The article ‘Things no one will tell fat girl… so I will‘ was a title that triggered the notion for a potential reader to believe that there are elements of truth. I will be candid, there was very little truth.There are two ideas you can relay to those with body image insecurities. One, that being overweight is okay and to embrace your inner beauty – to keep eating and keep smiling. Two, being overweight is not okay because it is becoming a serious health issue both mentally and physically not only to said fat individuals but also generations to come. They are our future.
“Everyone has rolls when they bend over. Everyone. Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. In the last few months, I’ve had over 30 women ranging from rail thin to extra large naked in my bed and I would routinely ask them to hug their knees. You wont believe this… ALL OF THEM HAD TUMMY ROLLS. Not one was exempt. Even my super fabulous professional model, Katie, who is six foot tall, had rolls. The stomach pictures turned into some of my favourite images from the project… so quit thinking they’re bad, and try accepting (dare I say embracing?) yours!”
Not everyone has rolls when they bend over. Let’s just ‘get that out of the way right off the bat.’ ‘Over 30 women’ is not a sufficient sample size for this data assessment. There has also not been any mention of whether fitness levels and muscle mass are varied amongst the sample nor was there a control. Unhealthy thin women will have stomach rolls because they don’t work out. When reading Ms Baker’s article, I was hoping for something kind and honest like – “guys AND girls, having stomach rolls are okay. The important thing is to exercise, stay healthy and remember that having a flat stomach maybe something you want to work towards for the new year.” It is not about the image or getting a concave stomach. It is about trying to achieve something for the better of yourself, your loved ones and your future generations.
“When people say “you’re gorgeous
,” believe them. I tend not to, and it’s a crying shame. When people genuinely compliment you, it’s because they really see it. Try to not dismiss their perspective as wrong and assume that you know better. They see all of you. We see our flaws. Believe them.”
When people say “you’re gorgeous,” take it as a compliment. Compliments regarding appearance are not always relevant to weight. A compliment cannot alter your body mass. You may look great in that dress, but you’re still not healthy.
“”Arm flab is embarrassing.” No it’s not.”
“Arm flab is embarrassing.” Yes, it is. And I’m only saying this because if you tell an overweight person arm flab is okay, they will believe you and stop exercising. Telling someone arm flab is not embarrassing becomes hurtful and unhelpful to society at large. Women with weight issues suffer during menstruation and in serious situations find it difficult to conceive. Encouraging them to maintain their existing behaviour is damaging. For those who actually have self-respect and are struggling with weight issues, it’s not actually embarrassing to have arm flab because no one cares about how much your arm jiggles. Arm flab and anything that goes with it will affect you, and your future. Not anyone else. Think about that.
“You’re not stunning despite your body. You’re stunning because of your body. There is a distinct difference. I grew up in a culture that would deem “unattractive” women as “special spirits”. A degrading categorisation that implied that the only thing worthwhile was whatever was inside. Well, yeah. We are all much much more than our bodies, but our bodies are a beautiful part of us too. Beauty comes from the inside AND the outside. I am of the firm belief that every person is beautiful, and so this leaves the inside to be the part that is the most telling when it comes to true “beauty”.”
You’re not stunning if you’re overweight. This refers to the image perspective of the compliment. However, a man or woman can be ‘stunning’ simply by having great charisma. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your body image is what defines you. The article I am responding to is doing exactly that. Physically you will not be stunning. You can compensate for that by dressing well and flaunting other great qualities about yourself. Fortunately, you can change how healthy or unhealthy you are. You can make the fat go away. So rather than feel sorry for yourself and then telling yourself that it’s okay to be fat, go and improve yourself.
“A guy can pick you up off your feet, and it won’t break his back. “Wait, whaaaaaa Jes? You’re full of it.” Nope. This just happened to me for the first time in… six years? I’m considerably heavier than I was six years ago and so when I ran up to my friend Eric for a hug and he picked me up with my heels in the air… it left me breathless. I had forgotten that it was possible; I had accepted a life void of being lifted. So exhilarating. Eric didn’t suffer any injuries and walked away unscathed.”
Not every guy is going to be able to pick you off your feet. Whether a man can pick you up should be irrelevant to your life. If you spend more than a few minutes thinking about this you need to reprioritise – or, better yet, do some reading on the feminist movement. Not to mention, spare a thought for the gentlemen with feeble limbs! They deserve love too! Carrying you up the stairs on your wedding night is a very traditional notion so don’t let a man’s ability to lift you define any part of your life.
“You don’t need to exercise every day in order to feel better about yourself. Many believe that someone who’s fat needs to exercise as much as possible in order to prove that they’re committed to becoming “less fat”. As if accepting one’s body as is would be a sin, and that’s just silly. Yes, exercising has wonderful physical and mental benefits, but you don’t owe it to anyone else to make an effort to change your body unless you want to. You do not have to alter yourself to be okay.”
No, you don’t need to exercise everyday but it has nothing to do with feeling better about yourself. If you are overweight you should be exercising more than others in order to reach a healthy weight. Fasting and or extreme exercise is not recommended but if you’re overweight, you’re going to have to work harder than everyone else. I note, you’re not exercising for other people, this is for you. You have to make an effort to achieve results.
You’re allowed to fall in love with yourself. I promise. This will be the scariest thing you will ever do, and that’s okay. It will also be the most amazing (albeit super gradual) experience you will ever have. It doesn’t make you narcissistic. It doesn’t make you vain. It is liberating in every form of the word.”
If you keep reading articles like ‘Things no one will tell fat girls… so I will’ you’re never going to love yourself. You’ll keep your habits thinking you look and feel fabulous, reality will cut you deep before you see it coming. If you truly want to love yourself, then treat your body right and give it what it needs, healthy food, regular exercise and active habits.
It’s also okay to have days where you don’t love yourself. Read this. No really. Read it. And then realise that we’ve grown up learning and internalising that we are not okay our entire life. For me, that’s 26 years of self-hate indoctrination and brainwashing. It’s going to take a lot longer than you think to reverse this thinking, and it’s definitely not going to happen overnight. Allow yourself to have “weak” days. Cry, mourn, sob, yell, throw things. Then get up, brush yourself off, give the media the finger, and move forward because you’re a warrior.
Yes, it is okay to be human. That does not translate to encouraging readers have a set day for crying. Being emotional solves nothing. It helps only in terms of the fact that human beings require emotional release to function. Sure, have your cry, but instead of having a set day, try to minimise it and focus on taking action. Actions speak louder than, well, tears. I can assure you, if you drop 1kg, because you used your ‘sobbing time’ as ‘treadmill time’, you will no longer need these ‘weak’ days.
“Everyone’s boobs are uneven. If you have a lot of boobs, they might be way uneven. Don’t stress. This is totally normal.”
This was just really irrelevant. No one notices or cares about your boobs been uneven but you. There is no legitimate reason to be insecure.
“There are people who prefer large ladies. And I mean all sizes of large. I thought that my best bet in life was to find a partner who accepted my fat. Pause. Give me a minute to hang my head and shake it at myself. Not only are there people who adore “thick” women, but a LOT of them who prefer it. This eventually ends up in an interesting territory which Marianne from xoJane talks about here, but the point that I’m trying to make goes back to the “No vs because of” argument. Here is what you need to know: you do NOT need to settle for a lover who is “okay” with your body. You have the right (and millions of opportunities) to find someone who is infatuated with your body. You deserve to be worshipped, woman!”
Yes, interestingly, there is a percentage of people who prefer the overweight. I can tell you right now they are of a minority and there is something that is causing their behaviour. As a human being it is not default behaviour to feel attracted to the over-weight. Human beings, based on instinct, exemplify behaviour that will preserve and better the race. This behaviour includes mating with a gene pool that will make the race stronger – by extension the fit and healthy. Therefore it is in the norm, scientifically, for a male to find a fit, healthy female attractive and vice versa. Again, you can change your situation and be healthy and mate with a healthy man to create healthy babies. Please think beyond yourself and do something that will also benefit our society at large.
“Fat chicks bang hot guys… ALL. THE. TIME. I know that hot is relative and all inclusive depending on who you chat with, but for these purposes, lets talk about the “universally attractive” kind of hot. Y’know, the kind fat chicks don’t deserve? The fact that “fat chicks bang ‘hot’ guys” was one of the most powerful realisations I’ve had thus far. In line with the above paragraph, I knew that there would be someone that would find me attractive but the pool would be small (because of my body) and potentially full of guys I didn’t personally find sexy. So I would have to settle for anyone that would take me. After all, how could a conventionally gorgeous man (tall and with tattoos of course) like fat chicks? Weh-he-hell, let me tell you somethin’: through various sites, events, parties, and corner store meetings, I found myself with over a hundred men who were champing at the bit to get with this. I was the one who had to sift through and pick the hottest of the hot. Ladies, over a hundred. “Girls” showed what society thinks about that when Hannah’s character has a weekend romance with an attractive and wealthy doctor. People flipped. “Patrick Wilson is so hot he would never do Lena Dunham” was the most eye-catching comment. Wilson’s wife responded to that rubbish here, but the tweet speaks volumes about what the majority of people think unconventional women deserve. Women need to know that all bodies can be paired with all bodies.”
There is nothing exciting about the statement ‘fat chicks bang hot guys’. These ‘hot guys’ could be lacking in intelligence, confidence and/or charisma among an array of excellent qualities. Using the physical appearance of a guy you ‘banged’ to assess whether it’s okay to be overweight is shallow and an indication that your psyche is not well balanced. Not to mention, objectifying and defining a man by their body image is just as wrong as doing it to a woman. The author was being quite the hypocrite through most of her article. Someone with a healthy confidence and understanding of body image would not resort to narrow-minded assessments of self-assurance. A confident and intelligent woman would not feel the need to measure themselves – know yourself, love yourself, treasure yourself.
“Riding during sex will NOT collapse his insides. Just trust me on this one, what you fear is totally false. Here’s a great article that changed my life.”
Okay? I gather this issue bothers some people. Except, here’s what it comes down to; if you’re overweight you’re not going to be happy with yourself, your partner won’t be happy about your health and fit and healthy people have great sex.
“Wearing whatever you want is a political statement. Join the revolution. Throw style rules out the window. Wear the tutu. Wear the horizontal stripes. Wear the turquoise skinny jeans. Wear the see-through blouse. Wear the bikini. Wear the sweat pants. Wear the shirt that says “Does this shirt make me look fat?” Wear whatever it is that makes you happy. This is your life.”
This is where I’m going to be a little bit harsh. If you’re overweight, skinny jeans are going to feel uncomfortable. If you’re overweight, you’re not going to attract the aforementioned ‘hot guy’ over there if your see through shirt shows your stomach rolls. If you’re overweight, most bikinis will not be sufficient to cover your privates. Not to mention, you share public spaces with other people, respect other people. No one wants to see fat rolls. Go running, go swimming, eat that celery. At the end of the day, you can wear whatever you want. No one will stop you.
You are beautiful. I’m saying this with a straight face and seriously meaningful look where I maintain eye contact for an uncomfortable amount of time. I know you don’t feel like you fit into the category of gorgeous that our world creates. I know that it’s hard. I know that it’s a daily battle. But screw their fascist beauty standards. The second you stop looking for a skinny model in your mirror and start looking at YOU… is the second you will start to appreciate what you are. Stop looking for flaws. Stop looking for differences. You are perfect. You are more than enough. You are the best thing that has ever happened to you. And you are beautiful.”
Awww. Except, you can’t fit into that really nice dress you wanted off asos, and, you’re tired at work and you never want to have sex with your boyfriend or lack thereof. Reality is going to bite you in the butt. You can sit there and tell yourself you’re fabulous and wait for episodes of drawbacks because you realise that you’re not happy with yourself, or, you can make a change, bit by bit, eat healthy, exercise and be kind. A healthy soul will aid you with a healthy mind and a healthy body. Be smart and be rational. You’re already beautiful, just start being healthy so you can be beautiful for longer.
The article ‘Things no one will tell fat girl… so I will‘ was a quick fix. Just like the chocolate bar you may or may not consume today. Be responsible about the advice you give you to other people. You share this earth with unique and beautiful people. Think for their well-being rather than give them a slice of happiness that lasts a shorter amount of time than a slice of cake.
Over & out.
PS. Below is a short description and photo of the author of ‘Things no one will tell fat girl… so I will‘.
Jes Baker is mental health professional, pastry chef, ex-art major, crazy cat lady, fat model and fiery advocate. She blogs at The Militant Baker.
You can read about Jes’s latest body-positive project, The Body Love Conference, here.