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Lizzo at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Lizzo at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Photo by Francis Specker / CBS

Life as a Fat Girl

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Growing up as a fat girl was never the easiest thing in the world. Being bullied because I was fat negatively impacted my self-esteem. It is already challenging as a black woman because we don’t get enough recognition, and getting judged because of my weight makes matters worse.

My mental health was depleted because I hated my body. Not only that, but my love life sucked. People I had an interest in rejected me because I was the “fat girl,” and for them, fat equates to ugly and sloppy. One thing about it is that I’ve never been ugly or sloppy a day in my life. Little did they know, I had a genuine soul, and I could brighten up a room. At one point, I believed that I wasn’t capable of having real love because I was a bigger woman. Some men have a fat girl fetish, and they want affection from us in private rather than loving us out loud in public. Weird right? Throughout the years, I’ve learned to not invest my time in situations like those. Tiktoker Shanorri talks about her experiences as a plus-sized adult in the new Tiktok series ‘Growing up Being the Fat Kid and Becoming the Plus Size Adult’.


Let me know if you guys want me to continue this series 😭 I have alot of feelingsssss lol #fyp #fypシ #fyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy #plussizetiktok #fatkidclub #yxzcba

♬ original sound – Norri 💕

Looking back at pictures of my younger self, I wasn’t even “fat”. I had a stomach, but I was small everywhere else. It was instilled in me by others to consider myself fat. Watching television, the representation of big women was quite odd. In the TV sitcom “Moesha” and its spinoff “The Parkers”, the character Kim Parker was always judged for her weight, but she was never big. I admit that I had the mindset of losing weight for the benefit of others instead of doing it to feel good and change my lifestyle. Honestly, that did more harm than good.

A child in front of the fridge
Courtesy of Ayana Griffin

Remember when I said people think being fat equates to being ugly? They also think that being fat means you’re unhealthy, which is not always the case. I find it comical because they’re loud and wrong; it may just be a genetic thing. Look at Lizzo, a singer who is plus-sized. Lizzo eats clean but is still judged because she is a bigger woman. People don’t see her for the beautiful woman she is—her personality or her craft. In May 2022, I had a health scare. After meeting with a doctor and getting blood work done, my results concluded that I was completely healthy, with no diabetes or prediabetes and no high cholesterol. My blood pressure was a bit elevated at the time, but the only recommendation was that I change my eating habits and get more active. Since that appointment, I started taking 30-minute walks around my neighborhood as well as doing at-home workouts. I lost a little weight, feeling the difference before seeing it. I knew something was working because I started sleeping better and there was a huge shift in my attitude. I am not sure why people act like it isn’t normal for someone who isn’t overweight to have the same health issues a bigger person would have.

Clothing stores are one of my biggest icks about being a fat girl. The clothes that I like aren’t in my size, and the ones that are my size are honestly something a granny would wear. What young adult is really out here dressing like a grandma? It’s embarrassing and insulting; not every piece of clothing should have floral prints on it, nor do they have to look bigger than what I am. So, I don’t even bother wasting my time going into a store unless it is necessary. I have had better luck shopping for clothing on Shein and Amazon.

There were plenty of times when I’ve seen people address themselves as “plus-size women” but don’t have the physical attributes that we big girls have. They simply just have little to no stomach, big thighs, and a big butt. You’re a thick woman, but you’re not a plus-size woman. We have a better representation of plus-size women now than before. I thank God for TikTokers Phaith Montoya and Samyra for the role they play in my confidence. My confidence grew as I was coming out of high school, but I was still scared to wear the things I wanted to wear. These two ladies taught me to put on whatever I want and not to care about the naysayers; that’s what a baddie truly is.

A woman at a botanical garden
Original photo by Ayana Griffin

It took a lot for me to get to where I am today. Even though I’m pretty secure in myself, I have no problem with changing my lifestyle either. I am getting myself together, slowly but surely. It’s just the consistency part for me. I don’t want to only be a better Ayana physically but also mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I am so sad for the little girl I used to be. If I could go back in time to talk to my younger self, I would tell her to be her authentic self; if she wants to change, do it for herself; and that she is worthy of genuine love. It is important to embrace and celebrate your body and identity and surround yourself with supportive people who uplift and empower you. Remember that your worth and beauty are not defined by societal standards but by your own self-love and confidence.

Ayana Griffin is a UCF senior majoring in communication & conflict. She also has a minor in journalism. Ayana is apart of NSLS, Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society and the Her Campus UCF chapter. She spends her time listening to music, creating content, photography and binge watching movies and shows.