If there’s one thing I encounter daily on my social media, it’s the accusation that my existing in a fat body means I condone an unhealthy lifestyle.
God forbid I’m not lamenting on how ugly I am, how dissatisfied I am with my looks and oooh how much better my life would be if I were skinny. If an apology is what you want from me for my size; you’re never going to get it.
It’s been an odd time to be alive in the midst of the body positive, fat acceptance, body diversity movements. Whether you subscribe to any of those things or not; you have to admit that the sheer amount of people being more vocal about rejecting society’s standard of beauty has been amazing to see.
With all of that being said, let me be clear on my thoughts.
If I identify with any movement, it would be body diversity. Simply stated, it’s the desire to see diverse body types be utilized in mainstream media, entertainment and fashion so as to present a diverse representation of people.
Let me help you make it make sense.
If you are a fat person, shopping on a website designed for fat people but all the models are a size 10; how is that helpful? How will I get an idea of how something might look on me simply because the number next to the garment says my size but doesn’t illustrate someone my size modeling said garment?
My desire to see bodies like mine represented is not about health; it’s about the actual FACT that fat bodies like mine do exist and should be represented as any other body type should be.
When I first started including fashion in my blogging, I didn’t understand the impact that it was going to have on women. That was until the messages began to come tumbling into my Facebook messages, Instagram DMs and even sometimes my email. Message after message or comments from women telling me how they wore a sleeveless shirt for the first time because they were inspired by my bravery.
And it struck me. I’m considered brave for simply having the gall to dress according to the weather??
And that very idea made me a little sad. How awful it must be to feel as if existing in your body without contempt and without apology is considered brave. In my ever so humble opinion, it’s absolutely not brave.
But that’s the problem. Fat bodies are most often always misrepresented in media. We’re seen as people to be afraid of becoming, lazy, unclean, binge eaters, loveless, miserable, comic relief…shall I go on?
So when we defy the stereotype that’s been forced upon us, to many people, small and large it’s something to be celebrated when really it should simply be the norm.
Whether fat bodies make you uncomfortable or not, we exist. We do regular people things and asking to be seen as normal should not result in a forced conversation about health.
As I’ve stated on this blog many, many times before; fat people health should not be up for discussion simply because we fit a certain description of what unhealthiness looks like. No one’s health should be up for discussion unless he or she wants to discuss it.
Wanting to see representation is not about promoting obesity or unhealthiness. It’s literally exactly what it says; diversity of different body types. I’m not out here telling anyone to be skinny or fat, to eat healthy or not to eat healthy. I don’t have an agenda to push. I believe in absolute autonomy and people making the choices they decide to make for their mental, emotional and physical well being.
I would like other fat women and men to know that getting dressed, feeling cute in an outfit, taking a walk, being in love, having children, getting married is not reserved for thin and “healthy” looking people. It belongs to anyone who wants to have it. If you want something you go for it. Weight shouldn’t stop you.
Health, weight, and happiness are not mutually exclusive.
I know there’s going to be many who read this post and disagree, and that’s okay because everyone is entitled to an opinion.But before you go spewing incorrect facts about why fat people want to see representation, just remember; it’s NEVER been about promoting any particular lifestyle.
Until next time,