Video: Seeing the beauty in fat

Golda Poretsky holds sign: I embrace Body Love because I'm HAPPIEST when I love and accept my body!

Golda Poretsky


We get taught in our culture that thin is attractive and fat isn’t, so it can take work to undo that training. I know we often say that “all bodies are beautiful” and can come in “all shapes and sizes” but I think we all know plenty of people who say that and do not mean it. Sometimes, finding fat bodies attractive is something we have to learn is OK, just like we learned to believe that skinny bodies are the most beautiful. Most of us cannot choose what we are socialized to believe as children, which sucks. But the cool thing is that as adults, we can work to unlearn fatphobia, freeing ourselves to see a greater diversity of bodies as attractive.
Golda Poretsky has a great video over on Everyday Feminism about being able to see fat as beautiful when we’ve been taught otherwise.

So much of what we find attractive is determined by the media we consume. This media has presented a very particular definition of beauty, part of which is thinness. So how do we, as body-positive feminists, move past this generalized and restrictive definition of beauty and start to find the beauty in fat?

(I apologize I haven’t found a transcript for this video. If anyone’s able to post one in the comments I’d be very grateful!)

Some of my favorite points from the video:

1. Though our society currently holds skinny bodies as more beautiful, that has not always been so, and will not always be so.  It’s not even the case in all societies right now.

2. Remember that your body is not just for viewing: it is for touching, feeling, and using.

3. Actively look for the beauty in others, even if they are not someone who initially strikes you as attractive. This will train you to find beauty in a diversity of bodies.

I would add one final point of my own:

4. Don’t fat shame others, and equally as important, don’t fat shame yourself in front of others, particularly children. Hearing peers and people we look up to hate on their body is 100 times worse than watching television. And that shit’s bad.

 

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Juliana Britto Schwartz is a blogger and a feminist babysitter.

Bay Area, California

Juliana is a writer, a speaker, and a consultant. Her blogging work focuses on feminist and racial justice movements lead by Latinas throughout the Americas, touching on issues such as environmental justice, immigration, colonization, land rights and indigenous movements. She has been a regular Contributor to Feministing since Spring of 2013, and also been published on the Huffington Post, Mic, and the Feminist Wire. Juliana studied Latin American and Latinx Studies at the University of California and is now based in the Bay Area where she has worked with various organizations on social media and communications strategy. In her free time, she likes to dance salsa and tango and practice Portuguese with her cousins via Skype.

Juliana is a Latina feminist writer and digital communications specialist living in California.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/pasithea/ Jessica

    In my pre-teen and teenage years I hated myself and my body because I was not a skinny minnie in any shape or form. I have always been and always will be a larger woman. It took me a long time to start ignoring the social expectations of what I should look like as a woman and start embracing and loving myself and my body the way it is. I have been much happier with myself since I have come to terms with my body image and rejected the idea that I am somehow ugly because I am fatter than most. No woman should have to feel this way whether they are overweight, underweight or anywhere in between.

    I have met plenty of women and girls of all shapes and sizes who hated their bodies. Plenty of them were perfectly healthy too! We may not be able to drastically change the media and what it portrays but as mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, and friends we can encourage and help our female family and friends to feel good about themselves and tell them they are beautiful just the way they are.

    • http://feministing.com/members/julianabritto/ JulianaBrittoS

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for sharing your story! I totally agree, I hope that more and more women can begin to change the way we think about fat bodies.