This is my body. This is the shell that carries my soul around on a daily basis. There are many words one could use to describe my body. Soft, curvy, fat. It has taken 25 years, but I've finally learned that none of these words (including whale, cow, and other thrilling names) can insult me. These words cannot hurt me anymore.
It has taken too many years, and a lot of ups and downs, but I genuinely love how I look. I love my curves. I love my body. More importantly, I love who I am as a person, but that has always come more easily to me. I surely would have gotten to this point sooner if plus size companies (who carry size 18-32) would feature women who are the same size as their buyers, rather than flat stomach, flab-free models in the 12-16 range. Thanks to technology and social media, I now follow dozens of plus sized girls who inspire me on a daily basis. Without girls, it would have probably been another 5-10 years before I learned to not only accept, but love the skin I'm in.
Between wedding dress shopping, and the wedding quickly approaching, I've found myself becoming more and more critical of how I look. Then I was frustrated that I let myself be so critical of my physical form. I would never be this critical of a friend, so why was I being so harsh on myself?
Of course, being fat on the internet leads to trolling and criticism. The internet seems to get incredibly angry any time a fat girl shows confidence or celebrates her body, especially if she's wearing lingerie or a swimsuit. While I have several issues with Lane Bryant's #imnoangel campaign, I am grateful that it at least opens dialogue for us to discuss representation of different body types in the fashion industry and the media. I'm no angel, and I'm certainly not a model, but I am 100% happy and blessed with this body that I love every single day.