Being body positive is more than just being positive about your body. It’s learning to accept your body for what it can do for you more than how it looks to others. It’s the complete change in mindset away from diet culture. Learning to love your body can be really difficult, but especially so for fat women. I mean, we’ve spent our whole lives sticking out like a sore thumb in society whilst simultaneously trying our best to camouflage ourselves – it’s been a tough ride, lads.
One of the lessons you learn when you meander down the body positivity path is learning to make peace with it. Make peace with how others view it, make peace with how you view it – it’s all relative to the body positive journey, man. Not too long ago, muggins here still struggled with comparison to others, even against my plus size sisters! Those years of looking at other people’s bodies with lustful eyes had completely engrained itself into my psyche, despite being body positive. Only this time, I worried about whether or not I was the “right” kind of fat.
Do I have the right body to be who I want to be?
Do I have the right proportions? Am I marketable enough to be a blogger? Will brands want to work with someone with my frame? I looked around at my peers and found my old friend comparison creeping back to slap me round the chops. My rounded stomach was different to theirs. My double chin more prominent. I took up more space than my plus size peers and I wondered if I was the right kind of fat to be successful.
It wasn’t until I got into a conversation with someone at work about what it took to be a successful influencer that I got myself out of this thought spiral.
Being an influencer means you have to stand out. You have to be ahead of the crowd, in a good way. If I, as a plus size babe with a round belly and size 24 body, could stand above the crowd as a fashionista, I could make my dreams happen. So reader, that’s what I did. I decided to use my “socially imperfect” bod to stand out. I wore bright colours, bikinis and crop tops. It was time for me to do whatever the fuck I wanted to do to be body positive, and celebrate the shit out of it. It was time for me to disrupt the norm.
Make “Body Positive” People Uncomfortable
No one ever changed the world by playing it safe, and that’s exactly why the body positive movement was produced. It’s time to shake up the world and challenge what society thinks is normal. But not just within wider society. We need to challenge what is acceptable in body positive spaces. It can’t just be white, cis-het, hourglass “small fats”. I want to see size 24+. Black women need a bigger platform, so do Asian women. Same with disabled women. Women with prominent stomachs and double chins and flat bums. We’ve pushed boundaries to get plus size representation, but just because we have these breadcrumbs, we shouldn’t stop there.
So if you’re wondering if you are the “right kind of plus size”, I’m here to tell you that you are. The journey won’t be as smooth for you as it will be for other, more universally accepted “curvy” types, but where’s the fun in easy? Nothing worth having ever came easy. You need to be ready to start a riot in the industry. Yes, you’ll have days where you want to blame everything on your size, but just use that to fuel your fire. Don’t get down, GET MAD.