We seriously need to get this out of the way, for me and for all my fellow fat girls: what is it about us enjoying our day, wearing sexy outfits, or taking some cute-ass selfies that compels some people to ask exactly why we’re so confident?
The question throws me off sometimes, and makes me feel bad I often read into it too much.
‘Do you mean “Why does she look like she’s having the time of her life, fat as she is?”’
That is what often runs through my mind when people ask me the ‘why’ question; usually unwitting co-workers, acquaintances, or older friends of my mother who, bless them, blurt out whatever they want in the moment.
I’d like to ask back sometimes, how exactly would you rather have me act, then?
Shy and insecure? Hesitant? Eager to not make myself seen?
‘Oh no thank you I can’t possibly have anymore cake, I’m trying to lose weight.’
‘I can’t wear that cute outfit yet until I reach my goal figure.’
‘Nooo I can’t go up to that guy for his number! Who do I think I am?’
Would you rather these are the words that come out of my mouth, the thoughts that race through my head when you ask me why I am confident to do things that are considered normal, everyday activities?
If you were also expecting a step-by-step guide on how to become confident, I’m not sure how to answer you either.
But if you were really curious as to exactly why women like me are so confident, I could give you an in-depth look at a childhood spent being taunted for being the fat kid, called unhealthy or lazy although I could run, climb, jump, and swim with the ‘smallest’ of them; or being given slimming pills, lotions, and potions as a teenager by ‘well-meaning’ adults even though I was active in sports, eating normally, and wasn’t at all sickly, but was still spending some nights praying to a higher power that I could be as skinny as the other girls overnight?
I could tell you about how strangers with no access to my medical history assume I was hell-bent on only consuming junk food and that exercise wasn’t in my vocabulary.
Then I could end our in-depth analysis on why I’m so confident with how one day in my senior year of high school, I had to get over those experiences by myself, and come to the decision that my size would not dictate how I would be able to live.
If you are willing to listen to these facts and realize how much of an uphill climb it was as a fat woman to build rock-solid faith in herself, then maybe, you would understand.
Call it an epiphany, or just seriously being fed up, but personally, that was how I gained my confidence.
I listened to my body and not to the opinions of others on it. Corny and guru-y, I know, but that was the great awakening of a healthy self-esteem for me.
Imagine if I listened to all those people constantly telling me I was unhealthy even though I was eating right, even though I was physically active, and even though test after test came back attesting to my great health?
Imagine if I listened to all those people indirectly telling me I was not worthy of a normal life with normal activities and interactions, just because of a number on a scale and a size tag on a piece of cloth?
Maybe the reason why I’m so confident is because I have to be, for all the other little fat girls I will ever meet who will look at me and realize they don’t have to look a certain way to live the way they want.
Think about all of that before you even attempt asking me why I’m confident to live normally even though I’m fat.