I am fat.
Not overweight. Not pudgy. I am a very short, very round fat girl.
I cannot recall a single year of my life where I wasn't obsessed with body image. I've daydreamed about pulling out a large cleaving knife and just hacking away at my excess stomach. With some good local anesthetic, surely it can't be too hard to cut open my abdomen and expunge the excess adipose tissue? (My husband assures me that, yes, actually, its quite hard. Something about blood vessels feeding all those fat cells).
Even at my absolute thinnest weight, when I was exercising for 2 hours every morning at the gym and strictly keeping a reduced-calorie diet rich in fruits and vegetables, I was STILL 15-20 lbs over my "ideal" body weight.
I have never, ever, ever, since hitting puberty, been in the "healthy" BMI range. Ever.
Recently, I was looking back at some photos my husband took of me at the beach when I was 16 weeks pregnant with Le Petite. I was stunned by how beautiful I looked. Me, beautiful! Thin, even. Since having my son, I have found it impossible to lose the excess weight. But something has changed. I realized in that moment - I am still that beautiful person. That beauty has nothing to do with numbers on a scale, nothing to do with hours logged at the gym.
That same beautiful girl peaks through in the photos taken just last week, baking cookies with my son.
She's there as well when I look at myself in the mirror, in all my fatty goodness.
I am a goddess. No, not really - I can't call down powers of heaven to do my bidding. But my body, it really is beautiful. Goddess-like beautiful. This is the body that walks 4 miles every day, to and from my son's preschool. It is the body that lovingly embraces and touches my husband. It is the body that nourished my son for the first 24 months of his life.
This body is large, but it is healthy. It is beautiful. It is divine.
And it is completely, 100% mine. And I am... grateful!
There are tons of wonderful things about ourselves that we need to own up to...including our own complex bodies.
At this point in time society says that "thin" is beautiful, but a couple hundred years ago thinness indicated malnutrition and poor health, and muscles were the signs of a laborer. The aristocracy preferred to demonstrate their wealth and life of ease by displaying a full figure.
I think that different people have different "ideal" bodies. Sure, eating healthy foods and remaining reasonably active are important. But it's possible to be entirely healthy and active and still not fit the mold that current society has dictated is "ideal".
I know some very beautiful "fat" people. And I'm not talking about any "sweet spirit" or "personality" type of beauty. They're just beautiful.
A lot of it has to do with confidence, I think.
So congratulations on finding that confidence in yourself and being beautiful!
Speaking of beautiful, I love your new blogger profile pic!
I love you, and you are beautiful. I am glad we are not only friends, but co-feminists fighting body image together. Blessings :)
Thanks for the validations :)
Scott- I like to think of the words to "If I Were a Rich Man," where Tevya wishes that his wife had a "proper double chin". It makes me feel happy.
And I agree that so much of beauty lies in self-confidence. I have a lot in my life to be confident about; why not just enjoy it for a change?
Jon- Thanks! I made the scarf myself!
k- Thanks for introducing me to Shakesville! That site has really opened my eyes to privilege in a way that I used to be very blind - and helped me to stop seeing myself through the eyes of misogynist straight men.
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