I was recently asked why I’m always apologising. It was only when I stopped to think, that I realised that this was a habit pretty ingrained into my psyche, I was always saying sorry.
Someone bumps into me, I apologise. I laugh too loudly, I apologise. I get in the way, I apologise. I say my opinion, I apologise. Hell, I could stub my toe on table leg and apologise to the table. It could be because I’m British, [65 Things That Will Make a British Person Say “Sorry” | Buzzfeed] and that’s what we do, it could be because I’ve genuinely done something wrong, but, it could be something else.
For a long time, I always felt that I was in the way. Physically, mentally. Thanks to society’s beliefs on body image, fat people have consistently been taught that we are passive, not aggressive. That we are introverts, not extroverts. That we aren’t to be seen or heard. That we need to apologise for our existence and the space that we take up. If you exist inside a fat body, and constantly feel the need to say sorry for your size – here are 3 things that you need to stop apologising for. Right now.
Stop apologising for being assertive & opinionated
When you are fat and giving your opinion, it can sometimes feel like your voice is falling on deaf ears. I’ve been there, I know. Sometimes, being fat and assertive can feel like stepping out of your comfort zone – after all, society has been telling us for years now, that fat people don’t have a voice. Now that more and more of us are stepping up and speaking out, we are realising that our voices hold substance and that we have a right to be heard. So stop saying sorry for it.
Stop apologising for your body size
Every day, we apologise for our size but we don’t even recognise it. When I was younger, I remember walking with downcast eyes to avoid looking at everyone, I remember pulling my long, black cardigan around me and tugging the sleeves down – doing anything to make myself smaller. No, I’ll avert my eyes so that you don’t have to see me. Always feeling like there was too much of me, but at the same time not enough. If I’ve come to learn anything through the body positive community, it’s that I don’t need to apologise for the size or shape of my body. I am worth the same amount of space to exist in as anyone else – and so are you.
Stop apologising for asking what you want
Fat people are supposed to be invisible, right? That’s what fashion and the media have so-far told us. We are taught not to have a voice, to shrink our bodies and to be relatively unseen – but thankfully that’s no longer the case. We are now finding our voices and asking for what we want, instead of putting up with less than everyone else. We are demanding more respect in public, in the media, in the fashion world, at work, in personal relationships – the list goes on. We don’t need to apologise for asking for more respect from the world, we are not here to mock or tolerate, we are here to live.