Below is a blog post I wrote around 2am this morning after mulling over some sad thoughts and recent events in the back of a cab minutes beforehand. It’s an ongoing, random, sad stream of consciousness which is probably why it doesn’t make much sense and reads as incredibly disjointed, frantic and slightly manic if we’re being honest.
After sleeping on it, I woke up this morning with the intention of deleting the post, as upon reading it back, you can see how insecure and almost…scared I sound; but I thought I would upload the piece as an example to show that even though those of us with platforms are all about self confidence, high self esteem and encouraging others to live their best lives, we still have days when we feel insecure, sad, unworthy and unwanted too. I’ve also added some cute self portraits of my body in Calvin Kleins though because I look wonderful in them so..it kinda balances it out now. Teehee.
One of the most annoying things about existing in a bigger body, is the constant stream of lies you’re fed growing up. Let me explain:
I have a friend who is a size 16 at best. She is incredibly fatphobic. She has spent her entire adulthood dieting and trying to shift the weight and she feels that she is perpetually single because of her size (and because she is extremely controlling and vindictive, but that’s another story). She would often talk about dieting and ‘treating’ herself in front of me, and would constantly complain about getting fat. Like, I get it babe – you find the very idea of potentially looking like me frightening and terrifying. Wind your neck in. Anyhoo, whenever I would go to this friend and talk about my own perpetual singledom and that I’m scared I will never find someone who would want to be with me, she would always respond by saying:
“But babe! You’re stunning. You’re gorgeous. You’ll find a man that loves you for you one day! Never ever change a thing about how you look because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!”
The next day, this same friend will lament that no man will look at her because of her “fat”belly (bearing in mind she is several sizes smaller than me).
Calvin Klein Cotton Bralette & Brief Set – buy here
So…what is the truth Karen? Does beauty come in all sizes, or will I be forever alone because of my body type? We have since ended the friendship as “Karen” turned out to be incredibly toxic.”Karen” isn’t alone in this; it’s a piece of advice that I have been hearing my entire life. I could form a bloody bingo grid with the amount of times I’ve heard the following:
“You’re stunning as you are”
“You’ll find someone who will love you for you”
“There are PLENTY of men out there who prefer bigger women!”
“You just have to be confident. It’s the sexiest thing in the world”
I’ve heard it from friends and family members and I’m sure you have too but…it’s all a lie. Because in the same vein, the same people will then go on to be incredibly fatphobic and physically recoil at the thought of having a body that even resembles mine. What is the truth? Do you think all bodies are beautiful? Or just the acceptably fat bodies you deem fuckable?
Equally, I’ve had guys who I have been interested in (a feat that happens incredibly rarely actually) who have said to me, “oh you’re an amazing person Steph, you’re (insert amazing attribute here) and (insert another attribute here) but I just can’t be with you” and I later find out that it was to do with how I looked. My ex went down a whole list of my alleged ‘amazing’ attributes WHILE breaking up with me (which I later found out again was to do with how I looked) and it again causes me to wonder why people lie and honestly it was one of the most confusing periods of my life. This man was literally singing my praises and citing me as the reason his life had improved tenfold, yet he still didn’t want me.
If I’m this incredible, amazing person who you ‘allegedly’ like being around, why am I not good enough for you? If I’m so wonderful, why am I not wonderful enough to date? If you feel great when you’re around me because of this somewhat positive effect I have around you, why don’t you want me? What is the truth? Am I this amazing, wonderful person or do you just not want to be seen with me?
The answer: because of how I look. But people don’t like to say it out loud, for fear or making themselves sound like dickheads. No one wants to be seen as shallow, especially when they highlight a preference for people who aren’t “aesthetically acceptable” because they already know that we have it hard as it is. They don’t want to be seen to be contributing to our shitty lack of love life or social life.
I think that when you’re fat (or when you exist in a body that society does not deem to be aesthetically pleasing), our moment of self-actualisation is often a lot sweeter than someone who exists in what we’ll call for the moment a ‘societally privileged’ body, as we have to wade through this cesspit of lies people feed to us in our everyday lives about our appearance and how that links to our worth as human beings, friends, lovers and responsible adults.
When we eventually arrive at the moment where we are able to love ourselves and realise “actually, I’m not that bad and my body does not determine my worth”, it’s a huge win not only for you, but the people who exist in bodies similar to you. I just wish we didn’t have to do all this extra work though. I understand that people will tell little white lies in order to make us feel better about ourselves, but when you contradict the lies, it makes it harder for us to know where we stand.
I’ve had to work extremely hard to train myself not to like, or have crushes on men over the last two and a half years because I know exactly how things tend to turn out, especially if I really like someone. Sure I’ve gone on the odd date with people I thought were cute and had no real interest in, but all those dates have ended disastrously which almost always has to do with how I look.
It’s part of the reason why I have this huge barrier against my heart, and the reason why I detest the dating scene at times. I think I’m great. This person also thinks I’m great. But person doesn’t want to see me. Person then goes on to be fatphobic or fetishy in some way. This causes me to think ‘well…am I really awesome? Am I just a joke? Or a story to tell your mates? Will I ever find someone who will truly like me for me, or is it just a myth? A lie told by these people to keep us feeling good about ourselves? We’ll never know I guess, but for future’s sake, we’d all know where we stood a bit better in the world if people were just honest about their thoughts surrounding how we look or where we stood.
I would like to eventually one day fall in love and experience how it feels to be truly loved and desired unconditionally in return (must be nice), but until there’s proof that I’m not just a fetish, a pity date or a contestant in your ‘I dated/slept with a fat girl once!’ story, I’ll never really know what the truth is and these walls will continue to build around myself, I suppose. Regardless of all of the above however, I still know that I am amazing, regardless of how I look.