For the life of me, I could never understand why some persons thought the term ‘body positive’ was only a buffer for fat people; as if the term was here to save us from ourselves. When I first heard the term, being fat was the farthest thing from my mind. I thought the term meant exactly what it is…being positive about your body. I mean I had to accept the reality of my size and own it, because I am fat/plus size/curvy woman. Am I at my healthiest weight? Maybe not, however I am happier with my body now than when I was 3 or 4 sizes smaller…which proves my point that body positivity has absolutely nothing to do with your size.
It is a mental thing, it starts from the inside. I had to learn to accept the person I am; all my strengths and weaknesses, all the things from my past that made me into the woman I am today…even the memories I am not so fond of…I had to own all of it. I came to the realization that everybody will have their own story and life will not always happen the way you want it to but every situation that you find yourself in, is to make you better. My mother used to say “It can mek yuh bitter or it can mek yuh betta…suh yuh betta nuh mek it mek yuh bitter.” I didn’t think I would be able to truly love the image I see when I look in the mirror. There were days when the first things I saw, when I looked in the mirror, was my protruding belly or my huge thighs or even worse, my knocked knees. Therefore there was no chance on earth that I could ever consider myself sexy. But there is a certain sense of freedom that you enjoy when you decide to love yourself unconditionally…loving yourself past the things and people that may have hurt you…loving yourself past the images that society tries to use to brainwash you into thinking you’re not good enough…loving yourself past your shortcomings. Self love and body positivity taught me how to take care for me; that it is okay to invest in myself and that it is important to surround myself with positive energy. It also freed me from the feelings of hurt, anger and insecurity that comes with the Stereotypes of a Fat Caribbean Woman.
It put me in a place of power where I get to decide what I like to wear while enjoying the lifestyle I choose and achieving the goals I set for myself. I am now in a place where I put myself first and make decisions out of love rather than pressure. Body positivity has also taught me that I am a person and my body is not who I am therefore if one morning I wake up feeling unhappy about the way I look then I know that it’s okay, once I do not allow that feeling to consume me. On the flip side, if I feel sexy one night and choose to wear a very scandalous outfit then, once again that is my choice because it’s my body.
The stereotypes will be shattered and they will slowly lose their power when we, as fat/curvy/plus size women continue to live past them. When we continue to live out loud and be unapologetic about all of our beautiful bodies. I hope to inspire you to see your own beauty and to see that your body is yours to love and whenever you choose self love then you are setting yourself up for a fulfilling life.