To Body Positive Critics: Why My Body Is None Of Your Business
Eff your beauty standards.
July 03, 2017 at 12:28 pm
Summer’s always an interesting time of year for me.
For months, my timeline and my group chats have been inundated with conversations about folks getting their bodies in shape for the warmer seasons. Everyone’s discussing their personal desire to be snatched, remarking on how they shouldn't have indulged in dessert at brunch or knocked back so many shots of Crown. Deadlines are set. Gym memberships are created. #BodyGoals become the topic of conversation at any given moment.
Around this same time, I see women who are literally half my size speak about how “fat” they are. The amount of disgust in their voice vibrates at a high frequency as they equate the visual descriptor to something negative. It then becomes a punishment; certain clothes can't be worn, pictures can't be taken and moves can't be made because of their physical form.
On one end, I’m so supportive. Get your glo on. Whatever has you feeling like your best self and has your energy on a magnetic level, I’m totally here for it. I get that everyone doesn't necessarily embrace the idea of having a bit more flesh. I understand it completely. So, if I’m staying in my lane and letting that rock, one would think I’d get some reciprocation. Honey...
You see, I’m a proud size 18 (16 on a chill day, 20 when I’ve overdone it on Postmates). I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this body of mine for 26 years, starting the process of loving it for the last five. I’ve become acquainted with every nook, cranny, crease and crevice that I possess in an attempt to own it and truly care about it unconditionally. I’ve bucked the system, opting to flaunt my shape and size. I wanted to change the language I used towards myself and it's finally working. I join millions of people who look like me. I become “revolutionary” in my choices to wear what I want, project loving energy toward my body and not see myself as a scourge of the Earth.
But that's where the problem lies. It shouldn't be considered brave to wear bodycons, two pieces, crop-tops and shorts in the summer. I’m simply dressing it up to make it real for you. I shouldn't be applauded for my confidence, instantly told that “you would never.” That's a bit backhanded to me. I also shouldn't instantly become the catalyst of an argument about promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
For some reason, my size leaves me and countless others open for a mountain of unwarranted criticism from outsiders. This time of year can bring out the worst in people, especially as it relates to body positivity. Imagine posting a bomb ass image on Instagram in an outfit that you knew you killed the game in, only to be told in the comments that you look nasty, you're glorifying obesity or that the image should be banned. Imagine going to a party, being your true unabashed and carefree self, only to be recorded against your will and joked about on social media. It's happening, folks. I have receipts (check Fashion Nova’s Instagram when they post a curvy beauty and get back to me). And, Bee’s had it up to here!
So, since we’re on the wave of unsolicited advice, I figured I’d share mine. The message is clear: keep that same energy. Don't dish what you can't take. Don't come for us unless we send for you (which we never will). Live your truth and let us live ours.
Unless you’re paying this deductible or matching what comes out of my paycheck for health insurance every week, I’d advise you to keep your “health concerns” to yourself.
It always amazes me when people becomes health advisors and medical experts when a plus-sized man or woman is simply slaying the scene. I’m not going to be the subject of your debate on why obesity is such a global epidemic. I’m not going to go back-and-forth trying to prove to you that I’m a healthy individual. Quite frankly, it's none of your damn business. The loving language and energy I put forward when it comes to my body shouldn't be turned into a discussion about the lifestyle I’m promoting. Save yourself an epic drag and just stay in your lane.
I will get these flicks and ‘fits off this summer and you will deal.
I’ve heard it all. We’ve heard it all. “Dress for your type,” they say. “No one wants to see all that,” they claim. But, that's kind of where you have us fat folk wrong. See, we’re not going to compromise our comfort to appease you. Nor will we not bless your timelines with some fire because you feel some type of way. Our bodies are bodies. We love them. We’ll flaunt them—belly, back rolls, double-chin and all. The double taps will pour in and you'll most likely #StayMad.
Fat is not, nor will it ever be, anything other than an adjective on this side of town.
Just like lanky, curvy, tall and stout, the word “fat” is simply used to describe a noun. Being fat doesn't negate your beauty, your mission or your worth. It also doesn't have to define your narrative if you don't want it to. It's not the end of the world to have a little more of you to love. Trust me.
Body positivity has been my wave and will most likely stay that way 365 days a year. I’m loving this movement of folks embracing what society deems as flaws, finding the beauty in what they see and in all they do. It's inspiring. On a personal level, it makes this journey that much sweeter. I throw my middle finger up to those moments that I was made to feel less because I’m bigger, as I feel every person like me should. I’m stronger for it, amazed at how far I’ve come into loving me for me.
My fat ass is here to stay and slay. K? And that's just that.