For the record and corresponding blog, I’m the one in the middle of above picture!🤪
I don’t like full length body pictures. I’m self conscious, I loathe my rolls, and I wish I was as fat as I thought I was in high school. There. I said it! I have struggled with body image since second grade when I ballooned from a normal sized kid to a chub. Someday I will find courage to explain why that happened, but for now, that chapter will remain closed! In 1974 you could buy “husky” jeans for boys, but not for girls. I know this because my oldest brother was tortured with the “husky” jeans. It was nearly impossible to find clothes in a store to fit a fat kid. I started my first diet in third grade. I remember going to the doctors clinic to weigh in and visit with Mrs. Berner, the nutritionist. I remember not liking her much and I ate hamburger patties and green beans every day. It was not working because I couldn’t change me in third grade. Bless my mother’s heart she was trying to help me! She had no idea what to do except start sewing!! She was an excellent seamstress so I had clothes that were pretty, however it was super hard to find play clothes, shorts, jeans, tops. I should also fill in the gap that I was vomiting all of the time and no one could figure out what was causing it. (Today I know, but then we did not!). It was a horrible experience in school being teased, ridiculed by teachers, and tortured daily by our gym teachers. They should both be ashamed for the PTSD they gave many children! (That story is in another blog!)
In high school I was on weight watchers, diet center, diet pills, vomiting, alcohol, cigarettes, more alcohol and I still thought I was huge! In comparison to my peers I was!! I had big boobs, a belly that was never flat, and at the time 5’7″ was tall! I say I’m 5’8″ now to stretch me out a bit!! They call this delusional thinking Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It had no name in the 80’s. It basically gives a reason why young girls loathe themselves and what they see in the mirror isn’t accurate.
College brought me more vomiting, a diet of alcohol, cigarettes, and Ramen noodles! So you can imagine how that was working out for me!! I had fun in college, but I did long term damage to my body and to my teeth!
Marriage and children brought more weight, more stress, more joy, more body issues! Of course I had no idea that the disease that I was diagnosed with two years ago played an enormous factor in my whole fat journey. Looking way back I wonder what third grader has high blood pressure?!? When my first baby was born, there was literally one store I could sometimes find clothing that might fit and that was Lane Bryant. Of course I had to go to Denver find one and then suffer the humiliation of walking in with the rest of the average sized people staring and sometimes laughing at me. So, rather than travel 6 hours for that fun day of shopping, I wore Big Dog Mens t shirts and shorts all of the time. I ordered them from a catalog! Remember the days of sending a check by mail and ordering from a catalog?? Thank goodness for the internet!! The odds of finding anything to fit were slim. No pun intended!! It was some of the most depressing loathing clothing I have ever worn. It was hard to put on makeup and do my hair only to wear big men’s clothing. Depression much?? And off goes the vicious cycle of my life!!
This past year or two you might have noticed a fat girl revolution or what they are calling “Body Positivity Movement”. It might even annoy or disgust you, or you might wonder why it is even necessary? You might have heard of Tess Holliday who’s size 24 body took the fashion industry by storm, or Jessica Kane who dared wear a size 28 swimming suit on a public beach and looked stunning!! Or maybe you’ve read Jes Baker’s books!! These women are almost half my age and have changed clothing and social issues for fat girls as we know it! It is necessary for people like me, who have lived their lives feeling less than human. I have hope that this may be the beginning to human kindness!! I have hope that this movement may well be the start of goodness and love—at least for the fat community.
I have a wardrobe that I should be ashamed of, but instead, I love knowing that I can wear clothing that fits my round body and even though I might not feel completely comfortable in my skin, I have a choice in style. No more Big Dog embarrassing moments. No more asking my husband to dress down so I don’t look as bad next to him. No more feeling like I could cry every time I opened my closet longing to have something feminine and pretty. I thank these women for their courage. It won’t seem like much if you are of average build, but for me and many others, it is life altering.
While this might be a small moment of acceptance in our culture, it has not changed the discrimination in this world. There’s so much work to be done!! If you don’t believe that I am discriminated against get on an airplane with me. Walk through a restaurant with me! Be in a bar with my husband and me only to hear ignorant men call me a fetish. Meanness has been accepted in this culture since way back when. I knew people were mean to the fat kid when Mr. Schneider told me I was too fat to run in third grade and no one stood up and said “shut the f@&$ up that’s mean!” I still hope someone pops him! Hard!! Really hard!!!
I believe that most people discriminate against others because of their own fear. I don’t care if you are fat, gay, straight, black, brown, yellow or green, discrimination comes in all ugly forms. It only ends when we don’t accept someone writing hateful comments on others posts and we bravely stand up and demand that people play nice. It ends when we call out the hate and rebuke the nastiness. It ends with love. My heart wants to believe that someday this will happen, but really it is more of a pipe dream to think there will be a day when I can walk through an airport without feeling the eyes staring and people hoping I don’t sit by them. After all I might run over into their seat or something! Oddly enough I may have to endure their stinky body oder, but for some reason my fatness is more repulsive than their shitty stink. I don’t understand that! 🤔
I love Instagram because these fat women trailblazers post every single day gorgeous pictures of themselves and courageously put themselves out there to publicly be ridiculed in some form by haters!! Yet, like smoke, they rise and stand united against the meanness and fear!! I am proud to have survived mostly in tact mentally from the abuse and I thank them for changing how I look at things. They have given me some cool ￼clothes and the courage to wear them. They have helped educate the medical profession, (I have a blog on that too) and have broken the glass ceiling by calling all body shaming what it is!!! I am still a work in progress trying to undo the knots of self loathing speech I do to myself. This body has given me 3 children and one angel baby. It has survived when they told me it wouldn’t, and it gives the best hugs because they are soft. It rocks my grandson to sleep, comforts my husband, and allows me to do what I do. I should not hate it for what it isn’t. I should be able to love it for what it is without the mean rhetoric from the peanut gallery. My friend Mary has told me numerous times that “loving yourself is the closest you can get to God”. I wish I would have known that years ago. It gives me peace.
Until then….. love yourself and wear a tutu.
#societyplus #themilitantbaker #effyourbeautystandards #tessholliday