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3 Sources of Body Positivity If Self-Isolation Fat Shaming Is Affecting You

Body positivity is so important, especially now more than ever. With the current pandemic and isolation protocols across the globe due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) — the new viral strain in the coronavirus family that affects the lungs and respiratory system — there have been a plethora of memes popping up on the internet “poking fun” at fat bodies, and advising individuals to make sure that they don’t “let themselves go” or “get fat” while in isolation at home. As a larger woman who has been in a smaller body and experienced the level of privilege and stigma at each size, and as a woman who is in recovery from, and has been struggling with, an eating disorder that has evolved for over 10 years, I find this fat shaming extremely insulting and damaging.

In our culture, being fat is seen as the worst possible thing that a person can be. I have experienced this numerous times in my life, but never more than when I gained weight in my early 20s due to several medications I am on. Instead of focusing on my achievements (like, for instance, how I am a published author, an owner of several businesses and have my master’s degree in social work) it was my change in body size that was highlighted and criticized by others. I have been told that “I have stopped taking care of myself” and that “I have let myself go,” when that couldn’t be further from the truth. My natural body size is larger than what society deems “acceptable,” and it is something I am still fighting to accept every minute of every day.

I believe there is nothing more damaging than being criticized for one’s body and believing that one’s appearance is more important than who that person actually is. I have experienced multiple suicidal episodes due to my struggles with my identity, self-esteem and severe depression, which have been heavily influenced by the harassment I have experienced my entire life in regards to my body.

And that is why I wanted to share three body-positive sources to combat the negative fat shaming that is claiming our current atmosphere. You deserve to celebrate the body you are in no matter if it is right now, in the future or in the past, and self-love costs nothing.

1. The Body Positive Meme

ryan gosling meme, with text reading "hey girl, start a revolution, love your body"

I love this meme because it highlights how you are starting a revolution when you choose to love your body. By loving your body, you are rejecting a culture that says: “your body can always be improved.” Not yet ready to say that you love your body? No problem! Start small. Pick one body part and thank it for taking care of you. Repeat this every time you think negative thoughts about your body. You will amazed at how better you feel after challenging your negative thoughts.

2. The Social Media Account: Body Liberation with Lindley

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lindley Ashline (she/her) (@bodyliberationwithlindley) on

OK, can I just say how much I love this woman?! Lindley Ashline is a body-positive maven. She owns the subscription company “The Body Love Box” and her own body-positive photography business. She is all about loving your body now and at every stage of your life, so that you can live your life to the fullest. Check out her Instagram: you will be changed.

3. The Body Positivity Video: Demi Lovato on Bulimia and Body Positivity

Demi Lovato and I have a shockingly similar experience. I have struggled with bulimia nervosa for many, many years and I used to harm myself with workouts to try and maintain a body type that was hazardous to my health but “acceptable to society.” I adore how candid Demi Lovato is, and she has helped me with my own body image and self-love as well. I hope her interview with Ashley Graham brings you as much inspiration as it did me!

In this time of stress and fat shaming, I hope my three social media sources bring you inspiration and love! Please do whatever you can to take care of yourself during this time. You deserve your love and affection.

For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community:

Photo by Vitalina Zabolotnia on Unsplash