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In a world that often feels like it’s in a perpetual state of flux, where trends come and go like the ebb and flow of the tide, there are certain messages and movements that stand firm against the changing tides. Natalie Craig, a plus-size influencer and advocate for fat liberation, exemplifies this unwavering resolve in her recent article, “My Fat Liberation Is Not a Trend.” Through her words, she paints a vivid picture of her journey towards self-acceptance and defiance against societal norms that dictate beauty standards.

Natalie’s journey began with a pivotal moment on the set of the Steve Harvey Show, where she stood confidently in a pink checkered bikini, defying the expectations placed upon her as a plus-size woman. It was a moment of liberation, a declaration of her refusal to conform to society’s narrow definition of beauty, and to show her body to the world. From that moment onwards, Natalie embarked on a journey of self-discovery, embracing the principles of body positivity and fat acceptance.

The principles of fat liberation serves as a beacon of hope for others

She eloquently describes how these movements, rooted in decades of advocacy and activism, have reshaped not only her perception of herself but also many societal attitudes towards bodies of all shapes and sizes. The emergence of body positivity on social media platforms, spearheaded by marginalized voices, signaled a shift towards a more inclusive and affirming narrative surrounding body image.

However, Natalie astutely observes the current resurgence of thin-centric ideals in mainstream media and popular culture. Despite the progress made by the fat liberation movement, there is a palpable regression towards fatphobia and body shaming.

As Natalie navigates this turbulent landscape as a plus-size fashion influencer, she confronts the harsh reality of societal backlash and the commodification of body positivity for profit.

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Natalie’s resilience in the face of adversity is something so many fat people have to display, constantly, just to exist. Despite the onslaught of hate comments and the marginalization she experiences within the fashion industry, she refuses to be silenced or diminished.

Her unwavering commitment to the principles of fat liberation serves as a beacon of hope for those navigating similar paths.

In a poignant moment, Natalie reflects on the societal pressures faced by young individuals, particularly teenagers, who are subjected to unrealistic beauty standards and relentless bullying.

Her empathy towards her younger self, grappling with feelings of inadequacy and shame, highlights the importance of fostering a culture of self-love and acceptance from a young age.

As Natalie concludes her article, she reaffirms her steadfast belief in the enduring significance of fat liberation, regardless of the transient nature of trends in fashion and beauty.

She refuses to allow her body, and the freedom she has fought so hard to attain, to be reduced to a mere trend. Her message serves as a rallying cry for individuals everywhere to embrace their bodies unapologetically and challenge societal norms that perpetuate harmful ideals of a white male’s definition of perfection.

Natalie’s story is not just a personal narrative; it is a call to action for collective resistance against fatphobia and body shaming. It is a reminder that our worth is not determined by our adherence to societal standards of beauty, but by the love and acceptance we cultivate for ourselves and others. 

This article hit me hard. Recently, I have seen an uptick in hateful comments on our own social media page and I’ve even had more negative comments on my body in public places. As we navigate this ever-changing landscape – it’s safe to note the maternity space has not been untouched.

Can We Discuss The Guilt of Getting Pregnant in a Fat Body?

I was talking to a new friend the other day about their recent birth experience and as they recounted their story I felt my heart sink over and over again.

So much of what she recalled was anti-fat bias, rhetoric, and fear mongering. When I asked her what was the one thing she remembered most about her pregnancy experience and she told me “the guilt for getting pregnant in a fat body.” This is absolutely unacceptable.

Pregnancy isn’t always a basket of roses, sometimes it’s hard and you hurt and emotions explode, but someone should never look back and think they shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place because of their size.

They were shamed at each appointment, told that they gained too much weight, tested for gestational diabetes 5 times, and harassed until she accepted an induction at 39 weeks that she didn’t want. 

While this is not every fat person’s experience, none of these things individually or combined are uncommon when folks who live in larger bodies recount their stories of pregnancy and birth to me.

BMI based limitations, provider judgment and shaming, not listening and/or believing fat people’s experiences all inherently impact and make us question our journey to fat acceptance, but also to parenthood.

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a mother and father cradling each other and a newborn on the father's shoulder with a beige background with green water color circle and gold glitter accents

Let us heed Natalie’s message and stand in solidarity with the principles of fat liberation, ensuring that all bodies are respected, cared for, and celebrated! 

 

If you need help navigating anti-fat bias in pregnancy and postpartum, book a consult today!

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