I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Step 5: Be Brave

This is the fourth in a series of things that have helped me, I believe in, or people have asked me to share. Basically, things I do or think or whatever that have helped me be a better person, activist and positive fat lady. Check out  Step 1,  Step 2, Step 3 and Step 4.
Step 5: Be Brave
Now this is more of the be brave by being confident in your own skin sort of thing and not putting yourself in the path of danger. And I firmly believe that going out into the world as a fat person is an act of outright bravery! I was so inspired and moved by Melissa McEwan’s post about things fat people are told this past April that I saved the link and look back on it often. It rang so true for me that I have to go back and read it every now and then to remind myself why it is I write about all things fat. By going out into the world as our most authentic selves and not giving a damn what others may think is truly bucking the stereotype fats have long been burdened with.
Being brave is being you and not giving a fuck about the judgment you may get from others. Bravery is looking people in the eyes as they give you the classic “up-down” or worse. Or better yet, snapping a picture of them as they try to not-so-sneakily take yours. They are trying to take something from you…by confronting them silently, or not silently, you are letting them know that you are a person, that you’re aware of yourself and their bullshit and you’re not going to slink away in shame. In fact, I refuse to slink away in shame from anything ever again. I don’t care if my pants fall down while I’m climbing the stairs, I will not slink! And nor should you.
Bravery is speaking up for yourself and others. You may not always have the right words, but your intentions are pure and your actions speak louder than words. Together we make quite a force to be reckoned with! The fat liberation/acceptance/pride community is a far reaching and tightly woven fabric of rebels who care and people who want to see change in the world. We are that change. By going out into the world like everyone else, we are that change. We live it everyday and with every best friend or auntie or cousin we share our fatty secrets with, we perpetuate that positivity and the journey towards self-acceptance. Because we’re worth it, baby!
By bucking self-hate, we allow ourselves to live without that stress. We are giving ourselves room to breathe and think and feel. To live a life more fully lived! We can be rebels and grannies, we can be admins and rock stars, we can be heroes and heroines! Fauja Singh ran his first marathon recently. He’s 100 years old. When asked what his secret is to a long life, he replied: “The secret to a long and healthy life is to be stress-free. Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running.”
We must support and encourage one another. When things get tough, and seem to keep getting tougher, we need each other that much more. We need to reach out and talk and hug and love and organize and speak out and be heard! We live in a time where the possibility of having our rights ignored or revoked is a reality. When people gather to show the powers that be that they are wrong, they get dealt a hearty helping of violence and abuse. It is not right and it is not fair, but it is the reality of our world right now. The only way we can make a difference and see the change we want in the world is to stick together, welcome others and keep the truth in the forefront of our movement.
I feel most brave when speaking out about the abuses I have endured in my life. I feel most brave when I welcome others to reach out to me if they have no one else they feel comfortable speaking to. I feel most brave when I go to the damned grocery store alone to get food for my husband and I to eat and must bear witness to the looks and remarks from others patrons. I feel most brave when I put pictures of myself on the internet for all to see. I feel most brave when I share so much of myself with so many that I don’t know and can’t possibly know. I feel most brave when I walk the dog at night on my own and every car that passes us by I turn to smile at, hoping to interrupt any thought of hate they might have before they can shout it at me. I feel most brave when I am most truly me.
When do you feel brave? What have you always wanted to do but haven’t had the courage?
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” ~Maya Angelou
11 Comments to

“Step 5: Be Brave”

  1. On November 16th, 2011 at 12:03 pm Lori Says:

    This series could not have come at a better time for me: I am not long out of a nine year relationship, I haven’t been out at nioght for years well since putting on the extra weight I was already extra curvy. Now I am normally confident and I really do love my curves but I am incredibly isolated, the thought of going out on a Saturday night terrifies me and this Saturday I am forced. I am completely miserable at the thought of it, I keep bursting into tears and I feel hellish. I dont know how to get over this, I dont know how I became like this I used to be so sociable, life and soul of the party always happy, always dancing and never cared what anyone thought. What the hell am I going to do?

  2. On November 16th, 2011 at 3:32 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Lori: You are going to fake it until you “make it!” You are going to put on your brave face and your dancing shoes and you are going to cut loose and have fun! Does that sound so terrible? Anxiety is a bitch, but you can mind over matter it. I do it almost everyday and am constantly surprised by what positive things come my way when I do. You’re recently out of a very long relationship and have thus lost your own identity. I have been there. When I finally escaped my abusive relationship I didn’t know who I was or if there was even a place for me in this world. Prior to that relationship I would ask out the guys, I would laugh loudly and dance and have a blast, life of the party and all…suddenly I was on my own and starting all over from scratch. I’d lost my entire teens and was so not ready for the world, but the world was ready for me, I just had to open my eyes and mind to see it. I know you are not feeling it, but if you were in my area, I’d happily show you around town and the fun times I know you will be enjoying ahead. *hugs* You can do it!

  3. On November 16th, 2011 at 8:36 pm Cia Says:

    This is so incredibly inspiring! Makes me feel so proud to have made the decision to stop being apologetically fat and just BE fat among many, many other things. I have done my share of slinking (and then some!), so I have to fight against my instincts to change that MO, but faking it does lead to making it! This weekend I’m flying to visit a friend and she’s taking me to a fancy schmancy spa. With robes and lavender oil and all that jazz. That’s a pretty nice package of bravery and self-care, I think. 😀

  4. On November 17th, 2011 at 11:03 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Cia: Fancy schmancy spa? Sweet! I was so mega nervous when I went to my first schmancy spa. Can I give you a little advice? No matter what happens, enjoy the hell out of it! Don’t let anyone or thing ruin or even dent it, babe. Give yourself over to absolute pleasure…and just let that be your goal for the day.
    My husband and I had gone to the second best spa in the country, in Hana, Maui, Hawaii, and it was magical, but at first I was horrified when the attendant insisted their XL robe would fit me. I didn’t need to get undressed to tell this just wasn’t so. So I tracked down a different attendant and they said the XL was all they gave everyone and that they didn’t have larger, but no biggie, just wait to disrobe in the room after meeting the massage therapist. I was a wreck about it. I couldn’t enjoy their relaxation tea as my husband did. Suddenly all of my flags and flares were up and sitting still wasn’t even happening. I did finally calm down after we were all situated on the massage tables, but it wasn’t easy. I wish I could do it over and just go with it and enjoy myself. I will say that after I felt like a million bucks and smelled incredible, too! They used this fantastic oil. Oh man, I need some of that stuff in my life! Ha-ha! I hope you have a blast, hun. Take care!

  5. On November 18th, 2011 at 1:55 am Larissa Says:

    What a great post! You are completely right: courage is the one thing you need in abundance when you’re fat.

    I had a similarly horrifying experience in a spa with some friends while I was in China. Fortunately, though, I managed to just barely squeeze into the largest men’s size outfit … but the worst part was being completely naked in a room full of incredibly judgmental middle-aged Asian women who couldn’t help but stare at the “HUGE” white girl! But you know what? I’m the stronger for it!

    Your blog is so great; it actually inspired me to start my own blog called “My Journey to Beautiful.” It’s basically going to be about the things I’m going to do in my life to make me feel better about my body … WITHOUT DIETING! There’s probably going to be some exercise involved at some point, but definitely not of the epic proportions necessary to lose 10 pounds a month. I’m just going to let my body be what it wants to be, and focus on being happy, healthy and, most importantly, beautiful!

    I’d love for you to check my blog out!

  6. On November 18th, 2011 at 11:50 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Larissa: Awesome! I hope to hear more and more from you! Have you read “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon? It’s a must read…for everyone, fat or no! Check your local library if you cannot afford to buy your own copy. I lend mine out all of the time, it’s just that good. I hope that you can one day embrace all things you and let go of conventional beauty standards. These things were created by marketing men and not other women. It’s unfortunate to be held to something you had no participation or say in creating.

  7. On November 18th, 2011 at 4:01 am NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » Step 6: Take Lots of Pictures Says:

    […] This is the sixth in a series of things that have helped me, I believe in, or people have asked me to share. Basically, things I do or think or whatever that have helped me be a better person, activist and positive fat lady. Check out  Step 1,  Step 2, Step 3, Step 4 and Step 5. […]

  8. On November 19th, 2011 at 12:08 am Cia Says:

    Thank you for sharing spa stories! Now I’m definitely well prepared for the big spa day today. <3
    I must admit that if i were to allow myself to worry, it would be about the robes fitting (exept from, you know, general shame and ridicule :p). But they'll have to hang on my body somehow, won't they! 😀

    I'll definitely check out your blog, Larissa!

  9. On November 19th, 2011 at 8:32 am Lori Says:

    @ NBAA: Thanks for the encouragement, I am about to go start getting ready. I wish I were in your area I have a feeling you and I would have a blast! I am not known for being shy or lacking in confidence I have always been curvy always loved my curves but I have been faking it all my life and I am just tired now. On the plus side I have a wardrobe of killer clothes and since me and the short ass split I have bought at least 10 pairs of heels all vying for my attention tonight. I can forgive him for most things but stealing my confidence is a tough one to swallow and I hadn’t even realised it had happened. Nevertheless I am going to put in my curlers to tame this wild mane, paint my nails my favourite colour wear what I like and stride with pride right out into the world. Ready or not here I come! I’ll come back and update if I get a chance you all take care, much love Lori xxx

  10. On November 19th, 2011 at 10:47 am thirtiesgirl Says:

    Woot! Well said and a valuable read. This is the part I have the hardest time with when it comes to size acceptance. Being brave and advocating for myself and other people of size is the scariest thing for me to do. Largely because I receive so much negativity when I do. Los Angeles, and Southern California, are not very fat friendly places. I haven’t experienced much outright, overt fat hatred – at least not as much as what I’ve read about from other size positive bloggers. But people here seemed really hooked into the idea of health as a moral issue, so any time I bring up the idea of not passing judgment on what people eat or their lifestyle choices with my co-workers, I get bombarded with the whole “but your health!” argument. I don’t have any allies in my fight, so it gets tiring and discouraging to experience so many opposing viewpoints without any support. Sometimes I have to stop fighting just to save my sanity, and I don’t spend as much time eating lunch or socializing with my co-workers for that reason. Being brave is hard and often very discouraging for me.

  11. On November 21st, 2011 at 4:03 am NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » Step 7: Let Go Says:

    […] be a better person, activist and positive fat lady. Check out  Step 1,  Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5 and Step 6. Step 7: Let Go This one’s a toughy! But I will insist that it is absolutely […]

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