Article by Alexandra Lotz | Photography by John Parks | Owl Staff
In high school, I felt like I did not fit in. While other girls would wear brightly colored, tight-fitting clothes from stores in the mall, I would sit in class wearing the same hoodie every day to cover up the fact that I was ashamed of my body.
Today, I am a different person. My “transformation” began when I discovered the blog Chubby Bunnies on Tumblr, a blogging platform. The blog features tons of pictures of “chubby” women who show off their style and confidence. The bloggers are a great community of people who support body positivity, the school of thought that accepts all body types as healthy, beautiful, and worthy.
After scrolling through a few pages of the site, I decided to follow the blog. At first, I felt awkward and ashamed because I thought I would never be as confident as those girls on Chubby Bunnies, but the longer I followed the blog, the more confident I became.
While I found comfort and encouragement in fellow chubby bloggers, I know many people who have fallen prey to just the opposite.
At least three of my friends have been diagnosed with anorexia. Two of these friends have recovered from it, but the other friend has been struggling with it for over a year.
Another friend’s mom took drastic measures to lose weight and decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. Now, she is severely malnourished and eating a cup of food makes her ill. Her daughter, who is very close friends with the anorexic girl, has been on-and-off dieting ever since I met her in the third grade.
It’s a shame that we push each other to points where we are so unhappy with ourselves, and then we blame that pressure on society. Newsflash: we are society, so it is time to make a change.
Bodies can do amazing things. Our bones may break, our tissues may tear, and we may go through a great deal of pain, but our body handles all those things and then heals itself. And here we are, spending our time worrying about how much we weigh.
Back in high school, those things didn’t even occur to me. Instead, I was too busy feeling ashamed that my torso was thick, and my butt was big. I feel much more confident today than I did when I was 16. Now, when I wear a hoodie in class it’s not because I feel insecure; it’s just because the classroom is a little chilly.