I discarded a very toxic message recently, one that had been rattling around my brain for upwards of 25 years. It was so deeply embedded, I didn’t even realise I was still carrying it around, despite my years of fat acceptance and fat activism.
It came – as many of the toxic messages in my life have – courtesy of my step-father. He who gave me the demoralising puffy-lettered “I try to lose weight, but it keeps finding me” shirt. He of the undermining “You’ll never be Twiggy” sideswipe. He whom I no longer let into my life because of his continued toxic actions and toxic words in very many arenas.
So you’d think I’d have discarded this message along with his other bullshit.
Want to hear it? This thing I’ve unconsciously been allowing to guide my thoughts and fashion choices since I was 14 or 15?
“You can’t wear belts. You look like a sack tied around the middle.”
Hey, arsehole. Fuck you!
I limited myself with my buy-in to this bullshit rule, despite priding myself on not following the accepted fashion rules for fatties. I wear stripes. I wear patterns. I have no fear of bare arms. I wear my sexy bikini on the beach with pride.
But I steered clear of belts.
Because of an offhand comment 25 years ago from a proven dickhead who probably forgot he’d ever said it two minutes later.
But there’s an upside.
I’ve recently rediscovered belts and, therefore, a whole range of fashion looks that were previously (in my head) off limits.
I’m wearing a belt today with a cute little dress. And I look hot.
Fuck the toxic messages.