In conjunction with the release of my debut YA novel, THE SOUND OF US, a bunch of bloggers, authors, and booktubers are posting about body positivity. That link there will take you to more info about the book, as wells as a way to win an Amazon gift card!
I have struggled with my weight my entire life.
I have been up and down and up and down and up and down and slightly up again for as long as I can remember. As much as I hate to admit it, the number on the scale and how it makes me feel today are a big part of who I am. Even when I’m so proud of myself for other things, food is in the back of my mind. I’m a binge eater, a sneak eater, a stress eater, a happy eater, and a boredom eater. I do it all. I eat all the emotions.
For most of my life, women on TV fell into two categories–chic and thin or fat and frumpy. There was no middle ground. There was no fat and chic. There was no fat and desirable. There was no fat and successful, because being an overweight woman meant you were failing at life–all aspects of it. As a kid, this undoubtedly shaped my world view.
Being even slightly overweight was a fatal flaw, and I was always (at least) slightly overweight. It’s not that I went to drastic lengths to change this or anything, but it was drilled into my psyche: You’re fat. Don’t try to dress cute because people will see right through it. You’re fat. No guy is going to like you, so you might as well forget about that. You’re fat. Don’t raise your hand in class. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
When I was a kid, overweight women on TV were either mocked or dismissed. Sometimes an actress’s own weight struggles became part of the story. I’m not sure an episode of latter-day Facts of Life went by without Jo making fun of Blair’s size, or Mike Seaver making fun of Carol’s on Growing Pains. Having a few extra pounds on your frame meant you deserved ridicule, so you might as well sit back and take it.
Today, though, we have the privilege of seeing women of all shapes and sizes kicking ass in all areas of their lives. Whether fat or thin or in between, whether tall or short or average height, whether skinny or muscular or just kind of toned–women on screen are proving their worth, and it has nothing to do with looks.
On TV today, almost any girl can find herself a role model. Here are some of the women currently inspiring grown-up me.
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