“Aw Fatty fatty!” The words punched me in the guts. I could feel the tightening in my throat as I held back my tears. I was ashame and humiliated.
Sadly, I was all too familiar with this feeling. It wasn’t the first time someone had pointed out the obvious whilst proceeding to squeeze my rounded cheeks...Heck, it wasn’t even first five times. It was instances like these which had me dieting from the age of about 8 or 9.
Naturally, diets set me up for a merry-go-round of failure and insecurity loomed over my head like a thunder cloud. Eventually, I educated myself on calorie intake and managed to drop my unwanted weight quite quickly whist simultaneously going through a growth spurt.
My life changed completely within a couple of months. The less I weighed, the more respect I gained. It was as if there was some sort of unseen spectrum. This is a lesson which has stuck with me. The interesting thing is that I was exactly the same person. I had the same personality and values, If anything, I was a little more self conscious because I noticed more eyes on me.
Although, I have grown up a lot and have managed to gain a lot more confidence in myself, I remember making a vow to my 10 year old self. I would never treat anyone differently based on something as trivial as how they looked.
I also realised that not everybody held this value. In the world in which I live, to have success, every woman is expected to not only have talent and skill but if she is also conventionally beautiful, she has the trifecta!
In fact, scrap the talent and skill. If a woman is conventionally beautiful, she can pretty much have it all. How sad!
It was always in the back of my mind. I was ingrained with the fear of being judged on the way I looked so I would pretend to be “one of those girls” a “perfect person”. This rang true particularly on social media. I would complain to my friends and family about how toxic and fake most people were on Instagram and instead of coming up with a solution, I just continued to play the game. I would see the comments rolling in from young girls and instead of feeling gratification from their admiration, I would feel a knot in my stomach. Who was this person I was portraying? I didn’t know her.
One morning I was desperately looking for a photo to upload. I was out of fresh out of perfect content . After scrolling for about half an hour, I came across a picture of myself from behind. I was by the pool in my leopard print bikini and the glorious summer sun was beaming down. I remember being horrified when I first saw this photo. Although all in all, it was a beautiful shot, my cellulite was very prominent and I felt it had ruined the entire picture. I remember desperately trying to "Facetune" my dimples out before the window to upload in prime time was over. That was in the moment I took a long hard look at myself. Who the hell did I think I was?! Why are we not allowed to have cellulite? I’m a woman after all; not a freaking barbie doll!
Immediately, I uploaded the picture (sans Facetune) and tossed my phone aside. I was done with Instagram. When I checked my profile a few hours later, I was moved to tears. Endless comments and messages from women and men cheering me on.
#kissmyfatass was born and from that moment it has been a breath of fresh air. I want to live in a world where we don’t have to pretend. I world without fear of being judged or persecuted for how you look. A world where human connection overrides virtual gratification.
...I know I’m not the only one.
Here are some links I recommend your readers to head to if they feel they need some direction on how to improve their body image.
Embrace Documentary by Taryn Brumfitt:
Iskra Lawrence TED talk
ABC article on overcoming bad body image:
Written by Amy Sheppard (@amysheppardpie) - Singer/Songwriter of Sheppard
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