A curvy fashion writer is challenging women to become their own #bodygoals.
Liz Black is a body-positive fashion writer who is also plus-size. She runs an empowering Instagram account (16,000 followers strong) featuring her edgy and retro street style and sexy lingerie snaps.
On Tuesday, Black, 32, posted a shot of herself swimming in a pool in New Jersey, sporting a Baywatch-style red swimsuit. The caption read, “One of the most frequent comments I see on Instagram is ‘Body Goals.’ It might be posted on someone’s bikini or lingerie photo; a shot where stomachs are cinched, busts are big, and every curve is cellulite-free. The shared collective of people wishing they had bodies other than their own is immeasurable. Why are so many painfully unsatisfied with their own body that their ‘body goals’ are to look like someone else? For too long I too felt that way, but now I say #IAmMyOwnBodyGoals.”
In a following post, Black explained how her mindset has changed over time, writing, “I’d gaze longingly at runway models and fashion IT girls, all spindly lithe limbs, flat stomachs, and breasts that didn’t require a NASA-approved contraption to hoist them. I wanted to be at least 5’8″ lean & toned without having to step foot into a gym, closer to 100 lbs than 200… that special kind of thin where people notice when you’re not eating and actually encourage you to eat.”
She added, “I followed diet tips like gospel, counting calories like a miser counting coins, swapping social engagements for hours at the gym. No matter how hard I tried, how many diet books I read, how much food I limited, how many weight loss meetings I attended, or doctor-prescribed weight loss pills I swallowed, my body remained the same.”
Black’s words struck a chord with fans who shared similar realizations. “I’m going through this phase of realizing I need to love my body just like I love every other blessing in my life. It deserves some love and respect,” wrote one follower.
Another wrote in part, “And it doesn’t really matter how thin you are. I’m slimmer built but I’ve been called ugly….I don’t have the right look. ….Or my boobs are too small. It f*cking sucks to have anyone tell you you’re not up to their standards. The only thing that matters is what I think about myself.”
Black derived her inspiration for the posts from scrolling through social media and seeing people covet a specific body type. “This makes me sad,” Black, 32, of Jersey City, tells Yahoo Beauty. “Why not work on loving yourself at whatever size and shape you might be?”
Black spent her childhood watching her mother constantly diet and even joined her for 6 a.m. Sweating to the Oldies home workouts before school each day. “My mom never said anything negative about my body, but I learned early on that being fat was the worst thing I could possibly be,” she says.
Throughout high school, Black joined Weight Watchers, overexercised, and tried juice cleanses, soup diets, and even fasting, but she wasn’t fulfilled. She wrote on her blog, “At the peak of my self-hatred I hit the thinnest I’ve ever been, and the compliments poured in, confirming what I’d always believed; I was more worthy in others’ eyes now that I was skinny. But those compliments couldn’t nourish my soul. I’d stare at my naked body in the mirror and sob, clenching handfuls of my thighs in hopes I could somehow force it from my body, pinching so hard I’d leave bruises behind. Regardless of the scale, the clothing number, the compliment choir, I still abhorred my body.”
Finally, Black decided to embrace her body, and she launched a plus-size style blog called P.S. It’s Fashion. “Now, I call myself fat, because it’s an adjective,” Black tells Yahoo Beauty. “People don’t understand that — they say, ‘Oh no, you’re not fat. You’re beautiful.’ But being fat and beautiful are not mutually exclusive. We put too much weight on that word and what it says about a person.”
Black adds, “I don’t feel like anyone should wallow in misery because they happen to exist in a fat body.”
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Fitness trainer tells body shamer: My cellulite is ‘none of your damn business’
- Beauty blogger reveals her selfies don’t show what’s behind her pretty makeup
- The age of women who have the most body confidence may surprise you