On July 27, stand up comedian Whitney Cummings broke the Internet by championing gaining weight to look younger, stating in an interview on the Today Show that she gained 25 pounds not just to combat signs of aging, but in order to feel better about herself overall. Cummings dispelled rumors of surgery by being open about her weight gain, and this openness when it comes to a topic still so stigmatized is something to admire. She arguably became a body positive role model overnight when she said that the weight gain didn't just fill out her face, but made her love her body "more than ever."
In an interview with Popsugar released on July 31, Cummings also spoke candidly about her struggle with body image, feeling forced to adhere to social beauty standards, and how she overcame these issues and made significant life changes, finally leading to strong feelings of self love. Her Today Show appearance combined with her conversation with Popsugar help dispel the negativity that shrouds weight gain in our society and media. Cummings lets women know that weight gain doesn't just have to be "not negative," but that it can also contribute to positive feelings about ourselves.
Even though there were moments during her interview with Popsugar during which Cummings unfortunately equated self love and positive body image with what men like (who cares?), the rest of her words are incredibly body positive. Here are my favorite five quotes.
1. "I was allowed to deviate from a standard of beauty that is in magazines and really everywhere."
Whitney Cummings' realization that there are different types of beauty outside of the ones that confront us constantly via the media is one that I wish everybody could make. Her use of the word "allowed" proves how overwhelming and tyrannical the fashion and beauty worlds can seem.
2. "Perfection is bullsh*t."
"I think women don't want to admit to any weakness or flaws, we all just want to be naturally perfect." Who even decides what perfect is, though? What is a weakness and what is a strength? Instead of letting others decide what or who is "flawed," we need to start understanding that words like "perfection" mean absolutely nothing.
3. "I don't want to be on my death bed looking back and remembering that I spent three hours of every day thinking about food and working out."
Although Cummings is still self admittedly thin, this quote rings so true for me as well. I hate the amount of effort and cruelty I'd have to put my body through to look a certain way — to look the way some of my friends do seemingly effortlessly. I'd rather look back on how much fun I had while fat than anything else.
4. "I came out the other side and now I love my body more than ever."
Cummings continued to radiate positivity throughout the interview, even whilst tackling deep set social issues like eating disorders and self hatred. Through her own personal story, she reminded people that no matter what body image issues you experience, there is always a way out of them.
5. "Who am I doing this for? Guys don't even like this, I am not doing this for guys."
Regardless of what guys like (again, who cares?), realizing that your body issues are only harmful — not beneficial — is a huge step towards body positivity.
Images: Getty Images