YOU!

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Who Really Needs to Hear This?

Published July 15, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

A comment that was left on my last post has got me thinking.  ako says:

“Sadly, I suspect most of the people who need to hear this think “If you were capable of taking care of yourself, you wouldn’t be fat!” is an effective refutation.”

And ako is right that the majority of the anti-fat brigade will think that.  The more I do this fat activism stuff, the more I realise that fat haters and those who are set in the “But fat is unhealthy!” are not going to be persuaded by anything I say.  Because I am a fat person, and to them, fat is bad.  Plus I’m really, really tired of having to “prove” everything about myself to these people.  To be honest, I don’t care what they think.

But there is something I want to clarify in response to ako’s comment.

I don’t believe they are the people who need to hear what I have to say.  What many of us have to say in the fatosphere.

I believe the people who need to hear these things are you my dear readers.  But not just you, me as well.  I realised on thinking abou this for awhile, is that I want to talk to all of you out there, who feel like I felt (and still do feel sometimes).  I want to reach those of you who struggle with your self esteem.  I want to reach those of you who have bodies that the mainstream doesn’t approve of.  I want to reach those of you who feel like you are worthless because you are fat.  I want to reach those of you who have loved ones who are fat that you genuinely want to support without judgement based on their bodies.

I want to reach those of you who have felt desperate, worthless, alone, scared, worried, vulnerable, bullied, ashamed, depressed, frustrated, angry, hurt and suicidal because your bodies don’t meet some arbitrary standard of “normal”.

You matter to me.

I have felt all of those things at some point in my life because my body doesn’t meet that arbitrary standard, and I want you to know someone understands.  Someone else has felt what you are feeling.  Someone cares that you are feeling these things and wants to help you feel better about yourself.  Someone wants to help you find your voice.

That someone is me.

Because it wasn’t that long ago I was lost in a world that hates fat people and I found the fatosphere, and it saved my life.  A few years ago, the fatosphere* gave me an alternative perspective to consider.  They gave me the tools to understand what was happening around me.  They gave me evidence, language and information that I could use to think about how I felt and what I needed to do to bring myself out of that dark place of self loathing and worthlessness.  But most importantly, they helped me find my voice.  They helped me realise that I actually have a voice and helped me find ways to use it.  I cannot tell you how empowering that is.

Finding that voice is what has improved my life far beyond anything else.  It is what guided me to find the confidence and self esteem I have today.  And I believe that with confidence and self esteem, one can face everything that life throws at them with a whole lot more resilience than without.  That doesn’t mean everything becomes wine and roses, it just means that you’re able to stand up for yourself, you’re able to let go of other people’s negativity and problems and focus on your own needs and growth.

I want all of you to have it too.  

I believe the real beauty of a strong self esteem – the more you have, the more you want to give to others.  But even better still, the stronger someone’s self esteem is, and I mean real self esteem, not self importance, the less judgmental they are about the arbitrary things in world around them.  The stronger the self esteem, the less likely one is to judge others for their bodies, appearance, gender, race, faith, age, sexuality, physical ability, health and so on.  All those things cease to be so important when you feel strong and confident in yourself.  What becomes important are things like respect, equality, humour, intelligence, fun, balance and creativity.

I’m here doing this for you.  You deserve it.

*And to share the tools that helped me, I’m building on my blog-roll over there on the right.  I’ll be adding more as time progresses, so keep your eye on it!
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Dear You

Published March 7, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Yes, you.  Yeah… the person reading this.  I need you to know something.

There is nothing wrong with how you look.

There isn’t.  Not a single thing.  No, there’s nothing wrong with your butt.  Or your belly.  Your hair is fine, seriously.  Who cares if you’ve got tuckshop lady arms, or skinny arms, or any other kind of arms, they’re fine too.  That body hair you’re hating on so much?  It’s alright too – nothing wrong with that.  What did you say?  Your thighs rub and are dimply?  So?  Mine do too, lot’s of people’s do.  You’ve got zits?  Well, skin does that sometimes.  Double chins?  Perfectly acceptable, I would even say cute.  Come on, everything that you think is terribly wrong with you… it’s not.

Your toes, your feet, your ankles, your calves, your knees, your thighs, your genitals, your hips, your butt, your belly, your boobs, your back, your shoulders, your arms, your elbows, your hands, your fingers, your neck, your chin, your mouth, your nose, your eyes, your ears, your cheeks, your head, your  hair… all perfectly fine to look at.

Yes they are.

When I see you, yes, I’m talking to YOU, in a photo, on the street, at work, on the internet, at a friend’s house, in a shop, at a school, wherever I see you, I don’t see those things that you think are hideous.  I see you, a human being.  Nothing about you makes me recoil in horror at the mere sight of you.  No, not even you there, hiding in the corner.

All those things that magazines and advertising and TV and music videos etc tell you aren’t good enough about you, that’s bullshit.  They are designed to make you feel bad about yourself so that you’ll buy more stuff.  They lie to you on purpose.  They make lots of money by lying to you.

Oh I know, there have been people who have pointed out things about you and carried on like they’re hideous, disgusting, gross.  They do it to me too.  But guess what?  There’s something wrong with THEM, not you.  There’s something wrong with people who need to humiliate other people because they look different.  There is something wrong with people who feel the need to point out other’s “flaws”, as if they themselves don’t have any.  They are the flawed ones, the broken ones, not you.  They are the ones that need to change themselves, not you.

You hold your head high.  Wear what you want, when you want.  Live your life how you want, and what works for you and those you care about, not how anyone else thinks you “should” live it.  Don’t hold back.  Don’t wait until something changes about you.  Do it right now.

If you want to change something, then change it for YOU, and only YOU.  Nobody else has the right to tell you that something about you doesn’t look good, or right, or enough.  Only you have that power, and only if you are doing it for what you think, not what other people think.  Do you want to change something about your appearance?  Ask yourself, “Why do I want to change this?”  If it’s because other people say it’s not good enough, or even what you think other people might say or think, then ask yourself “Why does what someone else’s opinion of me get to dictate what I do to myself?”  Remember, if someone is criticising you for how you look, the problem is with THEM, not with you.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough.  You ARE good enough, every one of you.  As you are, right now, this minute.

But most of all, remember that no matter who you are comparing yourself to, not a single person on this earth is more perfect than you are.

Love,

Kath

P.S.  Here’s a song for you:

(Just a heads up, it has swear words and images in the clip, probably not safe for work or kiddies)

What Do YOU Want To Talk About?

Published March 11, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Ok, through a couple of other places online I’ve had some suggestions about subjects that you lovely folks would like me to tackle here on this blog.

So I’m throwing the floor open with this post.  In the comments, I’d like YOU (yes, you, reading this right now!) to tell me the topics around fat acceptance, self esteem, living as a fat person, confidence, health for fatties, clothing for fatties, depression/mental-emotional health for fatties and so on that you would like to hear more about.

I can’t promise that I’ll be very knowledgeable on anything in particular, but we can get talking about it.

Remember my rules on commenting (trolls, douchebags and troublemakers will be deleted without ever seeing the light of day) and keep to the general topic of this blog.  It’s a pretty broad topic you have to work with.

Don’t be shy, I know you’re all out there reading cos I can see the stats on WordPress!

The floor is open!