Fat and Fabulous: Body Positivity

Pool in Spain

Spurs water park in Sulphur Louisiana

I have been a chubby bunny all my life except for the time, I made an entrance into the world as a premature baby. If you read about my travel adventures, you know that being plus-size is not the focal point of my blog. The weight around my midsection does not define who I am and honestly doesn’t affect the way I travel. I am comfortable in my skin, so you might as well take me as I am or keep it moving.  I choose to embrace myself and live my life unapologetically. My motto: “I only have one life to live and I must live it well”.YOLO!

Fat Shaming and Internet Bullying

Spain in pool at hotel with bathing suit from Forever 21

I went to Spain and posted a picture of me in a monokini aka one-piece bathing suit. I looked fabulous. My braids were cascading down my back, the bright yellow bathing suit fit perfectly and I was in a gorgeous pool in freaking Spain.

I know how cruel social media can be but I’m normally supported when I share travel photos.  I shared the photo on social media and received lots of positive feedback including 21,000 likes in Girls Love Travel Facebook group along with thousands of affirmative comments. Although that sounds impressive, I was more excited about the comments from women saying that I inspired them to be comfortable within there own body. 

About a week later I discovered that this same swimsuit picture had been floating around Facebook and had been used negatively. The caption stated, “You will cheer for a 300-pound woman in a two-piece bathing suit and not a skinny girl in the same swimsuit” 

Several Problems with this statement:

  • I am not 300 Pounds! I love when people become psychics and can assume how much I weigh based off of one image.
  • Skinny girls in bathing suits are always shown love as evidenced by social media, tv, magazine, etc. 
  • I looked beautiful and I know it. Stop hating and congratulate. 
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. If you compare you will always be unhappy with yourself. Remember, we are individuals and thus are on different journeys in our lives.

As women, let us learn to uplift each other. There is no reason that we should put each other down, based on our own insecurities. Deal with your self-esteem, go see a therapist if necessary. We are queens and there is more than one crown to go around. I promise we can all win. 

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Fat +Health

Many people believe that because you are larger you don’t exercise. I love to do water aerobics and although the gym is not my favorite I do recognize the health benefits.  I would love to try belly or pole dancing as a form of exercising in the future. Oh and of course I love food but that doesn’t mean I eat pizza, fries, and hamburgers every day. Contrary to what people may believe I love salads, fruits, and veggies.

I think many people assume that because you are a FAT that you must be unhealthy. You should never assume anything about anyone let alone there health. Unless you are a physician and have a client in your care, leave people alone. Believe it or not, slim people can be just as unhealthy but may not show because they carry less weight. The last time I checked sickness targets everyone despite the size, color, race, sexuality, and religion. As  Fimba the soca singer says, “mind your funky business”.

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Fat Friendly Places to Travel

I noticed that the following question is asked frequently “Do you know of any fat friendly places to visit”? I often wondered what that question meant? I don’t subscribe to fat-friendly because as a fat person, I am free to move both literally and figurately where I want to go. 

For example, someone could say Thailand is not a fat friendly place because a lot of the Thai people are slim. While this is true doesn’t mean that I don’t belong in the country. I must admit I didn’t find my clothing size in the store but I had an outfit made by a seamstress. 

I traveled to Phuket and met the Gypsy people. I was shocked to find that these residents who lived near the sea were chubby and considered to be the happiest people in Thailand.  While I was shopping in the market an older woman stopped me and told me I was beautiful. 

My encounters are an example of why you should refrain from asking about Fat Friendly places. You must experience everything for yourself and draw your own conclusions about a particular destination. 

If I want to go to Greece, I will go! If I want to go to Thailand, I will go! If I want to go to Ghana, I will go. I don’t base my travel adventures on how other people may potentially treat me. Remember you can encounter mean people right in your home town. Never ask anyone where you can go, tell them where you are headed.

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Confidence is Key

Many people say  I wish I had your confidence. I didn’t always have this confidence, especially as a teenager. My peers were cruel and I was relentlessly teased in Jr. High school about my weight. In addition, I had stretch marks on my arm and always covered up. One day it was so hot, I had no choice but to remove my jacket.  While shopping, I discovered that all the cute clothes were no shoulder, off the shoulder, and sleeveless. As long as I feel like it fits my body appropriately, I’m going to wear it. Including my two-piece bathing suit. 

For those of you that are still struggling with confidence. I challenge you to do the following: Wake up, look in the mirror and repeat I AM BEAUTIFUL 3x. Reflect on both your physical and personality character traits. Also, seek counseling if you need additional help with your self-esteem. Self-love is important to having confidence. Body Positivity is key.

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Poem

I AM BEAUTIFUL 

used to think beauty was about how much I weighed
and the bigger butt I longed for
used to look my line of lineage
and say I must be adopted
Because when I’m at my Fam Bam’s house
All I saw was a cute face, little waist with a big behind
Yeah I talked about the young girls who got plastic surgery for their 18th birthday
But let me be real with you
I wish I could have been one of those girls
I think that’s the real reason why I had to watch Dr. 90210 every time it came on
used to let guys dictate whether I was beautiful or not
The days when the guys did not try to “holla” at me
Guess What? Yep you’re right
I was miserable for the whole day
Only when they tried to holla at me
Did the sunshine 🙂
While waiting for the bus
used to compare myself to the girls who were considered to be pretty
I was thinking man if only…if only I looked like that
Man, it started getting bad. Bad to the bone
It was to the point where I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror
But then I thought to myself
Hold up! Wait a minute
Let me put some boom in it
Nah just playing on the real tip
used to think beauty was about
How much I weighed
The butt I longed for
The family members who had a bomb shape
The guys who tried to spit game at me
But then I realized that beauty is given to the senses of the spirit
realized that only I can tell myself I am beautiful
If I have to look at myself in the mirror and
say “mirror mirror on the wall
Who’s the prettiest of them all. I AM”
yeah, that’s it. It’s no more used to be
But now its I realize I AM
yeah I finally realized
I AM BEAUTIFUL
My goal is to inspire others around the world. Hopefully, I wrote something in this blog that inspires to you go live your best life!
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24 Comments

    • Yes I can’t help that people hate! Im just out here trying to stay positive and live my best life

  1. I saw that original post and said GOOO GUUUURL!!! I LALALALOVED your post then and even more now!!! You inspire a lot of people to live life NOW!!!

    • Wow , thanks girl! It may sound cliche my goal is to inspire others, so my heart gets all warm and fuzzy when I hear thoughts such as these! Yes only one live to live you dont get another chance, the time is now

  2. Love ALL of this and your energy is contagious and BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Can’t wait till we can finally do a trip together, lol!!! My struggle 😘😘😘

    • Thank you so much, I could have responded negatively but I decided to give out positive energy. Yessss join me on a trip one of these days. If you ever in LA let me know 🙂

  3. Tiff you are definitely and inspiration to me and many. I must admit my confidence level is not where yours at period. My daughter who is slight bigger than me in weight has more confidence in herself than I ever will. Her confidence shows all over and I see the same in you. So it’s because of you I order a one piece and a 2 piece bathing suite (no bathing suit with the skirt to hid my huge thighs) and I will wear it. Talk to my husband about buying me a full body mirror for the house. I never allowed mirrors in the house except the bathroom so I can do my hair all my adult life. You changed that in me so I’m working on baby steps. Your beauty shows inside and out and I love that about you. When I saw the post from that awful women I was pissed and started typing away, how dare she attack someone who inspire me and helping me get out this box. You had no idea that you have been inspiring me for months, way before your bath suit picture but because of your get up and go solo adventures. You did something I wanted to do but been scared. So in April I conquered that fear and went to Chicago solo because of you and a couple of other Tribe friends. So I hope the fat shaming stops because there’s a lot of women who need people like you, I believe your helping people and giving us all a positive change on body images and that we all are beautiful.
    Pssssss I glad to call you a friend in my head and hope to meet you one day.

    • Hey Tracey,
      First of all why are you making me cry! I’m so glad that you have bought your bathing suit. I’m super excited for you to wear it! It may even take time for you to be comfortable but this is the first step. Yes I familar with not wanting to look in the mirror which is why I now love to do that excercise with clients because I want people to face the fear of themselves then find something that they love. I had no idea that I have been inspiring you for this long but I’m also happy you took the leap for your first solo domestic trip. As a mother and wife you need me time. Traveling solo also lets you know you have problem solving skills and keeps you on your feet. Unfortunately I dont think fat shaming will stop, but I personaly choose to focus on positive comments like this one. My goal is to inspire other people, so when people tell me I am in inspirsation by me simply living my life, I feel like Im headed in the right direction. Remember having confidence is not a microwave fix, its like being in a oven, it takes a while to be cooked throughly . Yass I absolutely want to meet you in person. I hope you dont mind but I want to give you the biggest hug ever!

  4. As someone who was continually teased for being fat her whole life, I have to say that your blog is truly inspiring. You are beautiful on the outside as well as being beautiful in the inside. Love you, Tiffany💕

    • Awe Ria, I love you right back. I’m so glad that we met literally across the world in Spain. Thank you so much, I appreciate are talks, there was a reason I was drawn to you at Diverbo. You are beautful and have a kind spirit always willing to help 🙂

    • Thank you for reading the blog, I appreciate it 🙂 I have never experienced racism in GLT, so this is my first time hearing something of this nature. I will check out the link provided.

  5. Memes are such a cowardly form of bullying. Meanwhile you stood up, said “this is me-no shame in my game,” and have kept it moving. Thanks for boldly living your life and sharing your travels!

    • I love memes but not when they are in the form of bullying. I believe that you should stand up to your bullies to prevent further bullying. Thank you for allowing me to share 🙂

  6. This is an incredible affirmation! I definitely believe and agree with you that you must go and figure out a destination for yourself. A destination may show one thing to one person and one thing to another.

    And that person who tried to sham you definitely needs to look into the mirror and figure out herself.

    Lastly, where do you buy your swimsuits?

    • I refuse to ask somebody about where to go as it relates to my size.

      I agree she must figure out how to get over her own insecurities.

      I buy my bathing suits from Forver 21, Old Navy, Torrid, Lane Bryant, Old Navy, Walmart. I know there are other online stores but I usually shop in the stores because I like to try my clothes on

  7. What a wonderful post. You go girl. You look stunning and happy. Who cares about a few extra pounds. I’ve been plus size most of my life, so I know the feeling of people looking down their nose at you. But you know what? Sod them. We come in all shapes, sizes and colours. And are all wonderful unique and perfect. Thanks a lot for this positive message.

    • Thanks girl, I appreciate you taking the time to read the post. Yes so you can understand where I am coming from. All different sizes, backgrounds, religions and we are all amazing in our own right

  8. I don’t understand why people feel the need to make a point like that – your picture has nothing to do with what happens with other pictures at all. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. You are beautiful, and I’m glad you get out there and see the world without worrying about “fat friendly destinations” (whatever that means). Love your poem at the end!

    • I think people that need to make a point like this are very insecure and miserable. Absolutely, your parents taught you if you dont have anything to say dont say anything at all. But some people didnt learn about manners. There are so many places that I want to go that I refused to ask anybody can I go. I wrote that poem in collge and thought it fit well with this blog post. Thank you very much for your feedback 🙂

    • Thank you so much! In this moment I am thankful for my own self-confidence. If not, this narrative could have gone a completely different way ie. depression

  9. I love your attitude! You have great legs and I love your suits. Enjoy every moment of you life.

    • Thank you so much. I’m def going to enjoy life. I only have one opportunity to grab life by the horns and ride the wave.

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