You see it, I see it, we all see it. Women smiling, taking selfies, gathering around friends, posting pictures across all social media platforms. They are living their lives, one day at a time, capturing those memories and giving us glimpses into their precious moments. But there’s one small issue… apparently… if the woman is fat and she is displaying confidence… she is immediately condemned for glorifying obesity. The recent picture of Megan, a body positive icon, and her friends on vacation has gained much criticism from those who are against the body positive movement. The comments aren’t new to anyone that follows body positive posts. They ‘re all the same. They shame and degrade women for having the audacity to exist in their bodies, for daring to snap a picture of their dimply rear ends and cellulite as if they were *gasp* people. How dare they smile and display confidence when they are clearly overweight?! You think they would know better! Don’t they know that every woman, of course, must feel shameful about their body?! Especially fat women! We should look at ourselves in disgust the way that so many others do! We should remember that we are nothing more than our outward appearance! How dare we experience life while fat?! Don’t they realize they are just glorifying obesity?!
Bullshit. That’s right. The whole “Body positivity is glorifying obesity” is bullshit.
To glorify something means that you are praising it and encouraging others to participate in your behavior or actions – in this case, obesity. Not one body positive post I’ve seen has glorified obesity in this manner. Instead, the posts are glorifying self-confidence and self-love regardless of your physical condition. No one is encouraging you to be overweight, instead, they’re saying regardless of your physical being, regardless of your physical vessel, regardless of who you are … you should love yourself.
You do not have to hate your body to change. You do not have to curse your body to lose weight. You can feel confident in who you are while also being interested in your health and its improvement. I love my heart, my muscles, my breast, and so many other parts of me. I love my body and because I love my body I’m working to make it healthier but I’m making it healthier on my terms not because a troll behind a keyboard says that I need to work harder to lose weight. Weight loss does not guarantee happiness, just as much as money does not guarantee your joy. If you aren’t secure with who you are, no outward change in your circumstances will improve your mental state. Your crappy self-esteem will still be crappy. You can be 200 pounds and joyful and you can be 120 pounds and detest every part of your body and who you are as a person. So, whether you are an obese person, a thin person, a short person, a tall person, a person living with a visible or not readily seen disability, or regardless of your social economic status -none of that has any bearing on your worth as a human being and none of that should have any sway on whether you are deserving of love and respect. You are. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
So go ahead. Snap your pictures. Love yourself. Speak goodness into your mirror. Live your life without the interference of those who condemn you for having the audacity to be who you are.
You aren’t glorifying obesity. You are loving yourself…and that is beautiful.