body positivity

I WILL ALWAYS BE FAT

I know what you’re thinking: “Bold title choice, Em.” But here’s the thing. Why is “fat” a bold word? As humans, we casually stray away from using words like “fat” to describe what someone actually is. Being afraid of the word only deepens the stigma that surrounds it– that fat is bad. When one of your girlfriends is getting ready in your bathroom and you hear her say, “This skirt makes me look fat” and you respond with, “No it doesn’t! You’re not fat,” you are only contributing to the notion that fat is bad and we should be afraid of it. Why are we afraid of being fat? Women grow up in this world surrounded by media that idolizes thin bodies over fat ones. It’s the institutional shaming of anyo...

THIS QUESTION CHANGED MY LIFE

I used to live in fear. Fear of failure. Fear of falling. Fear of not being pretty enough. Fear of not being lovable. Fear of judgment. Fear was my teacher. Of course, I didn’t know Fear was my teacher at the time. But it was. Fear taught me I better go out of my way to do things to make others like me, for others to think I’m successful, for others to think I’m “perfect,” otherwise… who am I? What is my worth? A major way it showed up in my life was through dieting. At the core of it all, I feared that if I didn’t look a certain way, nobody would love me. I never left the house without my hair and makeup done. I dressed in a way to hide any “problem spots.” I created strict rules around food and exercise. Every day, I woke up with the goal of “staying in line” today. “Don’t mess up, Jules...

WHAT A BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT TAUGHT ME ABOUT MY BODY

For the last five or six years, I have wanted to be a nude model for an artist or art class. I’ve dreamed of my rubinesque body being sketched or (if I was really lucky) painted. When I lived in Chicago, I reached out to dozens of art schools, workshops and even individual professors, offering my services. I never got a response. Since then, I’ve periodically perused Craigslist to see if anyone was hiring nude models, but that always brought up really creepy posts. I’d been passively hoping for an opportunity to come up when I stumbled upon Anessa Charlotte’s Intagram. I saw that Anessa did a boudoir photoshoot with someone else I follow on Instagram, Stephanie Sheldon. Her shoot was very tasteful and modest. Stephanie is the founder and owner of multiple local companies; so I was very imp...

A PLUS IN A MINUS WORLD

I’ve dealt with my body image my whole life. I was bullied in elementary school for being on the chubby side, but lost the baby weight during 5th grade. You would think I would’ve been ecstatic that now I lost the baby fat and had the “perfect” body, right? Wrong. I’ve always felt ashamed of my clothing size; I was always the one that was the biggest size in my class, unable to raid my friends’ closets because I was fitting into size medium tops and size 5 jeans at 12 years old while my friends were barely entering womanhood. Eleven years later and the stigma of being the biggest size still exist, feeling like a plus in a minus world, especially in the blogging world. Even though the world of blogging is not the world of modeling, let’s be real: bloggers are put into either a “normal” or “...

STOP COMPLIMENTING YOUR FRIEND ON HER BODY

It was Friday night, my friends and I had just finished dinner and we were excited to spend a night out on the town. We did what all girls do when they get ready – turn on some music, ask each other for outfit advice and slowly nurse our red solo cups of cheap wine. It had been the first time I had seen my girlfriends from college in seven months. Naturally, we were excited to relive our time together but I couldn’t shake this unwelcome wave of insecurity. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time. What triggered it? My friend, who for the sake of the story we’ll call Carrie (for some odd reason we have an ongoing debate on who is which Sex and the City character). Carrie began to point out what she liked about all our bodies, which sounds weird from an outsiders’ perspectiv...

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