Fat women are everywhere. We're writers and scientists, moms and teachers. And yes, even despite the overwhelming misconception that fat women cannot be beautiful, we are models and fashion bloggers.
It's something Nabela Noor, a fashion and beauty vlogger with more than 350,000 YouTube subscribers, felt the need to say out loud in a recent video. Aptly titled "YES I'M FAT" (a totally necessary use of all caps), the video asks viewers to stop leaving hateful comments about Noor's weight and aims to open a conversation about what a fat woman can or cannot be.
"I have found that people feel like it’s their obligation, their duty, to let me know that I’m overweight," Noor said in the video. "To let me know that I’m fat, and to remind me that it is so unhealthy for me."
Well guess what? She already knows that she's fat. And even though she is on a "fitness journey," she feels beautiful and confident in the body she has now.
But no matter how confident or secure a person is in their body, reading comments like those often left on articles or videos of plus size women owning their beauty and sex appeal still hurts.
"Sometimes people only comment 'fat' or 'ugly,' and it's been bumpy," Noor said. "Sometimes I feel like, 'Oh my gosh, should I just not post because I'm fat? Am I supposed to hide away because I'm fat?' It's as though it's wrong for me to be posting online while being fat with a smile on my face, telling people about beauty and fashion."
But when she has those thoughts, it hits her that that's exactly why she should be posting. It's not for the people who post hateful comments, or even for the concern trolls who swear they're just worried about her health. It's for women like her, who are told again and again that they cannot be beautiful simply because of a number on a scale.
“I need to challenge that idea that we can’t love ourselves," Noor said. "Yes I’m fat, and I’m fashionable. Yes I’m fat, and I love makeup, and I do a great job applying makeup (she really does, just watch)."
Now, Noor said, she's fed up with the comments about her weight and she feels the need to speak out.
"I cried so much at night," she tells Refinery29. "I couldn't do an Instagram Live without incessant shaming from strangers. It felt like I couldn't exist online because I was fat. That became my breaking point."
As she said in the video, Noor found herself skipping events because she was worried about the way she looked. "I was not going to let myself skip out on my passion because of it as well," she says. "I need to love myself as I am in this moment, and I need to encourage my followers to unapologetically love themselves as well."
Read these stories next: