Proud2Bme | Celebrating Body Diversity: An Interview with Activist Kellie Patrick

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Celebrating Body Diversity: An Interview with Activist Kellie Patrick

By Kaitlin Irwin--Kellie Patrick is a 20-year-old student at the University of Kentucky who had the honor of meeting body-positive model Iskra Lawrence. In fact, Kellie is a role model herself, having overcome struggles with body image and the way she thought about and viewed her body.

She was even part of People Magazine's Share Your Size campaign, in which real women unabashedly revealed their dress size while embracing their figure as it is. Kellie was eager to answer some of my questions about her reasons for participating in the Share Your Size campaign, as well as what her own personal journey to self and body acceptance has looked like. Here's her take on how we can fight body shaming, promote body diversity and love our bodies the way they are.

Kaitlin Irwin: Why did you decide to share your size? What did that mean to you?

Kellie Patrick: I decided to share my size because body shaming has been very "popular" these days for girls of all sizes. To me it meant being confident enough to show other people that size doesn't matter.

KI: What does body positivity mean to you? Have you ever struggled with poor body image?

KP: Body positivity to me means feeling comfortable in your own skin and not caring what other people may think. I have struggled with poor body image in my past. High school can be cruel and teenagers can be very judgmental.

KI: What’s your connection to Iskra Lawrence?

KP: I met Iskra Lawrence at the St. Matthews Mall in Louisville, KY when she came to Aerie to meet her fans. We talked for a little while about body shaming and how it needs to end. We were both in People Magazine for the Share Your Size campaign, and she is truly my role model.

KI: How can other people celebrate body diversity and shape if they don’t want to share their size?

KP: One major way people can celebrate body diversity without sharing their size is by talking to other women/girls about how they can love their body regardless of what size they are. Another way is by making blog posts, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, Instagram posts and YouTube videos about what it really means to be healthy and what body image means to them.

KI: What do you do when you hear your friends/family using “fat talk” or making comments about their bodies?

KP: When I hear family members/friends shaming their own bodies, I talk to them about how I  had always found things I hated about my body,  even when there was nothing wrong with the way I looked, because it was society who made me feel like I had to hate who I was.

KI: How can other students/young adults get involved in body positivity and body-love (whether on campus or just among their peers?)

KP: One way young adults/students can get involved in body positivity/love is by supporting their friends, and by being there for them on the bad days. Another way is by using social media (since it’s a major way of communicating in our generation) to show how much body shaming can affect other people, and how it needs to come to an end.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.