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“It’s exhausting”: Casey Donovan nails how it feels being a plus size woman in a body positive world.

“When you’re the ‘funny fat girl’, it’s tiring. The tiredness comes from forever being OK… forever putting on a brave face.”

On Sunday night, I was one of the 1.6 million people who watched seven influential Aussie women take off their clothes on Channel 7’s The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night TV special.

Georgie Parker, Simone Callahan, Lisa Curry, Ella Hooper, Rachael Finch, Nadia Bartel and Casey Donovan danced to Todd McKenney’s choreography, bonded and literally stripped bare to raise awareness for women’s health and breast cancer.

The whole 1:25 minutes made for compelling viewing, but it’s Casey Donovan who I’m thinking about most. Because her words about being a plus size woman in a body positive world matched the shape of my scars.

You can hear snippets of Casey Donovan speaking about her relationship with her body on The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night TV special below. Post continues after video.

Video via Seven

Speaking at various points throughout the show, the 31-year-old singer, songwriter and theatre performer honestly articulated the additional mental load that comes with being the only plus size woman in the room. The bigger one. The “funny fat girl”.

“When you’re the ‘funny fat girl’, it’s tiring. The tiredness comes from forever being OK… it’s tiring because you’re always putting on a brave face,” the former Australian Idol and I’m A Celebrity contestant told cameras.

“It’s forever being like ‘oh my God, I’m fine. I just tried a top on and it didn’t fit but it fit me last week and I am fine. I am fine. I am good. I am great. I’m not a mess. I’m not going to eat Hungry Jacks.

“There’s always that little voice in the back of your face going, ‘maybe you should just stay inside… maybe you should just eat that’. And it’s continuously wiping that away and going, I’ve got to get out, I’ve got to face that day… and I’ve got to breathe.”

At one point, we watched as Casey was brought to tears, overcome with anxiety.

“Being the only…. plus plus size woman in the cast, it’s confronting. I suffer from anxiety on a daily basis, being the only plus size woman, it’s a lot of pressure,” she said.

“We all struggle with body positivity, and that little bit of anxiety that came out today, that’s old Casey going ‘you’re the only fat one in the room, again’. When you’re carrying all the big girls by yourself, it’s quite… difficult.”

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Casey went on to describe how she wore a one piece swimming costume under her school uniform for two years when she was younger out of fear her shirt might come up and someone might catch a glimpse of her stomach.

 

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Her words and her story perfectly sum up how it feels carrying the weight of the body positive flag every single day. How I feel.

What it’s like sitting on a seesaw, dipping down into loathing yourself and your body for the way it looks, and trying not to fall off as it rises along with the expectation that if you’re fat, you have to be fine about it.

That you have to love yourself no matter what. At. All. Costs.

Everyone’s relationship with their body is different. Of those 1.6 million Australians who listened to Casey’s story, I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt a bit less alone.

Because when you’re plus size in a body positive world, it is exhausting pretending to be fine all the time. Even if you are fine most of the time.

And as Casey said on Sunday night, her biggest challenge going on the show and baring her body to the world was “getting over myself and getting over what I perceive my imperfections are.”

“That was old Casey, and this is new Casey. She’s tall, she’s happy and gets on with the job. And at the end, she gets her tits out.”

Thank you, Casey. I’m so glad you did.

If you missed it, you can watch The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night on 7Plus.

Did you watch Channel 7’s The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night TV special? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.

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