'REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES' I see plastered across my social media timelines, sometimes even posted on my wall by people trying to grab my attention thinking that I, as a chubbier woman, will agree and cheer to the applause of men tipping their fedora's and girls trying to emphasise their asses while calling other people 'skinny bitches'. This is a common theme that's unfortunately echoed throughout the media at the moment ; tThe blurred lines between body confidence and body shaming.
I have a massive ass, and boobs and i like to wear clothing that resembles Julia Roberts before she fell into the arms of Richard Gere on the Hollywood Strip. I like to show it off. Do I think that anyone without that confidence or an ass should be shamed? NO. However, due to me posting photos of said ass on instagram, a lot of people seem to think that me finally being happy with my body now that i'm a bit heavier ( as opposed to when i was a good 4 stone lighter and suffering both physically and mentally at the hands of an eating disorder) means that I can shame anyone thinner than myself. I'm not even sure what I find more upsetting, the fact that people this is okay or that I have to constantly remind people who have been 'inspired' by my posts that putting others down has NOTHING to do with self-confidence.
Here's a little something about me - As a teenager I was deeply unhappy with my appearance. Most teenagers are right? Well, I have a bit of an obsessive personality so hating myself turned into full blown starving myself, hurting myself both physically and mentally and crying myself to sleep every single night. I was convinced I was huge, I was convinced I was disgusting and the only thing I cared about was my weight. I remember my dad had 'weight gain' protein powder in the fridge and I accidentally drank a sip thinking it was milkshake, I then remember finding out, screaming crying and having uncontrollable panic attacks and then spending the whole night and the next day forcing myself to throw up until there was nothing left. I also remember a week later being hospitalised after my kidneys were hours away from failing, blacking out every single day for months and I remember my poor parents sitting me down and crying, telling me that if I didn't start eating, my organs were going to give up.
I look back at photos now and realise that I was tiny, my size 8 jeans were falling off of me and the reason my boobs didn't come through was because my body completely under-nourished. I get tears in my eyes even thinking about how obsessive I was when it came to wearing certain clothing because I was convinced that everything made me look huge and that I would be eternally happy if I was thin. I was wrong.
Now, at 22 i'm a size 12/14, I have a little double chin that appears when I laugh too hard, I can't find jeans to fit me because my ass to waist ratio is ridiculous and sometimes I get scared to sit down on folding chairs in case they collapse, but i'm happier than ever. I'm not sure what changed in myself, I'm not sure whether I woke up one day and thought 'fuck this' or whether the problems I had as a teen were somewhat temporary, but being happy with myself has made my life 2292839 times better.
But this is where the blurred lines start :
After gaining a lot of body confidence and trying to spread the positive 'vibes' around on my social media accounts, i've been told to 'get some self-respect' 'stop being such an arrogant prick' and to 'get my head out of my ass'.
You know what? No. I have enough respect for myself and everything I do to be happy with my myself. Being confident doesn't mean I think i'm better than anyone else, I don't think i'm any more attractive than anyone else because i've got a small waist and a fat ass, and i certainly won't stop being self obsessed. BUT I will never put other body types down just because they're not similar to mine, so i certainly will no agree with your 'real women have curves' bullshit.
Curvy is a shape not a size - and some people aren't curvy. Some people have lovely toned bodies, flat chests and beautiful long thin legs and arms, some people even look like little round human balls of joy, does that mean that they are any less female or should feel less of a woman for that? NO.
Everybody comes in different shapes, different sizes and of course, everyone has preferences when it comes to being attracted to people. There is nothing wrong with any of that, we all have a type and as much as we would like to think that personality plays a key part in that, physical attraction is important to us all. But do you know what isn't okay? Trying to put down someone else's physical appearance in order to validate your own self worth or personal preferences.
Finding confidence in yourself has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. If you're uploading photos of yourself with captions shaming opposite body types, you need to re-think your own insecurities and self validation. Some people don't find happiness until they have lost or gained weight, some people never find it due to the horrific body shaming that is plastered all over the media and some people completely mis-judge the whole concept of body confidence completely.
NO-ONE ELSES BODY IS YOUR BUSINESS.
NO-ONE ELSES LIFE CHOICES ARE YOUR BUSINESS.
LIFE IS MUCH BETTER WHEN YOU STOP CARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLES APPEARANCES AND CONCENTRATE ON YOURSELF.
The best advice I can ever give anyone is those last two lines above and despite this probably sounding like the most arrogant thing I have ever said -
I would rather be completely self-obsessed than spend all of my time putting others down.