It's been a while since I posted something about body positivity and acceptance, and I think it's really important that I include these posts every so often. With that, here is my Open Letter to Fat Shamers...
To all the bullies in school who torment their classmates so they don't feel comfortable eating in the cafeteria or changing in the locker rooms; to the individuals behind computer screens and online alter egos leaving hateful, humiliating comments on that girl or guy's selfie; to the person who feels obligated to say something about that man or woman's weight or size because they are "concerned" about their health; and to the assholes that created #fatshamingweek....this is for you:
First and foremost, I would just like to say you don't know me or him or her or us.
You don't know the state of my physical or mental health. Unless you are my doctor, a family member, or a very close friend, chances are you know absolutely nothing about my health. You can't assume, just by looking at me, that I'm unhealthy. You can't tell, just because I'm fat, that I have certain diseases or health conditions that are often associated with being fat. Maybe I was born with a health condition, maybe I suffered a traumatic event, or maybe I sustained an injury that caused, or lead to, or at the very least contributed to my weight gain or obesity. You don't know the battles I've fought in the past or the ones I continue to fight. You don't know if I've ever struggled with eating disorders or depression or even just finding clothes that fit and make me comfortable.
You don't know what I do, or do not, put into my body. You can't know, just by looking at me what kind of diet I eat or lifestyle I live. You can't tell by looking at me how often I eat salad or how often I eat cake.
You don't know how active or inactive I am. You can't assume, just because I'm fat, that I don't work out or go to the gym. You can't assume that I am lazy, unhygienic, unmotivated, that I have no will power, or desire to lose weight, because guess what? You don't know me.
Secondly, if you don't like what you see, whether it's online or in person, just look away. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
If you stumble upon my blog, my instagram profile, my twitter account, my tumblr page, and you don't like seeing photos of fat people or blurbs and posts about accepting and loving your body, no matter your size, do us both a favor and click that little red "x" to get out of there. Don't waste your time, or mine for that matter, writing a novel length comment about how I'm fat and ugly and unhealthy and how I need to lose weight.
If you see me in person, and don't like what you see, turn your cheek and mind your own business. Don't waste your breath yelling, "FATTY," from a moving car window. Don't tell me what clothing is or is not acceptable to wear for my body type. Like performer & writer Glenn Marla said, "There is no wrong way to have a body." You don't like what you see? Just look away.
Thirdly, Fat Shaming doesn't help.
I'm well aware that I'm fat. I know that there are health concerns and risks that may come with or stem from being fat or obese. I also know that eating right and exercising regularly will not only help me lose weight, but will also help my body, mind, and overall health. You don't need to remind me. You might think you're helping me, but making me feel like shit about my body and weight isn't going to encourage me to lose weight. In fact, it will most likely do more harm than good. As Lacy Green, the lovely lady from the Sex+ YouTube channel, once said, "You don't encourage people to take care of their body by telling them to hate it."
Lastly, Every Body is Beautiful.
No matter skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, fat, skinny, in-between; short, tall, average-height, tattooed, pierced, or otherwise...Every body is beautiful.
Obviously everyone has their own opinions and ideas about what beauty is. Certain people find certain attributes and characteristics in a person attractive or unattractive. That's fine. You can have those thoughts and opinions, but that doesn't mean you have to criticize me, bully me, humiliate me, and shame me for not fitting your definition of beautiful. Everybody has the right to feel beautiful and confident and strong and sexy and accepted. Let me feel beautiful and confident and strong and sexy and good about myself. I'm not glorifying obesity or promoting unhealthy habits or lifestyles. I am simply trying to live and love my life and who I am (and if you took even a second to get to know me, you'd know that fat is not all that I am).
Me, him, her, and us.