For the majority of her young adulthood, Jessamyn Stanley says that being called "fat" was the worst insult she could've received.
"If someone says that I'm fat, it means that I'm stupid, I'm ugly, I'm not worthwhile," Stanley says in a video for Marie Claire magazine, reflecting on her past mindset.
But now, Stanley, a yoga instructor and body positive advocate, understands that being called "fat" is "really just a description," and those negative connotations are nowhere to be found in a dictionary.
In the video, Stanley delivers messages to both body shamers and those who have been body shamed — and in doing so, she silences the shamers while empowering all people with the knowledge that their bodies are something to be proud of.
Here are five important, takeaway quotes from Stanley's interview:
To body shamers: "Why are you afraid of fat people? Honestly. Ask yourself this question. What is it about that body that makes you feel uncomfortable?"
"I am fat. That's just true. So I feel like it's important to not let words become the ultimate thing that can break you."
"Every day I'm walking down the street, I see people, I see their perception of me, and I have a tape that plays on a loop — I click play, and I say 'I don't care about you... I don't need you. I don't need this opinion. You have to set up that tape for yourself because if you don't, you're going to spend your entire life — literally, your entire life — thinking about what other people think about you."
"You have to know that anyone who says anything bad about you is just sad about themselves."
"Be strong, remember that you're awesome and that you don't need that."
For more, check out the full video below:
Think (Body) Positive is an A Plus original series featuring body positive advocates and thought leaders. Their goal? Encouraging you to love the skin you're in.