Look, I'm going to be real honest here, I really don't enjoy social media that much. I mean, I try, because I'm an author and that's what I'm supposed to do. But, I'm also a mother...and I have a full time job...and sometimes, I just don't have a whole lot to say - hence the sparse blog posts. And sometimes, when I do have something to say, it's so deep and personal that I don't feel like it should be blogged for the entire world to see. But today, today I stumbled upon the absolutely wonderful #FastSideStories on Twitter. Oh, the JOY! Yeah, yeah, yeah...I shouldn't be filled with joy, but I was! I read and read and read, I teared up a few times then read some more. I searched for blog posts regarding the viral hashtag and read some more. Despite what others may think, I found this beautiful! People coming together and sharing their pain, their stories, what people and society thinks of us...that's right, I said it, US. This was something I could write about from personal experience that I didn't mind sharing...something that had nothing to do with my narcissistic and abusive ex husband or traumatizing childhood. And though I found dozens of blog posts, there was one thing that was missing. For such a powerful message that was so intimate, I didn't run across any that were written from the perspective of being a Fat Side Story. Not saying they aren't out there, I just didn't happen to find any. And this really hit me on such a profound level that not only did I tweet one of my many #FatSideStories, but I also wanted to blog about it. I am not going to post a twitter feed on my blog like so many others before me because I want you to check it out - I want you to see these people's stories firsthand, I want it to resonate in your hearts, I want it to bring you to a higher understanding. I know the cruelty won't stop here, hate is embedded so deeply in this society, but maybe a few will realize their hurtful actions and put a stop to it...and maybe, just maybe, the next generation won't be so vicious and ignorant. So without further ado, here is my #FatSideStory...
I struggled with my weight for most of my life. I've been thinner, I've been bigger. Somehow, no matter what size, I was always judged and ALWAYS insecure. From family to friends...from boyfriends to husband - something always had to be spoken with negativity. Was it always my weight? No. But, a lot of it was...and if it wasn't something that was spoken then it was shown. Take my ex husband for instance, he would tell me I was beautiful all day long, but he would start fights to go out to the bar and then would post pictures of himself on Facebook surrounded by thin, scantily clad women. If that wasn't a smack in the face, I don't know what is. And then there was the comment by a family member stating that I needed to lose weight so I had something to offer a man *laughs bitterly*...(sarcasm coming your way) because my intelligence, talent, creativity, personality, drive, loving spirit, beauty and sexuality couldn't possibly be enough LOL. How these people don't understand that their actions and words can haunt someone for years to come is beyond me. I am not saying that I am not someone that doesn't want to improve...I do. But this body, it wasn't made to please other's eyes. It was made to birth and feed my children, it was made to be strong to survive things that I will not discuss, it was made to work hard to feed my family. It was NOT made for your ridicule and visual stimulation. Take it or leave it. My body will change many more times in this lifetime and who are you to judge? There are medical conditions that won't allow some people to lose weight. Others love the skin they are in, and should! You always should, whether or not you have the desire to change it. How can anyone judge anyone not knowing anything about them? I know that I want to lose weight. I know that in a few months from now I will be smaller than what I am now. That is not going to stop me from loving myself right now. I know that I am not lazy. I know that I am active (although that can always be improved upon), I know that there are days that I do not eat at all, and there are days that I just eat healthy foods, and there are days that I eat not so healthy foods. There are days that I am just too tired to exercise after working and cleaning and cooking and taking care of everyone and there are days that I workout for 2 hours straight. Not all overweight people are unhealthy and not all are undesirable. Just like not all thin people are healthy and not all thin people are desirable. Think before you speak, because truthfully, most of the people that do the taunting seriously sound like idiots.
I can say all day long that people's words do not phase me, but they do. They always have. People always have something to say - they always ridicule, they always criticize. That's what most people do. I don't know why. Some say it's because they don't want others to notice their own insecurities, some say they were raised with it, some say it's because they're hurting so deeply inside that they have to project that onto others. Honestly, I don't buy it. Why? Because, in my personal opinion, I think that most of the world's population is inherently selfish and cruel. You may think me pessimistic for believing this way and that's okay. But, look around you. Really look. Racism, prejudice, bullying, hate crimes, jingoism, sectarianism...the misogynist and the homomisia. Almost entire ethnic groups have been nearly annihilated...all because of HATE. Hate and intolerance. It's ugly. Being body shamed is no different. And I know it's not just for us "bigger" people. But when is it going to stop? When is this world going to stop judging others for their differences and celebrate them instead? It doesn't matter what type of body you have, what your religion is, what color your skin is, what your sexual preference is, what your ethnicity is...what matters is who you are at the core. And that is something EVERYONE should focus on. Let the hate go. Love people. Be good to people. And for goodness sake, stop criticizing something you do not fully understand.
I urge you to take a look at Twitter's #FatSideStories. Take a look at what human beings do to other human beings. And please remember to love instead of hate :).
And if you have #FatSideStories of your own, don't hesitate to comment!