If you follow me on IG (which you should: @thegirlwbighair) then you may have seen the picture I posted last week of myself with no clothes on. It was a picture of my back and no private parts of my body were showing. In fact, all of what was visible is probably what someone would see on the beach in my bathing suit.
I posted it with a caption about my newfound courage to stop hating my body. And though the picture was very tastefully done, the older folks who follow me didn't take too well to it. Honestly, I don't care about that. Old folks, you don't understand millennials. I get that. One day maybe I'll post about that. But right now, I want to make sure that everyone understands the importance of that picture on Instagram.
For as long as I can remember I've been overweight. Seriously. I don't recall a point in my life where I wasn't. With that, came a consistent reminder that I am different from my peers. My mom, who I love very dearly, is a very blunt and straightforward woman and often that wasn't received too well when it came to my weight loss. My dad wasn't really affirming either. I was teased terribly. I remember a boy in my 7th grade class called me "Triple F" for Fat, Funky Firenza in front of the whole class. 15 years later, that still makes me tear up.
All of my life, the reality of my obesity followed me like a dark cloud. In school, at home, when I shopped in the mall and when I went out to eat at restaurants. As I got older, I began to take better care of myself and my mother (one of the most confident women I know) taught me to carry myself a certain way. So, I faked it till I made it.
When you have hated yourself for 28 years of your life, it's hard to care about anyone's opinions when you post a simple picture like that. That picture showed parts of my body that I have despised so much that I've cried as I wore body shapers to hide it.
But I have decided not to hate my body anymore. I won't hide it. It is what it is. So I'm going to love it. And the liberation that comes with my naked body is how I chose to announce that to the world. Doesn't matter who thought it was uncomfortable. I've always made people uncomfortable. My obesity is always uncomfortable to someone because it's undesirable. A moment of self-love is way more valuable to me than a moment of discomfort for you.
May God free little 7th grade girls who are ashamed of their beautiful fat bodies and may they grow into beautiful healthy women who continue to encourage their peers and those who come after them to love themselves despite what people may say.