One of the things I get asked about often is body positivity and the body positive movement. As someone who used to hate my body & a few years ago said “eff you diet industry”, ditched the scale, started loving myself (fat & all), and found my love of plus-size modeling, I'm a huge body positive believer, health at every size, fat acceptance encourager and more. I'm passionate about the topic and won't ever tire talking and trying to stop fat shaming and helping women feel confident in their bodies so they take up space unapologetically!
The body positive movement isn’t about weight or dress size. Instead, it’s about embracing who you are. For me, “it’s about acknowledging that this is the skin I’m in and this is who I am. I don’t have to be perfect before I can love myself.”
Body Positivity Isn’t About Weight
One of the common misconceptions people have around body positivity is thinking it's about how much or little a person weighs. But that's just not the case! It's about the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender, race, or appearance (Wikipedia). It's about celebrating the things that make you unique.
What makes you stand out from the crowd can often be the very thing you struggle to accept. Maybe you have scars from a past surgery. Perhaps you were disfigured in an accident or attack. Maybe you have a medical condition that affects the way you look.
In a world that focuses on PhotoShop perfection, these “flaws” might leave you feeling insecure, cause you to doubt yourself, or make you worry that you’re inferior to others. But you aren’t less-than just because your body is different.
Body Positivity Is About Owning Who You Are
In the movie, The Greatest Showman, there’s a character named Lettie Lutz, played by Keala Settle. Lettie is an overweight woman with a beard who’s been convinced she must hide out from the world and that her appearance makes her unlovable.
When she gets past her weight and lets her gift flow, she sings a powerful number about owning who she is. In many ways, the song is what embracing body positivity is all about—coming out of hiding to proclaim who you really are.
I wanna share some of the lyrics with you:
… When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown 'em out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me …
It's powerful! And one of my most viewed videos on TikTok was to this song when all I did was share how I used to dress (when I hated myself – covering my body) and how I dress now (as a big beautiful woman full of confidence, self-acceptance & self-love – wearing what I want & not hiding behind clothes anymore):
@shiningselftlThis is me. I’m fat & beautiful! #thisisme #shiningself #biggirlhype #fatisbeautifultoo #effyourbodystandards #plussizequeen #plussizemodel♬ original sound – Taryn
Body Positivity Is Empowering
Body positivity isn’t just for the “right” kind of body. It’s not about being a certain age, skin color, or identity. It’s about embracing every aspect of who you are and not allowing the world around you to make you feel like you’re not enough.
It’s also not about celebrating weight. It’s about announcing who you are and being proud of that person. It’s about realizing we all have imperfections and flaws. Some of them are visually obvious; some are not. Refuse to hide yours.
Own who you are and let those who are uncomfortable with your awesomeness sit with their emotions.
You don’t have to take on their feelings or educate them!