A message from a plus-size, body positive woman to the world
As of today, I'm 116 kgs, obese, working on losing weight by having a besan cheela by the day and some poha partnered with flax seeds and some haldi-neembu ka paani, running 3-4 km and burning approximately 350-400 calories every day.
You might feel proud of me after reading this?
As of today, I'm 116 kgs; and also every now and then, I love having a cheese sandwich, a baked lasagna, and some dark chocolate for dopamine. I love my cellulite; I don't mind it hanging out of my clothes. I don't mind my obnoxious FUPA (fat upper pubic area) whenever I wear a crop-top or a bikini. I have dark underarms, but sleeveless tank tops are among my regular clothing. My PCOS makes my face hairy, and I only get bleached and shaved when I feel like it. I'm confident going out on dates, dancing, jumping around, listening to my favorite tunes and getting pictures clicked.
Now, how comfortable was this to read? I suppose not fully, right?
I grew up fat. I used to cry running home back in first grade because I was always given the role of a hippopotamus, a tree, or a bear for theater shows, and never a barbie or a princess. I was told to not carry any stationary or bag which was pink in color or 'girly' because I was told that "a girl as fat as me would look better with a plain big black bag".
The rest of my school life was being treated as the 'bro', who boys could get a date or two with my two gorgeous, beautiful best friends. I tried to compensate for my lack of self-esteem and regard for my body by being active in co-curricular so that no one would find a reason to shame me for my body.
But as I grew up, the narrative I had for my own body changed culturally. During college, suddenly I was a 'thic, curvaceous woman' and not a 'fat girl' anymore. The over-sexualization of curvy bodies confused my sense of self-worth, because something which stopped me from putting myself out there my whole life, was now a reason to get all the male-attention I missed out on in my late teenage life.
As a woman growing out of her teenage and entering her early 20s, this was a very confusing time for me. I eventually realized that over-sexualization of fat bodies wasn't necessarily from a space of being in support of body positivity, but a simple kink/fetish which wasn't always a compliment, in fact the feeling of feeling like a sexual preference for someone just because I happen to have cellulite, changed my understanding of sexual/physical attraction as a grown adult.
I heard someone say once "In sickness, you lose weight quickly. In fitness, your energy, sleep, periods, exercise compliance improve first and the weight comes down last." As someone whose weight intersected with her mental health journey downhill and uphill, I can assure you that this is my truth. To reach the mental and emotional capability of solely being able to work on my weight without the burden of depression, panic attacks or body dysphoria, I know I have embraced weight loss with love towards my body. This is a matter of health for me and nothing else.
The world shames and disregards fat positivity because the conditioned picture of 'a beautiful body' is based on fabricated European standards of beauty, which has changed from a 'perfect Victoria's Secret body' to 'being curvy in the right places', giving beauty brands the perfect opportunity to monetize on our insecurities.
Do you want to know what the perfect body looks like? Go look at yourself in the mirror!
Our individual journeys don't need judgment; they need empathy.
Yours plus-sized and proud,
Sexuality Educator at The Zero Period