My name is Fairen Harris. I am a 26 year old graduate student studying Elementary Education and Special Education. I define plus size for myself as fat or big. I have chosen to reclaim the word fat, because it has been used to condemn myself and others like me. People always assume that because I am big I should have low self-esteem or that I have physical disabilities or that I just sit around and eat all day. I have a very active life style and I enjoy celebrating my body and other plus bodies like mine. The day I chose to take ownership of my body and most of all my belly, was the day I became my happiest and choose to live my best fat life.
In January 2017 I began my Master’s program. I attempted to juggle/balance my physical, mental, and spiritual health. Along with classes, homework, exams, PRAXIS, an active social life, family and friends. That lasted about three months. Then I stopped working out. Then I stopped eating clean/well. Then I had to get a second job. Then my whole life became mainly work (both jobs) and school. I fit in a social life as much as I could. But the methods of self-care that I had acquired were no longer working for me. I began to doubt myself. I felt horrible about myself. I began to cope in the only ways I knew how. That’s not to say that I did not enjoy myself, many times I still did. But I was and still am so stressed. More than I realize sometimes.
Two years ago I told my body I would always nurture and love her. I would not shame her and I would affirm her. As my belly grew so did my confidence, which is where Love Thy Belly was conceived. Literally because of my belly. #lovethybelly is a body affirming movement that I started for myself. I did not know the amount of spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional gain I would obtain from this journey. I still have many moments of doubt. I know that this is my body, my belly. And as my spirit pilots this vessel I have it. So I will treat it with patience, love, kindness, and forgiveness. So once again love yourself more than you condemn yourself.
Some barriers of being fat have been in the fashion industry. There is not always clothing that is accessible and affordable in plus sizes as much as the other sizes. So often big women are ridiculed for their appearance. Social media is a notorious place for vicious trolls to attack plus bodies. The body shaming that people participate in and encourage is malicious and heinous. This is why I chose to be body positive and promote messages of self-love and appreciation.
My goal is to encourage other women to love their bodies at whatever stage it is. If that means you are happy where you are, celebrate it. If you are not where you want to be in your body journey, still love it. Wake up and look yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you body. You are mine and, I love you fiercely.” I use social media as a means to push my movement. I am currently in the works of getting my #lovethybelly brand up and running. I want to be an inspiration. You see a crop top wear it! You like a two piece buy it! Stripes wear them! Your belly is a part of your body and it deserves to be loved, nurtured, honored, and cared for. You deserve to love yourself unconditionally because you are a flower and your season to bloom is here.
I love to engage in conversation about body positivity, self-identity, intrinsic motivation, self-image, and self-worth.
Let’s connect. Twitter/IG/Snapchat: @FairenKia Facebook: Fairen Harris