Summer is here—or if you live in Louisiana like me, summer has been here since May, but I digress. For many of us, it’s time to say goodbye to the hoodies for lighter clothing options, like a slightly lighter-weight hoodie, or even a cardigan if you’re fancy. Those of us who identify as fat or chubby or what-have-you know, the moment we start shedding our attire to feel more comfortable in the summer heat is the moment we start getting an exponential increase in the number of comments we get about our bodies.
From the constant comments we see and hear about losing weight, to the sometimes constant looks of disapproval from passersby, to people trying to tell you what to and not to wear, it might seem like there’s no way to getting around the body shaming we go through during the summer. Well my friends, you’re in luck! Below are 5 foolproof, tried and tested ways for you to steer clear of body shaming this—and any—summer!
- Completely Seclude Yourself from the Rest of the World
So you want to avoid the incessant onslaught of comments from body shamers in your life? What better way to do that than removing yourself from society completely? As shows like Doomsday Preppers have so graciously shown us, it is 100% possible to live in a cave or underground somewhere for days, weeks, or months if you have the properly water and food supply. The hardest part is finding that perfect cave or hole in the ground for you, but don’t worry, you’ll find it in no time! It could be behind your house or apartment, or maybe it’s 5 hours from the nearest town out in the mountains of Montana. The hole my be just big enough for you to lay down comfortably, or you might make a suite of a cave for yourself—bring your bed, find a sustainable water supply for showering, harness wind and solar energy so you can have light, you know, the works! And the best part of it all, you can be naked, loving every bit of your body, and no one will be around to body shame you. Consider it hibernating for the summer—sounds great right?
If living in a hole in the ground doesn’t sound too great for you, the alternative to this option is maybe, ever-so-slightly easier to pull off. Rather than seclude yourself from the rest of the world, you can always find a radically supportive community online where you can find other who are having similar issues as you. Reading this article, you’re probably already on the internet, so you’re basically halfway there! Communities like the ones we’ve built here at The Body Is Not An Apology or similar sites like Everyday Feminism or The Militant Baker are full of people who are also trying to overcome the issues that body shaming brings into their lives. Finding a community that supports you no matter your size and other identities is a good way to avoid the other spaces we might frequent on the internet during the summer that are less than healthy for our emotional states.
- Grow Spikes on Your Back like a Freakin’ Porcupine
Many a fat folk like to wear spikes on their clothing, but the spikes we wear on our clothing attract a lot of heat—not to mention the leather jacket their attached to probably does as well. So instead of trying to work the spike look into your aforementioned super fancy cardigan, how about growing a set of actual spikes and needles like you’re a porcupine or a horned lizard. Genetic mutation might sound impossible, but who knows what’s out there in the deepest darkest corners of the internet for you to find? Once you find your black market geneticist or possibly less black market plastic surgeon and get your spiked-ness on, you’re ready to fight off the haters whenever they get into your personal space. Or if you’d rather not go the genetic alteration route, there’s other animalistic self defense mechanisms for you to try out, like wearing the ever reliable skunk musk—no one will come close enough to you to be able to make comments about your body. If those body shamers happen to venture into your mile-wide radius of stink, you can always have those spikes as a backup. Now you’ve got the look and the fragrance to have the perfect summer!
Okay, so maybe the spikes thing isn’t as feasible as we all want it to be. Rather growing physical spikes all over your body—as cool as it sounds—the next best thing would be learning how to walk with the confidence you deserve to have. Here at TBINAA, we have many articles that talk about ways to find confidence no matter your size, whether it’s through fashion, or surrounding yourself with like-minded people, or sex, whatever you might think of. Walking around with your confidence cranked to 11 might not keep haters away, but who cares, you’re amazing and greater than whatever kind of shame they’ll throw at you.
- Learn to Throw Literal Daggers with Your Eyes
“If looks could really kill,” as they say. No one will want to mess with the fierce fat person who throws literal daggers out of their eyes whenever they give the death glare. Someone says something to you on the street? BAM! Dagger right to the nose. Someone points and tells you that you can’t wear that crop top? BOOM! Dagger right to the finger. Someone says your short shorts are too short short? THWIP! Dagger right to the knee. If you can’t get the eye thing down, just carry around some carnival style throwing knives, a la AHS Freak Show’s Elsa Mars. Of course you wouldn’t actually be hurting them, you’re just getting the point across that you don’t want their negativity. It just happens to be in a very direct, rather sharp way. And if the body shaming is coming at you left and right online, instead of daggers, you can always shoot lasers from your eyes, and sending that beam through your internets into their internets and catch them in the eyeball! Or better yet, hack their computer so it throws knives at them for you! Technology has come so far, it might even make your dagger eyes tear up at how beautiful it is.
However, if you’re not so prone to shooting things from your eyeballs, or, you know, violence, you can always learn the skill—nay, the art—of the (metaphorical) death glare. You know all that confidence you gained after talking to some rad fat folks and from all the amazing writers here at TBINAA? Well you have to take it to the next level. Rather than people getting daggers to the face, you give them the death glare (or stank eye, or mean mug, or my sisters and I call it the Davis LookTM after our mother), and in doing so, you take all that negative energy they’re trying to force on you and send it back at them tenfold. The death glare is definitely different for everyone; sometimes it involves the whole face with full scowl, sometimes it’s all in the eyes (like smizing but the opposite!). Work on that death glare, own it, and use it the next time the haters are hating.
- Ditch Your Corporeal Self to Totally Spook Everyone Else
Now this may just be Too Spooky® for even me, but if we’re on the topic of steering clear of body shamers this summer, you need to consider the very real ability to just leave your body behind altogether. I mean, who needs a body anyways when your spirit can just float around and spook the heebee jeebies out of those folks who give you the hardest time with the way you look? Find your local spiritual healer or voodoo practitioner—trust me, every town has one—tell them you want the “Out of Body Special” as they like to call it, and you’ll soon be on your way to living your life free from body hate, and from your body! You can always pay a little extra and get the “Shame Me Once, Hex on You Special” where anyone who dares comment on your now-displaced body automatically has a curse cast upon them that makes them deal with the fact they’re horrible pieces of garbage, which is of course the worst thing you can do to a body shamer! Just follow Frank the Rabbit’s advice and take off that “stupid human suit,” even if you have to start with the skin and work your way down to the soul. I mean, how can anyone body shame you if you don’t have a body!?
If removing parts of yourself isn’t the ideal way for you to avoid body shame, then I have a much less spooky alternative for you. Sometimes the best thing you can do is find something that just really makes you happy and run with it. Finding the “real you” in music, art, dancing, or any other activity can often be the best way to avoid the body shamers. Who cares what anyone else says when you’re doing what you love and unapologetically loving yourself while doing it.
More Radical Reads: 11 Offensive Phrases You Didn’t Realize Are Fat Shaming
- Become a Mermaid and Swim with Arguably Less Judgmental Fish
So you don’t want to live in a cave, or grow very useful spikes on your body, or shoot daggers out of your eyes, or ditch your corporeal self completely, then this last solution may entice you. I have four words for you my friend: Become. A. Freakin’. Mermaid. That’s right. Mermaid. Or merman, or merfolk. The easiest way to do this of course is to get some SCUBA gear and be like that one total mer-poser on My Crazy Obsession with all the fake tails. But that dude is just a wannabe! What you have to do is grow actual gills and a glorious mertail and get real authentic with it. Who’s going to be able to talk about your body when you’re being all majestic in the gosh dang ocean? And if they do say something about your body, you can just swim away and literally drown out all that noise.
Otherwise, you can take the Sandy Cheeks route and create an entire miniature oxygen-filled biome at the bottom of the ocean, just be conscious of potentially gentrifying the neighborhood, because that’s not cool above land or in the ocean. Just a word of advice: the dolphins are suuuuper cliquey, luckily they’re pretty nice to humans-turned-merfolk, just don’t get caught up in their bouts of dorsal-fin-stabbing. Oh and the only thing killer about killer whales are their sweet scars from fighting off people who disrespect their bodies—definitely learn some sick fighting moves from them!
Becoming a mermaid can be a pretty daunting task, so maybe you’d rather just go for a swim with your friends. If you’re lucky enough to find folks in real life that are also looking to avoid the summertime body shamers, get together with them as much as you can and have a pool party, or a cookout, or even just a night of binge watching that one show you love on Netflix (I mean we can all learn a thing or two from Cutthroat Kitchen’s Alton Brown). If you don’t know anyone in your area who’s down with body positivity that you can hang out with, then there’s always your friend, the interwebs! Like I said before, there plenty of communities on this World Wide Web for us to find a place in and, more importantly, find body shameless activities to partake in.
In all seriousness, summertime for a lot of fat folks means becoming a recluse or overheating our bodies by covering them in far too many layers because we’re ashamed of the way we look. Fortunately, there is always a way to overcome all that shame that we face, whether it’s around others in real life or in our virtual communities.
Just remember you don’t have to grow spikes or shoot lasers out of your eyes to be a confident, shameless, amazing fat person in the world.