This just in: Activist Jes M. Baker of The Militant Baker — a space for body positivity, mental health, self love, and feminism, as explained on the site's About Page — has created the #FatGirlsCan challenge to show women and girls the world over that "fat" is not something that should induce shame. Instead, it should be a benign descriptor that acts the same way as "my hair is brown" or "my dress has dots" would. It's not something that needs to be worked on or changed, as society would often like us to believe.
In Baker's challenge video, she shares her concern over how there's a group of women out there made to believe that the size of their bodies makes them insignificant. They're taught that the way they look is the worst size they can be, and that until they change they can't experience the life that they want. They aren't allowed to be happy.
"This is for all the fat girls who have no idea they're absolutely perfect just the way they are. It's time to remind ourselves that the word 'fat' is not a bad word," Baker said in the video.
In an effort to help women realize that their shape doesn't stop them from leading a happy, amazing life, Baker created the hashtag #FatGirlsCan to show women that they can do anything they put their minds to, no matter who tells them they shouldn't or, even worse, that they can't.
When asked why she started the campaign in the first place, Baker tells me via email, "I was trying to figure out how to encapsulate a book that covers topics from the history of body image to why you should take selfies and I had to take a step back and ask myself: What is Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls ultimately? What was the ultimate thing that no one tells fat girls? My answer was: That they CAN. They can find love, they can win Emmys, they can whitewater raft, they can have healthy pregnancies, they can ride roller coasters, they can break fashion rules, they can be professional dancers, they can be rock stars, they can have amazing sex, they can, they can, they CAN. And I see it every day. And the best part of this message is that it applies to all bodies."
According to Mic.com, "Baker, who has written a [now] released book on the topic, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, is challenging others to get involved by sharing photos of themselves 'doing that thing that someone said you couldn't' on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #FatGirlsCan."
There's no need to make apologies to anyone for your appearance, but sometimes you need a reminder of that — and #FatGirlsCan does just that.
If you're in need of more inspiring, body positive messages, here are three more hashtags that will make you want to own your body and your looks, not "regardless" of your shape or size, but in part because of them.
Started by body positive advocate Tess Holliday, #EffYourBeautyStandards showcases all body types on its Instagram account to further represent those that are usually left out of media. The campaign helps show that all bodies are beautiful, and just because you aren't a size 2 doesn't mean you can't have amazing style, confidence, and hot looks to boot.
The hashtag was created by Plus Model Magazine to help women to celebrate their curves. The publication asks its readers to use the hashtag whenever they're wearing something that induces self love, proving you don't have to have a slender figure to feel sexy and beautiful in a lacy bra. When you see confident, gorgeous women owning their bodies, you become a little more inspired to follow suit.
Created by by plus size fashion blogger Kellie Brown, this hashtag encourages social media users to show that plus size women are every bit as stylish as their thinner counterparts. There is a miconception out there there that you can't genuinely love fashion or dress up for the fun of it if you're plus size. For fat women, clothes are only meant to hide their "problem areas." This hashtag blows that idea right out of the water.
What #FatGirlsCan and these other empowering movements are doing is proving that no matter your waist size, you can always have fun and lead a fulfilling existence by expressing who you are.
Images: Courtesy Jes M. Baker of #FatGirlsCan/YouTube