This is why we need not just body positivity but Fat Positivity; because confidence can be a serious struggle when it feels like the world is pitted against you. Self-love is a delicate practice that takes years to perfect. The important thing is to authentically build your self-esteem – however long that may take – because you are valid and your Fat body is worthy of love.
Similar to many of my fellow Fats, I am someone who has always been naturally quite confident to the point where I feel a hint of anger whenever someone compliments it. After all, you don’t say to Beyoncé, “I just really admire your confidence,” because – duh – she’s Beyoncé. So when a Fat person gets compliments on being “confident” or “brave” for thriving in a world that considers their existence to be offensive, it can seem like a backhanded compliment. It’s like saying, “Wow, if I were you, I’d hate myself. But you don’t. That’s amazing.” Excuse me??
There is nothing brave about our existence, yet our existence is nothing but bravery. Not to get all Siddhartha on you but – what I mean is – going out into the world knowing full well that you are going to face backlash for merely existing takes a lot of courage. Some days, cultivating a healthy self-esteem can be one of the hardest things you have to do that day.
No matter your natural confidence level, we all have those days where we don’t feel like the badest b**** in the room. Whereas we may not be Beyoncé, we can sure as hell try to feel like her. So here are 5 ways you can boost your plus size confidence for when those days come:
Separate weight from worth.
Diet culture and beauty standards give us a big list of reasons to sink into a trap of self-hate. We are conditioned to believe that gaining weight is bad and losing weight is good – but what if we separated our weight from our value as people. That means not beating yourself up when the scale rises. Repeat after me: “Losing weight is not your life’s purpose.” Therefore, you are not a failure or any less of a person if you fail to do so.
Give beauty standards the middle finger.
Despite what the media portrays, there are Fats who don’t have flat stomachs or wide hips, broad shoulders or big beards, and who don’t identify with hyper-feminine and hyper-masculine archetypes. There is obviously something wrong with beauty standards; therefore, they should get a big dose of your middle finger. Wear what you want to wear, act how you want to act – be true to yourself. Don’t dress or look a certain way because you think you ought to; do it because you want to!
Find something you love about yourself – physically.
The power of loving your personality, values, and sense of humor should not be taken for granted, but there is a special kind of confidence that comes with loving at least one physical aspect of yourself. I’m talking about the confidence that comes when you know you look amazing – that little pep in your step you get when you feel like the sh**. Whether you’ve gotten a new haircut, finished a good workout, beat your face to perfection, or whatever makes you feel like the most accurate representation of your inner self, being proud of your physicality can make your day so much brighter.
Tell your haters to f*** off.
There are times when negativity just rolls off our backs but when we are feeling less-than-confident, slight words and behaviors aimed to belittle our self-esteem can do a world of damage. During times like these, you have the right to defend yourself from people who say things that are counterproductive to your search for self-love. Say, “You know what, Karen, you’re really f***ing up my vibe right now,” then walk away. Because you don’t need someone’s hurtful sh** in your life. Even if you don’t feel like you are on you’re A-game, give yourself the respect you deserve to not put up with people’s emotionally abusive behavior.
Own your flaws.
Forgive the parts you don’t like and work to love them. Everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, but instead of focusing on trying to change it or feeling guilty for its existence, try to love these flaws. If they are not reflective of who you are as a person, aim to develop it in a healthy way, but realize that some things are capable of change and some are not. It’s up to you to decide which aspects of your flaws can be developed and which should be accepted with pride.
As RuPaul says…
Words to live by.