I’m trying not to go too deep into my comments these days to save my mental health, but when I went to post on TikTok earlier this week I saw that this particular video had more than 23 million views and nearly 26,000 comments. Clearly it hit a nerve.
I gave myself 30 minutes in the comment section to see what people were saying. While a good amount of the nearly 26,000 people who commented shared how the video made them feel less alone, the overwhelming majority of comments were either “you’re not fat enough to feel this way,” or “you’re too fat to be in a bikini” or “if you hate yourself work out” (comments below are the most PG-rated…ugh people can be mean).
These people missed the entire point of the video.
First of all, I want to make it explicitly clear that I do not view being “fat” as a negative thing. People come in all shapes and sizes and all of them are beautiful. Behind every person is also a complex living human with emotions and trauma that can alter the way we see ourselves in the world.
The comments saying I was “too skinny” or “not fat enough” to have insecurities and that I must be “attention seeking” or that I had “pick me energy” made it really clear how many people don’t understand that body dysmorphia, eating disorders, or complicated relationships with self image don’t discriminate based on your size. It’s the same reason that when people do abuse themselves or food in order to reach target weights or body goals, statistically, continue to feel negatively toward themselves and their bodies. Why? Because believing that your body is not beautiful or worthy of celebration based on a certain size or weight is not something that goes away when the weight is lost or gained, it sticks with you until you heal your mind (something I’m learning myself every day).
Alternatively, the comments saying I was “too fat” to be in a bikini are exactly why I will continue to post in one. I love bathing suits! I feel like the best version of myself when I am surfing or swimming or lounging in swimwear, and I refuse to apologize for it or cover up because someone else has an opinion about my body—because frankly it’s none of their business. Furthermore, I don’t work out to change my body. I workout because movement and the ability to move are gifts. I do it to feel strong, to get a happy dose of endorphins, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.