Women come in all kinds of beautiful shapes and sizes. Girls should never feel like their bodies aren't good enough. I was never going to fit the media's beauty standards or my family's, and I finally realized that's OK.
Why has #FatisNotaFeeling inspired such rage from the Internet trolls? Why are the women behind it meriting hate blogs and Internet stalkers? We're talking about a Facebook emoticon, here -- not a federal law or a constitutional amendment.
Your stomach's feats should be celebrated, not shamed. And therefore, the stomach should be displayed with, yes, I'll say it, pride. Your umbilical cord connected you, your tummy, and your mother. Without that belly, you wouldn't be here.
I am fat and I am ridiculously happy. That may just be my personality. I do not have the proverbial "skinny girl" inside me just dying to escape. I think that is such sad and tired cliche. It's a boring stereotype that needs to die a quick death.
When you lose weight, everyone starts to pay very close attention to your body. People I barely know now find it appropriate to tell me how happy or impressed they are by my change in appearance, while I often feel judged by the fat-positive community in which I once found comfort and acceptance.
Culturally, we have this perverse notion that poor body image is a sign of modesty. It's not. And people, especially women, who accept and appreciate the way they look can be perceived as narcissistic. They're not.
When I began considering myself a body-pos activist, so to speak, I was a size 18/20. I shouted from the rooftops that I was in love with my fat, and that I would never, ever allow anyone to make me feel unworthy or "less than" in the future.
I live at the intersection of sexism and fatphobia. This is my daily reality, so in all honesty, I expected the backlash I received. It's what keeps many fat women quiet. But I'm here to give all of us a voice. I will not be silenced.
The problem with the body positivity movement is not Jennifer Lawrence. It is in fact very impressive to me that a "conventionally beautiful woman" cares about the effect that an unhealthy appearance could have on her young audience.
Because fat girls aren't supposed to take pleasure in our bodies or even consider showing other people what they look like, there is a lot of sh*t that can hit the fan. Mostly caused by other people not knowing how to handle someone as sexy as me owning it.
I realize I am in the privileged position of having, by some trick of the genetic lottery, the type of body our society has deemed attractive. But that isn't why I love my body. I love it because body-positivity is a radical act of love.
I am loved, by my family, by my friends, by my partner, I am loved. And if I cannot love myself, if I close myself off to that love, that's just like telling those people who matter, that their love for me means nothing.
It's not about the numbers. It's not about streamlining or looking "better" to a society that hates my body type. It's about being healthy. Looking at the health problems I have and trying to lessen them. It's about being energetic, having stamina, and not being tired.