In a world obsessed with the thin ideal, this topic gets thrown my way often. I own a plus-size lingerie boutique in San Jose, CA and have a pretty amazing online community and local following. It seems that often, the common thought is that we are all just waiting to become skinny to really be happy. I mean, how can you be FAT and HAPPY? We all want to be a size 00, right? I mean, like really deep down inside we are all just waiting for that magic pill to take us to skinny-land so we can start living our lives, right?
I am fat and I am ridiculously happy. That may just be my personality. My career does involve coaching plus size women to seize the day and embrace their curves. I coach them to be fat and proud; to celebrate the pleasure their fat bodies are capable of -- so maybe that makes me happy. I do not have the proverbial "skinny girl" inside me just dying to escape. I think that is such sad and tired cliché. It's a boring stereotype that needs to die a quick death.
It's assumed that all of us plus-size people are sad, desperate and lonely but I am here to tell you, that is so far from true. I personally know thousands of fat men and women and am in touch with over 167,000+ fat people on a daily basis thanks to my social media community and I can tell you that we are living our lives. LIVING OUT LOUD! We are dating and married. We are single, queer, poly, straight, married, gay and having lots and lots of amazingly connected and intimate relationships and lots of hot sex.
Yes, FAT bodies have hot sex.
The world and the media do not like to see fat bodies in sexual situations for some reason. My followers, customers and I are on mission to show that all bodies are sexy, sexual and beautiful. We are worthy of love and sex. We deserve all of the pleasure we can get our fat little hands on. I will not be denied and I will not allow my fat customers, friends and community to be denied.
Fat people hike, we date, we fight with our lovers, we write books, we teach, we go bowling, we drink wine, we celebrate birthdays, we work in corporate offices, we have kids, we have pets, we pole dance, we hula and some of us are self-employed. We make up 67 percent of the population. That many people cannot be sitting around all sad and lonely. We are powerful. We are vulnerable. We are the targets of online hatred and shaming. We are consumers and we will speak with our dollars. We will not be hiding in the shadows any longer.
When I surveyed our customers to ask them if they are fat AND happy, I was overwhelmed with responses. We're all in a different place in our journey and their responses mirrored that. Some of the people surveyed still believe they have to diet and take up less space to be loved and accepted. Some of the people who responded are extremely happy and love every inch of their bodies and their lives. I heard from many people who are survivors or eating disorders and verbal abuse from their families and friends during their lifetime. I suspect if you polled "thin" people, you would get the same results. It's the human condition.
Liker Alicia Green shared with me:
It took me a long time to accept myself. I hated myself. Hated how I looked, how much I weighed, everything about me. In middle school and high school I was teased and bullied every day, even pushed down the stairs once. I have been suicidal and cut myself because of the bullying about my weight. I tried to lose weight but I only gained more.
I would hide when I could but the bullying didn't stop until after I finally realized that even being fat I am beautiful. I'm 28 years old and just in the last four years I have accepted myself for the person I am. I am not my weight or my size. I am a wife to a loving man. I am a mother to a beautiful 18 month old daughter. I am a friend and a college graduate. I may be fat but i am beautiful.
I hear this exact same story over and over. It's way too common. I think we can all agree that she deserves to feel happy and beautiful in her fat body. She's one of the lucky one's to make it over to the happy side. So proud of Alicia.
Another customer (who wants to remain anonymous) shared,
I was fat and unhappy. I had gastric bypass, lost 200 pounds and am still unhappy. Not with life, but with myself, inside and out. The first time I got hit on as a smaller person, I went home ashamed and crying. I didn't know how to handle it. Bottom line is, you can't be happy, skinny or fat, until you're honest and happy with you.
So many times, we are conditioned to think that as soon as we lose the weight to become "thin" we are going to magically become instantly happy. There is no magic pill to becoming a happy person. No diet and no specific number on the scale can make you happy. You have to decide that you are going to own your curves and your fat. You hate to decide you are not going to give one little ounce of concern to how other people judge you. You have no control over their opinions. You have to stop giving their opinions so much space in your head.
What strangers or toxic family members think of your body is truly none of your business. And, if you do have toxic family and friends in your life, do not be afraid to divorce them. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people who are supportive, non-judgemental and who want to bring light to your life -- fat or thin. They love you and support you unconditionally.
I have been fat since the third grade and I am about to turn 47. I like to say I am obsessed with living, not obsessed with dieting. I always endeavor to be healthy, move my body, have lots of hot sex, and laugh a lot. My own curvy heart is filled with love for all of the curvy women and men that I come in contact with. And, though some of my friends or family may have it in their minds that I do have a skinny person inside of me trying to escape, I really don't.
Kalesha Peterson has a similar sentiment:
There has never been a skinny girl inside of me. Not everyone was meant to be a skinny girl. I can't even imagine how boring that would be. I love every ounce of myself, my fat doesn't define me as a person. My fat gives me the opportunity to laugh at everyone struggling to be skinny. What nonsense. Who has time to hate on themselves? Not me, I am proud of who I am, fat and all. These curves are dangerous, and my guy loves every pound of me too.
Fat bodies deserve all of the respect and love that smaller bodies deserve. We deserve to see bodies that look like ours in the media. We should expect to see sexy plus-sized bodies that are desired and that are fully realized sexual and sensual beings. Sixty seven percent of Americans are plus sized, but 99 percent of the bodies you see in the media or not plus sized.
I am going to end this with some feed back from "Emily" in Michigan. Emily shares,
I've been skinny. It took a lot of pain, a narcotics addiction, and the belief that I was wholly undesirable unless I wore a certain size or was at or below a certain weight. I've been fatter than I am now. It took a lot of pain, deep depression, and the belief that I was wholly undesirable because I was a certain size or was at or above a certain weight. And then, I figured out that I was a person, who was wholly desirable, because I wasn't just a size or a number.
When you are at peace with your size, you are in a position of power. That is when you can learn to be happy WHILE fat and sexy at every size. When you are at peace with your body (fat or thin) as it exists this very moment in time, you just might be happy, too.