I’ve been called brave countless times in my adult life, but not for anything like rescuing a helpless animal from a tree or wearing white after Labor Day (which I totally do). Instead, I’ve been called brave for simply existing as a fat woman and not hating myself. That should not be considered brave! Being naked should not be brave. Wearing a sports bra to the gym should not be brave. Getting on top during sex should not be brave. Loving my body should not be brave.
My friend calls me an alien and says I have a confidence that is not common. When asked where that came from, I always say it was a combination of life events. For the most part, I’ve always liked being a curvy girl. It may have taken me years to really understand the power of self-love, but my size never really stopped me from doing what I wanted in life (with the exception of a few obstacle courses, but that is a whole other topic). You see, my real insecurity has always been my lymphedema and the swelling it caused in my legs and feet. That is where I had to really work towards embracing my body in full. If someone said I was brave for sharing my chronic illness with the world, I might feel a little better about that. But let’s get back to being fat and feeling fabulous, shall we?
In the quote above, Queen Lizzo said recently in a Glamour article what I’ve been saying for years. There is a double standard that exists when it comes to fat bodies and bodies who fit into society’s standard of beauty. For me, it is not encouraging or empowering to be told I am brave for working out hard at the gym in nothing but a sports bra and leggings. In fact, I find if offensive. The size 4 woman working out next to me doesn’t hear she is brave or the cliche “you got this, keep up the hard work” (insert eye roll).
Let me clarify that it is 100 percent OK to feel inspired by big beautiful bodies taking up space and working hard to rid our world of silly stereotypes associated with the plus community. We want to encourage more and more people to feel comfortable in these big, beautiful bodies. We must continue to normalize all bodies the same way we have somehow normalized a body type which only 2 percent of American women actually have. My hope is that one day, loving your body will not be brave, it will simply be everyone’s new normal.
Don’t call me brave, call me a badass and I’ll gladly agree.
You don’t have to be brave to rock that outfit you’ve been dying to wear or that lingerie you’ve been avoiding. You are worthy of living life just like any other body out there. So enjoy it, embrace it and don’t forget to eat the cake too!
P.S. I’d love to hear your ideas for this column. Or, just send me an email to introduce yourself. You can reach me at: Carmenrene@Curvicality.com. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more body love: @eatthecaketoo.