I see this a lot: folks who are looking to get more confident about their bodies, and looking for the fastest, easiest way to get there. And please – who wouldn’t want a quick, simple way to get confident, right? I hear you. I’m with you! Quick and easy, let’s do this confidence thing.
But here’s the problem: usually people are looking for skills. Affirmations, maybe? Some sort of confidence exercise that you can do daily? Something to control the negative thoughts? Is there an app that can remind you to be confident?
To me, that kind of thinking isn’t exactly wrong. It’s not like confidence skills aren’t a part of the equation. But when it comes to body confidence in an “unruly body,” skills-focused thinking ends up being a huge mistake. The #1 mistake you can make, really.
Because the real confidence fix? The one that works on SO many levels? The one that sinks deep into your soul and latches on and won’t let go, no matter how hard this fatphobic culture tries (and tries…and TRIES…) to knock you back into body hate and deprivation mentality?
The real confidence fix is community.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that again, because this is an absolute truth here: the real confidence fix is joining, leaning on, contributing to, and investing in your body-positive community.
Your community can be virtual or IRL, big or just a couple of folks, structured or informal. You can be a big name blogger or an anonymous wallflower. Your community can be about Radical Fat ACTIVISM or just getting started in plus-size fashion. There’s no wrong way to join your body-positive community. No matter what it looks like, your community will still boost your confidence.
But I will say this: the more you invest in your community, the bigger your return will be. For me, spending a total of $1,000 for flights, hotel, and a ticket to go to the Curvy Con in New York a few years back was absolutely life changing.
Let me list some of the ways I showed up imperfectly for that community experience:
- I showed up late on the first day of the conference (I HAD to walk around Manhattan first!)
- I didn’t talk to anyone for a couple of hours (classic shy person here),
- I didn’t stay in touch with anyone after the conference (uh…lazy and shy…)
And yet, just walking into a conference center jammed with hundreds of GORGEOUSLY dressed fat women – fat women posing for pictures, fat women taking selfies, fat women working out, fat women clothing designers, fat women modeling lingerie, fat women doing Facebook Live videos for their blogs – just that single experience itself was life changing for me.
Because that deep part of my soul that always worried that fat = bad = lazy = unhealthy = just REALLY unworthy as a human being? That part got proved WRONG by the existence of all these amazing, glorious fat women who were just like me, and who were all, for these two days, living their lives abundantly, expansively, and OUT LOUD. Just the way they were.
And your investment doesn’t need to be big amounts of money like that – it can be time, or blogging, or answering questions in a Facebook group, or following like 20 different bloggers, listening to a fat positive podcast every week, or becoming a Patron of a fat-positive artist. There are hundreds of ways to invest. And the more you invest, the more your community will infuse you with confidence on a deep, unshakeable, but almost unnoticeable level.
So that’s what I’m gonna focus on for the next few weeks, lovely: community. I’m going to talk about a few ways for you to join and invest in your body positive community. I’m going to suggest some in-person community experiences for you to consider this year.
And if you’re struggling with your confidence, for now just trust me that you’re not alone. We’re going to help you find your people.