I think people are scared of body positive people, especially fat women. It makes everything they’ve ever known and been taught about beauty a lie. If we didn’t shame fat women, how would we feel better about ourselves? What would we laugh at during romantic comedies or cartoon shows? How could we force them to have to buy more expensive clothes because straight sized stores don’t have anything over a size 12? How would diet companies make their money? What would we call other women we hate? How could we sleep at night without the “ideal goal” of bodily perfection on the horizon (if only I could stop eating carbs/count calories/go to the gym etc. etc.)?
We are taught to hate our bodies, mold them to “perfection”, be a cookie cutter size, shape, and weight. I see an endless cycle of mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers who project this onto younger girls— “no one will marry you if you’re fat” “why can’t you be like your thin sister?” “you need to be on this diet to be pretty” and so forth. “Fat” is considered one of the worst things you can be called, as a woman. We are taught that fat =/= sexy and that lessens our worth as women. We are taught to cover rolls, hide fat arms, avoid this material, avoid that color, get rock hard abs before bikini season— why? Why?
Because loving ourselves makes other self conscious people uncomfortable. I have seen so many posts on tumblr of “I’m a little chubby myself and I worry about this obese person’s health. HAES is making people unhealthy!” No, it doesn’t. It gives women courage to love themselves, despite all the negativity we receive. If a person you don’t know has high blood pressure or diabetes, why does it matter to you? It doesn’t. Thin people can have these diseases, too (omg shock!!!) Self conscious people just want to shame fat people into losing weight without looking like assholes.
Well, guess what? We’re on to you. Your faux health concern does nothing to hide your scorn. “Healthy = beautiful” is ableist and gross and wrong. Before you pass judgment on someone— anyone— take a good look at yourself. Look deep inside. Maybe body positivity is something that will help you.
I’ve never really blogged about my personal past regarding eating disorders before but I think it’s time to open that can of worms as I responded to a post about Thinspo bashing.
I was a competitive swimmer in high school, a good one at that, it was and is who I am but I let getting faster take control of my life. I thought that if I were skinnier, not stronger that I would be faster. My senior year of high school I weighed in at 108 this was a 30 lb drop from the year before. I can tell you certainly that I didn’t lose that weight in a healthy manner because I didn’t know how to. And I can also tell you that it was 30 lbs of muscle that I lost. Essentially I abused adderal and went “vegan” but continued to lift 5 days a week and swim 7 practices a week. I was obsessed, obsessed may even be too light to describe it.
My family has ALWAYS been supportive of me but they knew nothing about health or fitness and because I was getting faster (to a point) they weren’t worried, they thought that I knew my body best. Then I saw my graduation pictures and kind of freaked out. I asked my parents to put me in therapy and started seeing a nutritionist. I spent that summer in a group therapy out patient program and started college at 120.
Now, as a senior in college, I still see a nutritionist and I feel happier and healthier. My goal isn’t to lose weight but instead be stronger. I’m still young and I still have a lot more room to grow (emotionally).
When people post thinspo/proana/promia/ED things in fitspo it’s so frustrating, I don’t find it triggering anymore but I can relate to people who do find it that way. Fitspo is about losing weight the right way, slowly and with hard work. I am also stereotyping thinspo girls but they tend to be younger, less experienced and with low self esteem. I wish I could help them and tell them what I know now but I know that they won’t listen as well.
This isn’t a competition about what is harder (eating or not eating) but it’s about loving yourself, as you are. Because you are BEAUTIFUL.
I hope this wasn’t triggering or too harsh for anyone. If it was, I apologize.