We are not born judging others. When we enter this world we do so free from preconceptions, we take people as they are. As such, I did not realise that I was different from other children until I reached primary school. Actually, I did not realise until the parents of my classmates told their children I was I different. I was a chubby child and that was in their eyes wrong.
Growing up, throughout primary school and high school that difference grew. I was a a little bigger than the rest of my classmates and as society's influences on us all multiplied at a massive rate, so did the judgements upon me.
I entered 20s and by this time, my thoughts were consumed by what others thought about my size. Everywhere I went I was told that I looked wrong. I walked down the street and a random man in a van would shout “Fat bitch” at me. Both men and women would make fun of me when I went out on a night out and it got to the stage where I would cross the street when I saw a group of people, afraid that they would make fun of me. Even when I met a man and he told me I was beautiful, I did not believe him. Society told me I looked wrong and I believed them.
I had been indoctrinated and I did not realise it. I had lost myself to the judgements of others and I was drowning.
When I stumbled into plus size fashion blogging it felt like a whole new world. A world where others looked like me, but were happy and confident in who they were. Something awoke in me, a spark ignited.
It started small. I started to look up instead of down. My wardrobe changed from a sea of black to packed full of dresses. I no longer crossed the street, afraid. I smiled back when a man smiled at me, without thinking that he would make fun of me.
I had at long last found myself.
Steve Miller, the creator of “Tell a friend they are fat” tells us that being fat is wrong. That you cannot be fabulous if you are fat. His whole theory seems to be based that fat people do not know that they are fat and that a friend telling them so will “fix them”. I do not know one fat person who has not always known they were fat.
The one thing that I had before I found body confidence was my friends. They knew me, the real me and never judged me. They were my safe haven in a world that hated the way I looked. They still are. A true friend knows that telling you that you are fat is nothing that you do not already know.
I am fat. I was chubby, then grew up fat. Some of it was just the way I am, some because I have a propensity to carbs. What I finally grew to realise however that this is MY BODY. No one elses, mine. I realised that I like my face and my body, just the way it is.
I am not a barbie doll. I do not look perfect (whatever perfect even looks like). What I am is exactly myself. I do not go around telling other people not to smoke, drink or take drugs. I do not expect others to tell me what I should be and how I should look like either. If I choose to lose weight or stay the same, it is my business.
My value does not go up and down like the stock market dependent on what I weigh. My self worth does not decrease if someone decides that they do not like the way that I look. We are all unique and it should be celebrated. We are priceless.
My years of listening to other people about what I should be lead to nothing but hurt, depression, self harm and locking myself away. My acceptance of who I am set me free.
I am happier now than I have ever been. That is healthy. Steve Miller's campaign is not. It is bullying, it is dangerous and let's face it, he does not actually care what happens to the people who because of him are told that they are fat, which they already know; he cares about the fame and money it will bring him. I am sure a new book will no doubt follow.
Steve tells us that by telling a friend they are fat could add a few years to their life. Society's dictations on how I looked took over my life for two decades. Now tell me again which is healthier. Happiness, or living a life being miserable, indoctrinated into believing that you look wrong.
Be happy. Whether you are a size 8 or 28. Happiness is the key to everything good. Not judgement and persecution. If you want to lose weight, do it, for you, but do not, for one second, ever let someone tell you that you are not good enough. Reclaim your life and live it the way that you choose.