I recently saw on a friend’s Facebook Newsfeed that someone had posted, “Fat isn’t beautiful. It is a health risk and you should at least try to do something about it.”
I am size 18-20 (US 14-16). Or in other words, plus-size, curvy, thick, chubby, squishy, or whatever adjective you prefer to describe the state of being overweight. And yep, I know that I am plus-size. I think about it constantly. I think about it every hour of every day. I think about it when I dodge full-length mirrors, refuse to go shopping and get embarrassed when I have to eat in front of others. I think about it when I avoid parties, cancel plans, and only let myself be photographed from the shoulders up. I think about it every time I try to figure out what to wear.
I absorb ridiculous fashion rules like a gullible yet stylish sponge; if you carry a large handbag, you'll look smaller. Black is slimming, white is a fail whale. Skinny leg jeans are for skinny-legged people. Inhaling will make your stomach look flat, so hold your breath forever and ever (alright, I made that last one up).
Comments like "fat isn't beautiful..." remind me why I feel this way.
At some stage in all our lives we are confronted by this lie. The lie that outer beauty is more important than having a glowing, glittering, dazzling heart. Yes, being healthy is important. Really important. But here’s the thing - pretty isn’t paramount!
People will try to convince you otherwise. They might be your friends, your family, the media, or a pesky hater lurking in your Facebook Newsfeed.
They will tell you that being beautiful means being a particular shape and size. They will tell you to measure your self-worth from how much attention you get from the opposite sex. They will tell you that your sexuality is more important than your mind, and that the size of your bra is more significant than the size of your heart. They will tell you that being a girl means looking, dressing, acting, speaking, thinking and feeling a certain way - that girlhood can simply be boiled down to the way you look and who you’re attracted to. They will tell you that you’re not good enough.
And sometimes, you will believe them.
But remember this - that’s all they are - lies. And the moment we start to uncover the truth, the lies will crack and crumble away.
And what is the truth?
You are worth more than your size. You are good enough. You are loved.
And not that you’re bragging or anything, but you’re pretty freaking amazing! (All right - you're bragging. But when you're that great, you're allowed to!)
Grab a marker and write it on your hand. I am good enough. I am loved. I am pretty freaking amazing. The more you see it, the more you’ll begin to believe it. Then slowly this most precious resource - the truth - will begin to trickle in and wash away the lies.
It’s something I have to remind myself constantly. But the next time someone tries to convince me that my worth comes from anywhere other than my big, shiny heart, I will politely request that they talk to the hand!