I think to be body positive is not just about respecting bodies and how they look, but to respect other’s decisions regarding their bodies too.
Including weightloss and plastic surgery.
While I try to keep this blog weightloss and diet talk free, I understand that every body is different and it’s harder for many others to love their body. There are other fat people who experience different levels of fat discrimination. I don’t know what it’s like to live in the body of a size 28 (US sizes). While I frown at the idea of losing weight because I’ve learned to accept my size, it’s not as easy as others who are in a vice grip struggling with their ED’s.
But, I also don’t know what it’s like to live with a physical/visible disability. I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with dysphoria because I am cisgender (edit: not to say all trans folk struggle with it). I don’t know what it’s like to walk through a world as a person of color and be told that “fair” skin is the prettiest on every media outlet. I am extremely privileged to live in a world that stops at my size.
If this body positive community expects people to start a journey towards peace with their bodies, support and understanding must be given. Understanding AND respect for the unique and individual struggles other’s are faced with. Body acceptance is not cookie cutter. No one is the same. Each journey is personal and ripe with different bodies and the experiences that go with living in those bodies in a world that doesn’t just stop at size discrimination.
I think the body positive community forgets that last part. When it comes to our bodies, the world doesn’t just stop at size discrimination. I think we need more compassion and I don’t think being more compassionate is going to take away from our messages to love and/or accept our bodies.
[TW: mentioning of diet, weightloss, and negative body image]
1. Question everything you know;
Face it. Most of the stuff you are taught ( Ahem, conditioned, ahem ) about body image, self worth, health, etc. is rooted in the diet industry and the media that makes all that money off your insecurities. If you were actually taught that fat doesn’t equal unhealthy then you wouldn’t feel more inclined to consume all those magazines that talk about calorie counting or how to lose 10 lbs in a week! You wouldn’t feel inclined to spend all your money on diet plans and weightloss programs.
Why is it such an unfathomable thing for there to be naturally fat people who can’t lose the weight but there are thin people everywhere who have big appetites ( and, oh, aren’t they always pitched to the audience as endearing? ) but never gain weight? Oh and that three letter word you’ve been constantly avoiding because you wouldn’t be caught dead saying you are….it. What’s that word? Oh, right. Fat! So? What’s so bad about being fat? Being fat isn’t an indicator or your worth as a human being. Being fat is just that….being fat, Just how thin is just being…thin. It’s a body type. Not a sin; not an insult; not a fucking curse!
Start to break down these stigmas. Tear them down. Question all you’ve been taught to think about fat, cellulite, stretch marks, bellies, thighs, double chins, rolls, and health. Once you start to question this stuff and the more you learn there isn’t any justification for the fat hatred and self loathing the media has conditioned you to think. The more you realize this, the more freedom you will gain from negative body image. All that you thought you knew will gradually come crashing down and it will be fucking glorious! But give it time. It’s not always easy.
2. To Hell with anything or anyone that has ever made you feel like crap about yourself;
Meaning only surround yourself with positive people and things. Cut out most of the media. Don’t watch television shows that often times make you feel shitty about your body. Stop buying those magazines that mock fat bodies, that shame any body (thin, fat, in between). When you go to the grocery store and have to wait in line beside those magazines ignore them the best you can.
Use tumblr as a source of positivity. Follow body positive blogs, fat positive blogs, fat acceptance blogs, etc. Call out your friends and family that use “fat” in a derogatory manner. Oh, and don’t think they don’t mean you when they mock that other fat person over there. If no one realizes how fucked up and harmful their actions are, then ‘to Hell with them’! I know we can’t always rid ourselves of the people in our lives but at least we can try our best to lessen the significance of them. You deserve people in your life that are going to encourage positivity.
3. Touch your fabulous self;
Okay, okay. I don’t necessarily mean ‘touch yourself’. I simply mean to touch yourself. Familiarize yourself with the body you’ve hated. Familiarize yourself with the rolls, slopes, and bumps. Trace your stretch marks. Trace the delicate, lightening pattern etched along your soft belly. Revel in the silky lines. Grab your fat. Marvel in the handfuls of yourself and enjoy what more there is of you to love! Begin a love affair with your thighs, hips, and arms. Actively reinforce positive feelings toward your body. See yourself the way someone who loves you would see you.
4. Challenge your insecurities and fears;
Assign yourself challenges. Wear that dress, or those shorts, or that two piece bathing suit that you were too scared and self conscious to wear. Ditch the shirt at the pool. Leave the ‘lights on’. Whatever helps you break out of your shell and encourages you to embrace your body. Start out slow or dive into them. Whichever is best for you. Your body, you pace.
5. Don’t shame yourself for your bad days;
Don’t feel bad for feeling bad. You are not a hypocrite. You are not turning your back on your body. You are not betraying this body guide. You are a human and anyone who makes you feel bad is undermining how deeply rooted negative body image has latched itself into our everyday life. It undermines every individuals’ personal struggle to achieve self love. This is a journey and it is not easy. There are up’s and down’s. You should be allowed to express yourself when you are feeling both positive and negative. The important thing is that we do not dwell and work to actively challenge why we felt bad. It is important that we seek to change the negative into positive.
Another thinspo blog followed my fat posi one.
All their blog is filled with ;
‘FAT AND DISGUSTING’
‘I’M AN UGLY, FAT MESS.’
‘I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH’
‘IF I WERE SKINNY MAYBE SOMEONE WOULD LOVE ME’
‘I’LL KILL MYSELF IF I PUT ON MORE WEIGHT.’
And then I get sad. I know people don’t need or want my pity. But it’s a sorrowful kind of sad where I just hope that these people will some day finally learn to love their body and not as a place mat for their value and worth as a human fucking being.
Some day, maybe in a few months or a few years, you’ll look around and you’ll just think…Why? Why am I letting myself get so fucking exhausted over something like this? And with that why will tumble out more questions and you’ll grow from there and it will be amazing. Because when you start to question you start to break down all that shit. Beauty Standards. Body image. Self worth. All of what you know about that shit will come crashing down.
And it is fucking glorious.
Reblogging from my personal blog.