During my trip to Woodhull this year, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a number of panels. However, two stuck with me the hardest. Both having to do with body positivity. Both left me looking at how I interact with my own image on a daily basis. From the way I interact with my body to the media, I take in. I realized quickly that I needed to change what I was doing.
Another thing was after I was at Woodhull. I had a really bad bout of body issues which actually made this hard to write. Posting this now is because I was finally able to feel better after making these changes.
With my social media, I often get down in my feelings. Wanting to be able to wear things that are not in my size. Not seeing my own shape represented in the pictures shining back at me. One of the first changes I made was who I followed. I still kept a lot of personals follows of people I enjoy seeing. But I started looking for artists that did body positive art. Models who reminded me of my own body type. Unfollowing brands that didn’t sell in my size. I saw a quick change in my algorithm as it realized what I wanted to see. Now I actually enjoy going on things like Instagram, rather than getting down.
This one can be the hardest to change, as fat people are often the butt of the joke in a lot of media. I have started to be more critical of what I am watching. Finding more shows that actually show a range of body types. Avoiding ones such as Netflix’s Insatiable which uses the trope of ‘Fat people just need to lose weight to be happy‘. Hell, I also started to switch up the kind of porn I was watching. Fat sex workers who make some super amazing porn on sites like ManyVids and CrashPad. It allowed me to be able to see my body in a more sensual light.
Podcasts and Books
One of my purchases from Woodhull was a book The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor. I am pretty sure I cried a few times as I delved into its pages. Self-love is not something I am easily able to accomplish and it has started me down a path to accepting it. There is also an amazing site of the same name that I follow now because of the book.
Another book I pulled out from my personal collection was Big Big Love, Revised: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them) by Hanne Blank. Which I highly recommend as it tackles a lot of subjects such as coping with weight-related prejudice to getting on top.
I also started listening to more podcasts by fat creators! If you know of more that are good to listen to please share in the comments!
While these are small changes, even the smallest thing can have a big impact. Slowly making these changes made pulling myself out of a down actually easier. Every day I am starting to see something I love about my body. Or what I know others love about my body that I might notice. While I still have rough days, it is becoming easier.
Somedays, I still have to fake it til I make it. But that faking it, has slowly turned into real confidence. I am so glad I got to attend Woodhull and be able to sit on two amazing workshops. More Fats, More Fems workshop by Carly S and Beauty & Perspective–How we Experience and Are Experienced Based on Physical Beauty.