That was the name of the instagram account I followed a few weeks ago – Eff Your Beauty Standards. I unfollowed them a few days later.
I’m fat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s no shame or guilt. Yes, people like me aren’t on magazine covers. We don’t get to wear angel wings and strut ourselves in sexy underwear. We aren’t searched and cast in famous movies by every Hollywood director there ever was. We definitely do not match any industry standards in any way. Not even heavy lifting because overweight does not mean strong. A lot of us are quite weak and fragile. We’re often made to feel like we don’t belong. We often catch ourselves wondering if women like us will ever be loved. We tend to fish for compliments anywhere we can get them. Not to boost our egos, but to feel normal. Just once.
The instagram account showed plus sized women with captions that told them they’re stunning and beautiful. It gave them the kind of compliments we all wish for. But here’s the thing – I found it offensive, demeaning and rather disturbing. Not the compliments but the idea in itself.
It was as ridiculous as calling someone a “Skinny Bitch” just because she is a size zero. I have always had a problem understanding why we blame the individual when in reality, she isn’t the one that created the idea in your mind that she matters more than you and I do. It was an industry filled with rude, arrogant pompous asses that believed that their idea of beauty should be everyone else’s idea of beauty and used their power to establish the same across the world, making every one of us feel inadequate, insufficient and to put it quite frankly, like a blob.
Let me help create a better idea of this. I am a size 12. My sister is a size 2. Do I wish for her clothes? Yes. Do I wish the fashion industry would put people like me on the magazines rather than people like her? Absolutely! Does that make her a bad person or a “skinny bitch”? You must be insane.
But surely not as insane as that Instagram account, several overweight artists, and so many others quite like them and here’s why – I don’t want a separate Instagram account that proves to me what I’ve believed all along. That I’m different. That I need to be treated specially. And not in a good way.
Tell me it’s not just me when I say – Fat people don’t want to be handled with care. Fat people don’t want you to “aww” at us and pretend like we’re more delicate than the rest. Fat people don’t want to be differentiated from women in general.
We don’t want the skinny girl to lose her fashion sense. We want the fashion industry to bring us the same kind of clothes the skinny girl wears. We don’t want the hot guy to date us with pity. We want him to know we’re just as interested in sex as the girl in that tight pair of jeans and a perfect butt is. When you see us at a store trying to find that perfect dress in our size, we want you to tell us the way you’d tell anyone else that it’s not available in our size. Don’t hesitate. Don’t make me feel bad about who I am by being too careful. Being too nice. Being too out of the ordinary.
If you want to make me feel better about who I am, stop treating me like I’m different. Treat me like I’m human. Treat me the way you treat the size zero. Don’t give me a special Instagram account. Don’t call her a skinny bitch believing that I’ll feel better if you do. I won’t. I’ll hate myself for singing that song because I know that being fat is who I am the way being skinny is who she is. She’s not a bitch and I don’t want you to convince me that she is. I’m not a bully. Don’t make me one.
If you really, honestly and truthfully want to make a fat person feel good about themselves,
Eff your beauty standards and treat me like I’m just another human.