What I wish someone had told me years ago...
I am a size 16.
In a week I could be a size 14, briefly, but then the week after that, I'll be a size sixteen again ... there is nothing wrong with that.
My body is a size 16 and my body is beautiful.
I haven't always treated my body with very much respect.
Throughout my adolescence, I tried every diet under the sun, trying to transform my body into something it just wasn't designed to be.
My weight dropped and then skyrocketed and the sizes of clothing I wore changed with it.
My closet was filled with clothing that would fit an army of differently sized women.
My self-esteem suffered.
I had, somewhere along the line, learned that a skinny body is the only kind of body that can beautiful.
It's true that skinny bodies are beautiful — but so is my fat body, and nobody ever told me that.
I wasn't skinny enough, so I wasn't beautiful enough, so I wasn't good enough.
Here is a secret nobody knows: I was born beautiful. So were you. You have always been beautiful.
You were born a small, squalling infant with a squished face slick with amniotic fluid and your mother looked at said "she is beautiful."
Nothing has changed. You are still beautiful, you are still good, you still have worth.
You still deserve to be here.
Sometimes I fight with my size sixteen body. I squint in the mirror imagining it is something else, something sleeker, tighter, easier to accept.
Sometimes I scowl at my upper arms. Sometimes I hate my belly.
But then I remember the thing that the world insists on making girls and women forget: that belly I hate is part of me. Those arms I detest? They are part of me too.
Every single soft curve is a piece of the whole that is who I am.
I have bad days and good days. I lift other women up while tearing myself down.
I have a fat body. My fat body is good. My fat body is beautiful.
My fat, size 16 body inspires men to terrorize me on Twitter. It turns well-meaning friends into enemies who say things like "well it's not really healthy."
Here is the part where I tell you about my weekly exercise in a bid to rationalize my weight to strangers.
I don't need to do that.
My size 16 body is beautiful. It is mine. It takes up space in a world that tells women to make themselves small.
I am here.
I am a size 16 and I am beautiful.