Warm weather is upon us, friends. Time to lift our faces to the sun and let our bodies roam freely in the warmth of an (almost) summer's day. Not that I want to rush Spring, mind you. Spring brings an abundance of flowers in my yard and heralds an awakening in my soul after a winter spent in reflection. Sweetbabycheezeits, let's not rush through Spring!
I know many of y'all are still facin' some frosty temps. Down where I live in South Georgia, we're already playin' peek-a-boo with the summer's beastly hotness. Meanwhile, many of us gloriously fat folks are playin' peek-a-boo with the notion of not hiding our bodies.
Amazing body positive experts here at are gonna recommend must have clothes for summer. Other experts will offer us fabulous missives, encouragin' us to not hide, to show as much skin as we want. Fatphobia be damned! I'm grateful for the incredible women who know more about what's in style than I do and who inspire me with their firm handle on the body acceptance movement. But this little ditty I'm about to play for you is simply some suggestions from a mama who's dancin' awkwardly through menopause while holdin' a fragile and fierce love of her fat body.
Love yourself in your own time and in whatever way is best for you. Our journeys aren't a contest to see which one among us reaches enlightenment first. Accepting, loving your body isn't a race. Love yourself when you can, sisters. If you're wearin' a swim skirt and not a two piece this season, this doesn't mean you're ashamed of your body. If you're steppin' out of your comfort zone by wearin' shorts for the first time in a decade, this doesn't mean you have to dive right into the body positive movement, shamin' other women who aren't ready to let their thighs loose on the world. Don't feel like you're not invited to the self love party, because you aren't in a bikini. Be inspired by the women who are out here, visibly blazing trails. Just don't forget you're steady workin' on blazing your own trails as well.
When we're out and about this summer, we don't need confidence to wear what we want or show bare arms, dimpled thighs, and rotund bellies. Confidence isn't necessary to boldly go forth into the heat in comfort. I tell you what, it's not confidence that sends me out into the sun, rockin' my body in my unique mom style. My secret is I don't carry any shits to give in the pocket of my mid-thigh shorts and ripped up tees. Zero shits are freedom. Confidence isn't what it takes to slip on that and venture out into the world. The older I get, the more important my comfort is than what some emotionally stunted stranger with a camera phone thinks of my choices.
Think of it this way. You're at the store. Let's call it the Feel Good Emporium. No, not - I mean this metaphorical Feeling Good about Yourself store. When you get to the huge display of shits to give, the one with the buy one fear of a fatphobic culture, get one shame fest free, don't buy any of it! You seriously don't need that shit. You don't need that shit or confidence. You need a tank top or whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable at this point in your self love journey. Confidence is freakin' amazing, sisters, but it's comfort and zero shits that make for one hell of a summer.
Remember to have fun! Try not to get trapped inside a body you may or may not be ready to love. Remember the shit you didn't buy? Yeah, now's the time to dive into that pool, play a game of kick ball, or try yoga. See what you and your body are capable of doing. Yes, your body parts may jiggle. That's what bodies do. Don't be afraid of the jiggle. Embrace the jiggle.
Try not to let another glorious summer pass you by makin' excuses to your friends and family about why you can't swim in the ocean with them, run on a beach, play tag, or go to a theme park. Have fun in your body as best you can, beccause being fat doesn't translate into complacency. Bein' fat is simply that. Fatness.
Okay, this tip is purely practical. I get to share this one, because I'm a mama. I may not be your mama, but listen to me anyway, loves. Take care of your body when it's so hot, all your fat rolls and body crevices are smoldering and chafing. People don't have to hide the fact they get sweaty where skin meets skin. Don't be ashamed to seek out products that will help you keep all your parts dry and fresh. You're gonna need to attend to your comfort when it's 95 thousand degrees outside.
This translation of the care and keeping of you can mean rubbin' baby oil on the inside of your thighs at the beach, so your chub doesn't rub and getcha sore and cranky. I gotta tell you, a sister-friend gave me that tip one summer and it made for some happy thighs walkin' that beach. You can explore the myriad of products designed to help people of all sizes avoid boob sweat. I have no shame (i.e. zero shits to give) about my use of powder under my belly to stay comfortable. I gleefully and with much gratitude partake in touch ups throughout a long summer's day in order to maintain a level of comfort my body deserves. Listen, I'm not about sparkin' a fire on accounta friction or sittin' with my folds glued to one another with a sheen of sweat. You feel me?
This may come as a surprise to many of you. Maybe it was just a revelation for me. Your friends could care less if you're the biggest one in the bunch. If they do, if they're sayin' things or doin' things to point out the obvious in malicious waysâ€¦ well, I hate to be the one to break it to you. Those folks aren't your friends. They're actin' like assholes and have their own body image issues.
Being the bigger friend in a group of smaller women may come with a level of discomfort for you. And that's okay. You're workin' on it in your own time. You get to blaze that trail in your life. But listen here, when you're among friends, participating in the joy of summer, they're simply happy to have you with them. Don't compare your body to other bodies, baby. You know what's comin' next. Every body is a good body.
Look around you. Wherever you are. No matter the size of our bodies, the wind still caresses our cheeks. The sun shines down upon us. Thunder rolls. Birds freakin' fly. Popsicles melt, sendin' sticky rivers of icy syrup down the sides of our hands. Your body is still present and longing to be reunited with your mind and soul. Miracles are unfolding all around us. Summer is a time for shining, not hiding. Look around you. You are a part of this miracle too.
As the temperatures begin to soar, you can pack any of these suggestions in your beach bag or slip what you need into your pocket. Ditch what you don't. I mean, honestly, all of this applies to any time of year, but many of us feel vulnerable right about now. The incessant call for beach ready bodies has some of us scrambling for that oversized shirt to wear over our fatness. The ever present call for culturally defined perfection has some of us ready to do battle within the body positive movement. The fact is, we're fat and summer's nearly upon us. When you're ready, bask in the sunshine. We're all meant for the light.
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