Free Speech: It's a Beautiful Thing

This is part of a series of counterpoint posts to blogger Maura Kelly's opinion piece.

It makes America the melting pot we should be proud to be. Different opinions create great conversation and keep things interesting. Who wants to be bored? You're not going to agree with everyone, and aren't we lucky we have the right to respond when things spark a fire inside of us?

Ms. Kelly sparked a fire in a lot of people with her views on plus-size actors on television. I was definitely one of those people, and it definitely wasn't a good kind of fire. I was angry. Isn't 'skinny' sensationalized enough without a blogger from a well known and highly respected magazine website writing about how it makes her uncomfortable to watch an overweight person cross a room, let alone watch TWO overweight people make-out on a sitcom? There is no doubt that there was a strong wind of disdain for overweight people blowing through the entire op-ed. Blog posts like these push society two steps back in the fight against prejudice. Scarier than that - posts like these push people into eating disorders and warp their thought process when it comes to true beauty.

I'm 24, and I'm plus-size. Am I trying to lose weight? Always. I'm getting married in one year and two days. Would I like to look like Katherine Heigl walking down the aisle? Sure. Here's the shocking thing though, even amidst all of the Maura Kelly's of the world - I feel beautiful. I have a fiancé who tells me that every day, and I have lots of wonderful friends and an incredibly supportive family. They love me for who I am, not for how much I weigh. On my wedding day, am I going to throw a fit if I don't look "TV trim" in my wedding dress? No. Are people going to be grossed out when I kiss my fiancé as husband and wife for the first time because I'm packing on some extra poundage? Uh, no. Because I will be surrounded by love, and love is louder than the media can ever be.

I'm all for people being as healthy as they can be. People can be healthy and still be bigger. People can be healthy and still be rail-thin. The media are going to tell you you need to look a certain way to be beautiful - but please don't listen. True and lasting beauty comes from the inside, through kindness, poise, and most importantly - love.

And to you, reading this - you're beautiful.

Check out more of what Molly McKenna has to say on her blog at Tales of a Twenty-Something.

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