Celebrate Your Body with These 3 Sources
Body Positivity in a Severe Time of Fat Shaming
Body positivity is so important, especially now more than ever. With the current pandemic and isolation protocols across the globe, there have been a plethora of memes popping up on the internet "poking fun" at fat bodies, and advising individuals to make sure that they don't "let themselves go" or "get fat" while in isolation at home. As a larger woman who has been in a smaller body and experienced the level of privilege and stigma at each size, and as a woman who is in recovery from, and has been struggling with, an eating disorder that has evolved for over 10 years, I find this fat shaming extremely insulting and damaging.
In our culture, being fat is seen as the worst possible thing that a person can be. I have experienced numerous times in my life, but never more than when I gained weight in my early 20s due to several medications I am on, and instead of focusing on my achievements (like, for instance, how I am a published author, an owner of several businesses, and have my Masters in Social Work) it was my change in body size that was highlighted and criticized by others. I have been told that "I have stopped taking care of myself" and that "I have let myself go" when that couldn't be further from the truth. My natural body size is larger than what society deems "acceptable", and it is something that I am still fighting to accept every minute of every day.
There is nothing more damaging than being criticized for ones body and believing that ones appearance is more important than who that person actually is. I have experienced multiple suicidal episodes due to my struggles with my identity, self-esteem, and severe depression, which have been heavily influenced by the harassment I have experienced my entire life in regards to my body.
And that is why I wanted to share three body positive sources to combat the negative fat shaming that is claiming our current atmosphere. You deserve to celebrate the body you are in no matter if it is right now, in the future, or in the past - and self-love costs nothing.
1) The Body Positive Meme
I love this meme because it highlights how you are starting a revolution when you choose to love your body. By loving your body you are rejecting a culture that says "your body can always be improved".
Not yet ready to say that you love your body? No problem! Start small. Pick one body part and thank it for taking care of you. Repeat this every time you think bad thoughts about your body. You will amazed at how better you feel after challenging your negative thoughts.
Be sure to check out my interview with Lindley Here!
3) The Body Positivity Video: Demi Lovato on Bulimia and Body Positivity
Demi Lovato and I have a shockingly similar experience. I have struggled with Bulimia for many, many years and I used to kill myself with workouts to try and maintain a body type that was hazardous to my health - but "acceptable to society". I ADORE how candid Demi is, and she has helped me with my own body image and self-love as well. I hope her interview with Ashley Graham brings you as much inspiration as it did me!
In this time of stress and fat shaming, I hope that my three social media sources bring you inspiration and love!
Please do whatever you can to take care of yourself during this time. You, more than anyone else, deserve your love and affection. <3
Ashley Nestler is a Bibliotherapist and a survivor of Schizoaffective Disorder, OCD, Quiet Borderline Personality, Fibromyalgia,multiple eating disorders, and C-PTSD. Ashley has dedicated her life to books and advocating for mental health.