When I was that smaller body, and active in restricting and purging in my eating disorder, I was generally accepted. Not to mention, I could find cute clothes in my size with ease, get seen by a doctor and have them actually take me seriously when addressing physical illnesses, and was no longer bullied for being fat (I was fat as a child and lost a great deal of weight at 14/15 years old). While I was struggling greatly with mental illness in that first image, I want to make the point that I was loved and accepted by many, and if I wasn’t, I was respected at the very least.
In that first photo, from 2011, I had a big heart. I was writing poetry and stories at the time. I had dreams about being an author one day. I so wanted to share my stories with the world. I had this passion in me - a spark of light and hope - that wanted to help others.
Now, fast forward to this year when the second photo was taken. I still have a big heart. I write poetry and stories. I still dream about being an author one day. And I still have that same passion in my heart to help and inspire others.
While I have grown up, while I am not longer 16 years old, while I have embraced recovery, while I have gained weight, while I am working on bettering my physical and mental health now, I am still that girl.
What I despise about society is that fat people are made out to be monsters - that because we take up more space, we deserve less. We are called ‘lazy’, ‘unimportant’, ‘ugly’. We are told we don’t deserve respect until we lose weight.
I think that’s unfair. And if you don’t get angry when you think about how that young girl in the first photo will grow up to be hated for simply existing, something is very wrong here.
Being fat is not bad. And while fat people are not asking for you to love them, or even like them, we ask for respect. Respect can mean supporting us. And respect can mean saying nothing if you have nothing nice to say at all.
I am not lost. I am not a monster. I deserve the same respect as a thin person does. I am not a skinny person trapped in a fat body. I am on my own journey, as are you. I am still Lexie. And I am so much more than what you see.