Photos Courtesy of Moon Reflections Photography (Detroit, MI)

Why Can’t We Be #BodyGoals?

My birthday is in t-minus 2 days. 48 hours. Leo season. I’m freaking out. I have no plans. I’m more tired than ever before. I think I may have witnessed a bag forming under my eye. Not sure.

I’m eating healthier than ever before. I go to the gym. I even have one of those old lady pill separators for the hundreds of vitamins and doctor prescribed supplements that I take daily. The one that says Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday…

The big 3-0.

I never thought about 30 before. Thirty years on earth. I’m surprised I made it this far, though. I even had the pleasure of witnessing the invention of fidget spinners and an orange Cheshire cat become number 45.

Ahh, what a time to be alive.

So, I posted a photo on Instagram (per usual) and someone hashtagged “body goals.” I repeat: #BodyGoals under my picture. I chuckled internally. My little shoulders bobbing up and down as I sat in front of an old ASUS laptop (I hate it, but it’s easier to type on than the MAC).

I must’ve been wrapped up in some CIA conspiracy because as I drank my tea and ate a bowl of oatmeal, my boobs literally rested on my knees.

My body was a goal? Interesting, I pondered.


The next day, I posted another pic. A different person (totes unrelated to the first person) also used #BodyGoals. I must’ve been wrapped up in some CIA conspiracy because as I drank my tea and ate a bowl of oatmeal, my boobs literally rested on my knees. Who’d want a body like that? Like mine? Preposterous. From the positive comments, I found myself going down the list of why, how my body wasn’t goals.

My teeth had irregular spaces as to where I could fit the tip of my tongue through. I had a huge forehead. I mean, huge. The hairline was as far back as Lebron’s. I never liked the shape of my face. My little brother used to tell me that my profile resembled the shape of a fat moon crescent and that I had a pug nose. Barely had a neck. I wanted one of those statuesque ballerina necks. The ones that just went on for days and they still had more neck to spare even after that. My waistline was okay, but it was riddled with brownish stretch marks that meandered to the top of my butt. Let’s not forget the two fat donut rolls on each side. My thighs. Lordt. They constantly got stuck in chairs with arms. I could never just safely “squeeze past” anyone, either. There’s not a smooth surface on my thigh. Both are like large columns filled with cottage cheese. My toes: Monkey Toes, they used to call em. They are very long and spread far apart, but I can pick up a penny from a wood floor like nobody’s business…

Makeup: Madinah Muhammad (Detroit, MI)
Makeup: Madinah Muhammad (Detroit, MI)

How was any of that #BodyGoals? Especially in today’s time. Our beauty standards consist of high cheekbones lined with fancy highlighter, remove-my-ribs-to-get-the-perfect waist, and pump my lips with asphalt and concrete so that I can resemble Daffy Duck and become a high-ranking Instagram makeup artist.

I thought those were goals.

Who’d in their right mind would want to look like me?

Yes. I wear the makeup. The pretty clothes. And, I know my angles, for the most part. I work with amazing photographers who know how to use lighting and create moods. But, I’m still fat. I’m a fat model. A fat person.

I scrolled through my Instagram and was like, oh, okay I can see why they placed my body on a pedestal. I was tricking them! If only they saw me naked, then they wouldn’t ever, ever say that.

Why had I been so bent on discrediting myself? My body? Was I doing it to be more “real” to my followers, or was I partaking in momentary self-hatred of my own body?

We are our own worst enemy. I am my own worst critic. I am the downfall of myself. 

I express myself through photos… and words, of course. I wanted to do a shoot where it was less about angles to make myself appear one way, but to let the parts that I’m sometimes self-conscious about peek through. Like my under-belly flap (Iegit not wearing a Spanx), and my back (which didn’t look as bad as I imagined), and my funny toes (not gonna lie, I cringed). Because when I face something that I’m afraid to show or share or makes me self-conscious, it’s best to dive in completely and show the insecurity to the world. Then go from there.


“I don’t take photos sitting down,” I said to my thinner friend. “I literally turn into a bowling ball. I have about 3 inches of torso and hundreds of pounds that surround it. It’s not flattering.”

She looked at me like I was crazy.

We are our own worst enemy. I am my own worst critic. I am the downfall of myself. On the flipside, I can also be my own best ally. I made a conscious decision to focus on the negatives when clearly that’s not how other people viewed me.

The question I asked myself: As a fat girl, why can’t I be #BodyGoals?

I can be #BodyGoals.

As a matter of fact, I am #BodyGoals just like those whole two people said.

Leah V is #BodyGoals in all her saggy boobs and cellulite glory.




Leah V