surprised? probably not.
we’re all human.
here’s my second confession…i’m a fat activist/body liberationist with body issues! no, really! much to my own chagrin, i’m frequently unable to leap over societal standards without a single care. there are days i wake up and wish there were things about my body that were different. i’ve learned to live, really live, in this body, not just survive. i do appreciate it and can see the beauty in its curves and dips. but damn…if my boobs were just that much smaller or my arms or my…you know.
i’ve been helping a friend with a project for the last couple months that’s involved the search for pictures of women my size and larger that show the beauty of the human body but aren’t gratuitously pornographic. and sadly, they are few and far between. there are lots and lots of pictures of women in what seems to be the “acceptable” range of plus size or “thick” with alluring poses and perfect lighting. they are “pinned” all over pinterest(c) with barely a nod at their defiance of “normalcy.” don’t get me wrong, this makes me happy. it means that the efforts of so many women and men to live in and love their bodies, not bending to societal standards and being vocal about how those standards are unacceptable is beginning to work. and its taken a really long time to see even just this much progress. but i want more. i need more. and i kinda need it now.
i need to see women my size without their tits hanging out and their legs spread. i need to see them with subtle lighting, in outdoor and indoor spaces, enjoying life. not spread eagle on a couch with a cupcake in their mouth. i need to know that the beauty of my body and other bodies like mine are not just being fetishized.
you might ask, why?
why do I need to see this and know this if i have learned to appreciate and also love (for the most part) the body i live in? because it helps others i love and care about see their bodies as beautiful too. because i’ve recently seen first hand how it empowers others to see their own body type in pictures that feel sexy and sensual, without being pornographic. because it helps keep me centered and focused on my activism. because it helps me believe that the person in my life/bed isn’t there just because of my body. because it sustains my soul and fuels my passion for a better, more accepting life for all of us.
just because, you know. and why the fuck not? we are all beautiful. every single one of us, in our similarities and in our differences. and we all deserve to see positive images of others who look like us, because it makes us feel like we belong. it comforts us. strengthens us. and emboldens us to live a more complete fulfilling life.
so, i’m calling you to action. i and so many others need you to do this. get out there…take pictures of yourself. share them. be bold. be beautiful. be strong.