I am the fattest I have ever been, and I totally love it.
What’s happened? Well, in addition to reaching that age where my teenage girl body has fully morphed into my grown woman body (which means becoming generally squishier in the thighs, butt, breasts, etc.), I am also in a fulfilling and healthy relationship, and have learned to (mostly) ignore media messages about being Barbie thin.
It hasn’t been easy. Our society idolizes thinness. Look at Rosario Dawson reflecting on how many compliments she received when she starved herself to play a drug addict. Or the teen and preteen models getting fired for gaining two pounds in the documentary “Girl Model.” And then there’s the quintessential icon of feminine beauty, Barbie.
I didn’t have many Barbies growing up, and I didn’t consider myself weight-obsessed, but when I started to gain weight after high school, when my stomach stopped being naturally flat, I started to worry. I felt self-conscious and like everyone was staring at me. My self-esteem took a hit.
But since I began my journey down Feminist Lane, I’ve encountered much discussion of body positivity and fat positivity. What does this mean? It means taking a healthy approach toward our bodies. Not everyone is going to be a rail thin model. Some people are naturally very skinny (an extremely small portion of the population). Other people weigh more, have chubby tummies, and can still be healthy. Look at Prince Fielder’s great naked shoot for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue! Guy’s got a gut, but he’s also a professional athlete!
I am not a professional athlete. But I am also no longer embarrassed to say I’ve gone up a pant size. I like my new curves and I’m comfortable with my body, which I think is the most healthy thing of all.