Fat Girls Can Do Whatever They Want -- And Don’t You Forget It

Yes, Fat Girls CAN — And Don’t You Forget It

April 30, 2020 Updated June 24, 2020

Samantha Hurley/Burst

Hey my gorgeous plus-size sisters, circle up. Let’s have a chat. I’m fat. I’ve been fat since I was a kid. I’ve heard my fair share of opinions about what I can and can’t do in the body I have. Most of it is total BS. I know that fat girls can do anything we want. We just don’t hear that message as often as we should.

The world just doesn’t like how fat girls look. Everyone knows that, historically, many men in social power have expected one of a woman’s primary roles to be decoration. As long as we are going to be objects, they figure we ought to be objects of their sexual desire. The only type of woman many men will admit to desiring is a thin woman, and fat girls exist outside of their expectations — therefore we are just not enough. Or we are too much. I don’t know.

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Somewhere along the way, diet culture became our culture. It’s pervasive and toxic. Thin has been in for a long ass time now, and fat girls have spent our entire lives listening to people tell us what we should and should not do, based on how our bodies look when we do it.

The list of “Shoulds” is short.

  • Exercise to the point of injury with the sole intention of weight loss.
  • Be grateful for any and all sexual attention, especially from men.
  • Hate our bodies.
  • Feel like unhealthy ticking time bombs.

The “Should Not” list is endless, but it includes anything that would lead us to accept ourselves as we are for any amount of time under any circumstance, and anything that makes us feel good about the bodies we live in. (Also, it includes “eating carbs.” Apparently, we are never, ever supposed to do that.)

I’m not here to try to convince the world that fat girls can do all the things that They™ have decided are not meant for us. The world will not be convinced. Some miserable man is going to send me a message the minute this publishes to remind me that he thinks I’m repugnant. Whatever. I’ve heard it all before.

This isn’t about them.

I’m just here talking to you, my fellow curvaceous ladies. The world is wrong, your body is good, and you are allowed to do anything you want in it.

If you have been holding back because you think, as a fat girl, you shouldn’t do certain things just because of how your body might look to other people, buckle up. I’m about to take you on an inspiring freaking journey.

From the slightly plump, to the infinifat, yes, fat girls can do anything we choose –– and we can look damn good doing it.

We can do all the outdoorsy things.

Wanna try kayaking? Then try kayaking! If the water is calling your name, gear up and head out. Make safe choices, and have a blast. Kayaking is for fat girls.

How about hiking? Are you itching to get out into nature and break a healthy sweat? Fill up that water bottle, get some good shoes, and hike your heart out. Hiking is for fat girls.

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Think of body shame like the layers of an onion. For decades in our own lives and for centuries in civilization, we have been taught to judge and shame our bodies and to consequently judge and shame others. Getting to our inherent state of radical self-love means peeling away those ancient, toxic messages about bodies. It is like returning the world’s ugliest shame sweater back to the store where it was purchased and coming out wearing nothing but a birthday suit of radical self-love. || @sonyareneetaylor, The Body is Not an Apology . 📍Fat Girls Hiking 2020 Winter Retreat on Chinook land in Oregon. . ID: [ 1. Group of 10 adults, 2 kids stand & sit on steps of a red house with yellow/green trim. They hold a banner that says “Fat Girls Hiking, Trails Not Scales.” 2. 5 adults, 1 kid stand with snow tubes at a night time cosmic tubing place with green lights and snow in the background. 3. A hiker wearing a red jacket & camera around her neck, with arms outstretched looks up with mouth open. There are green mossy trees in the background. 4. A kiddo with a blue jacket, colorful braids and clothes faces camera holding a walking stick. There are green trees and shrubs in the background. 5. 2 people sit next to a table working on crafts with cups, bottles and tubes in front of them on the table. 6. 3 people sit in a living room setting. One person is knitting. 7. 2 people with pursed lips stand in a kitchen. One is holding a baggie with food. 8. 4 adults and 1 kid stand next to a river. The selfie is close up, 1 person in blue hat and jacket. There are trees and a river in the background. 9. 1 person stands in snow smiling with a snow tube behind them. There are other people and snow in the background. It is night and the sky is dark with red and blue lights lighting the photo. 10. 6 adults and 1 kid sit around tables working on crafts in a room with ski jerseys and photos on the wall. ]

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Do you have a strong desire to jump on a bicycle and feel the wind in your hair like you did when you were a kid? Well, you can’t because you need to wear a helmet. Just because we threw caution to the wind in the ’80s doesn’t mean we should do it now. But you can totally do the biking part. Biking is for fat girls.

You know what else fat girls can do? Run when nobody is chasing us. Stupid memes don’t have to be real life. If you want to run, get your run on. You might have to build up to a distance run, but that feeling of taking off is still as invigorating as it was on the elementary school playground. Running is for fat girls.

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Today was a weird day, although it started off great (see my gratitude list in stories). Everyone was suddenly wearing masks at the supermarket (a stark contrast from even a few days ago), some things did not go as planned so I was caught way off guard, and I was super-tired and cranky. I sat in my car for a couple of minutes, trying to convince myself that I didn’t really need to run today (I didn’t, training-wise). But I knew that although I was feeling off, I should probably just go and do the run that I had planned. I know that I always feel better after a run and it worked. It worked SO WELL. My mood was vastly improved after those lovely five miles, and now I can face the world with a better outlook. I hope you have something in your life that does this for you, too. [📷 by @michellecraigphotography at Gooseberry Mesa in Utah a few weeks ago] #running #trailrunning #trailandultra #gooseberrymesa #runningphotos #onetrail #womenwhomove #adventure #wewillgetthroughthis #utah #adventuretime #trails #runninglife #backcountry #hiking #runnersofinstagram

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Fat girls can use our bodies to express creativity.

Movement is art, and our bodies are not meant to be excluded from the narrative. If you want to express yourself by moving the beautiful body life gave you, get on it, girl. Creative movement is for every kind of body. Check out this gorgeous, pink-haired mama mesmerizing everyone with her badass hooping skills. Fat Girls + Flow Arts = Love.

You think fat girls can’t dance? Au, contraire. At the Eugene Panfilov Ballet of the Fat, fat girls can dance…ballet en pointe! If you aren’t trained in the art of arabesques, pirouettes and Grand Jete, never fear. You can dance any way you know how. Dancing is for fat girls.

Fat and athletic are not antonyms.

Fat girls can definitely play sports. Whether it’s church league softball, weekly tennis with friends, or competitive weight-lifting, fat girls can be as sporty as we want. And we can win an Olympic medal. Don’t take my word for it; Ask Sarah Robles how that feels. She’s done it. Sports are for fat girls.

Fat girls can do yoga. Our bodies are capable of flexibility, strength and discipline. Grab your mat, find a class and enjoy the practice. Namaste, fat babe. Yoga is for fat girls.

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What are the main things I have learned in my 200 RYT: • YOGA IS FOR ALL BODIES (but we already knew that) I/We deserve to be vulnerable. I/We deserve to feel strong. I/We deserve to be touched. I/We deserve a safe place to learn. I/We deserve to feel like a bad ass • I’m also learning that my life and opinion matter. I’m the only plus size person in our training and I’m able to provide perspective and options from my point of view that some didn’t even know was an option, student and instructor alike. • If your hesitant to do something because of <insert your insecurity here>, just do it. Leap off and take the experience as it is given to you. • We all deserve to be happy and one day I will be able to say it out loud. #akashayogadavis #davisyoga #bayareayoga #yogateachertraining #fatyoga #plussizeyoga #curvyyoga #plussizefitness #yogaformentalhealth #fatgirlscan #yogaforall #bodypositive #inclusionmatters #plussizelife

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The world calls these girls fat. These girls call themselves gymnasts. The hashtag #thickgirlswhotumble took off on Twitter a while back because plenty of girls are happy to prove that a thick body can still fly through the air with ease. Tumbling is for fat girls.