Finding the Magic of a Squad When You’re a Fat Black Girl
Kierra (Kslay) Tanner
I often tell the story of my body starting with age 10 and the summer I gained almost 100 lbs. I sprouted breasts, thighs, and had to quickly adjust to life in a body a world away from where I started. The most difficult part of that existence was other people’s disapproval of my body. I was treated like a disappointment because my body didn’t match what was considered appropriate for a child.
As I got older, I struggled to live in my own skin. But finding an online network of fat black women in Facebook groups gave me insight to self-care, makeup tips, hair styling, and modeling. I eventually even gained a partner who encouraged me. All of this contributed to the creation of fat black girl magic.
What is fat black girl magic? Unapologetically embracing your blackness, your fatness, and your magic as a girl. Living in the midst of white supremacy, misogynoir, and fatphobia as a fat black woman? Damn. That’s magical! Fat black girl magic is an everyday celebration of overcoming those struggles. Loving and being loved in public and on social media, and not in secret or as a “fetish” . Wearing whatever you want and not being sorry for it.
“Body positivity”, the mainstream body positive movement, has been hijacked by thinner women and white women. A quick search on Instagram or Facebook for “#bodypositivity” shows how it no longer represents the bigger and fat women who started the movement, but a thinner, whiter mainstream look. We have to reclaim what body positivity means. Squad goals to me is breaking the prototype that women, especially black women, don't love and care each other because in the end all we have is each other . So why not have each others backs and slay while we at it .
I, as a plus size girl, was always “fluffy” as my mom called me. I have always been considered “pretty, but fat”, and growing up that gave me horrible self-esteem. If 12 year old Daria could just see me now! I broke out into the modeling scene in 2014 and hit the ground running. I have been in a few fashion shows but love being in front of, and now behind, the camera. Body positivity to me is bigger than acceptance. It is love. Love has no weight, no shape. It’s just beauty that people show writhing.
Squad goals to me is who everybody wants to be! They are the people that are bold enough to do and say what people want to say! What is fat black girl magic...? Fat black girl magic is power! It’s strength! It’s encouragement! It’s pushing the limit and not giving a damn who sees it! Fat Black Girl Magic is Me!
Growing up my mother always instilled in me that you always, no matter what, LOVE YOURSELF! So maybe age 12, I woke up every day and told myself “I LOVE ME NO MATTER WHAT!” That worked for a while, then reality and my surroundings started to test that. I was in high school referred to as “Oh, yeah, Chyanne the big girl”, and I started to refer to myself as that as well. Sad, right? Not at all, cause I owned it! Chyanne the big girl was Chyanne head captain of her dance team. Chyanne getting all gold medals in track and field (of course the field part, lol). Chyanne the girl on the volleyball team who had a killer serve. Chyanne the BIG GIRL who played softball and DOMINATED! I took a negative and showed the haters that yeah, I’m big. In fact, VERY BIG, and can do everything, plus more, and still do it better than a skinny chick.
Body Positive is me and it’s you. It’s not letting other people tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Body Positive is knowing you’re hot stuff and owning it. BODY POSITIVE is love of thy self and always remaining confident in thy self. Don’t let anybody tell you how you should wear something or “it would look better if you were smaller”. No b****, it looks good now. I look amazing and you’re just another hater to add to the list.
I started modeling maybe a year and a half ago, and trust me, it took a lot for me to come out of my shell. To be a person walking down a runway with thousands of eyes on you. But I didn’t give up. I made the decision to have a procedure done because of my weight and health problems, and was scared I wouldn’t be able to even model anymore. But the support I had from family and friends and even some model sisters made me great again, and now I can’t stop! I’ve met so many amazing people and made some amazing friends along the way. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
SQUAD GOALS is definitely something I love and live by. A group of friends who love and care for one another. Uplift and bring each other UP always! Strive for greatness and guess what? That’s the outcome you’ll get. I’m the G.O.A.T in my book and can’t NOBODY tell me differently. Know why? Cause I’m my own person and I know that with the love and support I have, can’t nothing derail this train from reaching its intended destination.
When fat girls have friends, the fat girl seems to always cater to the thin ones . She's assumed to be homely with low self esteem . As someone who has been this girl I wanted to say “Fuck That”. When I started to model I met other big girls and formed sisterhood and friendships.
All three of us are on the journey to self love and friendship.
Edited by Sophia Echavarria
Photo Cedit Brooke Neal