Four times over the past two working days, my outfits (that of Friday and today, Monday), have been described as “flattering”. I know it was meant as a compliment, but each time someone said, it made me cringe. Because what that really means is, that I look less fat in them than I do other outfits. Both days I happened to wear mostly black, which we all know tricks the eye out of noticing changes in surface shape, because it’s a solid, dark colour. I didn’t wear them to be flattering, I wore them because I had accessories in great bold colours that I wanted to show off, and because I love the individual pieces of clothing.
I read this post the other day about minimising body jiggle, and it really bugged me. Why should fat women hide that our bodies jiggle and move? Why should we hide the bumps and lumps and curves and rolls that make up our bodies? Because they offend other people’s eyes? Tough shit I say!
This is the thing. A person’s body is their body. They should never have to hide it or be ashamed of it, make it look less or more than it actually is, change it to please others, strap it in, smooth it down, camouflage it, restrain it, modify it. Unless they want to for themselves and nobody else.
Every single human body shape and size is beautiful in some way. The human body is an incredible thing to behold, and I believe that we don’t honour it in the way that we should. We batter our bodies, trying to get them to submit. We starve them, ignore them, over-work them, under-relax them, you name it. All because we want them to be something other than what they are.
I think we should let our bodies jiggle, if they have jiggles. We should celebrate their shape, no matter what shape they are. We should show them love and compassion. And more than anything, we should be kind to our bodies. We need them to propel us through life.
Wear your lumpy bits, your jiggly bits, your rolly bits, your bumpy bits with pride. Each bump, lump, jiggle, and roll is part of who you are and worthy of your love.
I wish I could find a clip from The Simpsons I love, where Homer Simpson is mowing the lawn on a ride-on mower, wearing tiny, tiny shorts, with a sign that says “Jiggling for Justice”. I love that bit. Instead I found this one that says it all pretty well: