Growing up, I was always the fat friend; The funny girl with all the jokes and all the snacks. Honestly, I am still that person. As a woman who has been plus size her entire life, I am here to lay some knowledge on you.
This may come as a shock so hold on to your seats, but did you know people can be both fat and pretty? When someone says something about their weight or being fat, the correct response is NOT, "no you aren't, you're beautiful!" Fat and beautiful or not opposites. Also, I want to note that this is completely relevant for other body types or whatever it is that someone is insecure over.
This is not the correct response to anyone who says they are skinny, dark, light, tall, short, etc. because real beauty has absolutely nothing to do with any of these and physical beauty is completely subjective. A lot of women say this to each other, it is supposed to be comforting or complimentary but it's actually a really strong message to be putting out into the world, especially with young people. So please, cut that shit out.
I know when you have insecurities centered around how you look it is hard to hear something like that and instantly believe it. I have been there, crawled my way out of it, fallen right back in and repeated that process over and over my entire life. But the key is that it starts with every single one of us because really, it's us against the world.
It's us against the media. It's us against the fashion industry. It's us against makeup companies. It's us against body shamers. It's us against the preconceived notions of what we should look like. That's a lot to fight against especially when what's at stake is your confidence and the image you have of yourself.
The only way we can make it easier for individuals who feel this way is by lifting each other up. I know, that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it's true. It starts with us. We can not keep putting each other down with words and ideas of what we think "beauty" is.
Stop using words like fat, skinny, dark, light, black, pale, tall, short, etc. as synonyms for ugly. Tearing other people down like that is not any way to make yourself feel better, and all it does is stigmatize everyone's body type, race, complexion, etc.When we stop adding fuel to the fire that the media and society burn our self-image in, we regain a confidence we never knew they took from us.
This might sound silly or even redundant because I am in a position now where I am comfortable with my body and the way I look, so you might think "what's the big deal, you're fine now?" The big deal is that someone as young as 7 years old shouldn't hate their bodies and shouldn't take them until they are 22 years old to unlearn the hateful things they've been taught to think about themselves.