Because Fuck You if you think your opinion should matter and if you think you get a say! You know what they say about opinions and assholes, right? (Yes this post will be littered with cursing and I will not bleep to spare anyone’s feelings).

Is that a little harsh? Good. But honestly, it’s probably not harsh enough.

I don’t know who gave anyone the right to judge others based on their weight or looks, but… Y’all, we’re ALL guilty of it. In one way or another, if you look close enough, we’re ALL guilty of it.

This topic is near and dear to my heart because I’m plus size, because I write books about plus size heroines and the heroes who desire them.

It’s also been on my mind a lot the last few days because of an article published about a woman business owner and podcast (Goaldigger) host named Jenna Kutcher that I follow on Instagram. I adore her realness and bravery. And her business advice is pretty awesome, too. She and her husband were featured in a Yahoo! piece that sparked some pretty nasty comments from people.

Now, I know we all say, don’t read the comments, don’t look at the reviews, don’t whatever … But we also know it’s bullshit because guess what? We’re gonna look, we’re gonna read, and the horrid things said are going to stick with us for a bit.

I don’t know what happened to “If you can’t say anything nice …”, but WOW! It’s gone the way of the Dodo bird. How people can be so cruel to someone they don’t know, but the Internet has allowed for a great deal of bullying to go on and people to say things they likely wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face.

So, here are 5 Things I want you to know about body positivity, self love, and why they’re important … AT ALL AGES!

It’s Hurting Our Children … They hear it. They see it. They go on diets before they’re eleven years old. They’re obsessed with size and weight. They’re stressing their bodies before they’re old enough to understand what stress is. Should they be out playing instead of playing video games the way they do, yes, probably. I can tell you I didn’t go outside and play. I stayed in my room with music and books. My sister did, though. She played outside from dawn until dusk. We didn’t worry about diets of the sizes of jeans. To be honest, I never felt bad about any weight I gained until someone told me they just didn’t find me sexy. Someone close to me. Someone who should never speak words like that. That I just wasn’t attractive anymore. That I was no longer pretty. But our kids see and hear stuff like that and they’re too young and impressionable to realize that attraction isn’t only skin deep, or that it shouldn’t be, and that love, ALL the love needs to come from inside us before we ever look to others for it. We’re not sending that message to them, though. We’re sending the message that a bikini body is the only body a man or woman is going to ever be interested in. We’re sending the message that whatever you want to do in live, you can do, but only if you’re a certain size because otherwise, you’re seen as lazy and unkempt. We’re sending the message that if we just do this, or this, or this, we’ll be the optimal size. We’re sending the message that a number on a scale or on a pant size is worth more than what it truly means to be healthy. That’s not what makes you happy in the end and we need to stop sending those messages to our kids. They’re already dealing with enough shit from us. We shouldn’t leave them hating themselves, too because they aren’t living up to some superficial ideal.

It’s Not About Glorifying Obesity … Do you need me to say that again for the ones in the back? This one is just … Do you know why? Because there are thin women who hate their bodies, too. Who hate their bodies just as much as those who are obese. Let that sink in, y’all. Not only are women who are overweight hating themselves, but there are women who are the optimal weight (according to the outdated charts in doctor’s offices) or thinner, who hate themselves. Saying we want body positivity and self love and self acceptance and self confidence in our own skin isn’t about glorifying anything other than self love and self acceptance and self confidence. No matter the number on a scale or the number on a tag on a piece of clothing, that should not dictate one’s level of love for themselves. But we let it. We let the scale, the clothing size, the diet industry, the words in commercials, the words on social media take every ounce of positivity away from us and it needs to stop. Like, yesterday. Because what it should be about is glorifying and loving ourselves, being happy and living life on our terms, not ones that are dictated to us by those who don’t even know us. We are wonderfully and beautifully made in our skin, just the way we are.

I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell anyone they should lose weight or gain weight. I don’t live in your life and you don’t live in mine. I do yoga daily and the yoga instructor I follow has a saying ‘Find What Feels Good”. I love it and it’s a good thing to live by. Find what feels good and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. But I do know that STRESS can kill you. And this kind of negativity adds to already overloaded stress levels. Loving ourselves, finding joy and happiness in our skin, isn’t about glorifying obesity. It’s about finding what feels good in our lives, whatever that is. And if someone feels good about themselves at a size 24, who has the right to tell them they should instead hate themselves because they aren’t living up to someone else’s standards?

It’s None Of Your Fucking Business … Self explanatory. Unless you’re the doctor, your opinion is just that and it shouldn’t matter. You’re entitled to have one, yes. I’m entitled, ANYONE, is then entitled to tell you to Fuck Off. Before you throw stones, check your own foundation. Before you tell me how to live, step into my shoes for the last 47 years and walk my exact path. Before you point out anyone else’s supposed flaws, better make sure you’re damn perfect in every fucking area of your life. Period. Because otherwise, It Is None Of Your Fucking Business! And if I want to dance and shake while eating chocolate cake, I will.

These last two are so very, very, VERY vital and important …

Deserving of Love and Happiness … That’s right, y’all. Those of us who are bigger and those of you who are smaller. WE ARE ALL DESERVING OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS RIGHT WHERE WE ARE! We don’t have to lose weight or gain weight to be deserving of love and happiness, and that includes love from ourselves as well as others. It also includes happiness in our jobs, out with friends, binge watching Netflix and eating a pizza with a side of brownie, going to the gym, going to yoga, asking a guy or gal out, going to a club or the hot new restaurant. We deserve to LIVE and not hide out because of the condemnation seen in the eyes of others, or heard in the whispered words when no one thinks we can hear them. We deserve freedom from the negativity and hatefulness of the public at large just because they don’t like the skin of the person they see on the outside. YOU, ME, EVERYONE is deserving of happiness and love wherever they are in their body right now. Flip off the negative, awful thoughts. Flip off the person sneering at you. Flip off the person who says ‘Maybe you need to … whatever’. Shake your ass, smile, and walk away. You don’t need that level of shit in your life. You don’t need that level of STRESS in your life. You need the happy, loving level of I’VE GOT THIS.

You deserve love. Especially from yourself. You’re worth it. That L’Oreal phrase is so so so so SO DAMN TRUE! You, me, all of us are worthy of love. We should love ourselves. Ultimately, we’re the ones who know us best and we should be kind and compassionate toward ourselves. I know it’s hard to combat the asshats out there. I know it’s hard to silence their words and jabs and sucker punches and cruelty, but we’re better than that. And if that is all you ever hear from anyone, it’s time for some new friends. If it’s your family, it’s time to stand your ground and say “No More.” Is it hard? Oh yes. But YOU ARE WORTH IT! Your life, your heart, your soul, your very essence is worth it. And the more we love ourselves, the less the opinionated assholes matter and the less we notice them and the less we feed their need for attention. Instead, we’ll give attention where it really does matter … To ourselves and the things that makes us happy and the things we’re passionate about.

We Are Beautiful … Oh yes the fuck we are. We are so damn beautiful. And if you don’t think so, Fuck You.

There are many things in this world that are deserving of our attention and focus. Hating each other for the size or color of someone’s skin is not one of them.

Many of us take better care of ourselves than the majority of the public at large realize. We walk, yoga, jog, dance, eat pretty damn good, too. We cook, we have amazing orgasms with ourselves, enjoy books, movies, coffee, naps, sports, travel … You know, all the things. We’re looked at differently though. And when someone hot and sexy looks at us and finds us hot and sexy, too? Well, now … That’s why I write the romance that I do. Curvy women who are loved and desired by the rough around the edges bad boys. We deserve the Happily Ever After even with our curves, or lack of.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worthy or that you’re less because your body isn’t what they think is ideal. Don’t let anyone hurt you like that. They’re wrong. And you’re beautiful. And together, with love and support, we can do ANYTHING!

We’re BADASSES… Curvy and Gorgeous BADASSES!

~lissa