Heidi’s Blog: I’m Fat!

By | January 24th, 2013 | 13 comments

The moment these words leave my mouth, I will be accosted with compliments – telling me how beautiful I am, how that’s not true, that I’m just a little chubby. So here it is. I’m going to make the leap and say it – it’s okay to be fat. It is!

“Fat”, according to the dictionary, is “a natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, esp. when deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs”.

Fat is not a crime, ugliness, unhealthiness, or unworthiness. Fat is another trait in the artist’s palette of human expression.

When a simple descriptor becomes the absolute worst thing a woman can be called, we have to seriously re-evaluate what we allow this word to mean – both on a personal and societal level. Words are what we make of them, and this unfair connotation holds us to a terrible idea of what “beauty” means.

An important part of weight to understand is the genetic component. While it is true that exercise and a healthy diet can change your weight, our genetics are a powerful force to be reckoned with. According to a research article published on PLOS Genetics, weight is affected by several factors, both environmental and genetic. No matter what environmental factors are changed, everything goes back to genetic expression.

The connection between weight and health is dramatically misunderstood. Though there is a link between obesity and poor health, there is also a link between certain weight loss practices and a negative effective on overall health. The focus on losing weight to increase health creates a cycle of losing and gaining and losing and gaining through methods that just destroy women mentally and physically.

I am a healthy person with a BMI of about 28. Overweight is 25 – 29.9. I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I do not consider myself unhealthy – nor am I ashamed. I do yoga every day, and can twist myself into the lotus position. I have been a vegetarian for over three years. Every day, I eat my protein, fruits, and veggies. I often walk – every one does in New York. Public transportation can only take you so far. I can’t run a marathon, but I have faith in my body to last as long as I do.

This has not always been the case. My body and I have battled for a long time. No matter what I do, I have always had the same shape. And no one believes that you have an eating disorder when you’re overweight. By changing my habits to healthier ones for myself, and not for my weight, I have come to a healthy sense of peace.

Positive role models are so key to this process. In a society where extra weight is demonized, finding women who stand strong and beautiful against the criticism prove that it is possible for anyone. Some personal favourites of mine are Rebel Wilson, Margaret Cho, Jennifer Lawrence, and Oprah Winfrey. All of these women have their own perspectives and messages; each of them is powerful in her own way.

With so much positivity available, why all the body hate? I’m not sure. I’ve noticed, though, that every magazine I leaf through is full of lovely, thin white ladies. Unless there is a special “plus size” column, fat women are not represented in any way. It’s hard to not feel invisible at this point. Equal representation must be demanded. The average model weighs 23% less than the average woman. Unrealistic standards create an illusionary world.

When a female actress is interviewed, they’re always asked about how they look so good. Men get questions on their characters, their acting methods – women get asked on their diet and exercise regimes. The message is clear. Your weight is the most important part of your experience. You are there to be looked at and nothing more. When actresses such as the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway refuse to take part in this, a powerful message is sent to the powers that be: we are more than a number, a diet fad, or an exercise regime.

Margaret Cho once said “the best way to get over your body issues is to just flaunt your body at every opportunity.” This is not always possible. You may not be comfortable with this. That’s okay. Start by appreciating yourself and realizing you are worthy just the way you are. Your body is wonderful. Every day, it pumps blood, dispenses oxygen, fights off diseases—thousands of little magical things no one notices. Your body is wonderful, and no matter how much you may weigh, that will never change. Beauty doesn’t have a weight limit. Neither should you.

Blessed be.

Heidi lives in New York City and is a senior in high school. She enjoys the finer things in life, such as chemistry puns and crocheting. You can reach her on email or find her on Facebook.

13 Responses to “Heidi’s Blog: I’m Fat!”

  • madison says:

    that was so beutiful.. i almost cried when i red this…nice job

  • Sophie says:

    What an inspiring message! You have the best attitude, keep it strong for many years to come. I too have had many issues with my weight and body image, but it’s posts like these that make me reassess and realise there are much more important things to be thinking about. Awesome stuff, Heidi.

  • mollysvote says:

    Am glad I saw this post…and from a teenager. This is so encouraging! ‘You body will last as long as you do’ is a powerful powerful statement. Thank you.

  • [...] This blog post about body image and fat [...]

  • Jnette says:

    This is a great post! I love how you shared that although you can’t run a marathon.. You know your body will last as long as YOU do:)… We are more than our bodies and there is no rule (or there shouldn’t be) that says if we aren’t maxing out every day, we are not good enough. Thank you for your honest expression!

  • Kay says:

    Thank you for this! I suffered for years with horrible eating disorders and hated myself. Imagine what I could have accomplished if I wasn’t so busy almost killing myself trying to achieve an impossible body weight? Thank you for saying it is OK to be fat. It is OK to be whatever you are naturally. I now have a young daughter and I hope in the future women in the media start smartening up and stand up for their curves! I would never wish the life of self hatred I lived on ANYONE. I hope my daughter can love herself just the way she is. I know I will :)

    • Heidi Loscar says:

      Wow, that is inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Much love to you and your daughter, and congrats on making it through that!

  • You’re amazing Heidi! I’m so proud to have you blogging here.

  • Julia says:

    That was lovely. I think the first step in changing the focus on women (their bodies) to something of more substance starts with women ourselves. The fact that we obsess over it constantly and make it a main topic of conversation with other women is only reinforcing the idea that weight is so important.

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