Wife Life | Body Positivity and Mass Media
By Ari Levine
I Feel Pretty (But Only After a Concussion) – Body Positivity isn’t a Joke
Recently, trailers for a new Amy Schumer movie have taken over my social feeds. The movie — which I’m not linking because I don’t want to give them the views or traffic– focuses on Schumer’s character hitting her head in a SoulCycle class and suddenly seeing herself as beautiful and being confident in her body for the first time, despite being fat. Ha ha. So funny. Because how could a fat girl be confident in her body without a serious knock to the head, right? Judging from the trailers I’ve seen, this continues to be a joke throughout the film, with others seeing her confidence and pride in her body as inappropriate or funny in a variety of situations. It uses the entire body positivity movement as a punchline.
Frankly, I’m disappointed that Schumer allows herself to be used in this way, but also I’m not surprised. She has long used her body in humorless, isn’t it funny that this fat girl is accepting herself as she is and loving herself style jokes The short answer is no, it’s not funny. Schumer and I have similar body types and it has always irked me that she portrays herself like this, but this movie goes above and beyond that disappointment and pushed me straight on into anger.
Every time we as a society laugh at Schumer, with or without her permission, we tell others that it’s okay to laugh at the fat girl; that it’s okay to hate your body simply because it carries more weight than others; that only in the case of severe head trauma could a fat girl ever love her body. And it’s bullshit. So, I’m here to present to you how I pump myself up and love my fat body. No concussions required.
Ari’s Tips for Loving your Fat Body
- Stop hiding from mirrors. I know, they can be scary when you catch an “unflattering” angle in the mirror. But if you regularly put yourself in front of mirrors, take some selfies, give yourself a pep talk, it will build your confidence and eventually you’ll stop being derailed by them.
- While we’re at it, stop thinking about your body’s flattering or unflattering angles or poses. All of your angles are flattering because you are beautiful everywhere. You’re beautiful from above and below and from the side. Take those selfies, too. At the very least, you’ll start to see your body differently. It’s a good first step.
- Start accept compliments. I’m not talking about “You’re pretty for a fat girl.” I mean real compliments. You get them, I promise. Especially when you start wearing your body confidently. You look good, you shouldn’t apologize or brush it off just because society doesn’t want fat girls to be confident.
- Compliment yourself! Feeling good? Tell yourself! Out loud, if you can. Your brain processes out loud statements differently than thoughts. Write yourself love notes and stick them on your mirror. Tell your reflection it’s hot. You deserve it.
- Wear the right size. I know, this one is a hard one, and it’s one I struggled with a lot when I was gaining weight. I wanted to fit into a specific size because it’s a smaller number but I’ll let you in on a secret. No one cares what number is on your tag. If you need to wear the bigger size for it to look and feel good on your body, do it. The only one looking at the number is you. So buy the bigger size and cut out the tag if it helps. Don’t let an arbitrary number (because let’s face it, women’s clothing sizes are ridiculous) define your wardrobe.
- Find fat role models. There are so many amazing role models that you can emulate! My IG feed is full of other fat people rocking their styles; both fancy, dressed up influencers, and just people living their lives. Find some bloggers or models or even just some stylish friends around your size or body type and imagine yourself in their style. You already think they looked good, transfer that to yourself. Gonna tag some of my faves below if you need some inspo.
- Compliment other fat people. Again, honest, actual compliments, not back-handed ones. You know better. Examples include: “You look amazing in that dress!” “I love how you did your makeup today!” Really anything that would help your confidence will likely help theirs.t’ll help break down that society-built fatphobia and help you see yourself as beautiful.
- Take more selfies. I know I mentioned this above but seriously, selfies are your best friend. Mirror selfies, high-angle selfies, badass selfies, goofy selfies, abstract selfies, whatever helps you feel pretty. I have a standard mirror selfie I take in the bathroom at work (classy af) but I also have friends that I send silly face selfies or “hair, what are you doing??” selfies to. Destroy the idea that you have to look perfect to take a selfie. You made it out of bed, you deserve a selfie. Hell, take a selfie when you don’t make it out of bed! You’re adorable snuggled up in that blanket.
Above All, Be Kind
I know these are really general, and everyone’s journey is different, (and media is toxic af) but I hope these tips help you develop a better view of yourself, no matter your size. Please remember to be kind to yourself and to others in their body positivity journeys. Be patient, it will come with time.
How do you combat fatphobia and love yourself? Leave your fave tips in the comments below!