I try to be body positive, but in a world where I am passed over for employment in customer service due to my size it’s hard. And when most ‘plus size’ actors and actresses are portrayed negatively, especially next to the conventionally skinny, it is doubly hard. It is hard because these things are telling us that by not being conventionally skinny there is something wrong with us.
Today a blog notification appeared in my inbox, a post from Miss Victory Violet. You can read it for yourself, but the essentials of it was that Miss VV was raving over the documentary Embrace, all about body positivity, why we don’t have it, why we need it, and how to find it.
What’s amazing to me is that we have body positivity coming at us from all directions, and yet the negativity is easier to hold onto. If you don’t believe me, there’s the Body Positive Movement, there’s music (One Direction and Christina Aguilera). Our friends, and the people who love us.
Frankly, it’s time that we start listening to them. More than that it’s time that we stopped comparing ourselves to others – even and especially to our family.
I have three brothers, but I’m only genetically related to one, the younger one. And all four of us are incredibly different. My younger brother (the one I share DNA with) is tall and thin, and he just is that way. He doesn’t try to be thin, he just is. I’m on the lower end of the average height scale, and rather rotund. My older brother, the middle one, is my height, and was fleshy most of his life, now he’s losing his hair in his mid thirties. My eldest brother was tall, thin, and ginger before he died from a heart attack at 26. The rest of us are blonde. I look more like my older brother, who I’m not actually related to, than I do my younger brother. In my teens I was conventionally skinny, it was the effect of an active and busy lifestyle. I was an athlete, no where near national class, but my sport was my life; until my knees couldn’t take it anymore. I was so skinny that I looked wrong, I had plenty of muscles, and you couldn’t see my ribs any more than you can any other athlete’s, but my frame, my skeleton, my build (however you like to look at it) was made for a larger person. In my late teens and early twenties, right up until I was pregnant, I was at roughly my ideal body shape, based on my frame. These days I’m a size 18, and I’m loved for who I am.
While my size may influence potential employers, it doesn’t seem to bother men. And let me tell you, it doesn’t hold me back.
It’s not easy to be body positive in a world where everyone feels inferior to someone else for whatever reason. Somedays I have to say it like a mantra: “I am beautiful.” so that I can believe it. And other days I’ll hear it, and I’ll smile a little and say, “I know.”
You should know that where ever you are reading this, whoever you may be. You Are Beautiful.
Be Body Positive!