Every week I do this project, I have new revelations and advances in my fat acceptance journey. Because nobody is just BAM! Fat positive! I am always growing and learning more about my relationship with my body, how I view other bodies, sexuality and how I am treated by others. Especially when I am putting myself and image out there. In my recent experience with being subject to hateful comments online about my body, I was told that my bottom half looked like it was on backwards, that my body was wrong, unhealthy and not acceptable. It fucking pissed me off. Then I laughed at the people that were pissing me off. Then I started thinking about how somebody can be the type of person that scrutinizes and criticizes someone else's body on the internet. What makes them think that they have the right to make assumptions about me, my health and my overall worth. Why the fuck would somebody be so concerned that some of my body parts were sticking further out than others. They could only appreciate a plus sized body as long as it fit into the shape they feel is acceptable.
I watched this video tonight and I found my answer. It is fatphobia. We weren't born with it. It is something we were taught through rewards, punishments and experiences. By what we are exposed to and told is right and wrong. Movies, TV, magazines, our peers, parents and everybody else is telling us the ideal of beauty in our culture. Our brains are literally programmed from the time we are born. You can choose to hardwire those thoughts or you can learn to de-program these thoughts. We all have a level of fatphobia ingrained in us and have to make a conscience effort to undo it.
I am asked often by people, that are struggling to accept their fat bodies, how I became so fat positive and confident and there isn't an easy answer to give them. It is a process. Something that I still have to actively participate in. There are things you can do that will help with that. Virgie Tovar talks about challenging yourself to be attracted to someone that is fat. Whether it is a new friend or romance. You may be making an unconscious effort to only associate yourself with thin people because maybe you are thin yourself or because you are fat and don't want to bring unwanted attention in public. That somehow you are validating your worth by being loved and appreciated by someone that is more acceptably beautiful.
If someone is ugly to you, challenge yourself to see them differently. I read this post about the TLC show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and how the mother is seen as ugly and undesirable but that there is more to her. That she may not be as stupid and gluttonous as everybody would like to think. If you can't see any beauty or charm in her "ugliness", maybe it is the fatphobia stopping you. What about the fat man that can't leave his house and had to be lifted out through a hole in the wall? Or the fat lady at the grocery store using a scooter? Do you immediately see them as unworthy and look down on them? Do you see yourself as better than them? Maybe it is the fatphobia. You have years of experience and influences telling you that you should think that their bodies are bad.
Virgie also talked about fat girls that are fat positive but still have traces of fatphobia holding them back. They imagine their bodies look differently when they are having sex or fantasizing, instead of having these experiences in their own bodies. Expose yourself to sexy images of fat people or watch fat porn. Yes, I just told you to watch fat porn. Actually, Virgie Tovar suggested it but I already did years ago so I am telling you to do it too. Find out what it looks like when fat people have sex. Your only references of people having sex are thin actors in unrealistic romantic movies and this is your idea of what fucking is supposed to look like. Your sex life will be changed when you start using the body you have, instead of the body you think is supposed to be sexy in your head.
You can make these changes in the way you think. Stop feeling hate and shame towards your own body or other bodies. Channel this energy into widening your views of beauty. Basing your feelings towards someone on assumptions of beauty, health and worthiness is a road well-traveled, bumpy and riddled with potholes. Instead, explore the less-travelled roads and allow your brain to make pathways to new thinking. Your synapses and self-confidence will thank you.
I highly recommend Virgie Tovar's website because she is about a thousand times smarter than me. She is also the editor for a book coming out soon, Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion which is now available for presale.