Thursday, May 30, 2013

Becoming Body Positive

I know this will shock no one, but I love blogs.

(Before reading on, I wanted to disclose that the links in this post may be PG-13.  Additionally, this post does not represent the views of CCA, only me. Okay, you're free to continue.)

One of my favorite types of blogs recently is "body positive" blogs, also called fat acceptance blogs. If you're wondering what the heck a body positive blog is, let me suggest you check out "Pudgy & Peachy" or "The Militant Baker." 

I started following these blogs for the fashion because these women (and men) have superb style and are excellent photographers. The more posts I read, though, the more I loved the message. These bloggers are fighting the shame and stigma that comes from being overweight by wearing what they want, when they want. People who are larger or overweight are constantly marginalized, misrepresented, and even mistrusted. People assume they are all lazy or unhealthy, which is certainly not the case (obsv, right?!). And these bloggers aren't sweet, meek activists. They are aggressive in their approach and refuse to let critics haters define their bodies. Their insistence on bodily sovereignty and commitment to loving themselves in the face of their loudest critics is inspiring. Their willingness to be so open slowly, but surely, chips away at the rigid definition of beauty in our dominant culture. 

But the best part about body positive blogs for me is that they share the experience of being judged on looks alone. How many times has someone assumed you were incapable or unintelligent because of your looks (or your wavering self-esteem)? Too many, I'm sure. How many times has someone commented on your ability to do or not do something based on their assumption of your physical abilities? Probably, more than you'd like. But like body positive activists, let's fight the culture that says looking different - whether it is weight, a facial difference, or a disability - isn't beautiful, sexy, and worthy-of-super-self-love.

you wouldn't tell a flower
that it is too oddly shaped 
to be given to someone you love.

you wouldn't tell the ocean that 
its waves are too curvy to
kiss the shoreline.

and you wouldn't tell the moon 
that it is too round to illuminate
even the darkest of nights.

so why would you tell 
someone that they are too
big to be beautiful?


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