There are certain things that people tend to do when conversing with a fat girl. Often, these things fall on two sides of the fence: the ignorant exclaims of “you’re not fat” resonate in our ears when we’re around people who don’t wish to offend – or on the flipside of this, the obnoxious “my friend lost X amount of weight on X diet and I think it’d really work for you…” Hahahaa, nope, no thank you. The tiptoers and the diet pushers are just as bad as one another, I don’t want to be told that I’m not fat… because (shock horror) I am – and I don’t want to be told about a new fad-diet because (double shock horror) I’m happy with myself and don’t actually want to lose weight! But there are certain things that people won’t say to us fatties for whatever reason, but from one fat girl to another we sometimes need to hear some home truths, right?
Everybody has tummy rolls.
Tummy rolls are not exclusive to fat women. Most people get a muffin top when they sit down or bend over – we are all well acquainted with the roll dance that you have to do to secure your belly in the waistband of your skirt or the suffering that bending over in a pair of tight trousers causes. You are not having a unique experience when you struggle with your belly bumps; even the slimmest of people have them. Instead of moaning about them and trying to seclude them in tummy-flattening pants, why don’t you try loving them instead?
Believe people when they say you’re beautiful.
Okay, this one’s a bit more difficult to do when you’ve been told for most of your life that you’re fat/ugly/overweight/outside of the norm. If you’re fat then you have probably been subjected to your fair share of bullying over the years, let’s face it, we’re no stranger to hurtful words. More often than not, these are the things that stick with us through the years and this is the negative mantra that so many of us have become accustomed to using about our bodies. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Think back, what did you do the last time someone gave you a compliment? Did you look at the ground and mumble a half-hearted thanks? Probably. Or did you brush it off and reply with a “no I’m not…” Self-deprecating comments are harmful to the way you feel about your body, but if there’s one thing that you learn to do today – please learn to take a compliment. People don’t hand them out apropos of nothing, so BELIEVE someone when they say that you’re beautiful because you ARE.
You haven’t succeeded in sport/your job/your hobbies/your relationship in spite of your body – but because of your body.
When fat people succeed, it seems that our achievements get a special kind of treatment. People tend to be overly surprised when we meet our goals or have some good news, as if our size should restrict us in some way? But you don’t succeed in these things in spite of your body, but because of your body. We are taught that fat people can’t be models or run a 5k race, but we bloody well can – but at the same time, we don’t need to receive any more applause or recognition for our victories than the next person. The sooner that people realise that fat people aren’t restricted to a sedentary, or unsuccessful lifestyle, the better. The accolades that we receive should fit the goal that we’ve met, any more than that and it becomes patronising – you can do anything that you set your mind to because your body allows you to, not in spite of it.
You don’t have to feel guilty every time a chocolate bar touches your lips.
People need food – that goes without saying, but in a society that is so food conscious sometimes it’s hard to know which foods you’re meant to be putting in your belly. The media is so rife with ‘health food tips’ and advice for detoxing that it can confuse even the most conscious of eaters – so why don’t you try this, try eating everything in moderation. Eat some salad, eat some chips, have a fry up and allow yourself the odd doughnut, there is no shame in a bit of indulgence every now and again, why should you deny yourself the things you enjoy? Yes you’re fat, and people make judgements about fat women scoffing a biscuit, but at the same time if a fat woman is munching on a salad the assumption is made that they’re on a diet – not that they just fancied some greens at lunch time. Don’t let people judge you for your food habits, and don’t feel guilty if you snaffle a chocolate bar as a pick me up in the afternoon – food is there to be enjoyed!
Similarly, you don’t have to feel guilty about not working out every day.
Some people choose to work out every day – which is fine. Some people choose to work out once a week – which is also fine. Some people choose to work out once a month or not at all – which is fine too. Whatever your exercise habits, they’re absolutely fine. You should never feel pressured into exercising if you don’t want to; we all lead hectic lives and suffer long days and I’m sure the last thing you want to do sometimes is hit the gym and it’s so important to listen to the needs of your body. Similarly, if you choose to do a spot of yoga instead of your spinning class, don’t chastise yourself for not doing some cardio – time to relax is just as important as working out, and your mental health is just as important as the physical. So don’t worry about it, if you don’t want to go to the gym, you don’t have to! And you don’t have to scold yourself for saying ‘screw it’ either!
You are allowed to love yourself.
Fat girls tend to try and avoid mirrors. So many times we’ve caught sight of our fat, jiggly, wobbly bits and winced – but occasionally (and I know that you’ve done this) you catch sight of yourself and smile, and without warning a thought crosses your mind: I AM HOT STUFF!! But as soon as the thought has arrived, you’ve banished it from your mind giving yourself a mental clip round the ear for even entertaining the idea that you’re a goddess. We are fed so many stories about fat being unattractive and ‘sexy’ being unobtainable for fat women – but why the hell should you listen? Who decides if you look good? YOU do. So if you want to look in the mirror and appreciate your big, chunky thighs or sizeable, soft belly, then do! Loving yourself is nothing to be ashamed of, and more fool anyone who says that you shouldn’t love your body – it’s not theirs to comment on.
At the same time, you’re allowed to have off days too.
We’ve all stumbled out of bed with bleary eyes and birds nest hair, wearing our most ill-fitting pyjamas and last night’s make up – if you’re really unlucky you’ll be on your period too so you’ll feel extra yucky – and found ourselves confronted by a mirror. That unwanted glance at your body and face can be enough to put you in a negative place for the rest of the day – but don’t let it! We are all allowed to have down days, days where we feel like crap and want to bury ourselves in the biggest jumper we can find, days where we want to fester in our own misery before blooming the next day into a beautiful, positive butterfly. But don’t let it ruin your day, everybody has days where they look and feel like shit, but you need to embrace them as well as embracing the times where you feel like a bombshell. Remember, how you feel about your body is up to you and you can choose to be a mess or you can choose to be a hot mess – I know which I’d prefer.
You’re allowed to use the word ‘fat’ without it being a bad thing.
Fat. Fatty. Fatso. Any variation of the word ‘fat’ comes with negative connotations, but why? Why has a word to describe body type become an umbrella term for other negative words: ugly, unhealthy, unattractive, slovenly, dirty and lazy being just some of the words that people tend to associate with fatness. But just because society has deemed fat as a bad thing to be, doesn’t mean that you have to accept that your usage of the word has to mean the same thing – it is possible to use the word fat in a positive manner, and more to the point, you’re allowed to. Reclaiming the words about our bodies that have so far been used against us is a step in the right direction to body positivity – if someone calls you fat with the intention of offending you, you can smile and agree with them. It is not shameful to accept your body for what it is, but you don’t have to accept that what it is, is bad. Change the conversation that you’re having about your body, and learn to own them both using the language that you want to.
You are attractive, you are desirable.
Learn that you are attractive. You need to stop jumping to your default defence when you catch someone staring at you, how do you know that they’re not admiring your wobbly bits from afar? How do you know that they’re not longing for your thighs to be sandwiching them? How do you know that they’re not itching to pinch your booty? Assuming that your preferred sex is only judging you for your fatness is a mind-set that you need to rid yourself from, I’ll say this once and once only: fat people are attractive. And if someone does give you the come on, you need to stop thinking that they’ve got some weird kind of BBW fetish = NO. You’re just, their type; you get them going, the same way that other people get you going. Look in the mirror and see how attractive you are, then go out and let someone love you.
You can wear whatever the hell you like without doubting yourself.
Fat girls have long been told that they need to stick to strict guidelines when choosing their wardrobe. We are often told to wear black because it’s slimming, to avoid leggings because no-one wants to see cellulite, to never bare our arms and to avoid horizontal stripes because they make us look wider. But who cares?! Fat bodies are going to be fat bodies no matter what clothes you wear, so why should we dress in a certain way to make other people comfortable? I, and many other fat girls, refuse to hide their bodies for the sake of offending someone. There are so many clothes out there that I’m hankering after and many of them don’t come under the fat girl clothing rules, so I urge you to wear whatever the hell you want as long as you’re comfortable in it! Besides, rules are meant to be broken…