A Plus Size Woman’s Guide To Self-Confidence by @spookyfatbabe

Minerva Siegel
Photograph by Cayan Ashley Photography

by Minerva Siegel

Finding self-confidence and a style identity as a fat babe in a world that’s constantly labeling us as ‘before’ pictures can seem to be a near-impossible task. We live in a society that generally glorifies thin body types as perfection, while labeling plus sizers as people who need to be “fixed”. I don’t have a thigh gap; in fact, mine are full of cellulite. My hips are wide, my booty is enormous, I have a belly, my arms are big and I weigh a solid 300lbs, yet people stop me on the street constantly to compliment me on my style. This is how I found the courage to come out from underneath baggy, shapeless clothes and embrace my curves, “flaws” and all.

Step 1: Stop Bullying Yourself
I’d often catch myself looking at my body and thinking that it was ugly, or gross, or too big/too celluiltey/too stretch mark’d. I realized that I was constantly bashing my body; that I was bullying it and making myself feel worse. To remedy this, I decided to stop allowing myself to use negative words when thinking about my body. Whenever I did slip up and have those thoughts, I’d make myself go back and compliment myself instead. My inner dialogue went something like, “Ugh nothing fits me right, I feel so ugly.. but my butt looks really good in these jeans, and I have such a nice smile.” It felt silly at first, but when I kept it up I saw that it was really starting to improve my outlook not only on my body, but on life in general.

Step 2: Realize Your Worth
It’s so easy to get caught up on body image; our society teaches us that it’s tightly connected to our self-worth, which just isn’t true. Part of gaining the self-confidence to rock the edgy fashion trends I want to (sheer! crop tops! short shorts!) was realizing that I have so much more to offer the world than my appearance. I wrote a list of all the things at which I’m excellent and kept it taped to my mirror, so that every morning, I’d be reminded that I have value as a person, and an identity beyond the word “fat”.

Step 3: “Fat” Is Not A Bad Word
All my life, people have hurled weight-related insults at me. I’ve been called a whale, a pig, tubby, a chubbers, fat; every time someone called me one of those, it stung me deeply and left me feeling insecure for days. Realizing that “fat” isn’t synonymous with “ugly” was a big game-changer for me. I AM fat. So what? “Fat” and “beautiful” aren’t mutually-exclusive adjectives; I can be both. When I feel down, I scroll through body-positive hashtags on Tumblr and Instagram. Seeing all those photos and posts of fat babes absolutely killing it always reminds me that being fat doesn’t automatically equate to being unattractive.

Minerva Siegel 2
Photograph by Twin Lens Wedding Photography

Step 4: You Don’t Owe Anyone “Flattering”
I unapologetically rock crop tops and sheer blouses with nothing but a bra underneath. I go sleeveless, I wear short shorts.. I participate in whatever fashion trends I feel like participating in, because no one owes anyone “flattering”; being yourself is enough, without body shapers, without long-sleeves and pants, without covering up and hiding your body to make other people more comfortable. YOU have to be happy with YOURSELF and not live for other people. I used to wear baggy sweaters in 90 degree weather because I didn’t want people to see my fat arms, my rolls, my chub. Now, my comfort and happiness is my #1 priority- I no longer care what people think about my cellulite, fat, etc., and that’s such a powerful, liberating feeling. My mantra is: If people don’t like the way I look, they don’t have to look at me. Some people won’t like the way you look. You’re going to have haters; that’s just part of life. universal popularity is unattainable, so instead of trying for it, you’d might as well make yourself happy.

Step 5: Go For It!
Body acceptance/love is a process that takes time and work, but when you’re feeling up to it, I dare you to try out new trends that go out of your comfort zone. The first time I went out in public in a sleeveless dress, I was terrified and insecure. The second time wasn’t as bad, and now I don’t even think twice about it. When you go out of your fashion comfort zone and the world doesn’t end, you’ll feel unstoppable!

Self-confidence doesn’t always come easily, but cutting out negative self-talk, taking stock of your true value, realiziing that “fat” isn’t an insult or synonymous with “ugly”, and forcing myself to step out of my fatshion comfort zone helped me to be able to love myself for who I am, stretch marks and all. Because we live in a society that glorifies skinny regardless of health, people will always try to make fat people feel badly about themselves, perhaps even more so if they have the *audacity* to be both fat AND happy. Being confident and secure in yourself makes it easier to let negative comments roll off, as the fabulous Jinkx Monsoon would say, like water off a duck’s back. So, get out there, be large and become your own brand of fatshionista! There’s no better feeling than the self-confidence that comes with unapologically rocking your curves and knowing you’re hot as hell.


Minerva SiegelMinerva Siegel is a body-positive activist and published writer living in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two dachshunds. You can see what she’s up to on Instagram @spookyfatbabe, or at http://www.donutsanddissent.com.

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4 Replies to “A Plus Size Woman’s Guide To Self-Confidence by @spookyfatbabe”

  1. Lyndsie

    Why would you include a photo of someone that did not publish the article, as well as not give proper credit to who was in the photo? Pretty sure there are some better options for the first photo… like the ones originally included with the author’s submission…

  2. Carol Patterson

    Why in the world would you put a pic of a random woman with this original, insightful article, instead of the awesome, unique, and beautiful author ????? It is very misleading and makes me wonder about the integrity of this site period. I will not be visiting this site again.

    1. Melissa Stewart

      We’d be more than happy to use a photo supplied by the author. The only photo supplied was a bio picture and we did include a bio pic. We just reached the author yesterday to confirm it was a go to publish. If the author reaches out to us we’d be more than happy to change to picture if requested. We’d love to use an original image from the author but didn’t want to pull a random photo without permission. Hopefully we’ll have an image to swap out soon!

    2. Melissa Stewart

      My staff pulled a stock photo because they only saw the author’s bio pic and since the author had since updated her site and bio photo only, matched that image. We always prefer using unique images supplied by our authors and would be more than happy to swap out. I question why the photo of a beautiful woman that was used upsets you so much and would make you question our site’s integrity? We didn’t opt not to use a photo supplied by the author. We use stock photos on a regular basis when images aren’t supplied by contributors. My assistant thought the photo supplied was to accompany the author bio.

      I regret that this caused confusion but don’t regret publishing. I thought it was a wonderful post with an awesome message from a strong, beautiful, talented, woman – so we published to spread the message. I hope you enjoyed the message and I hope it will make an impact on all who read.

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