Tag Archives: body positive

Let’s Talk About Health, Baby

19 Feb
This will be a much less stressful conversation. Promise. Courtesy of Tublr

This will be a much less stressful conversation. Promise.
Courtesy of Tumblr

I’m a bit of a night owl. As I type this, the clock is nearing 3 a.m. “What are you doing up so late?” you’re probably asking. Well, getting this handy-dandy post up, for one. But for another, I just like being up late. I love the quiet. But when I need a little noise, I’ll channel surf.

Do you know what’s on basic cable at 2:30 in the morning? Reruns and infomercials. There are only so many times you can watch the Evanses have “Good Times” before you switch to something else. That’s when the infomercials and regular late-night commercials become some of the most interesting television you’ve ever seen. My first workout DVD was bought from an infomercial. And it sat in the box for more than a year before I actually put it to use.

The late-night commercials are something else, though. There was one that aired in the days leading up to Valentine’s. It was an ad selling a giant bear that measured up to six feet. One of the taglines was, “You could buy her chocolate, but she’ll just ask you if she looks fat?”

The ad was meant to entice men to spend hundreds of dollars on stuffed polyester that, honestly, looked like something out of a nightmare. But that line is what irked me the most. It played into the fear that people can’t handle the truth and are only looking for  a quick fix. Why buy her the health club membership she’s been talking about when you can buy her an atrocious stuffed animal no woman over the age of 13 would ever want? Forget having an honest conversation about what she really wants and needs. Get her a doll that’s sure to collect dust and fulfill nightmares for years to come.

The weight-loss journey is traveled alone. I’ve said this many times before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people about it. Joking about a woman asking if she looks fat is old, tiresome and trite. Beyond that, it halts the conversation about health. Sure, it’s an ad for a ridiculous bear (and if your boyfriend bought that for you, there are bigger issues to discuss than weight). The ad and that line rely on the idea that discussions about appearance and health are too much for any relationship to handle.

I call bullshit. Your first discussion is usually with your doctor who will notice fluctuations in your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol with your annual physical. Next comes your boo thang, who may have added a little around the middle with you as you two have grown more comfortable with one another. Then comes my favorite: your grandparents, aunts and uncles, who will never, ever forsake the opportunity to comment on how you look—good or bad.

You can take these comments and observations as insults, or you can take them as jumping off points to a bigger discussion about what your weight and body image mean to you. No one’s saying to go on a crash diet. But I believe that opening the dialog to the future of your own health is a great way to charter the path for your weight-loss journey.

What does it hurt to say, “I’m going to start eating lighter to take better care of my weight”? Or, “Why don’t we go for a walk after dinner some nights to burn some of these calories”? Observing that a shirt or a pair of pants don’t fit the way they used to doesn’t mean you’re being critical. It means you want the person you’re with to look their best. Discussing what you’ve seen and what you’re concerned about can only open up your conversations to other things, like past history with weight or even family health issues. It’s all for the greater good.

What kinds of conversations have you had with people about your weight and body image? How do you feel about discussing these things with people? Did you have a good Valentine’s Day?

A Song for You

8 Sep

For as long as I can remember, there have been songs praising the ample bottom. From “Da Butt” to “Rumpshaker” to “Back Dat Ass Up,” men have not been shy about their appreciation for a large posterior.

But somewhere along the way, women began to appreciate it as well. There’s been a sea change over the summer. Songs dedicated to well-sized rumps have, for the past couple of months, been sung by women. Jennifer Lopez, queen of big-butt kingdom, released a song with Pitbull called “Booty;” Nicki Minaj set YouTube on fire when she dropped “Anaconda;” and new artist Meghan Trainor is “All About That Bass.” Three women, differing in shape, age and career level, have taken it up themselves to reclaim the big-booty song.

And why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t any woman appreciate what she has?

I’m Skinny, Now What? isn’t about changing you. It’s about helping you along on your weight-loss journey. Part of that journey is accepting certain things about you. Either you can accept the things that can’t change, or you can struggle a lifetime trying to fix them.

For me, I’ve always had a large butt. Pre-puberty, I was elbows and knees—just ridiculously skinny—but still had a little something, something. Eventually hormones kicked in, growth spurts happened in weird places and I was graced with the cushion upon which I’m sitting now. The thing is that I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve always been a little awkward, so there was no added anxiety with my new shape. When it came to weight loss, by boobs and my butt were the two things I didn’t want to lose. Both got smaller, but I haven’t flattened out yet.

I think that’s why I get a boost from the girl power that comes from these women appreciating themselves and telling others to either celebrate their shapes with them or don’t. If I don’t have a problem with certain—um—assets, then no one else should either. I’ve embraced by backside. But that’s me. You may not like what you’re sitting on. Then work to change it.

Like their male brethren, these songs come with a downside. Many people have taken issue with how the songs portray skinny women. Nicki and Meghan, specifically, call less-round women “skinny b—–s.” I can see both sides. There are some women who cannot gain weight no matter how hard they try. Maybe they’re envious of the curves your’re trying to lose. I can appreciate the songs as I feel they are talking about someone my size. But I feel my smaller sisters’ frustration with being blamed for society’s damnation of larger women.

American society as a whole values a smaller size. That’s just facts. The constant barrage of images of the ideal from in the media, and even not-so-subtle hints from family and friends, can be a real drag. Occasionally, we big-booty girls could stand a little pick me up. Having three ladies out there happily singing love songs to a round bum works in that capacity.

Jennifer, Nicki and Meghan are here to remind those of us big-booty girls to drop it like its hot if we feel it. And skinny women, you can do it to. These songs are supposed to be in fun. So let’s not tear each other down; let’s just twerk to “Anaconda.”

Do you have a song that you use as a pick me up? What do you think of women reclaiming big-booty music?