Every now and then I come across a phrase or slogan that perfectly encapsulates an element of my daily experience. Whenever I do I kind of want to wear it emblazoned on my chest. So, this time I did.
T – Shirt – Custom slogan by Paper Press Ireland.
The reaction to this T- Shirt sums up how common this behaviour is. Several woman enthusiastically complimented it. More men gave me looks. The only man to comment advised me that I was attractive, but I would intimidate men by wearing such a thing. I laughed as I told him I wasn’t looking for man & would never be interested in one who felt intimidated by honesty. I suppose it underlines what I already knew, masculinity is oh so fragile.
In case the meaning is lost, I’ll spell it out. I’m fat. I’m also fucking incredible. I was fat when you sleazed on me. I was fat when I turned you down. I was fat when you tried to insult me & I’m still fat when I mock you. I’m not ashamed. I’m not desperate. I’m not waiting for your approval. Oh & I’m not alone. Fat femmes are not seeking random male approval. We know our worth. We want none of your sub standard attention. In short, don’t poke the magnificent bear.
On my way to Dublin last week something happened that not so long ago would have been a massive issue for me. The fact that it didn’t really phase me proved to me how far I’ve come.
The incident was an airplane seat belt that didn’t fit. This is something that I actually used to fear. A while back every time I boarded a plane I braced myself for the humiliation of being too fat to fit. It turned out to be no big deal. I had a brief moment of panic, my thoughts raced through all the seat belts that had fitted & how big I was then. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t care. It didn’t matter if I was bigger or this particular seat belt was smaller. It just didn’t fit & there was an easy rememdy for that. I asked for an extender & stopped thinking about.
Until yesterday when it dawned on me what that meant. I wasn’t embarassed to ask for the extender meaning I wasn’t ashamed to acknowledge my fat body. That is incredible. Being a part of the body positivity community has led me to a place where I can genuinely appreciate my body. Once I realised that I started thinking about all the little things that marked real progress.
It recently occurred to me that I had gained some weight on my bum. The marvellous part was I liked it. I’ve found myself dressing to show off my bigger arse & I am so chuffed about that.
Then on Saturday as I was dressing I automatically tucked my top into my skirt. Not a very momentous act except that I spent years of my life ensuring that my top always covered my stomach. I was that person tugging at my clothes to ensure I was hiding flabby bits. Now I just wear what I feel nice in & here’s the kicker, I look better tucked in or in clingy vests.
Along the same lines whilst out with my sister I asked her to take blog photos. I am usually a pain the arse about pictures. Never happy with who I look, probably because I wasn’t happy with my body. In the past I have ducked out of pictures at big events & special moments, which I’ve come to regret. So, in recent times I have made a conscious effort to push through my discomfort & mark significant times. I was however still dissatisfied with my appearance in the photographs. This weekend was different. My sister snapped pics of me in various poses & I loved them all. Break through!
The last and probably most obvious symbol of acceptance of myself is how comfortable I am naked. I run about my house in the buff all the time. I look at myself in a full length mirror whilst I dry my hair and I do not feel critical. I have no desire to hide. I notice the parts of my body that look amazing rather than hating my stomach or chubby arms. This carries through to being naked with others. I no longer feel worried about comparisons when changing with female friends. In the same vein I confidently show my body to anyone I get jiggy with.
This may strike a lot of people as unremarkable, but it’s a life changing shift. Immersing myself in the body positive has helped me alter how I think & feel about my body. I’ve gone from yo yo dieting, disordered eating & choosing clothes to specfically hide ‘problem’ areas to being a woman who no longer believes there are any bad body parts. I like me. I like my curves, my wobbly bits & everything else. Body positivity works. Women supporting & encouraging each other moves mountains. So, I owe a big thank you to all of you who read, comment & create fat friendly content. High five, ladies, we’re changing the world.