I’m not chubby. I’m not big-boned or overweight or round. And I am definitely not “plus size.” I am fat, and while I’m by no means proud of this, I’m also not ashamed. Of course I’m supposed to be, according to medical experts, fashion magazines and every asshole I’ve ever met, but I’ve never been good at listening to other people when they tell me who I should be.
But just because I don’t listen, it doesn’t mean I don’t hear. I’m aware of the fat jokes that have followed me since sixth grade and the not-so-subtle comments that I could probably be more “normal” if I started eating celery for every meal. I’d be lying if I said this kind of stuff isn’t what fueled the plethora of insecurities about myself and my body that I’ve carried around with me since I was old enough to understand why boys didn’t want to hold my hand on the playground.
And then, of course, the same people who make the jokes and the comments try to cover their own tracks by saying Don’t let your ugly on the outside dim how beautiful you are on the inside.
Well, guess what. My outside, with it’s rolls and bumps and scars, is beautiful. And I let it define me every day because my weight and my body and my fat is still a part of me. It allows people to judge my book by its cover and then I can see who thinks the story is still worth reading. It tells the people I meet that I am not the type of girl who’s afraid to eat the second half of the custard-filled doughnut. My fat has taught me that there are boys who will think it’s gross that you have a crush on them, but that there also might be boys who think your body is just another part to love.
And it tells me that I am strong enough, in this body that society has deemed I should apologize for, to still find the belief in myself to keep dreaming and being exactly who I am.
Why wouldn’t I want something like that to define me?