exempt from human behaviors then you will ALWAYS be disappointed.
Trying to hold humans accountable for how they decide to deal with their own bodies is just ridiculous.
I see a lot of conversation surrounding women trying to lose weight to fit the more acceptable plus body standard; and depending on who’s talking will determine if that is a good or bad thing. Again, there’s always this self -righteous indignation that comes when it appears that a plus body is losing weight after they’ve preached self-love. But I respond with this: Doesn’t self-love mean you care for YOUR body the best way possible?
The reality is, we don’t know why people lose weight unless they share it openly. Sometimes people lose weight because they don’t want to be their size anymore. Some lose weight as a byproduct of them changing habits to treat a health issue. No matter the reason that it’s done, can we all agree that it isn’t a good or bad thing?
Perhaps your favs did lie and they weren’t really happy fat and they were just selling you a pipe dream while they tried to cope with their own image. Does that make you somehow love yourself less? Because if it does, then I’d have to reason that you were never subscribed to the message but rather the messager.
I promote the ideology of self-care and self-love however a person sees fit provided it’s healthy for their mind and body. And as much as I know that my body is deserving of love, visibility and the space it takes up; some days I simply don’t love it.
I get frustrated with the changes my body has gone through. Dealing with fluctuating weight all my life has not been easy. Self-love is not one dimensional and is certainly not a one-time thing. It’s a continuous effort that has to be made. And if any influencer, blogger or personality is saying that it’s not; they’re absolutely lying.
We all experience insecure moments, moments we wished we looked better or that we can change something, and that’s ok. And if you decide to change something because you’re not happy with it; it’s your right! What I would encourage is transparency. Your audience appreciates your honesty and candor. The more transparent you are, the more encouraged people could be to be realistic in setting their own goals and why they’re setting them.
I recognize that the discussion about health, weight, fitness and diet can be triggering to some people. And if that’s the case, unfollow, unsubscribe from the people who trigger you. However, I think it’s just time to stop trying to define for people what self-care and self-love is for them.
Mind your own body.
It’s really that simple.