*Shields self from overwhelming angry mob of people who will only read the title and not the entirety of the post*
I hate the fat acceptance movement. There, I said it. The movement in and of itself consists of women, mostly, who are overweight and do not like being fat-shamed, gawked at or made fun of for what their body looks like. The movement throws all caution to the wind and forces everyone else to view plus-sized women in bikinis and leggings and all sorts of normal clothing that non plus-sized women wear without shame. What has this world come to?!
Why do I hate the fat acceptance movement? Because I think that it is absolutely ludicrous that such a movement has to exist in the first place. What in the hell has this world come to that a woman cannot leave her house without getting ridiculed for her size or post pictures of herself in a bikini without getting harassed about her weight or appearance? Why on earth do we instinctively think “what is he doing with her?!” when we see a “normal-looking” man with an over-sized woman? What would we ever do if *gasp* women were all treated with respect based off of their personalities and sheer human existence instead of what their body looks like? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO OUR RIDICULOUS SOCIAL HEIRARCHY THEN?!
Well, I’m here to answer that question for you: our ridiculous social hierarchy wouldn’t exist. And it shouldn’t.
Statistically, 24 MILLION people in the United States struggle with an eating disorder (www.anad.org). Is that not a shocking enough figure for you? How about this: of ANY mental illness (think: depression, bipolar, schizophrenia etc.) eating disorders have the HIGHEST mortality rate. THE HIGHEST! Because of our ridiculously skewed social ideals and media-driven unrealistic body image expectations, people are actually dying. D-Y-I-N-G. People are dying from trying to force their bodies to do something that is completely unnatural and unrealistic. Do you need proof that we have gone to the extreme? Proof that from a young age, unrealistic standards are engrained into our brains that we carry on to womanhood? Here are some harrowing figures for you: “69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape; 42% of 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders want to be thinner and 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat” (www.anad.org). TEN YEAR OLD GIRLS ARE AFRAID OF BEING FAT. What in the bloody hell is happening here?! As a society, are we not responsible for the well being of our youth? Are we not responsible to protect the young minds around us? Are we not, at least partially, to blame for allowing these ridiculous notions to fester to the point of no return?
These notions are seeded into the minds of the young where they take root and sprout into full-on oversized weeds that strangle the life out of the souls of society. These images and messages that the media and society dish out turn thriving children into body-obsessed and weight-obsessed shells instead of confident, sassy individuals. These “weeds” engrain themselves into the make-up of a person and refuse to let go, even into adulthood where “we should know better”. Logically, we do. Emotionally, we cannot help it.
Fact: When I was in 3rd grade, I restricted food for the first time. Remember those Steak-Umms that were so delicious because you could microwave them with cheese and instantly you had a cheese steak? I stopped eating them because I was afraid they would stick to me like glue.
Fact: In 4th grade, I went on my first “diet”.
Fact: In 5th grade, my brother told me that I was fat.
Fact: In 6th grade, I made myself throw up.
Fact: In 7th grade, I was a vegetarian. Because, you know, save the animals and you shed a few pounds.
Fact: In 8th grade, my brother told me that I looked grossly, rail-thin sick.
Fact: In 9th grade, I only ate apples. And maybe a slice of turkey every other day. My mom used to check on me periodically throughout the night to make sure I was still breathing. I passed out and my mom found me in the hallway. I was hospitalized. I weighed in much under 100 pounds. I’m 5′ 5″.
Fact: In 10th grade, I chose life. Most of the time.
Fact: There are still days where I cannot stand what I see in the mirror. There are still days that I feel gross and unattractive. There are still days that I cry. There are still days where I tell my husband that I feel ugly, fat and all around terrible. Never once has he agreed. He says “you’re beautiful and I love you– all of you”. And you know what? I believe him.
Although I am in a much healthier place today than I was before, there are days where it’s not easy to be in my own skin. I see models and movie stars and beautiful women all of the time and compare myself to them– but I shouldn’t, because my body is just that: mine. It has served me well. It birthed a child, allows me to breathe, allows me to perform daily tasks and even seduces my husband on a daily basis. I am a warrior. Because of my own experience with battling anorexia and body-image issues, my heart hurts for the youth and adults that struggle with how they feel about themselves. I’ve come to the realization that even though I WANT to love my body, no matter what shape, size or weight it is, there are days where my former-self takes over and I cannot appreciate the real gift that my body has given me: life. If we, as a society, choose to realize that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, weights and body-types, we can begin to re-build the confidence that every single person deserves. It is down right irresponsible that we have allowed anyone to feel shameful about themselves to the extent that they feel too embarrassed to even walk out of our own front door.
So, why do I hate the fat acceptance movement? Because I despise the fact that we even need to have a movement to accept ourselves just the way we are. Rock on, plus-sized ladies in leopard print bikinis flooding the internet. You inspire me.