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.
Juliana Britto Schwartz is a blogger and a feminist babysitter.