Skinny shamers, take note! Chubby shamers too. Body shamers of all sorts, heed this warning. Your time to be judged is coming. Tisk tisk tisk, you judgemental buggers. I’ve been catching some heat for my weight recently and I thought I’d make mention of it today as weight and body image have become a newly conquered trouble in my life. I probably won’t say anything here you haven’t heard before, but it seems there is a need to repeat this information as there are still people in every corner of the world trying to eat themselves sick and squat themselves silly to have a nice fat bum, or starve themselves nearly to death in order to fit into a pair of skinny jeans. It’s unnecessary. Unimportant. A waste of your precious time, Beauties. I started out at 8 pounds and worked my way up to 200 at one point. I’ve been a size 3 and a size 15 and all of those inconsequential numbers in between. The ineffectual importance of my external image became obvious to me when I entered high school. My sister decided to start dressing me and doing my hair. I’m assuming she did this so I wouldn’t embarrass her with my daily attire of windpants and printed sweaters. That sh*t was colorful and comfy and I was happy in it with my unbrushed hair. But the minute I became what some folks call “attractive” I found myself to be the unwilling center of attention and uncomfortable object of desire. I noticed the eyes on me and the attentive nature in which people listened. When I was a skinny geek with a white girl afro I was invisible, for the most part, and I liked it that way. People didn’t come to me for the answers once they started calling me pretty. Suddenly it was assumed I was an idiot or a slut. I took great pride in my humor and intelligence and now my value seemed to be based on sh*t that didn’t really matter. It didn’t matter to me, anyway. Now I had to find a new identity and, as I grew, my appearance changed drastically from year to year. Sometimes I did it on purpose and sometimes God did it for me. The “freedom moment” came to me just one short year ago. I weighed nearly 200 pounds but my spirit had never been so light, carbonated and tingling with confidence and security. Because, I realized something. Something very powerful. The outside parts were never meant to be permanent. I’d get older and this meat sack I carried my soul around in would eventually die and rot. Morbid, I know, but it’s true. It seems trite to say that the insides matter most and finding value in myself was most important but, messages like that only become trite because they’re repeated so often. And they’re repeated so often because they’re true. As soon as I realized who I was on the inside and developed and strengthened those skills solely because I had become so incredibly displeased with the outside, the weight fell off and I was back to normal. It was another “God thing”. It helped that I had stopped taking a dangerous cocktail of anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety medications but that, my friends, is a different story. I weigh 120. I’m 5 foot 8. I have hyperthyroidism so, unless I’m chewing, I’m hungry. I have to eat nearly twice as many calories as the average chick my size and 60 grams of protein every day or I lose weight. This disease affects every system in my body, every single cell. Trust me, it isn’t a disease you want to have. I get accused of being anorexic and doing drugs all of the time because, apparently, it isn’t normal to have a body like this. But, isn’t this what ” they” wanted me to be? The magazines and the people who ridiculed me when I weighed much more had called for me to be this way so, why aren’t they happy? It use to bother me that I’m cut like a G. D. beast but people try to make me feel bad for it. Seriously? Truth is, the type of people who judged me for my appearance will never be happy with it, no matter what form I take. And do you know why? They’re a**h**es. Plain and simple. Unless someone is legitimately concerned with my health, their opinion on my appearance means nothing compared to the opinion I have of myself. People can be jerks. But jerks are usually idiots so why would I give a s**t what they think? Really? If you have a heart of gold, good intentions, integrity, and a sense of humor, there’s not a damn thing they can say to upset you because you’ll know what you’re worth, you’ll react to the world in a way that won’t send shame bouncing back at you, and when the morons with torches come knocking at your door, you will disarm them with a laugh that screams, “I dont give a SH** what you think!” Try it sometime. Laughing at yourself and at their remarks seems to shut them up much better than a punch to the face. Less jail time too. Give it a shot, Gorgeous.