• Private XIX | Unapologetically me. •

• Private XIX | Unapologetically me. •

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Photos: Sung-Hee Seewald

During interviews, the question “Did you always feel good in your body?” is usually one of the first questions. As if it was a masterly performance to be satisfied with yourself or as if I should rather lie and/or be ashamed of it – because I’m fat. And I should feel bad about it. Thanks!

Of course I know that it’s not the easiest thing to look at yourself (especially naked) in the mirror and say “Hey, I’m awesome the way I am!” if everybody and everything is telling you all the time that you’re not – unless you change this and that and most important: you lose weight. Because only as a thin person you’re a valuable part of this society, accepted and tolerated, beautiful and desirable. If you’re fat, the best “compliment” you can expect is that you have a pretty face – usually this is weakened by a passing “If you were thin…” plus a random positive development you could achieve in your life. Be it with men, at your job, anywhere: if you’re skinny, you’re automatically better. And then, when you’re thinner, you notice that it wasn’t that much worth it, because if you’re not fundamentally happy with yourself, the few sizes less won’t change anything. Only the diet industry will be cheering loudly cause they recruited another disciple, a new member of their “sect”, for which counting calories or “points” is as holy and will bring you the same light as twelve “Ave Maria”. Isn’t it sad to think negatively about food and yourself all the time? Is that really worth it?

Now I’ve certainly been a lot thinner 8 years ago when I started this blog. I wasn’t skinny-skinny but a lot skinnier than today. Back then, I wore an average EU size 38, today it’s 44-48. For some who approach me about that from time to time, it seems to be a catastrophe of a horrible dimension, they’re horrified and convinced that it should be some kind of apocalypse for me, they can’t understand at all how something “like this” could happen, and they’re left pretty confused when they see that I’m not as distraught as they are. Cause for me, it’s really not that terrible.

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• Private XVI | Embrace •

• Private XVI | Embrace •

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Photo: “Embrace” / CinemaxX PR

CinemaxX kindly invited me to watch “Embrace” with a few other lovely women (best company ever to watch this movie!) on May 11. I know it’s been some time, but of course, I want to drop a few lines about the movie and what I think about it.

You all know that body positivity is my daily routine. It’s very important to me and when other women share the same message, it makes me very happy. The fact that the documentary movie “Embrace” found its way into German theaters is so amazing, even though it was very disappointing to see that in most of the cinemas who showed it, the movie was only played once on one single day. This documentary should be obligatory for young people – mainly girls, of course, but also boys. Because they also know the struggle of body shaming and self-hate. And if they don’t, they might learn an important lesson about women and how it is and feels like to live in a body that’s never good enough – until you decide for yourself to change this feeling and embrace yourself.

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• Private XIV | My Body – My Rules •

• Private XIV | My Body – My Rules •

I’m not growing tired of writing these posts, repeating my message and hopefully reaching as many people out there as possible. My message consists of many parts – these are only a few:

“Love yourself. Wear whatever you want, whenever you want. Don’t judge others based on their appearance. Accept yourself and accept others. Don’t let others get you down.”

I’m currently feeling pretty disturbed by a few things that are happening. For example there was an H&M campaign not much time ago. Let’s not talk about the stupid marketing strategy (“Oh – feminism is trend, so let’s do an ad and pretend we’re cool and care about women and their rights and feelings, like working with plus-sized models but removing our plus-size selection from all our stores!”) but the reactions. I felt extremely enraged when I read the comments on diverse pages where the video was shared, especially on Facebook.
Let me just quickly explain what happens in the video: there are women. Women of all kinds, they’re different. There’s a plus model dancing in underwear in front of her mirror. A very muscular woman. An androgynous woman. Another one who cleans her teeth in the middle of a restaurant with the help of her knife as a mirror. And there’s a woman with armpit hair.

While you’d think that – as always – the fat woman will make everyone go crazy and full of hate, this time it’s the woman with hairy armpits. Because if there’s one thing that seems to be even more disgusting than a fat girl being happy, it’s hairy women. The comments I read were “gross”, “disgusting”, “unkempt” – and then there were others like: “Women need to shave themselves!”, “Hairy women aren’t sexy!”, “I’d never fuck a hairy woman!”, “I’m a woman myself and not shaving is so disgusting and not feminine!” and so on. So, the first few comments are simply stupid – why should body hair be unkempt? It’s natural! It’s actually not natural to shave. Yet we do so, cause we’re taught to do it. Some of us do it because they think it’s more hygienic. But seriously – hair isn’t “not hygienic” if you simply take a shower and wash yourself. Hair doesn’t equal smelly people. Hair doesn’t equal dirt. Body hair is absolutely normal.
But then there’s the second version of comments. They’re clearly sexist. And bullshit. And most of them didn’t even come from men. As a feminist, it makes me sad to read these words coming from other women. From those who should be supporting others. Those who know what it is and feels like to be a woman, how it is to mostly just be a body that is being judged by everyone and never good enough.

And a few days ago, I had to see the same kind of bullshit again – this time in a weird and totally stupid ad from a German online and catalog shop, OTTO, who collaborated with a well-known German designer, Guido Maria Kretschmer (whom I really don’t like because he loves to say insulting things about people in a TV show called “Shopping Queen” and everybody loves him because of that). The ad shows the designer with two dachshunds (and another woman, the main woman’s “friend”) and then the woman comes in, wearing a summer dress, twirling around and eventually throwing her arms in the air – revealing her armpit hair. The “friend” looks pretty irritated and the designer instantly comments that she should “leave the two dachshunds at home” and hands her a cardigan which she, obviously kind of ashamed, puts on as quick as possible – and they live happily ever after.

SERIOUSLY? It’s 2017 and we’re all fighting for feminism, equality, body positivity, individuality and so much more and yet there’s people thinking it’s cool to create such ads. Of course, you don’t have to think that armpit hair is beautiful, but you should accept that there are women who simply don’t want to shave just because our sexist society expects us women to be hair-free. Because it’s “not feminine enough” when we have hairy armpits or legs or arms or vaginas. Because as a woman, we are supposed to remove any unwanted hair, because it’s disgusting and not sexy. Wait? What? Who decided that this bullshit is the guideline of my life as a woman?

Some days ago I went to an amazing photo shoot with six other beautiful women and we were a happy bunch of diversity. Tall women, short women, an ombré of skin colors, skinny women and fat women (and if you want to say so – with me, even a kind of disabled woman, thanks to my diabetes, but I guess we still need to work a lot on featuring more “actually disabled” people for diversity stuff!). One of them – she’s so beautiful! – had armpit hair, and it may sound weird but it made me happy to see it. She was all “I don’t care” about it and when someone asked her about it, she told her that she hasn’t shaved since she was 15 years old. It made me happy to see a woman who’s free. Free of the oppression of what’s supposedly feminine. Free because she didn’t care. And it made me feel free too when I saw it. For a second, I thought about telling her what I felt, but then I realized: it shouldn’t be a thing. Why talk about it with someone who’s clearly decided to say “Fuck you, society – I’m doing my own thing!”? Right – there’s no need to talk about it because it is normal! Normal to decide for yourself what you want to do with your body and how you feel about it. Period.

P.S.: This also applies to many other looks of women, I just picked one of those which are obviously still used for public body shaming. Remember the Dove campaign I was part of? There was, for example, a very muscular woman – she’s absolutely great and I love how she mixes this super sporty and fierce look with cute or elegant dresses – and the comments were like “this isn’t feminine”, “a woman’s not supposed to look like this”, “this is ugly and too manly” etc. I guess there’s still a long way to go and many battles to fight against body shaming, sexism, lookism and our society’s stupid standards, but it’s so worth it and we should never stop standing up for each other! Even if we don’t choose that particular way for ourselves.

P.P.S.: About why I chose to pose naked for a public photo – yes, this time it’s definitely brave to post something like this where everybody can see me like this. It’s one big step further than just showing myself in a bikini or even underwear, but I felt like this picture was the best way to deliver today’s message. This is me, raw and unedited, in no way trying to be sexy or vulgar, just with my most private parts hidden, even though it shouldn’t be a thing to see breasts and nipples, but you know, it’s always better to keep that hidden on the Internet. ;) It actually wasn’t easy for me to decide to post this, but I kind of felt like – as with my beach body photos too – I want to be one of those who “give” you a natural body, a body that’s not photoshopped to “perfection”, a body with “flaws” like my hanging belly with stretch marks, my CGMS and my insulin pump, a fat body which is as amazing as a skinny body, as a muscular body, as a disabled body,… – just as a body. Yes, it’s scary to be online like this, but I’ve always seen my “Private” posts as a very honest and also vulnerable side of me, a side that wants to inspire others (nah, you don’t have to get naked now and post it, that’s not my intention!) because of my self-confidence and self-love, which should be absolutely natural for everybody. ♥

• Private VIII | Fat •

• Private VIII | Fat •

“You’re not fat, you’re beautiful!”

I very often read this and it is probably one of the comments that hurt fat people the most, even though its intention is to make someone happy and feel good. And even though at first it doesn’t even sound so bad, if you think about it, it’s not as nice as you might think.

You’re beautiful. Period.

Unfortunately, our society is still not open-minded enough to understand that “fat” doesn’t equal bad or ugly while “skinny” is the synonym for beauty and everything positive.
Being fat implies that at least one thing about you is negative – your body. And because of that you can’t be beautiful in the eyes of our society. Why’s that? This is completely wrong!

You can be skinny and beautiful and you can be fat and beautiful. There is no right and wrong.

But then again, there are those people who like to say: “If you just lost a few pounds, you’d be gorgeous!” – oh really? If you used your brain, you might be able to say something more intelligent!
If people think that I’m beautiful, why would they recommend that I lose weight to be “perfect” in their eyes? Just because I don’t fit in their manipulated idea of beauty, I don’t have to change for them. It’s them who need to change – to open their minds and start accepting diversity, other forms of beauty and that we don’t have to fulfill the beauty standards of our stupid society.

Please stop these insulting compliments! Because it’s not nice to tell someone that his or her beauty depends on their body shape – and your opinion about it.

“Stop calling yourself fat!”

Why should I? I’ve accepted my body and I’ve accepted that I am fat. Because I am fat. I am overweight and I wear an average size 44. There’s nothing wrong about it – as long as I am healthy and feel good, as long as I accept myself like this. And if I don’t, I should change something about it. May it be weight loss or a change of my look, my clothes, my hairstyle – everything is possible to make myself feel better.

It’s not about someone else telling me what I should think about myself or what I should call myself, even though telling me that I’m not fat is supposed to cheer me up. And it’s also not the right compliment to tell me that I’ve lost weight or look skinnier – it just feels like it because in our society, being thin is the ultimate and if you’ve achieved the goal of being skinny, people will be amazed by your “power” and “strength” and “discipline” – because fat people are non of this, they don’t have power, aren’t strong and discipline’s not part of their vocabulary. Oh hell!
Let’s start complimenting people by telling them how great they are, how amazing their characters are – not their bodies. Of course it’s right to compliment someone by telling them that you can see the change when someone’s working hard to feel better, but “you lost weight – you look great!” isn’t the best way to do so. It will continue to brainwash us all to think that being fat is the worst thing you can be.

I am fat.
AND beautiful.
AND happy.
AND sexy.
AND successful.
AND funny.
AND strong.
AND proud.
(AND SO MUCH MORE.)