I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: body positivity is a feminist movement.
Loving yourself is a feminist act.
Why? Why do I believe these statements to be true? Because as women we are often taught to become smaller. To shrink in the background. To let men lead. To not be forceful or bossy or strong or speak loudly and assuredly.
We are taught that only certain body types are “good” bodies, and that otherwise we should drown ourselves in baggy clothes, or starve ourselves to become smaller. Or if we’re already small, we’re taught to get boob jobs or “eat a burger” to put on some weight.
We are endlessly judged for our appearances and even paid less to do the same job — and larger women are paid even less than other women.
I called my book Fat Girl Power to emphasize empowerment, to give back strength to women — whether you’re fat or not — because we have to take back the power that is ripped from us, little by little, over a lifetime of fighting against society’s ideals of perfection, of pressures from our families and friends to conform, over the voices in our own heads that tell us we’re not good enough.
There are way too many messages floating around in the media right now that question whether certain things can or cannot be said about women, whether in seriousness or jest. I, for one, am sickened by an attitude that “boys will be boys” — to me, it’s not a huge step to go from speaking about women as if they are inconsequential to acting against women and expecting no consequences. It’s a dangerous and slippery slope.
Sadly, I can’t control what other people say. But I can fight back against it with my own words. I can proudly say that I won’t put up with derogatory talk, and I don’t want others around me to engage in it either.
And I can certainly keep that kind of negative talk out of my own head. I can fight voices that say I’m a member of the weaker sex, that say I’ll never do a job as good as a man, that say if I like sex I am a slut, that say if I dress a certain way then I am asking for it. I can be me, and encourage you to be you, and we can strut like the queens we know we are, and teach other women to do the same.