I am so fucking here for all of the body positivity and fat acceptance I’ve been seeing on my social media. I’m here for the embracing of rolls and stretch marks; the praising of big bellies, big thighs, and flabby arms. I love that people are showing love to big bodies and even more so, showing love to themselves. I love y’all and I’m proud of y’all.
That being said, I am not the acceptable kind of fat. If I lost weight, I would not be the attractive kind of thin. I am top-heavy. I have large breasts and a big belly. My hips are extremely narrow. My ass is hilariously flat. My thighs are large but my legs are skinny. I look like Michigan J. Frog. — It’s okay to laugh. I find it funny, too. I say none of this to illicit sympathy. You can send me any number of compliments and I will still believe that my body is ugly. Because, body positivity and fat acceptance still overwhelmingly exclude women with my body shape.
As a fat woman I am already forced to fight against the normalization of skinny women. I’m forced to confront my double chin, my fat thighs and my round, protruding belly; and learn to be okay with those things. And I am. But this movement of fat acceptance has created new enemies to my self-esteem. The shapely big girl and the glamorous big girl.
The shapely big girl is a woman who is well-proportioned. Even though the size of her waist may be larger, she still possesses an appealing hourglass shape. Her upper body and lower body may not be completely symmetrical, but there is a clear distinction between her breast, her waist, and her hips. The glamorous big girl is a woman who presents herself in a hyper feminine way. This woman is rarely photographed without makeup, lingerie and stilettos. She often presents herself as a modern pin-up. She’s gorgeous, but affected.
I am neither shapely or glamorous. No amount of working out will ever result in me having the kind of body that is deemed desirable. Even when larger bodies are embraced, there is still a strong emphasis on bodily proportions that I just do not possess. I can make myself glamorous but it requires a dramatic change in how I groom and style myself. It requires an amount of work I cannot — and do not want to — commit to. And it doesn’t negate my primary issue of having a body that is rarely embraced and largely ignored.
My body shape is not serviced by plus size clothing. It is near impossible to find women’s jeans in my size that fit correctly on my body. Plus size women’s jeans fit tight around my waist and my legs, but sag in the ass and hips. Plus size women’s tees and tanks of a certain length flare at the bottom, assuming the wearer widens out at the hips. Designers assume every woman over a size 12 is shapely. Shopping for clothing is a nightmare.
I love that there are women my size or larger, who are embraced and praised as beautiful. Fat is not a synonym for ugly and I’m happy that people are beginning to see that. But I still feel like bodies like mine are a niche within a niche, and it’s disheartening. I want to feel like my fat body is as beautiful and as loved as the shapely fat body I’m always shown. I want to feel like my fat face will still be seen and appreciated without being beat to the heavens. I want to be fat and cute without having to be extra feminine and extra fashionable. I want my body and all bodies to be acknowledged equally and embraced wholly.