I Will Not Let Your Opinion of My Body Run My Life

We are living in a very paradoxical time; on one hand there is so much progress being made towards equality and the media being inclusive. However, plus-size men and women are still being portrayed as just a funny character or a sidekick. Even when they’re lucky enough to be the lead in a movie, take for example Kevin James in Mall Cop, they're not taken seriously. Not in their jobs, dating, or even in the movies they're leading. The presiding stereotype is that we, plus size people, are in fact lazy and don’t care about our health, when there is really no relation between these statements.

There's some people that work out everyday and have trouble losing weight, due to hormonal problems, slow metabolism, and so on. Some people are just plus-size no matter what they do. That doesn't mean they're lazy, or that they are overweight and unhealthy. By no means am I endorsing an unhealthy lifestyle or saying that toying with your health is ever ok, or cool. In fact, being overweight or obese is very dangerous and it’s not a situation to be taken lightly, but just because someone is plus-size doesn't mean they are overweight. There is a huge difference between the two. And even if someone is in fact leading an unhealthy lifestyle, you just can't bully someone into being skinny. Why can’t we all just celebrate each other no matter our size?  

Body positivity is not about celebrating or endorsing an unhealthy lifestyle, it's about acknowledging that we’re all different, and that’s ok. “It's deciding what feels good and healthy for you personally, and letting other people do so for themselves.” It is to be accepting and loving of yourself and others no matter what they look like, because we’re not just one thing; we’re not just our disabilities, weight, or height. We are so much more than that, we have to break out of that stereotype and that perfect body ideal, because there is no such thing as the ideal body.

In a culture where 87% of teenage girls are unhappy about their bodies, there has to be a distinction between what we see on television and social media, and how unattainable is this perception that everyone should look a certain way to be considered beautiful. There is no such thing. There NEEDS to be the Body Positivity Movement. We have break the stereotype and accept each other for who we are, rather than what we look like. This world is big enough for all of us, and everyone of us deserves a chance to fly. We all deserve happiness no matter what we look like.

 

“Even though it is easy to be fooled by the beauty of a trojan horse, it's real power comes from the army within-- intelligence, compassion, integrity, courage. That army is the real you, no matter what you look like.” - Girl Meets World

 

I grew up seeing that there weren't many people like me on television or the media in general;  being left feeling like if I wanted to succeed, I had to be skinny and fit into this mold that society had created. However, this has changed. I have worked hard on my confidence ever since I got into college. I can’t say it no longer affects me nor that there aren’t days I don’t feel good enough and don’t feel insecure, but no matter who thinks what of me, I know what I am capable of and that this ideal of a perfect woman is just that, an ideal. So I, as a plus-size girl, will not let your opinion of my body affect me. Because I know who I am. I am not lazy, I deserve that job, I deserve to be represented in the media, and I AM WORTH IT. And so are YOU no matter your size or weight. Work hard for what you want and strive everyday to improve yourself as well. If I could achieve being confident, so can you. Don’t settle and don’t take crap from anyone. Finally, and most importantly, now more than ever that we live in a society that focuses on appearances so much, accept yourself just as who you are. If you have a problem with your health, take care of yourself, but if not, I can’t stress enough that you don’t give into people’s vain criticism. Love yourself and the right people will come into your life. Take on the world!