Vulnerability and Exploration

Dr. Brene Brown’s 2010 Tedtalk “The Power of Vulnerability” is one of the most viewed in the world. I struggled with this concept a lot over the years because although I admired it in others, I always saw it as a weakness in myself. I’ve learned a lot about vulnerability, and its power. The ability to say “I need help” or own a mistake, and most recently, sharing my story with you.

I have to admit that this journey has been really challenging for me and definitely not linear! I started many years ago by following influencers who looked like me. Later, I expanded that to include people who were perhaps larger or smaller than me, but shared the same values of body positivity, inclusivity and plus fashion. And one day, my boss looked over my shoulder at work while I was scrolling Insta on a break, and said "ew - what are you looking at?". It was an influencer modelling underwear, and she was fat, like me. I quickly hid my phone, and later, unfollowed almost every single account like that on my feed. I started to convince myself (again) that I didn't have to be fat, and if I just tried harder than I ever had before, that I could somehow change myself. Thinking about that, even now, just makes me so sad that I waited so long to embrace my body, as it is, period. I know that it was a period of growth, and probably necessary to get me here today, but it still makes me angry that there is still so much stigma, so many unsolicited opinions, so many missed opportunities because of fatphobia.

I'll leave you with this thought: you may be at some point in a similar journey, and no matter where you find yourself right now - it's ok. If you are still struggling with your self worth or diet culture, that's ok. If you want to learn more, but are still scared to engage with the fat community, that's ok too. Keep asking questions, keep reading, keep being kind to yourself and allow yourself the time you need to get to a place where you can be happy and not hold yourself back from the things you want to do in your life. And the reality is, even the toughest, baddest, most confident curvy women and men still have off days. We have been through decades of social conditioning and negative comment about our appearances, so it's going to come up. But it is not WHO you are, it is a physical attribute, like having brown eyes, for example. And you are worthy of being happy and comfortable in your own skin.