Sunday, 25 October 2015

Am I fat enough to be body positive yet? Am I?!

(Yea, I swore I wasn't blogging anymore... But I lied, so shoot me.)
Body positivity. Loving the skin you’re in. It’s a really hot topic and has been for some time. Everyone deserves and is entitled to loving who they are and embracing their physical selves. As women, we grow up in a world where we are never thin enough, smart enough or pretty enough. By reclaiming this, we show that we are powerful. HOWEVER, I’ve been dabbling in the thought that the body positive movement, if you will, is also putting an awful lot of pressure on our young girls to always remain positive, feel pressure to accept themselves or perhaps stifle feelings they may or may not have about their physical bodies. It also, in a sense, still places an awful lot of importance on appearance. Loving your body for how it LOOKS. Remember, being overly concerned with weight and body type happens when they’re young. Elementary kids are dieting, and fear becoming fat over losing a limb. This is an issue, and fat shaming is an issue. Body shaming is an issue. You are never “enough” no matter what you look like. Remember that.

Real women are whoever and whatever they want to be, whether they are curvy, skinny, bony, chubby, tall, short, white, black… let women be women… But that isn’t the point about what I’m writing.

I’m writing because I’m pissed (what else is new?).

I feel like I’m in limbo within this whole body positive movement. Most of the time I feel as if I don’t belong. When I was “bigger” I was gung-ho about loving your body, being proud about who you were, and owning your shit like you were the queen of the world. When I was sick, frail, and a bag of bones, loving myself meant embracing weight gain, a new body, and welcoming my life back. On both extremes I was backed up one hundred and ten percent.

I look pretty fucking awesome now, I’m not going to lie. I’ve got a good strong body that has a little bit of “fluff” and enough curve to hide my skeleton. What’s wrong with that? At first glance, nothing… But since embracing my new life (my new body included) I feel as if I’ve been alienated from the body positive movement in a sense. As I scroll through Instagram I see photos that women post of themselves in their underwear, bikinis, or revealing clothing. Some may argue that they are objectifying themselves, but if you’re comfortable with who you are and you want to show it off, well then power too you. I’ve also noticed that those who get the most support from posting these photos are people recovering from eating disorders (which is awesome, keep it up. We’re all rooting for you. You are fantastic and beautiful), figure competitors/powerlifters (again, amazing dedication to something that brings you joy) and overweight women… Now… this is where my issue lies. These women are praised for “being brave” or “being inspiring” and challenging a taboo and stigma surrounding people who have extra body weight. This in and of itself is amazing, we need more of that. The issue I have is the romanticizing surrounding their bodies and the fact that it STILL reinforces a stigma that a fat woman who posts a photo of herself in her undies is not the norm and is not following the “rules” (trust me, I know them, I was fat once). Take someone with my body type for example… posting a photo of themselves in their underwear and claiming they’re embracing their curves and their jiggle? I feel as if that person wouldn’t be taken as seriously… I mean, what have they to embrace? They’re perfect as they are! They fit the societal view of what the masses deem to be beautiful… Why on EARTH do THEY need to preach body positivity?! I have experienced this, not just online, but in real life. "What do YOU need to worry about, you're so thin!" "I'd kill to be able to eat what you do!" "What do you care what you eat, you're so tiny!".

Fact of the matter is: You don’t know shit. You don’t know who a person is, what they have gone through and what they battle on a day to day basis. Our perceptions of  ourselves are often the worst… Yeah, we’re our own worst enemies, but can we just fucking stop with the body shaming? Can we let it drop? Can we let it be? I don’t care who you are or what you fucking look like. I don’t care whether or you weigh 95 pounds or 595 pounds. You’re sexy, smart, strong, and you are a mother fucking boss. We are all a part of this so called movement. I personally just want to see some good old fashioned support for all people who embark on the journey to self love. We are meant to build each other up, not break each other down. We are all a part of this, no matter how big or small we are.

I’m rambling on because this has bothered me for a while. I want to belong again, or at least feel like I do. So getting this off my chest is a start. I want to be an advocate again and join all those other body warriors kicking ass and taking names. Without these people, we’d be a hell of a lot worse off than we are already. So thank you for being you.

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