In a world dominated by fatphobia and misconceptions about why some people are fat, it often feels like I’m walking a very thin line of, “Yes! I am so proud of my body and it doesn’t define me,” and “Yes! I am unhealthy and I am ready to change it to be skinnier so I can shop in whatever clothing store I want.” There are body-positive days where I am so incredibly proud of my thick thighs, strong forearms and chubby short feet. Then, there are days that I am 100% ashamed to present myself to the light of day, where I can’t imagine showing my double chin, love handles, and underarms that flap when I clap.
There are some people that take fatphobia to the extreme. I’ve been ridiculed, humiliated, and assaulted for what I look like. I know it’s because of what I look like because the words, “Fatty, baby elephant, tub of lard, blimp, beached whale, pig,” and a slew of inappropriate words that don’t bear repeating accompany the harassment. I fight back sometimes with all my might, but I have also cowered in the corner to bear the physical and emotional pain that comes with being told, “You deserve this.”
I wear a two-piece bikini bathing suit in the summer. I don’t wear it to be brave. I wear it because I love how I feel in it. I wear long sleeves at work because I hate how designers of t-shirts make short-sleeved shirts have ¼ inch sleeves. I work out five days a week. I eat cake, even when it’s not someone’s birthday. I hope that one day I will find a partner that accepts everything about me. One day I will be able to ride the rollercoaster at Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World, and not feel that flushed embarrassment of not being able to fit.