Thoughts on Body Positivity

The topic of body positivity has been weighing heavy on my mind for awhile, and I’ve decided to write a post about it in an attempt to get a conversation going. I have no pre-thought out plan going into this, so it’s going to be a bit of a ramble and I apologize if my thoughts are not as organized as usual.

As a plus size girl, I am constantly being told by the media/society/haters/etc to change how I look. This just does not seem right to me…I’ve been a beautiful chubby girl my entire life. Why should I have to change? To please others? Is my size 22 figure so terrifying to you that you feel the need to call me names and try to ridicule me? I don’t understand why plus size woman are not viewed as beautiful, feminine creatures like women with any other body shape/size. Instead, we get told we’re never good/pretty/thin enough to be accepted or loved or desired. Because we have fat on our bodies, we’re not worthy of respect. Oh, we’re not completely damaged goods…we’d just be prettier if we lost the weight (a guy actually said that to me in high school).

It angers me that only having one standard or idea of beauty is considered “normal” by our society . A huge chunk of the females dealing with this are young girls that are growing up believing they’re not beautiful because they don’t look like the models on tv. Our daughters, our sisters, our nieces and cousins and granddaughters, they’re being told this lie and they’re believing it because it’s everywhere they look. They never see the shy girl with braces getting the guy unless she goes through a huge, unrealistic makeover first. They never see the chubby girl get to be the star of her own tv show unless the entire premise of the show is how hilarious her life is as a fatty. They never see the girl confidently rocking her body and style while still earning respect from those around her because that girl is always depicted as a slut. All of this is so wrong and I really believe that there needs to be a change.

I don’t want this post to seem biased because it’s coming from a plus size gal. Body positivity isn’t just for us big girls, it’s for everybody. Skinny girls and short girls and disabled girls – everyone should be able to live their life feeling free and happy in their own skin, without fear of being made fun of or not accepted. Sadly though, in recent years, I’ve noticed that the whole “body positivity” movement has taken a negative turn, where bigger girls are now skinny-shaming anyone thin. This is definitely a step backwards and I wish more people would understand this. Body positivity is not just for one body shape, it’s for us all! Fat, thin, short, tall, black, white…the whole point is for us to fall in love with our bodies just the way they are instead of buying in to what society tries to tell us is “normal” and “attractive”. If you put down someone else at all for their body, you’re no better than the rest of the world trying to put you down for yours.

I want to live in a world where every person, female and male, is celebrated for their body, no matter the size or shape, and is told they’re beautiful because guess what? They are. There is no one form of beauty. We’ve been made to believe that but it’s simply not true. Each and every person is beautiful just the way they are. You don’t need to lose weight to be beautiful. You don’t need to have muscles to be attractive. You don’t need to alter your body or hide your skin or starve yourself. There is no such thing as “the perfect body”. We’ve each been blessed with a body and we do not need to change it to love it.

Society has made us believe that we can only be beautiful if we do this, this, and this. I say screw that. We’re already amazing. We don’t need to change. I roll out of bed and have messy hair and I look adorable. It’s summer and I wear sleeveless tops and people can see my chubby arms. I rock that shit. I’ve got a Kardashian booty and like to show it off in super cute skinny jeans even though I’m clearly not skinny but who the hell cares? I feel beautiful and sexy and that’s all that matters. That’s all that should matter to any of us. Feeling flawless just the way we are.

I want to challenge you all to do something by this weekend that promotes positivity for your body. Maybe it’s wearing a piece of clothing you felt you couldn’t wear because of your size, or maybe it’s showing a little more skin that you usually do (or covering up more). Try going a whole day without thinking a single negative thought about your body, or make a list of what makes you feel confident and beautiful and start incorporating those things into your daily life. Whatever it is that will make you view your body with love and respect, do it.

I would really love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Maybe you have a story to share or you have a different opinion that you’d like to put on the table. I’d love to chat with everyone, just please be kind and respectful with your comments. xo, Mandy

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