Monday night, I posted this photo to my Instagram page with the caption as below.
In response to this, someone (and you can still see it when you click on the link) said, “@emeraldbarnes this post is a perfect example of how ppl who are overweight who aren’t happy with there weight there uncomfortable see a women like Tess holiday who’s totally fine with being morbidly obese and that changes there mind set and not for the better . Being happy and OK weighing what two grown men weigh only makes you not give a sh** if you gain more and more and at some point your gonna hit rock bottom stuck in your house not being able to clean yourself or be left alone .”
First off, excuse this woman’s poor grammar. I’m assuming, and giving her the benefit of the doubt, that she used her phone to type this up to me. Secondly, I won’t lie. Her words stung. I couldn’t get it out of my head at first, and I tried really hard not to cry. I posted this in my street team, and they were simply amazing by comforting me and talking me down. I decided to stay off of my phone and laptop after that, opting to watch Jimmy Fallon instead because I needed a good laugh. (On a completely unrelated note, he’s my celeb crush. :))
But, as I was going to bed, I realized something. This woman’s opinion didn’t matter. I know. I know. It should have been the first thing I thought, but it’s hard to get past hurtful words. I preach “love yourself.” I tell you all how beautiful you are, and the thing is, she’s wrong. We aren’t preaching “stay fat.” We’re saying it’s okay to love yourself for who you are. We’re saying that we’re worthy to be loved – by ourselves and others. We’re us, and that’s okay. If we want to lose weight, that’s our decision. If we don’t, that’s also our decision. And people shouldn’t pass judgement on us. We shouldn’t judge each other. We’re all beautiful. Even though this woman’s attitude was ugly, she’s beautiful, too, and I hope and pray she learns to love herself for who she is.
I won’t be silenced. This message is too important. I won’t stop telling women how beautiful they are because one person has opinions that I certainly don’t agree with. I won’t stop urging people to love themselves because if we can’t love ourselves, then what do we have? Nothing. We’re stuck hiding behind computer screens and words because we don’t feel like we belong. And who says we don’t belong out in the world being our true selves? Does everyone else get to dictate how we live? Shouldn’t we feel beautiful just by being who we are?
This isn’t just for overweight people. This is for everyone. You shouldn’t have to change your looks because someone else doesn’t approve. If you’re happy, that’s all that matters. And I’ll tell you something. I’m happy. I can finally look at myself in photos and in the mirror and not hate myself. I won’t change that, and I refuse to go back to the way I was.
I won’t deny this – I wouldn’t mind losing weight, and I do try to lose it. It’s a battle, and that’s okay. I’ll get there when I get there. But I refuse to hide any longer. This is me, pulling on my skinny jeans and wearing them with pride. This is me wearing what makes me happy. This is me not caring what others think. I’m who I am, and that’s all I want to be. Love me or hate me, either’s okay with me, but I’m gonna love me.
So, to everyone out there who isn’t sure if they can love themselves because of their looks or whatever, I hope you learn to push aside negative thinking, negative words, and bullies and go for it. What do you have to lose? Absolutely nothing. You’re beautiful, and I hope you never forget that.
I wrote this in Entertaining Angels. God is talking to Madison, and this is what He says, “How can you doubt your beauty when I create only beauty?…Don’t hide your beauty from the world simply because you doubt.”
Don’t doubt today. You’re beautiful, and you shouldn’t hide yourself because of fear that others will be mean. There will always be people who are cruel and hateful, and I hope you don’t let that negativity keep you from sleeping at night. Be you. Be beautiful.
Here’s today’s no makeup (and unkempt hair) photo. And yeah. I so had to wear the same shirt! #effyourbeautystandards! Remember, show yours with the hashtag #beyoubebeautifulchallenge2k15 on Twitter and Facebook! If anyone asks why you’re doing it, direct them to this post. ❤