Thursday, December 3, 2015

Body Positivity and Self Love (or, Caution, Rant Ahead)

I've had it with the general notion that body positivity and self love are synonymous with people saying "everyone should be fat." HAD IT! Casually scrolling through my social media, as I often do, I see a post with a photograph of a heart (the actual organ, not the familial representation of love) marbled with viscous body fat. The caption read, "This is the heart of an obese person.. Remember folks, this is what happens when you get fat. Fat tissue builds up around the heart and clogs/chokes it. Fat is not beautiful, it is not to be glorified," and the original poster added, "Obesity is not beautiful, stop glorifying fat people."


Nothing like a little self-loathing to start your day, oh one-time friend who liked/shared that particular tidbit of shade and ugliness. Whether you're fat or not, most everyone has a friend or family member who is. Someone who you probably care deeply about. If that person has been able to arrive at a place where they can love themselves as they are, let them. If they post selfies and positive proclamations of loving who they are at this very moment in time - despite not fitting into the societal and media-driven ideals of what a human body should look like - why would you not want to support the hell out of that? You don't even have to like they way they look, or agree with their lifestyle. It's not about that! It's about supporting a fellow human's right to be happy in their own skin.

In all my activity within the online body love and self acceptance communities, it is truly rare to stumble upon a person who promotes their own body type and lifestyle choices in the "I am right, you are wrong" fashion. I've yet to read a non-satirical blog post or tweet that demands, "EVERYONE SHOULD BE *fill in the blank with a physically descriptive term*, IT'S SUPER AWESOME!" From my experience (personal and through reading other body positive blogs), fat people who have finally accepted themselves, and decided to stop hating the only body they will ever have (non-existentially speaking), have no agenda other than to be happy. Not to mention that body positivity and self love encompass so much more than the fat community...every level and nuance of the myriad shapes, sizes, colors, abilities, genders, sexualities..."body" and "self" have very little to do with your literal physical presence.

If I post a picture of myself wearing an outfit that doesn't hide my size, I am not "glorifying obesity;" I probably think I look super cute and wanted to share with you. On the flip side, if I share that I've been exercising or making healthy food choices, I am not condemning obesity or even promoting my behavior. Social media is called S-O-C-I-A-L media for a reason...for me, it sometimes becomes my digital journal. I'm not pushing my lifestyle on anyone. If you think my round-faced selfies are gross, un-follow me. If you're offended when I share a picture of or an article or blog post about a fat person doing regular human things without being shamed or humiliated, click "un-like." Because we probably have very little, if anything, in common.

Because I am enough. That means that I love myself and my body, and saying that does NOT mean that I think being fat is awesome or healthy, or that everyone should get fat. I can love myself in spite of (or because of) the choices that brought me to my current size and shape. And that is none of anyone's business but my own.

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