summer body shaming is here, let’s go piss some people off at the beach


body shaming

Written by Meg Kant

Do you notice body shaming messaging more during the summer? The weather is getting warmer here in the Northern hemisphere and the media is out in full swing. As per usual, it is reminding us that we need to “get summer ready” or “get the bikini body we always wanted.” We are being inundated with the message that having a fat body is bad. We should be doing everything within our power not to have one. 

There is also a sliver of media popping up (watch the video below ????) in acceptance and encouragement of body liberation (yay!). But whenever I see a post about body liberation or body positivity from someone who lives in a fat body there is always a comment (or hundred) shaming them. The comments say, “you are promoting obesity”; “you are not taking care of your health,” etc. It doesn’t take a lot of digging to realize that people are deeply uncomfortable with fat bodies.


i freaking love summer 👙

♬ Show me your bikini body – ErinSamjo

For a lot of us, losing weight was a big part of our lives. It took up time, energy, mental space and money. Weight loss culture was the air that we breathed, and so when someone veers away from that and disrupts the status quo of hating our bodies there are always people who it rubs the wrong way. 

people are uncomfortable with fat bodies 

People seem more comfortable with a person living in a fat body who is trying to lose weight. It is easier for them to understand and empathize with that experience. As long as the big bodied person is trying to “atone” for their size and change it, things seem okay. However people seem much less comfortable with a fat person who has no plans of intentional weight loss, it can feel foreign. People have a hard time wrapping their head around someone not pursuing weight loss. It is alien to find someone simply accepting the body they have. This is in part because the idolization of thinness was built into the fabric of our life for many of us. 

In learning to love our bodies, we can also bump up against the beliefs of people who ARE intentionally trying to lose weight. For someone who is spending time, money and energy on changing their bodies, it can feel activating to interact with someone who is not doing the same. For many people who are intentionally trying to lose weight it can be hard to imagine why anyone else would simply settle for a bigger body. In our society losing weight has an almost moralistic quality to it. which can lead to discontentedness, disapproval and perhaps even a little rage for people who have found body acceptance.

going against the status quo

When I decided to stop pursuing thinness it was a pretty significant shift for me.  Much of my life was built around weight loss and exercise.  Also there were many people in my life who were avid dieters so it was awkward and uncomfortable for us to navigate interacting with such a significant shift for me.

I had to set some very clear boundaries, asking family members not to talk about dieting or exercise. Also asking people not to comment on my body or the bodies of my children. It was a big change and something that took getting used to. These types of boundaries are not something that everyone can get used to setting and can be uncomfortable as hell.

you don’t have to wear a bikini if you don’t want to

At the beginning of my body liberation journey I didn’t tell very many people about it. My trust in body neutrality was a little spark. I was terrified that someone would say something and it would get blown out. I didn’t talk about it publicly because I knew there would be push back and many people explaining to me that it was wrong.  But I knew in my heart and my body that continuing to pursue the impossible ups and downs of dieting would only cause me pain. 

I kept it to myself for a while and then slowly but surely started talking about it more. Then eventually that spark turned into a flame and then a white hot rage. I became deeply passionate about weight stigma and fatphobia and the harm that it is doing to millions of people (both in big bodies and small bodies).

how I feel matters more than anything else 

So here I am now writing about it, talking about it and doing my absolute best to unlearn all the bullshit. I’m trying to settle back into loving the skin that I am in. 

In case you didn’t see it, I joined the TikTok trend of Lizzo’s ‘Its about damn time’ wearing short overalls and dancing my butt off and it brought me so much joy. There was a time when I NEVER would have done the dance. I definitely wouldn’t have recorded it and shared it with anyone. But that is part of the magic of body liberation. Over time you sink more and more into accepting your body, or at least feeling neutral about it. 

While the fact that I live in a fat body might make other people uncomfortable, I’m getting much more comfortable with it myself and that genuinely matters more to me than anything else.

Do you notice body shaming messaging more during the summer? Was idolizing thinness something you have felt throughout your life? Feel free to share in the comments.

summer body shaming is here, so let’s go piss some people off at the beach 


Meg Kant




Your future is created by what you do today — that's why we created a completely FREE mindset mini-course to help doulas and birth workers find bliss in their business!

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