My identity as a fat woman is no secret, and I'm not ashamed of it. I bear my body with pride. However, not everyone feels the same way.
I recently posted on Facebook that I want anything emblazoned with “bride” to be changed to “fat bride.” This was met with a myriad of comments and calls, all from people who know my stance on my body.
My mother in particular always supports my fat pride, but clearly she's still very fatphobic and ashamed of fat bodies (herself being a plus sized woman) and wondered why I would want to label my self that way. I told her because it's part of my identity.
But still, within two weeks of being engaged, I was asked by numerous people how I intended to “shape up” for my wedding.
Yep, still fat.
I work at a bra boutique. (I definitely recommend getting sized by professional bra fitters before you go to any dress fittings! Chances are you're not what bra size you think you are.) Recently a soon-to-be-bride came in the day before her final fitting. She and I are similar in size and shape (26/28, tummy heavy). She wanted a basque, and she wanted to look like the plus size models in magazines, which, as much as she wants to, isn't going to happen with shapewear.
I spent over two hours with her trying everything we could, but in the end she wasn't totally satisfied with anything because she wasn't satisfied with herself.
When she learned I too was getting married, she asked what my plan was to “look better.” I shrugged and said, “Nothing. I'll be fat the day before my wedding, the day after my wedding, and during my wedding. I don't give a fuck anymore. Why should I? I am fat and beautiful. You can be both.”
She couldn't wrap her head around it, and it made me really sad.
Another time, a little girl was in with her mom, and since someone else was helping her mom, I was keeping the little girl busy. She saw my ring and started asking about my wedding. She then noticed my stretched lobes, and she was pretty freaked out by them. But her first reaction was “Did you do that for your wedding?” This seven-year-old girl already knows people go to extreme lengths to transform their bodies for their wedding. I was so horrified.
I understand wanting to look your best, but I don't understand wanting to look like someone you're not.
I guess I am so far along in my body positivity that I don't really understand just being able to move on from hating yourself. But I wish that more people could accept themselves, and accept that I am okay with me.