At the age of eleven during a regular doctor visit was the first time my body size became a problem. That's when I stepped on the scale and the number was above the normal BMI range for my age and height. This was during the 1990’s, a time where fad dieting was booming in main stream media. Suzanne Somers, Slim Fast and Jenny Craig were household names. To be a fat child during that time meant a lot of shame, bullying, and the beginning of a lifetime of dieting and no self worth.
I remember watching Oprah Winfrey on TV after I got home from school and thinking to myself that even this incredibly successful and powerful woman who is on top of the entertainment industry - even she can’t escape the judgement. No matter what Oprah’s lifetime achievements were, people still focused on her weight loss to the point where she became almost like a weight loss mascot. No matter how successful she was she still wheeled out a wagon full of fat like it was an Oscar award. So what chance did I have to be accepted by society the way I am?
We don’t get to see fat people have fun, find love, be on a podium, or walk down the runway in mainstream media - but we exist and we deserve those things just like everyone else. We are made to believe that shrinking our body is the gateway to fulfillment but I am here to tell you that it’s not true. The lack of representation makes you think that fat people living joyfully just don't exist.
I’m choosing to take up space and be visible as a fat woman, living my life to the fullest with as much joy and pleasure as possible in a world that would prefer I stay hidden or shrink myself into the socially acceptable body worthy of fulfillment. I share my stories but they are not unique. They are simply stories of life in a fat body.