Time for Change

By Bridget Fitzpatrick

      All my life, I have been told to change. Change the way I eat, because I’m fat, though I’ve always eaten healthy. I have been told to change my workout habits, to actually workout, even though I do every day. I’ve been told to change the way I dress, because it’s “too revealing” for a fat girl. My whole life has been a series of body shaming and hate due to the way I look.

  For a long time, all I wanted to do was change. All I wanted to do was be one of the pretty girls, one of the girls that got all of the guys and had best friends that looked like models. All I wanted was to take artsy pictures and look beautiful in them, to be like all of the other popular, gorgeous girls that I have seen around me. I constantly tried to change my appearance. I worked out as hard as I could. I stopped eating, I purged, I did whatever I could. Nothing happened. I cried and puked, tearing myself apart because I wasn’t becoming who I wanted to be. But then, I realized that I didn’t need to change to be happy. I became a part of the body positive movement, and started dressing and living for myself. This was so hard.

​  Changing yourself is harder than you think. Even if you change your appearance or any other aspect of your life, the choices from before stay with you. I constantly tried to do anything in my power to change. I adapted to wearing makeup, which I now wear only for myself, in an attempt to alter the way people saw me. I tried remedies I read online to help my chest grow, since it didn’t match up with the size of my body. Nothing changed, and as I desperately tried to change my appearance, I was surrounded by perfect people who tried to become thinner than they already were. Even now, my perfect, accepted friends are pushing their diets and lifestyles on me. People instantly think I’m unhealthy when they look at me. I get judged constantly. I’ve been told I’d be attractive if I wasn’t so fat. I live in a world where the realistic body image isn’t close to what I am.

   The whole plus-size movement needs to change. It is great and I’m proud to be a part of it, but there are certain flaws in it. The majority of plus-size clothing collections are shown on models that are 12-14, which can hardly be considered plus-size. The main faces of plus-size in the media are cute girls in American Apparel skirts. This is perfectly fine, but it sets more unrealistic expectations for bigger girls. For myself, it makes me self-conscious when I go to buy clothes and I don’t know how it will look on me because the models look nothing like me. Change is needed, and it is good.

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