I’ve modeled for The Adipositivity Project, for about three and half years now and again today I am asked why. Thankfully, I know from those who’ve asked, the question is not the why of TAP itself, but why me? Why do “I” shamelessly participate? And quick answer is “Why not?”
Yes, I own a full length mirror at home. It may be old and has started to be spotty in some places, but it is no way near being so old that it can fool my eyes into not seeing what’s there. Trust me, I see every roll, lump, bump, crease, crevice, varicose vein, crows feet, laugh line, cellulite, splotch, mole, scar that I have gained over my forty-eight years on this earth quite clearly. I also see the tan lines from the bikini I wore at the pool in Las Vegas this past summer. I see the beauty mark my on breast that my late-husband was drawn to kiss as a moth is drawn to porch light after dark. I see the wrinkle I have over my right eyebrow only, because I am constantly arching it in sarcasm, amusement, anger, delight and yeah seduction. I see the body that used to be able to do sixty-crunches in sixty seconds, but fully owns that the only crunch I’m interested in now is usually Nestle’s. I’m simply a human female who happens to be fat and refuses to be cowered in the booth, in the back, in the corner, in the dark, by a society that constantly sees me as less than average simply because I weigh more than average.
I can’t lie; I didn’t always embrace my size. I always had the broad shoulders, thick thighs and big ol’ booty that drove my poor mother crazy when clothes shopping as a child. Even before I crossed that magical line that classified me as fat, many years before the dreaded letters BMI became a part of our health lexicon, I was never small enough to be considered a “plus-size” model even by current standards. My current state of fatness seemed to take only a few easy years to develop. As my friend Lyn is fond of saying “God made me and I helped out”; but the acceptance of that fatness and the phatness of me was a much longer, harder struggle that (in retrospect), even I concede was not as hard as it now for my fellow sisters-in-fatness. I have a special empathy for all the young fat girls and women coming up in this age where the constant bombardment of images of beauty and health do not reflect the beauty they see in their own mirrors each day.
Dot Golberg, a fan of The Adipositivity Project recently posted a YouTube clip on the Facebook page of Substantia Jones, the amazing photographer behind TAP that makes it the fat-de-force it is. Technically, the clip is a project for her college film course. In reality, the clip is in fact “a love letter to Adipositivity” as one commenter to the post aptly stated. While Ms. Goldberg speaks solely for herself, her words, her self-discovery and awareness of her own beauty are words I’m sure every woman of size, wherever they are in their personal journey, can relate to. As I posted on my own Facebook wall when I shared it, the reason why I continue to participate in The Adipositivity Project is For the unspoken fat women out there who have felt or want feel this, but can’t put it into heartfelt words as beautifully as Dot Goldberger has.
Thank you, Dot.
Watch Dot Goldberg’s love letter here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTzfBws7JWg
“Yes, I am fat. Yes, I am curvy. And yes, I am beautiful. I am all of those things.”
– Dot Golberg
Absolutely awesome post, Rai! And that video was beautiful, poignant, and said with such honesty it’s difficult to not be moved by it.
Ab.so.lute.ly on target. Thanks, my dear.
Rai, you know how I feel on this subject, so carry on!
I’ve been catching up on some of my online reading and finally got to this blog. Your insights never cease to amaze, and your beauty both in and out still shines brightly.