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It was a warm Monday night as I sat on my sofa, scared to press the upload button. I was unveiling to the world my fat body and how I embrace it.
“This is Me” is one of my most revealing moments on the Internet because I unashamedly put myself on display. I know what you’re thinking: You’re a fashion blogger. You share your body in every outfit post and Instagram selfie. True, yet this time there was no filter.
Hardly ever do I say out loud, “I am strong, loving, smart, confident, and beautiful.” Honoring those strengths was a powerful moment. It transported me to a very honest and open space. It made me realize how many others do not acknowledge their own strengths and give themselves the praise and love they deserve.
Women my size are rarely celebrated in mainstream media. Seldom are women on the larger side of plus encouraged to be happy, confident, and secure with themselves. We are pressured to cover up, to look thinner. We are discouraged from wearing a swimsuit and showing our arms, legs, and stomachs. The world would rather have fat bodies remain unseen, unheard, and unhappy.
Well, world, I am not ashamed of myself. I love myself. I love my body, even when others say it is no good. I embrace all the parts of me and appreciate them for putting up with a long, crazy journey to self-love.
That journey encountered a number of lows to reach such gratifying highs. From strangers‘ stares and slurs to drastic measures to lose weight, I've had a few experiences that almost broke my spirit. These are also the experiences that, with time and hindsight, motivated me to find my worth.
You -- yes, you, the one reading this right now -- you are enough. You are valuable. You are visible. You are beautiful. Your size and weight do not define you; they do not determine your character or future. You deserve to be celebrated. You are the heartbeat to the reason I made this video.
You, me, and people of all sizes and shapes deserve to live life. We deserve to be seen, heard, and happy. We deserve to not be afraid to love ourselves, wholeheartedly and unconditionally, in private and public. People may stare and whisper (or shout if they really want to be an asshole) about our proclamations of self-acceptance. But, they will not have power over our self-worth.
Even after all my years of self discovery, it was challenging to produce this video because it came from a real and raw place. Creating a one-minute declaration of self-love forced me to be vulnerable. I cried after I read the poem aloud for the first time. I cried even more after I edited all the footage. “This is Me” gave me the freedom to embrace myself, explore my personality, and find peace and happiness. This video allowed me to be me. My hope is that it does the same for those that press play.