My Body Positive journey has been long and arduous and it started long before I started blogging about it.
From the time I started 6th form; as a young adult, almost always single, and looking for a way to express myself while being the fattest person I knew, I tried to shy away from the fact that I was fat. I used to have guys (that I wouldn’t date) tell me “You’re not fat, you’re cute” or pretty, or some other positive thing. I used to be flattered by this. Now I find this horribly offensive because I am cute, pretty, sexy AND fat. Deal with it.
I used to see pictures of myself on facebook and wince at how fat I looked, if there were any pictures of me where I had a double chin or where my boobs looked smaller than my stomach I would untag myself leaving only about 50% or less on my profile for the world to see. I would normally be pulling a funny face or posing in an unnatural way because smiling too wide gave me a definite double chin.
I wasn’t until I was at university that I started trying to love my body, I still found this very VERY hard but I would wear more t-shirts (in 6th form I always had my boobs out) and not try to hide the fact I had a stomach at all. I realised that untagging the photos of myself would not change how I really looked, and the people that really knew me would not be fooled about my size just because of how I looked on facebook. So I’d embrace the fat photos! That is for about a month…then I’d go on a photo purge and untag about 50 photos at once. I still had a long way to go.
I am cute, pretty, sexy AND fat. Deal with it.
It wasn’t until I met my husband (in 2nd year of uni) and I realised that he was really genuinely attracted to me and didn’t care about the double chin or big tummy in real life that I started to be able to let go a little. I still used to look at pictures and think “I look really fat in that” but if it was a picture of a nice memory I would let it stay on my profile. Unfortunately, even though I was allowing others to see me as fat, I was still tearing myself down mentally.
I never really understood how much damage I was doing to my self esteem, that even up until last year I would look at photos of myself and criticise my body, or make a mental note of the outfit I was wearing because I thought I looked super fat. For example; I had a gorgeous dress that I used to feel so sexy in, but then one day I saw a fat photo of me in it and I thought “I can’t wear that anymore”, it wasn’t healthy, and it wasn’t kind. If I couldn’t love and accept myself how was I supposed to be confident enough to expect other people to love and accept me?
Last year at my husbands birthday party I wore a great outfit and I felt amazing. We had an instamatic camera (brought along by my amazing sister in law) at the party and have some amazing photos up on in our flat of the absolutely amazing night we had. In one of these pictures I look really fat:
The photo on the left is of my and my brother-in-law singing “Let it Go” from Frozen (it was still 2014, don’t groan) and my first thought when I looked at this picture was “What a brilliant picture, we look like we’re having so much fun!” My next thoughts were along the lines of “My tummy looks so big, my boobs look really small, my belt is cutting into my back giving me back fat…” I caught myself mid attack and felt like shaking myself. I felt like screaming at my self that I hadn’t initially noticed how fat I looked and I should be celebrating the progress I’ve made in my own personal journey of body love and NOT finding flaws in my body.
Ultimately this photo has captured a memory I treasure. One of me having an amazing time. One of me and someone I really care about singing a Disney song, and half way through him announcing “I’ve forgotten the words” and I think I may have drunkenly suggested he follow my lead, like I was so good at singing songs from Frozen that he should be able to just copy me. This photo means so much to me, it’s up on my bookshelf for every guest to see because it is a photo of not just an amazing time, it is also the first photo I saw of me looking fat and my first reaction wasn’t of self loathing, but of self loving.
This brings me to Today’s Fat Outfit:
Today I’m wearing the Dress from THAT photo, my Vintage Floral Dress from New Look. This is actually the first time I’ve worn it since that photo was taken, not because I didn’t want to wear it for fat reasons, but because I like it too much, and I think it’s too fancy for every day wear. I’m also wearing my Art Deco Belt and Art Deco Bag, also both from New Look. I wanted to look nice today because I went for a post-birthday/post-valentines date, but it was in the city so I didn’t want to look like I was going to a wedding. I dressed down the look with my Leather Jacket from e-Bay (to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant…ha!) and my Black Leggins from Primark. This is my “Hoping for Spring, Date Day” outfit.
Don’t forget to use the #todaysfatoutfit hashtag so I can see what you lovely people are all wearing.