Real Stories

Body Positivity in a Pandemic

So, we’re exactly 214 days into a global pandemic

We don’t go outside as often if at all depending on the level of infection where you live

When we do go, we’re masked up

Politics in the US are a joke 

Alcoholism will probably be rampant if it isn’t already 

Food is not only sustenance but a form of solace


And here is where we arrive at my topic for this post. How has the pandemic changed your relationship to food and body positivity?

I’ve always enjoyed a good meal but food in general hits different when the world is on lockdown and you need constant comfort. Sometimes I just want to eat until it’s over. The temptation is too real. I saw an influencer I follow mention she’s gained 25 pounds during corona and I related. While I haven’t gained 25, I also have actively avoided the scale due to obsessive behaviors regarding that and my weight in the past. Eating a midnight snack due to insomnia, having larger serving sizes during meals because stress makes me famished, having comfort food and beyond burgers on a weekly basis because life has never looked bleaker than it does now… I’ve definitely for a built-in seatbelt of sorts that wasn’t there before. And all of the walking and water drinking won’t make up for the time I used to spend actually exercising and walking with purpose throughout the week, each and every week.  

The idea of body positivity has always seemed somewhat removed for me in that I have no problem with the size of other people’s bodies, as long as they’re safe, healthy and happy. Watching Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show, Vol. 2 was a perfect example. Seeing big boys and thick boys, as well as thick girls and big girls, brought me SO much joy I actually clapped with glee. There was one routine that included primarily big girls and it was so incredible I need to watch it again. I know good and well those women would be able to make it through a routine smoother than I would and I’m smaller in size. Truly beautiful and inspirational that a world-famous fashion line works to purposefully include all sizes and genders, not just online, but physically in their shows as well. This proves and confirms that size should no longer be a barrier in any way. 

Where the issue ensues is with body positivity in regards to myself specifically. It’s a different kind of surprise altogether when you’re getting dressed and noticing some of your key staples, your go-to pieces, your rock steady #1s are fitting a little tighter around the middle of the arms or the boobs or all of the aforementioned. I remind myself that my body is carrying me through an entire global pandemic right now, the likes of which we may not see the waning of until April 2021 and the solid end of until November 2021. That not only has a pandemic been taking place, but one of the strongest and largest upheavals surrounding racial injustice and white supremacy is taking place daily. Our country’s democracy is being challenged every single day. Hard, challenging conversations are being conducted, friends lost, realizations had. Not to mention I’ve also been working my regular 9 am to 5 pm throughout this singularly most stressful time of my entire life. 

My body, this earthly form made of bones and blood, has born me through the madness, one day at a time. I should be gracious and allow it to expand, literally and figuratively, in the ways it needs to. It takes effortful reminding on my part to bear in mind that it’s okay to gain weight and become soft at this time, that it won’t be forever, and that frankly, I still look damn good. Being a young, Black woman, curves only work in my favor for which I am truly grateful and thankful. But regardless, the weight is there. I’m not used to looking like this. Taking a bath hits different, laying horizontally to watch a movie is almost new now. And while I want to rake myself over the coals and demand strenuous workouts daily so as to curb this trend, I have to remember, this is what happens when aging, a pandemic, stress, lack of quality sleep, a medication switch and anxiety compound themselves into physical manifestations. 

And it’s in those moments when I am told by my friends, family, and loved ones and even myself, that this is okay. That we’re doing the best we can right now. That Lord willing, it won’t always be this way. That the sun will come out at some point, maybe not tomorrow, but it will. 

And whether this weight sticks it out with me or melts off like butter, I will continually work to make sure that if no one else loves my body, I do. 


If you like this article, check out : https://stories.harnessmagazine.com/feeling-apocalyptic/

by Nina Wilson

Hello! I’m a Black, young woman based in Brooklyn, NY. I have a passion for style, culture, literature and changing the perspectives of others. My unique voice being an intersectional woman and I work constantly to get it heard. I also have a weakness for shopping, outdoor movies and gelato. It’s almost like this city and I were made for each other.


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