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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Loving My Curves

Usually, I like to blog about creativity, craft or art but today, a different kind of article caught my attention in the January 2017 issue of Real Simple Magazine.

This is Rosaliz Jimenez, 42, photo director at a celebrity fashion magazine. You would notice that she’s not a supermodel, in fact, she’s considered plus-sized in the US.



Her story is the one that caught my eye. Like all fat people, she struggled with her weight and her self-esteem. Then one day, she noticed a strange lump on her neck. The diagnosis turned out to be cancer and it progressively got worse, till even after all the cancer treatment was over, she was hit with gallstones and her gall bladder had to be removed. 😱

Why did her story attract me? For one, having been fat nearly all my life, (with one brief respite during puberty) I can identify with her when she says “no one bullied me the way I bullied myself”. It sucks when you can hardly shop for clothes because none of the shops carry your size. Or when you are surrounded by visual reminders everywhere that people should look like supermodels. Even walking on the street reminds you that there are plenty other ordinary people who are not fat.

Worse still is your inner critic, convincing you that all this is your fault and that you are a failure for being this way, a lesser being than all the other size-0s out there. Even if you are already dieting and exercising, you are still a failure because you are still not a size-0 after all that effort. It seems to doom you to being a fat slob for the rest of your life.

I struggled with that inner critic like every fat and skinny woman on this planet but made peace with my body and self-image a long time ago. But, as life went on and I did more interesting stuff and met people who wanted to befriend me despite my size, I accepted that I had many other strengths to define me as a person other than my figure. ( Plus that I wasn’t willing to give up chips for the rest of my life in exchange for the perfect body 🍟) Her story though reminded me how important self-love for your body is.

Let us love ourselves, body and soul before such a medical calamity befalls us. Cancer (or other debilitating illnesses, for that matter) does not differentiate between S, M, L or XXL. Does it have to take such a diagnosis before one realizes that there are a lot more important stuff than whether you can fit into a bikini or not? Even if you are lucky never to get so ill, it is important to appreciate that there are other things your body can do regardless of fat or not.

Thinking of this made me think up this list:

Why I Love My Fat-Ass Body

1.   I’m fat but strong
I know this from the weight-lifting routines I’ve done at the gym. I also know this whenever I lift a backpack full of stuff or a load of students’ books. I’m strong enough to do all this when other slimmer women would have faltered.

2.   I have good shoulders
There are dozens of ways women have come up to beautify their bodies. Hair can be cut. Makeup can be put on. Facial features and even height and weight can be surgically changed. As of yet, though, I’ve yet to see a surgery that can give a woman a good, solid broad set of shoulders that makes all the difference when wearing sleeveless tops.
We pay so much attention to our waistlines we forget there are other parts of the body to be appreciative for. Our shoulders. Our legs which lift us up every time. Long fingers and nails. A wide smile and a hearty laughter and eyes that twinkle in sincere delight.

3.   I’ve recovered fairly well from past illnesses and traumas
I wonder if science will ever prove that fat can act as a padding against minor flus and colds. I’m very blessed that I don’t get sick that often and when I do, I know that it’s only a temporary phase with some medication before good health comes again. I'm also blessed that I've never had serious illnesses or injuries apart from a sprained ankle. 

4.   I’ve had a fairly good pregnancy
Before getting pregnant, I had heard plenty of horror stories about morning sickness, cravings, hormonal horror changes, bleeding… Then when I finally got pregnant, I had… none of them. Yes, I’ve had the usual aches and pains but I haven’t had anything so serious that I couldn’t function in normal everyday life or that made me fearful for the life of my baby. I can only thank my fat ass for that. My recovery after birth was also quite good and by the end of the confinement month I felt back to normal with no complications. I even regained my pre-pregnancy weight.


Are there things about my body I would want to change? I still would like to fit into an M at Zara and one day wear a bikini without people gacking, but then I look over this list I’ve written. I’m not sure I would want to give up all this just to look good in clothing. 

I do have days when I think of putting a bit more effort into my clothes and shoes and sometimes I do think about putting on a touch of makeup. Then I think of the time it would take to choose and put on the makeup, plus the time and money needed to shop for nice clothes and shoes. With the stuff I want to do, I would rather race out of the house earlier to live my life than spend it on makeup, regardless of how short a time it takes. Beauty truly is skin deep after all. When I die, I would want people to celebrate the things I’ve done, rather than just look at the nice makeup and clothes on my dead body. 

If you are inspired and curious about Rosaliz, you can read the article and watch a video on Rosaliz by clicking the handy link here.

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