My body is not promotional material and neither is yours.

Seeing Queen Latifah in a swimsuit on a magazine cover cruelly labelled "beached whale" on my timeline this week was really the tipping point that inspired me to write this. It's 2019 and it's about time we got over women being whatever shape or size they want to be and just let them live. Why is anyone actually bothered?!

I speak about women because we rarely see it about men, if at all. In fact, 2018 actually saw a rise in the fetishisation of 'Dad Bods'. So we can accept men with squishy bellies, no questions asked - in fact, they're sexy! But if a woman dares to flaunt the same squishy belly? She's a 'beached whale', she's 'let herself go' and she's 'promoting obesity'.

Give it a fucking rest. 

Unless someone is stood there wearing a t-shirt branded 'I am promoting obesity', a fat person is not promoting obesity. They're simply existing, and if you think that by simply being alive, just existing, they're promoting obesity, then I'm sorry but you need to re evaluate yourself. There's no nicer way to put it, your thinking is flawed and you're being ridiculous. In the same way that slim people aren't promoting anorexia, people who have a boob job aren't promoting surgery and people with tattoo's and piercings aren't promoting body art - your physical appearance isn't promoting a damn thing. Your existence is not promotional material. My body is not promotional material and neither is yours. People exist for themselves, not for anyone else!

"I'd laugh at the stupidity of it all if it wasn't so damn toxic"

Have you ever genuinely looked at a fat person and thought, wow, now I've seen them, I want to go and gorge on food until I am obese? Chances are you probably haven't, so to try and create some vague link between being fat and promoting obesity is a farce. I'd laugh at the stupidity of it all if it wasn't so damn toxic.

Whilst we're talking about women's bodies, let's talk about why people feel they get a say in them - because I'm here to tell you they absolutely don't. If a woman wants to be fat, great. If she wants to be thin, podgy, bald, tattooed from head to toe, wear a different wig every day of the week, become a nudist - it has sweet fuck all to do with anyone else. It is none of your business. It sickens me that we let men live so freely yet police every little thing women do. It's tiresome and it's boring. Women are going to keep doing whatever the hell they want to do, regardless of what strangers on the internet or bitchy journalists do or say - so people may as well begin to get used to it (and about time too!)

I'm sick of seeing people police women's bodies - it's 2019, grow up. Women (and men, of course) can be exactly who they want to be and look exactly how they want to look, and they deserve to be able to do this without having to validate themselves to strangers pretending to be concerned about their career prospects, the way they might be perceived by the opposite sex or - worst of all - their health. Someone's appearance does not tell you a damn thing about who they are as a person, about their health or their personality traits, and their physical appearance doesn't entitle you to make assumptions about any of those things either.

Because that's how a lot of people act when it comes to women and their bodies - entitled. They feel entitled to an opinion, entitled to express that opinion, entitled to control what a woman should and shouldn't be. It's sickening.

Why do you really care if a woman is fat? What is it that's really bothering you? She isn't doing any harm, she's not interfering in your life, another woman's weight plays no part in your world at all - so why do you feel bothered enough by it that you think she needs to hear your nasty, critical comments?

Stop pretending it's because you care about their health, because we all know you don't.

Stop pretending like you know she's a "strain on the NHS" (a popular argument I hear time and time again), because you don't know shit - unless you're her doctor and are fully aware of how often she's been making use of the NHS, a service she probably pays for if she pays her taxes and so is well within her rights to use, you have no clue.

Stop pretending like another woman's weight, another woman's body, another woman's life has any kind of impact on your own, because it doesn't.

"It's a surefire sign that you wish you were bold enough to do the same"

Whether you want to believe it or not, your mind has been manipulated by mainstream media, like so many others, to believe that thin = happy, healthy and successful and that fat = sad, unhealthy and a burden to society. Those statements simply aren't true. You only need to look at influencers like Grace Victory, Megan Crabbe and Stephanie Yeboah who have openly spoken about how when they were thin they weren't healthy or happy at all. I've even written about the topic myself! Thinner doesn't mean healthier or by any means happier, and this is a message we need to keep pushing.

When you look at my body, I don't care what you think. I don't care if you think I'm fat or thin. I don't care if you think my boobs are saggy or that my hair needs brushing. I don't care if you don't like how I dress or think that I'm ugly. I don't care if you think I'm promoting things that make you uncomfortable, like not wearing a bra, self love when I'm overweight, confidence when you feel like I don't deserve to be confident because I don't look like a model or the ~radical~ idea that women deserve to be comfortable in their bodies no matter what they look like. I don't care what you think when you look at my body because my body is not promotional material available for your commentary - and neither is yours.

Let women live in the same way that men are allowed to live. Let women be who they want to be, look how they want to look and live how they want to live without demanding validation or an explanation from them.

You being uncomfortable in the presence of a woman who chooses to live freely without meeting society's expectations or answering to anyone else is a surefire sign that you wish you were bold enough to do the same.

Think about it.

Love from,
Florence Grace

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