So today I ran across an ad from an Australian health magazine looking for “body image-spiration from confident women!” Well, that’s me!
Turns out, I am not their vision of a confident woman. Apparently that descriptor doesn’t apply to those of us outside their target range of sizes 12-16. I find that a bit appalling and unpleasant. What does my size have to do with my confidence level? In the months since I gave up hating my body for being too fat for society and stopped trying to change my body to conform to unrealistic societal standards, I’ve grown to see just how prevalent this debilitating trend is for women. We do not only have worth when we are below a size 12. We do not only have worth when others tell us we have worth. We are not beautiful because we have an athletic frame. We are beautiful because we exist.
So I responded to the notice. I doubt I’ll hear from them, but that’s beside the point because they needed to hear from me.
As a size 32, I rock my swimsuit. I love my body because I no longer believe that my body is anything but deserving of love, respect, and dignity, and I no longer believe that my value is based on an arbitrarily numbered one-inch square of fabric sewn into my clothes. Apparently, however, you don’t share my sentiments as you have locked your size requirements at 16. Basically this screams to me and so many other folks that you believe that those of us outside those very narrow parameters don’t have the right to wear swimsuits, or that if we choose to wear them, we could not possibly “rock” them, as you’ve put it.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I behold beauty as something so much deeper than just a body size. That is the shallowest determinant of anything. Body size and shape tell you nothing of the person inside. Beauty is who you are. How do you treat people? Are you interested in others, or only yourself? Do you believe in yourself? Do you judge others based on superficial characteristics? Do you have integrity? Do you choose to do the right thing even when it’s difficult? Beauty is strength, passion, courage, energy, positivity, and so much more. Beauty has nothing to do with what’s on the outside.
Am I fat? You bet your butt I am. I’m also healthy, beautiful, kind, sensitive, passionate, courageous, bold, positive….the list just grows. That is what makes me beautiful, and it has nothing to do with a size or a swimsuit. Peace.