Stop Calling Me Fat. A Plus Side Woman's Take on the "Body Positive" Movement.
The other day I stumbled upon a Facebook group that intrigued me. The title of the group was "Columbus Fat Babes" and the description of the group is as follows:
"Welcome to Columbus Fat Babes! This is a safe group for FAT people (small, medium or super fats) to share experiences, give and get support and make new friends in the Columbus, Ohio area. We are here to empower each other to LOVE OURSELVES! This is a non-diet space and talk of intentional weight loss is not allowed. Group Rules: - You must identify yourself as fat to be in this group. Plus size, BBW, Large and in Charge, Curvaceous and Bodacious are also accepted! - No Intentional Weight Loss (IWL) talk is permitted in this space. We believe that people of all sizes can be happy and healthy. Any talk of diets, "wellness" or weight loss for health reasons will be deleted. -Have fun and be supportive! We are not here to have political discussions, judge others or debate whether or not it's ok to be fat. Cursing and self expression are encouraged as long as it is not at the expense of another member."
Here I am, a size 16 woman standing 5’7” and this group name and description did nothing but frustrate me.
Now, my stance on inclusivity is all-encompassing to all extents. However, I cannot stand by and agree with the fact that condoning being unhealthily overweight is acceptable and here's why.
"No intentional weight loss talk"
Fact: I am overweight.
Fact: I work out.
Fact: I eat mindfully but indulge when I so choose.
Fact: I want to share experiences with other women (of all sizes) about health food they're loving, what workout they hate, and what works for their body.
All in all, I feel that if I want to loose weight, I should not be shamed by the plus size community for wanting to do so.
Yes, I completely understand the goal of the group. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and similar body types for a non-judgmental and welcoming environment. However the truth of the matter is, that the conversations this group is condoning does not feel positive to me. My weight loss ambition is not fueled by the desire to look like a Kardashian or even my wedding! My desire to lose weight is to feel good in my own body. I know what healthy looks like and feels like in my body, and I am not there today. That's it. So, why can't we talk about it? Why is the want to lose weight so bad for a plus size woman?
And even in writing this I feel as if I have to justify myself as being "fat enough" to even be part of the conversation or have a say.
In the midst of the body positivity movement I feel like a message is getting lost. Yes, 130lbs is beautiful. Yes, 230lbs is beautiful. Neither is "right" or "wrong" and neither should be victimized for being a certain weight/size OR (emphasis on the or) for wanting to change where they are in their journey today.
Yes, I want to be taken seriously in a board meeting even though I am the heaviest person in the room. Yes, I want to eat a piece of pizza and not feel shame about it for the next 48 hours. Yes, I want to talk about these things with people I trust and feel accepted by. However I also do not want to be made to feel bad about having the desire to lose a few pounds when the desire is not inspired by an unrealistic magazine cover, but a need to feel good in my skin.
PLEASE, let's talk about wellness of the mind and body - not weight loss, not fat shamming, not skinny shamming - but of self worth and being intentional with our bodies.