Okay gang. It's about to get real personal up in hurr.
Many of you may not know that body positivity is a subject very near and dear to my heart. You may not know this because I don't tend to talk about it. Yea, I attach links here and there to body positivity images or articles, but for the most part I keep pretty quiet about it. Why? Quite honestly, because I'm embarrassed. I fear the criticism that I'm bound to hear for standing up for and accepting people for who they are, PERIOD. And it goes deeper than that. I deal with personal and embarrassing weight issues. I have for the majority of my "adult" years (because that term is really objective and I'm pretty sure I'll never actually feel like an adult, I put it in "finger-quotes"). I have dealt with medicine-induced weight gain and battled depression-related eating, not to mention the fact that my body has actually evolved into the body of a woman and not a pubescent girl. I think part of what embarrasses me is that I always used to be thin. Not waify, but slender. And I totally took it for granted. I ate double helpings of mac n' cheese and put butter on my veggies and drank WHOLE MILK like it was no big thing. And then my twenties hit and BAM, so did my hips. Since then my weight has fluctuated pretty consistently, along with my self esteem. And you know what's bullshit? That my self esteem is so closely tied to my weight. Because there is SO MUCH MORE going on with me than just the width of my butt or the softness of my girl belly. I have had (ex) boyfriends tell me I'd "let myself go" or told me I was "too fat to be attractive" and was the "fat girlfriend"---which blows my mind because I've never even reached the plus-sized category (which I think is also a b.s. categorization, but I'll save that for another day and another rant)! And that I thought all men knew the (unspoken?) rule that YOU DO NOT CRITICIZE YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S WEIGHT. EVER. They treated it like it was a case of false advertising: them signing up for some smokin' hottie with curves a skinny waist and instead getting a real life person with lumps and jiggles and a gawd awful sweet tooth. Forget the fact that while I have had lapses in diet and exercise, for the most part I work DAMN hard to keep myself healthy and strong. It's obviously what's on the outside that counts.
So imagine my horror when something like this "Dear Fat People" video pops up, just shredding the shit out of anyone who deals with weight issues. I'll let you watch it and figure out how you feel about it.
So here's the thing. Besides the fact that she's trying to be Jenna Marbles and that her video editing makes me feel like I could have a seizure at any moment, I really wanted to forgive Nicole. I want to be like "yea, she cares about people's health and just wants them to take care of themselves". But the fact of the matter is, why does it frickin MATTER to her how healthy any given person is? What does it matter to her if someone is fat or thin or gay or lives in their mom's basement or dips their french fries in their milkshake?! I've heard this same claim before from people I've been around who observe and criticize people for their appearance or weight. And I think it's total crap. Like, duhh. That person knows how they look. And you don't actually care if they are healthy. That's just a way to justify your criticism of them!
I just don't think it's anyone's business to criticize me or anyone else for who they are or what they look like.
And obviously, I can get judgey here and there. In particular morning people and Miley Cyrus make me feel a little grinchy and hateful (that was a joke, mostly....). But whenever I catch myself thinking a nasty thought about someone who walks past me on the street or rides alongside me on the elevated train or who is particularly nasty to me sometime throughout the course of my day, I remind myself of this mantra:
EVERYONE IS FIGHTING A HARD BATTLE
It's not my place to decide someone's worth or the value of their struggles. I'm working hard to just live life as best I can, and I image everyone else is too. So just as it cuts super deep to have someone point out my flaws, I imagine it feels the exact same way for anyone else!
Then I stumbled upon this video response, which really broke my heart:
I feel for her! I get it. I've never been considered "obese", per se, but I really understand the self-hatred that comes from not looking the way you're being expected to look. For being criticized and put down for a very real struggle that is sometimes totally beyond your own control. And it comes back to my point earlier that I am SO MUCH MORE than my size or weight or what I ate for breakfast. And so is everyone else!
And then Grace Helbig, who I find cute but kindof annoying (sorry Grace) posted this response and I loved her for it. She summed it up so much better than this long-winded post can:
Also she has super cute hair. And I love her Grampa sweater.
So there I leave it. This is clearly an issue that has a million facets, and this is just one side of a very complicated narrative. But it really hit me in the feels. And I took the risk to talk candidly about such a sensitive topic. So please don't abuse it.
I promise next time will be a much lighter post!