Just a few year ago, I would’ve never felt confident enough to stand next to Reetu in front of the camera. Not because Reetu is intimidating — (she’s quite the opposite!) but because of my own insecurities about being the “token” fat girl in a group of skinnies.
Yes. I was that girl. The fat girl who tried to keep her stomach sucked in when she sat down. The girl who never ordered food with her thin friends at a restaurant in fear that someone would catch her fat ass stuffing her face. The girl who would watch as her thinner friends got attention from the guys as she slowly crumbled inside and thought herself as repulsive.
The constant thought always swirled around my head, if only I lost all of this weight, then my life would be normal. If only I could change myself to have a body type similar to my size 2/4 friends, then my life would be much better. If I could only hop on the scale and it was a “1” in front of those two digits instead of a “2” or “3,” then things would run oh-so-smoothly.
Did I starve myself to achieve that idea? Of course. I got down to my “goal” weight. And still ultimately saw myself as a fat slob.
It was never about the number on the scale. It’s about our mindsets toward body image in general.
And when someone who is dying to be thin (or to even gain weight) figures that out, oh man, it’s a freeing experience. To eat in public and actually enjoy your food. To sit down, breathe normally, and let it all hang out. To dance, roll those large hips and own the floor is freeing.
This is what body positivity is. It’s about living the best life you possibly can with what you’ve got. A lot of people believe this movement is solely for “fat” people. Nope. It is for “all” bodies.
Before our shoot with the very talented Romanian-born photographer, Remy, began we met up. Now, Reetu is a YouTuber as well as a brand ambassador, and she is super cute. Just looking at her photos on Instagram, you get a sense of her poise and confidence. Her face is beat and her hair luxurious and flowy. Social media has definitely created a lot of stereotypes. So, we assume that if a girl is too cute, then she’s stuck-up, or she can’t hold an interesting conversation.
We met up in a quaint coffee shop and in walks this very short Indian girl with a huge smile on her face.
“OMG. You look taller in your photos,” I say.
“You too,” she replied.
We both crack up because we are indeed short. LOL.
But as I got to know her more, she divulged that she, too, has been picked on about her height. She almost touches five feet tall. We are women. We are always going to have a feature about us that we get teased about or something we’d like to change. We are constantly bombarded with images of unrealistic looking women who have been chopped and injected and told that that is what real beauty is.
No. NOOOOOO! I define my own beauty. Not men. Not some magazine cover with a girl with fake tits. Not the media. Not my family. Not even the fat-shaming trolls on the internet.
Reetu and I gave no F’s during this shoot. We sported double chins, short legs, wide smiles, brown skin, and confidence. We wore invisible crowns. We had deep conversations during intermissions. We allowed our creative juices to flow. We embodied what real body positivity looks like. What real women and girls look like.
Life’s too short to hide. Too short to despise your body. It’s your body. It’s an amazing body with its stretch marks, lumps, and rolls. It’s magical. You are a damn unicorn!!!