I am fat.
It always shocks people when I say this. They rush to tell me that I am not, that I am beautiful, or sometimes that I am some other more socially acceptable word for fat.
As someone who is both taller and heavier than the average American woman I have always been acutely aware that I take up way more physical space then is deemed appropriate by contemporary feminine beauty standards. Comments about my weight and physical appearance, and how to improve it, is a regular occurrence. The suggestion is always that somehow in losing parts of myself I could become more.
The pressure to conform to the perceived norm that is represented not only in the media, but also within our own cultures and class structures becomes internalized and the ways in which we see ourselves can become incredibly skewed. Through self-imposed practices and body rituals the objects that once bound us physically now are unseen, and yet, the bindings are stronger than ever.
These pieces in particular represent my right, and the rights of the individuals I draw, to exist, as is,in spaces that we have been previously been denied. We are unapologetic and resilient, a strength cultivated from determination to normalize all the shapes our bodies take.