I want to talk about Body Positivity, OK?

I want to preface this blog post by saying I’ve never claimed to be the healthiest person. I’m extremely busy, travel frequently and often too exhausted to hit the gym. Touring is an entirely other issue. What do you eat at 2am after a show when you’re on the road? I posted a status update that got a lot of love (and it’s share of tear-inducing fat shaming comments), and it explains how I live my life; with hella self-care and salad and heirloom tomatoes and a goddamn gin martini whenever I so choose.
PS. Can someone open a drive-thru vegan restaurant that’s open forever and has cute girls working and is only 5 dollars for anything and is in every city and has puppies you can hold while you wait?? PLEASE??

I want to talk about bodies. Bodies are sometimes broken, sometimes violated, sometimes nurtured, sometimes healing, sometimes sick. But your body is your own. It is a beautiful and dangerous thing, that freedom; we can do whatever we want with our bodies. Why are bodies a sensitive subject? Because we live with them every second of our lives. And there are a crazy amounts of critics that attempt to define beauty.
I have a theory about plus size bodies, specifically women, but not limited to. I believe that if a person has been violated, raped, abused, or harassed, they view their bodies differently after an incident(s). I’m not even going to start a rant on poverty and it’s correlation to obesity, because I could go forever on that subject as well.
When I was in high school, I was athletic and active. After my 17th birthday, I snuck into a party on the Army base with a friend. I didn’t realize it would be all men in their 20’s.
That night I was raped in a room with 3 men. I didn’t realize it at the time, that my saying ‘No’ softly and trying to hold thighs off of me meant rape. Didn’t think about the immorality of a 23 year old heavily coaxing me into his bed. After the rape, I went into a gradual depression. There were several other factors (the obvious: coming out as a lesbian, high school in general), but one thing that was interesting about that time, was that during those months and the years that followed, I wanted to destroy my body. I became increasingly self-destructive and reckless. I gained weight. I slept around. I cut. I drank myself into oblivion. My body did not feel worthy. If someone so easily took advantage of my body, violated every part of me, and planted a rotten fruit in my psyche, then I could not possibly be worthy. My body did not deserve to be loved, least of all by me.
If a person has been physically violated, I believe that that abuse directly correlates to eating disorders and self-harm.

When you shame another’s weight (be it thin or fat), when you claim to call out someone’s body size because you “care” about their health, it is not a beneficial statement in any sense of the word, and in actuality is far more harmful to any progress a person might have with relation to their health. What right do you have to talk about someone else’s body or health? You are hammering a distorted ideology that they are not normal, that they are not worthy, and convincing them that they are going to die early. The reason that there is a body positive movement is because we’re celebrating our bodies for the magic that they are and the beautiful things they are capable of. We are letting go of past abuse and judgement, and loving ourselves again. We are practicing self care, in whatever way we choose. We are saying fuck you to clothing lines that only go to a size 12 as if we don’t even exist as people, and we are saying fuck you to a mainstream media that says our bodies can only be used as comedic props and can’t possibly be sexy or romantic. 

We are reclaiming our bodies.



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100 Responses to I want to talk about Body Positivity, OK?

  1. Jeff Smith says:

    This is right and so wrong on so many levels. That is all I have to say

  2. Morgan. says:

    I just wanted to cry reading this. I don’t even recall how I stumbled upon this but it was amazing.

  3. angelalynn79 says:

    I have such a similar story. Thank you so much. You are so brave.

    I always felt like I wasn’t really a person. I had to have control of my body. It is so difficult for someone to understand.

  4. El Chapo says:

    Women complain constantly about fat shaming but seem to have little trouble dumping on short men


  5. Brooke says:

    I love you. Stay strong beautiful girl.

  6. Pingback: Body Positivity | AFE Journalism 2013

  7. Missy says:

    First and foremost I want to say that your music and your poetry are absolutely incredibly. Second, I’ve been reading a lot about how your work makes people cry and was waiting for it. Funnily enough this blog post is the first thing of yours that had me bawling so I just had to comment. You are such an inspiration! And you’re absolutely gorgeous. So much so that just last night as I was convincing my boyfriend that we had to have “I’d Be Your Wife” incorporated into our engagement somehow, I couldn’t stop going on about how utterly beautiful you are (I WISH I could rock red lipstick like you!). Your outlook on life, love, and self makes my soul so utterly happy and I hope you know how much positive effect you have on this world. Back to listening to “Letters Don’t Talk” on loop!

  8. Ermilia says:

    So glad I found that you have a blog. You’re amazing and I am listening to your songs on repeat. Keep your message strong about self-love, same love, and compassion.

    – Ermisenda

  9. Mary, you are beautiful. Period. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, etc. Also, beauty is something that is reflected from within. Some of the most ‘beautiful’ people are shallow, vain and horrible. That beside, you are BEAUTIFUL outside AND inside. <3

  10. Pingback: “A No Is A No” – Femgeeks über das Musikjahr 2013

  11. Pingback: My Body My Life! | notajesusfreak

  12. savannah says:

    Hi Mary, I just seen you on showbiz and looked up your page! I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that, but I agree with you, I hate it when people point out how others look. I’ve felt this way since I was young, My mother has always told me I either needed to lose weight or gain it. I felt like I couldn’t win for losing. I don’t think pointing out how big or small someone is, to be the way we look at people, and no matter how big or small you or anyone else is either way were all beautiful! What makes people ugly is the way they treat others and the way they act! This topic drives me crazy! Keep doing what your doing babe, we need some up lift in our youth these days! Kepp your head up! Your beautiful!

  13. Rae says:

    I am a 13 year old bi chick. I am 210 pounds. I find you very inspiring. You make me feel confident and happy with who I am. I write like crazy. Nobody knows I’m bi btw, but my best friend and I were doing our weekly friday night hang out out side. It was cold out side and she sat on my lap and I put my arms around her.(i have the biggest crush on her, but she doesn’t know it.) I thought of your song and smiled.

  14. anotherstranger says:

    I agree with everything, except on some levels the clothing lines.. I am very thin and almost entirely unable to find clothing that fits me, but if every brand carried my size the amount of waste that would be produced from tossed product would be shameful. Coming from a retail background, there is a noticeable trend that the largest and smallest sizes are not sold and get tossed. There are fantastic options for larger and smaller people, and instead of trying to fit into the brands, I’d rather say fuck you to capitalism and materialism and make work with what I have access to. I’m not at all denying that some brands (eg. Abercrombie) directly shame larger women and smaller men, but I honestly couldn’t care less!
    Ps, listening to “Letters Don’t Talk EP” for the millionth time, I love you and your body! :) <3

  15. Heather Lahoda says:

    Mary, you amaze me. How does someone so young write so eloquently? You are wise beyond your years my friend. My eyes well up with tears when ever I listen to Body Love, and reading this, puts even more perspective into the meaning of those words to you, not just how I felt they related to me. I am SO proud of you and of your success. To be able to say, I’ve met you and that the person that writes this blog, posts on FB and Twitter and sings so beautifully are one in the same. You are as real as it gets. You make the mama bear in me want to come out and wrap you up in my arms and protect you. Much love to you my friend and continued success. This is SO exciting! Enjoy it!

  16. burbank limited says:

    I’m here because I think you are a total betty. You’d be hot skinny too.

  17. Jacqueline says:

    I believe someone very wise once said, “Love your body like your mother loved your baby feet.” It is so much harder to do, than to say…right? What if we looked at each others bodies and thought, “This body is telling me a story, and it is a story I must meet with the most compassion I have ever had in my life?” Maybe then we would stop hating one another and could begin to stop hating ourselves. Sending you love and light for your bravery.

  18. leah says:

    You are so brave and inspirational. Thank you.

  19. I'd prefer to be anonymous says:

    I was molested at 9 by a friends brother. My depression was food, internet, and hate. at 25 I was assaulted by a date – a woman that took ‘I’m not in the mood’ and ‘I’m really tired’ as ‘convince me’. Since I was 9, I don’t know how to say ‘no’. Two years later, still unable to go to an obgyn, a breast exam, or the beach – had to take my top off for the doctors and hyperventilated so badly they had me get re-dressed and wrapped a towel around my shoulders.
    sorry. life story. I’m getting better, I swear, despite my issues with hiding and refusal of intimacy. Just. thank you for this post okay? I’m glad you’re feeling better in life and for what it’s worth I find you absolutely *gorgeous* although that’s third behind your wonderful mind/personality/words and glorious voice. Brain and such before beauty but, uh, yeah. You’re beautiful.
    And it make me so happy you’re in a better place and putting these songs out.

  20. Michelle Perez says:

    Thanks for being awesome. ☺

  21. I went through something similar in high school and never looked at my body the same way again. In retrospect, I think I subconsciously “became fat” to ward off anyone who might think of giving me attention – unwanted or wanted. I agree with you in that I just didn’t feel worthy of anyone giving me attention because I was “damaged goods”. Now, as a mother to a 2 year old little girl, it is SO important that she understands her body is her own and that it is an awesome tool to use as she so pleases (as long as she doesn’t harm herself or anyone else with it). I went through SO many years of self injury, so I understand what it feels like to see your body as your enemy when the enemy is the demon who broke it. I still struggle, every day, with who I am. I can’t come out, I can’t be in love with who I want, I can’t have the happily ever after that Disney promised me. However, I can ENSURE that my daughter get’s what she deserves – joy and ownership of her mind, body, and spirit.

  22. ana garcía says:

    Hi Mary¡ you’re so strong and you have a beautiful voice. never stop please. happiness is in oneself and the people, both homosexual and heterosexual ones you want.

  23. River Jay says:

    Hi, Mary. I just wanted to commend you on having so much courage, and to thank you. You are a beautiful woman and that comes through in many ways. PS Congrats on the video… it’s lovely.

  24. Raye says:

    All I can say is, fuck yeah, girl, and amen! <3

  25. Thank you for your honesty and your bravery!

  26. Naomi says:

    Hi :) I’m also a plus sized, girly lesbian, and you’ll probably not even read this, but i’ll put this on anyway. I wanna thank you. I’ve always felt like a freak for looking the way i do, never seeing anyone in the media like me, only ever meeting two or three normal people who are like me, and i never felt like i could have someone to identify with in the media. So thank you, simply for being you :) I’m a fan of your work, and i hope you go on to amazing success xx

  27. ali d says:

    Are you vegan? If so I hope you will blog about it sometime. I just heard your interview on Q and it turned me on to your blog and I like what I’m reading….body image….gay awareness….vegan drive thru lol….all things I care deeply about! Thank you :~)

  28. courtney babcock says:

    Your truth is many people’s reality and I hope by reading this the world has another glimpse of hope; it may just take some people longer to get to the point in knowing that all bodies are beautiful. I appreciate the fact that you didn’t leave out judgement on skinny people because that also happens and I feel like often we just focus on hate towards plus size bodies. Your spoken word pieces have helped shed light on my own self-hatred towards being a zaftig woman, and now I try and help other women see the truth. Also I might add that your song ‘ she keeps me warm ‘ has been chosen as the 1st dance song for my upcoming wedding to my partner as it represents everything that our love embodies. Thank you for being the voice the world needs to hear..


  29. Paul Clouse says:

    Thank you for writing this, Mary. My wife is a huge fan of yours and she told me about this post. It led to a larger discussion between the two of us that culminated in my own post: http://www.huntingforgod.org/tools-trade-open-letter-body/ For nearly thirty years I’ve thought of my body as just this thing I was stuck with. For the first time, I’m actually trying to find the value in it. Thank you.

  30. I loved this. What you wrote is so heartbreakingly true. My body’s been broken, in a car wreck, some years back. I never was a petite person before that, but now that my ability to exercise is limited… But I’m alive! And so happy my Mrs. stuck with me thru the years. I just hope to be able to appreciate everything she went through for me.
    This was meant to me a supportive reply, and I hope you read it as such. Ok? :)

  31. Kate says:

    I’m so very sorry that happened to you. Sadly, it happens all to often.

    Live.Breathe.Sing.Write.Love.Be Well.


  32. Tippy says:

    Beautiful and brave post. It took me a long time to realize I punished myself and my body because I thought I was worthless and it was what I deserved. I’m still learning to love myself. Your words give me hope and it helps to know I’m not alone.
    P.S. I think you’re a beautiful and talented person.

  33. Alyssa says:

    your story is so inspiring .. you are a beautiful talented woman .. I have a similar story & after reading more about you I am truly touched. congratulations on your success and continue to stay strong! xoxo

  34. Reblogged this on benditlikebecm and commented:
    One of the most inspirational things i’ve ever read about body positivity. Mary Lambert, you are the most remarkable person i’ve ever come across and you’re changing the world, saving one life at a time. I hope I get the chance to meet you one day.

  35. Kat says:

    This article truly touched me. I was critiqued all my school years for being too skinny.. Everyone always telling me to eat a burger. It was very frustrating. I could eat all day, everything in sight and you couldn’t tell it. Later on I learned I have a thyroid condition which caused that issue. Now pregnant with my 3rd child, I’m truly hoping I am able to lose the weight but honestly I don’t care. Yes I want to be healthy for my children but I also want people to accept people for who they are and the ones that can’t f*** them. I want my children to be happy with who they are and look over the ignorant people that criticize others. Most of those people have a greater issue of their own! I’m sure you have noticed that yourself but to any young person feeling unworthy just remember to take hatred very lightly and move on, the person right next to them look up to you, only wish they could be as happy, positive, smart, talented as you are.

    Be happy with who you are.

  36. Wendy says:

    I have 3 daughters, and I myself was sexually abused, this is inspiring and a beautifully written statement, I would love to repost it your so inspiring thank you xo much love and respect

  37. Pingback: Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray

  38. This has been by far one of the most beautiful and heartfelt words I have read in a long time. It’s voices like yours that make this world a much better place. Continue to spread your talent and thoughts. I’m glad I stumbled upon your amazing voice.

  39. Rachel Palmer says:

    Thank you. Much Love xo


  40. SHANNON SMITH says:

    this was a “bare all” post and extremely personal to share with fans and haters alike. What you have said for sure will touch thousands of people. If it doesn’t help everyone…it will help someone and hopefully that will bring you some peace!

  41. Shane says:

    stay strong, stay positive and stay beautiful

  42. CarmenDi says:

    I find this to be beautiful on so many levels. As a nurse who understands that “healthy” should never be synonymous with “skinny;” as a lesbian who understands the well-intentioned hypocrisy of reassuring my love that she is the physical embodiment of Aphrodite while mentally cursing the dimples in my thighs and the scars on my body; as a survivor of every subset of abuse known to the English language who admits that most of my scars are not truly self-inflicted, but rather a continuation of my abuser(s) intent. Stay beautiful.

  43. @EsotericArdor says:

    Our new-ish streaming information and social media age have given voices to horrid thoughts people would never even think of or say when enveloped with the reality of eye to eye contact. Everyone has their demons to battle. Some take it out on themselves. Some take it out on others. You are beautiful the way you are. You know this. ~AprilDawn

  44. Eleanor says:

    Thank you! This is fantastic!

  45. Mary, thank you for writing this and sharing about your past. I believe that this is a story that needs to be shared. All too often I hear and read the misconceptions that society has about full figured individuals. More often than not it’s not even the individual they see but the scary “obesity epidemic” and general laziness of Americans. So many people do not understand that many over weight people are that way not because of sloth or a love of junk food, but because we are dealing with something that is bigger than our measurements. I’ve recently been thinking that I need to let go of some of the sadness I’ve kept inside for so long. My father was an alcoholic and diabetic. When he would yell or leave me alone at home all day I would eat because nothing else made me feel better. When I was 17 and he was 44, he died of a heart attack. I continued to eat because it was the only thing I knew. I am not stupid, and I’ve known for a while what to eat and how to exercise in order to lose weight. The real struggle is feeling worthy of something better. Lately I’ve looked around and realized…I’ve survived, and I am happy. Living healthier may be my next step.

  46. beaux says:

    Dear Mary,
    I have been following your work for a while now, and I have always wanted to comment on how it affects me. I never do though. I figure that you have plenty of people who tell you thst you’re amazing and that what you do matters. What good would me saying anything do?
    I cry when I listen to your work. I don’t listen to it in public because it just cuts down to the quick of who I am, was and won’t ever be. I cry for hours.
    So why say something now? There comes a point in everyones life when the acknowledgement that someone -sees- you is all you need, and never get. Well Mary, I see you. I hear you. And I respect you. I wanted to say I understand and support you. I know how you feel. My own violation started when I was 7 and kept going for almost 30 years. I know your pain. I’m six feet tall and I wear a 24-26. I’ve been fat and height shamed as long as I can remember. The friends I have now tell me that I’m a goddess incarnate. I just see jabba the hut. Or on a good day, the hippo in a tutu from Fantasia.
    Don’t let the bastards get you down. Keep going, for your own sake, and the rest of us.
    We hear behind the words. We get you. Keep going .
    Beaux, Oly Girl

  47. Lara says:

    You are eloquent and beautiful, Mary. I adore you for being outspoken and honest. You are a blessing to the world. Thank you for helping people think deeply. I love you! Ms. Flynn.

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