"She's beautiful, but she can't possibly be healthy". "She's pretty….for a big girl". "I'm not body shaming her, I only want the best for her".
We've heard it all. It's amazing just how many people will justify body shaming, fat shaming and concern trolling of fat bodies as "for their own good". If we've learned anything over the years, its that keeping active, and keeping fit doesn't always mean having a slim figure. Many top-tier athletes are curvier (helloooo Serena Williams) and still fit as hell! Time and time again, we're reminded that this body is the only one you've got, so keeping it active is essential to keeping it healthy. As a team of plus-sized girls, we know just how important it is to keep fit - not just so we can keep up with our everyday tasks and the activities we love, but to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and depression. We know all too well just how vital our health is to our quality of life, and our ability to get the best out of each day.
Although it's been proven that thin doesn't necessarily mean healthy, fat doesn't necessarily mean unfit, and health cannot be determined at first glance, it's rare to walk through the world in a bigger body, and not face judgement, ridicule and downright ostracization. Funny thing is, most of the Succulent Six are quite physically active in one way or another. We practice yoga, ride horses, play sports and dance onstage for a living. Our very own Rachel was even an NCAA basketball player in her youth — scholarship and all!
In a conscious effort to show that big girls can still be active and to promote healthy living at any size, Rach challenged us to a day on the courts, playing basketball where she coaches and trains in Mississauga.
We had no clue what awaited us that day, given the fact that most of us hadn't played ball since we were teens… and, the MVP of the day ended up being the most unexpected Succulent of them all! Come along for the ride as we hit the courts and prove that "FAT GIRLS CAN JUMP"!
Steff Ivory Conover (Ivory) is Toronto based artist and a founding member of the Succulent Six, Canada's team of Curvy Super SHEroes, Canadian Confidence, a collective of plus-sized bloggers, models, artists and and activists fighting to reclaim their right to feel beautiful at any size, and Les Femmes Fatales, Canada's premiere burlesque troupe for Women of Colour, you can follow her antics on Instagram and Twitter @pureivorydotca and online at www.pureivory.ca.