Embrace the fat
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
College students – especially females – know the pressure of having a perfect body. The perfect hourglass shape with perky breasts and a flat stomach is what mainstream media tell women is attractive.
This week is body positive week, and I think it’s finally time to start ignoring the naysayers and embrace all bodies – no matter what shape they may be.
Last summer was one of the lowest points of my life. At 5 foot 5 and 210 pounds, I’m far from being a Barbie doll.
My mom recently lost 50 pounds in six months after surviving a blood clot. I was beyond happy for her but felt a twinge of jealousy. My family would constantly talk about how my mom’s weight would soon match mine. It made me feel inferior.
At that point, I felt like my body was disgusting. Then I took a trip to my doctor’s office for my yearly physical.
With my height and weight, it was no surprise I was categorized as obese on the body mass index (BMI) scale. But before I got upset, my doctor told me BMI is a load of crap that doesn’t account for distribution of fat in the body.
According to the Center for Disease Control, some people could have a high BMI calculation but because the formula includes both a person’s fat and muscle, they can have a high BMI but not necessarily a high percentage of body fat.
After that, I started to look at my body differently. My love handles and stretch marks – which are always an area of hate – suddenly did not seem as troublesome, and I came back to UB with a newfound confidence and people started noticing.
Yes, I still get called fat. It’s inevitable. I hear my roommates whisper about me almost daily, but I don’t let it bother me anymore.
I am confident in my own skin and bashing me about my outside appearance will not make their insides any prettier – or make them feel any better about themselves in the long run.
After declining an opportunity to model for SuicideGirls, an alternative modeling site, I decided to create my own portfolio as a plus-size model.
I pulled inspiration from models like Tara Lynn and Ashley Graham and have only strengthened the love I feel for my body.
Body acceptance comes in all forms and starts with loving yourself. I have a friend who is a size zero and hates she can’t gain weight due to her high metabolism. Seeing me embrace my body has given her the confidence to come to terms and love her small frame, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
Another important element in body acceptance is taking care of yourself and knowing your limits. I work out when I have the time, and, luckily, I have friends who motivate me to exercise. Possibly trimming my muffin top would give me even more confidence but, honestly, working out for me is a form of stress relief.
During body positive week, I challenge you all.
I challenge you to not pick apart every flaw on your body when you look in the mirror every morning. I challenge you to always remind yourself of your favorite feature.
My mother now weighs 190 pounds and instead of being jealous about it, I let her borrow my clothes. When my dad comments about my size, my mom now replies, “Look at your own damn self.”
As for me, I enjoy having “bodacious ta-ta’s.” I like ordering a peanut butter Buffalo Blast at Perks once a week. And, of course, I’ll be out on Halloween weekend donning a revealing costume like every other girl stumbling down Chippewa or Main Street.
Being body positive all the time can be a challenge, but owning your body andtaking notes from my story can help. My size is a number that will never define who I am and what I’ve accomplished.
I’m beautiful and so are you.