I Am Fat!

Yep, however you want to put it I'm fat. Plus size, curvy, big, sexy, and beautiful. Whatever you want to call it.

I never realised that I was unconfident, harsh on myself and to be honest embarrassed by the way I look when I was growing up. It was never anything I talked about because I've always repressed any emotion I had (good one Lucy). Going to university made me realise I wasn't confident I acting, pretending, forcing myself to smile. I went to an all girls school that might of been something to do with it. Having to wear a skirt, shirt, jumper, tie and blazer doesn't help with your image of yourself. At school the worst I ever felt about myself was on the bus home one day. I was by myself and a group of guys sat behind me laughing, shouting and throwing things at me. I just sat there unable to say anything to them or look anyone else in the eyes. I cried as soon as I got off the bus and all the way to my house but making myself stop before I saw my Mum because I didn't want her to see me upset.

I became unhealthy after this as I refused myself food, I lost 2 stone but I still didn't feel pretty. I would try other physical changes to myself to make look pretty, getting a haircut, trying make-up, new outfits but none of them worked. I would hate to get any attention and so just faded. My personality faded, my laugh faded and my smile faded.

I then went to a mixed sixth form where you had to wear your own clothes. This was a challenge for me as with a uniform at least made me looked similar to others. But I like a challenge so I accepted it. I wore a dress one day because I thought I would brave and I got a lot of compliments about it but I didn't know how to take them, so I would present a weak smile and say nothing back. But this was triumph and so decided to continue waring dresses and skirts because I got compliments in them. I also I think I wore them because it hid my body more than trousers.

This continued into university for a while just putting on a dress and pretending I'm fine. Any attention from a guy on a night out I would be uncomfortable with and not want to speak out. I was that girl on the bus again. This changed when I met my best friends they accepted me and brought me back from my fade. I felt loved which changed everything. It made me think if they loved me then their must be something in me worth loving. Over the last 3 years I've gained so much. I started to wear jeans and trousers again, I enjoy fashion, I enjoy make-up, I laugh and I smile. My friend who saw me through all these stages told me recently that she saw a new confidence in me. This meant a lot to me. I'm constantly hitting milestones in my confidence; last summer I wore a swimsuit in front of friends for the first time, this may seem small but it felt freeing.

Throughout this time I felt my appearance was the reason I didn't get any male "attention" but looking back it was because I was so unconfident. But I felt this pressure that I had to be with someone, that I was wrong to be single. But with my new found love for myself I realised I had done things because I felt pressured to and now regret for letting myself do something because I felt like I wasn't going to be accepted otherwise. But know every relationship I encounter is on my terms and is because I want to.

Recently I have been in a car crash, I’m fine and everyone involved is but I had to have major surgery on my intestines so have a long scare down my stomach area. This is a new challenge I had to face, as I would look in the mirror and not like what I saw. It wasn’t my body particularly but my pale skin, my grey under eyes and my frown. I looked like a hollow version of myself. This affected my recovery as your body inverts when you have surgery and changes in shape it took about 2 months for it to go back to its normal shape. I then decided that if I wasn’t happy how I looked now I would have to change it so I chopped off my long (to my bum) length hair. This did wonders, it made me look into the mirror again I liked what I saw. Something simple like that can change your perspective of yourself.

The main pressure I think comes from society's validation of a person by their appearance. Our bodies are just a canvas for our personalities. Your looks shouldn't define you but in today's society that's what's happening. Having the media validate people by how they look and making us believe this. I've started following people on social media who spread body positivity such as Tess Holliday, Amanda Montgomery, Denise Bidot, Madeline Stuart, Meghan Tonjes and Harnaam Kaur. Who are all women who show the mainstream that beauty standards of the media are wrong as these are beautiful, successful women who show positivity. Some have created hashtags that I follow regally to get more inspiration and empowerment such as #effyourbeautystandards, #nowrongwaytobeawoman and #bootyrevolution. If you ever need empowerment look at these tags. When I was younger I felt like there was no one who looked like me in the media and so didn't feel like it was ok to be different but now with the success of people like, Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson and Adele. I hope young girls now don't feel like this too. The conation around the word fat being bad is something that needs to change as its a way to describe someone's body in a neutral or positive way.

I was having a chat with my friend about being plus size and she felt she couldn't comment on her own insecurities and body image issues because of me. This is something I hated as other people are valid to have their own insecurities and body image struggles no matter what size, race or appearance because its about your own body and no one else opinion.

I am proud of myself. I'm proud to write this, I'm proud to smile, to do what I want with no fear of judgment. Being confident isn't being ok all the time and pretending everything is ok. It's a state of mind with who you are and being comfortable with yourself and so if someone does judge you, you’re fine with it. I now stand up for myself and other people because no one should feel belittled or less than any other person. I'm a believer that positivity can do a lot and can help others so I hope with this message of positivity it could helps someone else. The most important thing is to be healthy mentally and physically and so a positive mind helps with a positive body. I make sure I eat right and stay active.

One thing that really helped me was RuPual's Drag Race; seeing this celebration of women made me proud to be one. How RuPual finishes the show every week really hit me so I'm going to finish this post with it. "If you can't love yourself how in the hell are you going to love someone else. Can I get an Amen up in here?"

Published by Lucy Mills