Body-Positive Influencer Nicole Zajac Talks Fat Phobia and Fat Shaming
Why has "fat" become such an ugly word in our world?
With platforms like Instagram making us constantly feel insecure, face and body-altering apps like FaceTune giving us body dysmorphia and more, it's no wonder girls especially feel the constant need to be "skinny."But guess what? There's more than one type of body that's beautiful, or even healthy for that matter. As long as you're actually taking care of your body, who cares what it looks like?
BodCon, a virtual conference (taking place on Feb. 21) will touch on exactly this. The conference has body-positive influencers and speakers who will discuss topics like self-acceptance, fat-shaming and much more. We were lucky enough to get to chat with one of those speakers, Nicole Zajac, who will be participating in a panel all about fat phobia and fat shaming. Keep reading for our full interview with her.
Sweety High: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Nicole Zajac: Hi, hello! My name is Nicole, I'm 22 years old and I love love love to connect with people! A perfect day for me looks like a hot summer day, getting active outside and eating a yummy meal surrounded by my favorite people!
SH: What would you say is your main goal when it comes to social media and body confidence?
NZ: My main goal is to just share my own journey with my life and my body image. I started sharing my highs and lows on social media to help others feel like they weren't alone, and that not everything in life should feel like rainbows and butterflies. We are all human, we all have feelings and we are all going through our own stuff. Let's normalize that!
SH: How would you personally describe fat phobia?
NZ: Fat phobia to me is just a fear of becoming obese. I think that comes with not only a warped idea around worth and body image within ourselves, but it also contributes to discrimination and the way we see worth in others.
SH: Your panel is all about fat phobia and fat shaming—what is your personal experience with this?
NZ: As a petite straight-sized woman, I think it's sad and unfortunate to say that I have experienced a fair share of fat shaming in my life. I think our bodies are the first thing people like to pick apart when they want to hurt your feelings. Since growing my platform, fat shaming comments have become more and more common to receive.
SH: What would you tell young girls who have been fat shamed?
NZ: That "fat" shouldn't be an insult. We have grown up with a warped reality of beauty standards growing up. Who cares what our bodies look like? As long as you practice a healthy lifestyle, you have so much more to offer than your looks.
SH: How can we ensure we don't feed into this toxic culture?
NZ: Compassion. We need to remember that health and fitness look different on everyone. Our bodies, genetics and lifestyles are all very different. We have no idea what someone else is going through. Remember not to comment on someone else's body, and just be compassionate.
SH: How do you spread messages of self-love?
NZ: By being vulnerable and showing up as my true and authentic self. Embrace your body and understand that you are allowed to take up space on this earth.
SH: Anything else our audience should know?
NZ: Your worth will never be measured by the number on the scale. Know your worth. Own it. And just be kind to yourself and others.
Want to meet another BodCon panelist? Look HERE for our full interview with Jeanette Burchfield.