For years I refused to buy lingerie (or even move clothes) because I constantly compared myself to when I was slim and refused to accept myself as bigger. Although losing weight is still in my goals, it’s now for career and fitness purposes and I’m learning to accept my body for how it is at the moment. I suddenly love being chubby and I don’t know where this self love has come from, but I’m so happy I’ve reached this point 💜

Shoutout to fat girls in the summertime. Shoutout to fat girls who wear jeans even though it’s 90 degrees because they don’t like the way their legs look. Shoutout to fat girls who wear a t-shirt to swim because they don’t like the way people look at their stretch marks. Shoutout to fat girls that only wear dresses with sleeves because they don’t like that their arms aren’t perfectly proportioned. Shoutout to fat girls who wear cardigans with button-downs because they don’t like the spaces between the buttons buckling because of their boobs. Shoutout to fat girls who don’t care about any of that stuff and wear whatever they want. Shoutout to fat girls who don’t want to care about that stuff, but do anyway. Shoutout to fat girls who have to work very hard everyday not to care about that stuff. Shoutout to all fat girls in the summertime. You’re all absolutely fantastic and you’re doing fine. Be patient with yourself, you deserve it.

Empower fat/heavy women who don’t fit “plus size beauty” norms.

Empower fat/heavy women with disproportionately small breasts.

Empower fat/heavy women whose breasts are “lopsided”/unevenly distributed.

Empower fat/heavy women who have flat/square bottoms.

Empower fat/heavy women who have muffin tops instead of hips. (Yes! Instead of!)

Empower fat/heavy women who have “bat-wings”/”granny arms”.

Empower fat/heavy women who don’t have a defined jawline.

Empower fat/heavy women who have a rectangular silhouette/don’t have an hourglass figure.

Destroy the idea that all “plus-size” women have the same body type.

Thin girls are always like “Learn to love yourselves!! Only you determine your own worth!!!!! I love my thighs even though I have cellulite!!!”

WHEN IN REALITY they’ve never dealt with being too fat to go shopping with your friends, crying in stores because you can’t zip up the largest size they have, dealing with the terrible looks from people in public who see you eating something that’s not a salad, walking past a group of 12 year olds and knowing that they’re laughing at the way your body moves, not having enough fucking MONEY to buy decent plus sized clothing (look @ you torrid), knowing that the fucking world was not created with your size in mind, among many other things.

“But I got told to eat a burger once and it’s the same thing!”

No. It’s fucking. Not.

I’m not saying that thin people CANT be a part of the body positivity movement. We need you to help. But posts of stereotypically pretty, thin girls in their underwear, advocating for all of us to say fuck what the world thinks, when the world is already ON their side and helping them, doesn’t really help the movement at all.

Society is not on my side in this instance. And undoing that socialization is not as fucking easy as a simple sentence. Trust me, I’ve already said fuck society. The difference between us is that when a thin person lives by that, then it’s awesome. When a fat person lives by it, then it’s just another case of a disgusting whale who should be ashamed.

There’s a privilege in thin-ness. At least acknowledge it.

EDIT: this DOES NOT apply to body dysmorphia and EDs.

The idea that anyone has to prove their health and happiness is inherently violent. Every time I post a picture of my fat Black body, I always get comments saying, “How can you be happy looking like that? There’s no way you’re healthy,” or “Well if you’re happy, I support you!”

What the fuck does that even mean? If I’m happy, how does that affect anyone but me or the people closest to me? These are literal strangers commenting on my body and my personal navigation of life. There is voyeurism around deviancy within beauty standards and humanity standards. Black fat femme bodies are constantly under scrutiny and interrogation because we’re seen as unworthy, unlovable, yet accessible and a benchmark for everyone else’s beauty and happiness. Understanding what makes us tick, how grotesque our lifestyles must be, or even the questioning of why or how anyone could love us is an investment of those who partake in our misery and ugliness to build up their life achievement in not being us.

If I’m happy, then it challenges everything we’re trained to believe when it comes to beauty and health. Happiness is inherently sold and packaged as something obtainable when you’re thin, beauty standard pretty, and “healthy.” But when you’re fat, your body is not seen as the representation of healthy – therefore, how can you ever be happy?

I want to challenge and politicize health and happiness as life’s pinnacle achievements that are dangled in front of us to fight for. White supremacist capitalism cultivates an environment in which we are trained to fight for something at all times – whether it be power, happiness, health, or survival – there is no world created for us to exist and be centered on non-competitive joy. We’re trained to believe that we can only access these things by getting them before someone else, at someone else’s expense, or in a way that leaves someone else without.

Happiness is not required to exist. Health is not required to exist. Power is not required to exist. Survival should not be a fight amongst us in order to exist.
The idea that I can’t post a picture of my body and be proud (irregardless of happiness, health, or motivation), without commentary about if my pride and my body are worth visibility or existence because someone else doesn’t see my worth or humanity is violent.

Being a Black fat femme means recognizing that my body and my existence is always under scrutiny because everyone who is seemingly more powerful or in access of more power than me needs me to be unhappy and unhealthy for their investment in happiness and health to be intact (and worth the work). My empowerment comes at a cost to all the work they’ve put into their personal stock of white supremacist capitalist thinking. My happiness cannot equal their happiness; it must be a struggle for power, and a game of winner takes all. So, fuck asking me if I’m happy or healthy. I’m fat, and I exist. That’s all you need to know. And that’s all I need to explain.

Read more of my Ask Ashleigh column at Wear Your Voice Mag here.

Donate to my PayPal for my moving fund here: PayPal.me/ashleighthelion

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It’s been years beyond count since I’ve bought clothes in India. I gave up sometime in 2009, mostly because I was tired of being constantly disappointed and excluded. There are more plus size clothing options in India these days, especially online, but it’s still rare that I can find something that fits my style and budget. This dress was an unexpected surprise, even more so because I found it at the local mall while shopping for my sister. It takes a lot to overcome memories of feeling oversized and out of place while dredging through racks of tiny dresses and tops, but I’m glad I did it this once because this dress fulfills all my boho fashion dreams for summer. The bag is also a local buy from eBay India, and while it took a bit of TLC (oiling and polishing) before I could use it, I’m super happy with how it turned out. 

Wearing ♥ Melange by Lifestyle dress {similar available at ASOS} ♥ Leather saddle bag {similar here} ♥ ASOS lace headband {similar here} ♥ Birkenstock Madrid sandals

Get the look ♥

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