I don’t shy away from putting my life on the Internet. As a journalist, a social media expert and a blogger it just sort of comes with the territory. I post pictures of myself, observations about my day, and commentary on different cultural events with wild abandon all over my various social media. As a person with some online visibility, I frequently get sent questions from followers and since I’m a plus-size fashion blogger, my fashion sense is generally the most predominant topic when talking to commenters and answering questions.
However, the question that I get with the most frequency (and usually anonymously) is actually a simple statement: “I wish I had your confidence.”
Confidence is really something that I had never thought about before I started my blog. I was blessed (or maybe cursed) with a slight narcissistic streak and it really just never occurred to me that my body was something that I should be embarrassed or ashamed about. Even at my “ugliest” I always felt beautiful.
I’ve always been overweight and as a child I definitely went through my gawky phase, but I was raised to never put a lot of focus on external appearances, so I dealt with my braces, glasses, and acne and moved on.
Now, as I spend more time on the Internet, talking about body positivity and how important it is to respect all bodies, I interpret true confidence a little differently.
I think the reason that I so frequently get asked about my confidence level is because there is some deep prejudice ingrained in most people’s psyche that says that plus-size women aren’t confident, that we don’t love our bodies, and that we seek constant validation.
All of those things are categorically untrue.
Plus-size women don’t suffer from a lack of confidence or a lack of anything else. Plus-size women are not depressed nor do we need extra love or validation. I am not inferior because I’m fat nor do I interpret “fat” as a bad, negative, or forbidden word. It’s a descriptive word and it happens to be an accurate description of my body-type.
I believe that if I’m truly going to practice body positivity and radical self-love then I need to be honest with myself and appreciative of myself. The people, who tell me that my body-type is inferior, have no idea what my body can do.
My thighs have cellulite, that is true, but they are strong and they take me places. My upper arms are flabby, but they can comfort my loved ones and wrap around my friends in bone-crushing hugs. My stomach is pudgy, but it makes a great pillow and looks just fine in a crop top anyway. My body is not inferior because it is fat and I am not a crazy, confident anomaly for appreciating it.
I challenge everyone to take some time and really look at your body. Strip down in front of your mirror in just your bra and underwear and look at every wrinkle, every line, and every fold because they are yours. Never be ashamed of the person you are or the body you have they are yours and you are beautiful. If you don’t fight for yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?