I've always been fat. My entire life I have had to deal with the stigma, the idiocy of other people, and the whole world telling me that if I could only get skinny, everything would be better.
It took a very long time and a lot of soul searching and learning on my part to shake that. Some people are born with that grace and confidence to be who they are and not give a damn what others think; some people aren't, and I'm one of those people. It took a very long time to come to terms with my size and to break away from the preconcieved notions I had of who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to look like.
Faking it was second nature throughout high school, and not talking about it and pretending it didn't exist is how I lived. I was never tormented for it, but I was acutely aware of it - in how my NJROTC uniform didn't fit, in how the clothes I wore were intentionally baggy because I was supposed to hide myself in frumpy clothes. Maybe everyone in high school feels that way, that they are acutely aware of something about them that is wrong as defined by society.
In college and throughout I came to find the fat acceptance movement and started reading everything I could find. I found women who looked like me, were shaped like me, and were proud of their bodies. I started trying to find clothes that made me feel good, especially when I started being able to afford them. I'm all for "fuck flattering," but the sad truth is that clothes that fit me and the ones I like are expensive. But fuck flattering, just for the record.
I started not hating every bit of food I put in my mouth. Most of all, I started seeing that if people had problems with me because of my size, it wasn't a fault of mine. It wasn't something that I had done, I wasn't the broken one. Those people who had problems with me were the problems.
Insecurities still find me at times. I'm proud to say fuck you to those who have problems with me, and I'm proud that I fight so hard against the conventional wisdom that I need to lose weight to be healthy (because if I'm healthy and feel good and am exercising and don't lose weight, then I'm where I'm supposed to be). I still have problems though - when I'm trying on clothes I'm anxious, when I'm in a room with conventionally beautiful, thin people, I'm anxious and wondering if I'm the black sheep and if only I could change myself. I wonder if my partner doesn't want to have sex all the time because of the way I look, I wonder if only I was thinner would I be less anxious around people. Just this week I finally purchased a bathing suit that people will probably judge me for - short little shorts, all this thigh for people to see.
If only, if only. I'm not crippled by those insecurities though, I can always rise past them. There are good days and bad days. It's a process, because my body constantly subject to criticisms from everyone. From diet ads on tv, from low fat food products, from yogurts that will help me lose pounds to look good in my bathing suit (I look fine in my nice new bathing suit, thanks a bunch). From people telling me if I only moved more, I'd lose weight. From the First Lady trying to combat childhood obesity by getting us to "move."
We are always subject to these criticisms. Even conventionally beautiful, thin people are subject to someone telling them to be something they're not. You need more bust. You need longer hair. You're too bony.
The world is full of advertisements to make us into something we aren't. Keeping true to yourself in this world is difficult and strewn with mean comments, bullying, and strangers telling you what to do to be attractive.
It's a difficult world. I've reached the stage where I can mostly say fuck off, my fatness is none of your business. It really isn't.
I had a revolutionary thought (at least to me) the other day that I've finally come to the point where I'm a person who can be confident in who I am and still have insecurities. I don't have to be perfectly okay with myself. I can have my bad and good days. It doesn't shake the fact that I'm a good person, and the size of my body is the concern of only myself. To me, that's revolutionary.