Intersectionality and privilege: Dispatches from a body positivist on the frontlines
So, how do you keep online spaces (like Instagram or Facebook) healthy while making minorities and other underrepresented people feel heard and welcome? Let’s talk about how you can be a voice in the body positive community, while being sure to check your own privilege within that particular space…
How I used existentialism to become body positive
I’m a body positive activist and plus-size model, and people ask me daily for advice on how to become comfortable with themselves. My approach to body positivity is a perspective that I’ve never really seen talked about in-depth in body positive circles. And it all stems unexpectedly from existential nihilism.
So, you want to love yourself? Here’s how I used existentialism to become body positive…
How to respond to teens who think their bodies are “gross”
I am a nurse educator for a non-profit that provides free childbirth education classes and case management for pregnant teenagers and their partners. My classes are almost always riddled with at least one or two teens (moms or dads) who think that any/all body parts are super “gross.”
This is how I’m teaching teens about bodies…
I hate my vulva: The pressure to conform to unrealistic genital beauty standards
There’s a post on Medium that caught my eye the other day, Vulvas: Shapes, sizes and misconceptions, that I found quite interesting and even therapeutic…
A tragedy survivor’s 9 keys to happiness
I’ve survived a lot: a tragic house fire, multiple severe car accidents, abuse as a child, multiple suicide attempts, my biological mother abandoned me, etc. I have a learning disability and other mental illnesses, as well as a very rare, incurable bone disease.
Given all I’ve been through, you’d think I’d be miserable. Quite the opposite, however. My keys to happiness are simple…
Mama, why are you fat?: Teaching kids about different bodies
Growing up, I was teased all the time about my weight, and it affected me profoundly. I was almost 30 before I reached a place where I could just inhabit my body without seeing it as a problem. I decided that I didn’t want to view my own skin as an enemy. And I certainly don’t want my children growing up thinking that everyone should look like people in magazines, or that we should all just be miserable with our physical bodies because they aren’t “perfect.”
We all fight this fight, and we probably all want a better world for our children to have bodies in. How do we make that happen?
How can I get people to stop complimenting my weight loss?
I get tired of people commenting on how great I look when I lose or telling me I look great because I’ve lost weight. Beside saying, “Please don’t comment about my weight” — which can come across brisk — are there any suggestions on more succinctly letting people know their “compliments” are triggering and annoying?
Doing porn helped me love and respect my fat body
Like many other people who are fat children who become fat teenagers before being fat adults, I learned from a young age that my body was “never meant to be desirable or sexy.” Fat bodies are never portrayed in the media as being sexy in a way which is positive or empowering, so there is simply very little representation for fat people as sexual beings. So, I became a sex worker, making indie amateur pornography.
I took a deep breath, hit record, and filmed some videos of myself. It was difficult and confronting. I felt bad about how I looked. Yet, with each video it got easier…