I'm often asked, "Since you are a role model, why not promote healthy living?" I will only say this once: Your size is not an indicator of health. It's a fact. Besides, it's not my place to tell women they need to lose weight or what to do with their bodies. We have enough people in our society and media that push the message down our throats that we aren't good enough if we are overweight, or "curvy."
We are constantly told that the true key to happiness is limited to the size you wear. Frankly, that's the real problem here. What we need is more people saying it's okay to be your size, to love your body, regardless. There also needs to be more diversity of sizes, and honestly races, showing what the majority of women look like. If I sound like a broken record, it's because I am.
The fact that I'm plus-size, wear crop tops and love to have a cupcake every now and then, is not dooming our young women into a life of misery. If anything, it should show others that you can enjoy your life... Heck, have your cake and eat it too!
Do I believe in taking care of your body the way you see fit? Absolutely. But remember, the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar business trying to sell unobtainable body standards. It counts on the fact that millions of women (and men) will buy their products in hopes of unlocking some secret power to have the partner of their dreams, drive a fancy car and suddenly have perfectly white straight teeth. No, but really -- does anyone ever notice in the "before and after's" how they are super tan with perfect teeth? Pft.
Imagine what would happen if we all started to love ourselves a little bit more and worried less about what others thought. What would that look like? I hope that at the end of my life, my legacy wasn't about pressuring women to look a certain way -- to love your body only if you are fit. No, it's about loving yourself in its current form. Period. Life is so much more beautiful and complex than a number on a scale.
p.s. Don't assume fat people don't work out. Don't assume that we eat junk food. Don't assume things you know nothing about. It just isn't nice.
Tess Munster is a plus-size model, make-up artist, blogger and activist. She writes a blog called The Plus Size Life.
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