The other day when I posted pictures of myself in a fatkini , I felt peace with it the very second I hit publish. And then, like I assume most bloggers do, I sat around and watched the various social media outlets receive the post and process it among the people. And normally with a fresh post, I'll watch my live traffic feed grow by a few numbers, and it will get liked here or there.
But somehow my post seemed to resonate with more than a few people and I watched my life traffic feed grow and grow and grow and suddenly within ten minutes of posting the pictures to my site, there were twenty people looking at me in a bikini, and then thirty, and then sixty, and then hundreds. Eventually thousands.
And I began to panic.
The day the internet told me to commit suicide was a day I will forever remember. A lesson that told me that haters are out there. Trolls and assholes, just waiting for me to be vulnerable so they can crap all over my self worth and look for the chink in my armor. They'd show up with their true faces, calling me out as the fat bitch that I am, or they might appear disguised as a "concerned" family member or friend, who saw a picture of me in a bathing suit and wants to prevent me from eating myself to death.
So far the responses I've gotten from the public have been more than positive. I've read such specific words of encouragement the likes of which I did not expect. The love I've felt is immeasurable.
And as I waited for the haters to arrive I couldn't help but smile and think, "I'll be okay."
I may talk a big game online, but when confronted with ignorance and anger I back down quickly. I'm a peacemaker in person, and mixed with a little childhood trauma, plus a healthy dose of being unable to put my words together coherently under stress leaves me with the image that my beliefs are easily shaken, that I lack conviction, and that don't know what I'm talking about. I've never known how to properly defend myself.
Until I realized that I didn't need to.
That if a hater showed up to tell me what's what, a simple, "Fuck you and peace out," is actually good enough.
I don't need to fight back.
But knowing the community I feel a part of now - the body positive and fat activist community - if I do feel the need to fight back, I'll never have to do it alone.
Thanks for having my back, y'all. Even if I don't need it yet.