Matt Diaz has a message for the world that needs to be heard, truly understood, and shared.
Diaz took to his YouTube channel and Tumblr earlier this week with a message about body positivity that was as much for him, as it is for the rest of us. He explains that over the last six years he has been working to better himself through weight loss. At 16 years old, Matt weighed 497 pounds. Through a massive amount of hard work, he has lost approximately 270 pounds. Unfortunately, one of the things that goes along with losing large amounts of weight, is loose skin.
In an interview with Upworthy, Matt shared why he felt it was important to post this video,
I’m a really big advocate for self-love and body positivity. I think it’s important that we learn to love the bodies we’re in, even if we don’t necessarily like every little thing about them. However, in the time I’d been writing and talking about it, I’d never actually shown my excess skin to anyone. It felt dishonest somehow, to others and to myself. I couldn’t tell others that I wanted them to love themselves and keep myself hidden away and ashamed of my skin.
In the video, he shares,
And, I’m really scared to put this up. Because, I’m scared people won’t think I’m attractive anymore. I’m scared all the nice messages will stop. And, I feel this all the time. . . whenever I sleep with someone new, whenever I’m somewhere. . . at a beach or something and I’m supposed to take my shirt off and I can’t.
I dare say there are more of us that struggle with these same issues, than don’t. Whether it is excess weight or skin, stretch marks, a birthmark, hair in the “wrong” places, or whatever other “imperfection” we place under the microscope and amplify. These feelings of inadequacy and belittlement are remarkably difficult to battle. Not only do we have to fight the little voices in our own heads that tell us we are “gross” or “ugly” or “unlovable” – we have to push away the voices from society that we’ve heard for years – often in our most formative years.
Matt showed not only self-love through his actions, but also no small amount of bravery. The Internet can be extremely cruel and placing our vulnerabilities out there on a regular basis is a difficult task – one that doesn’t go unchecked by individuals that wish to belittle and degrade others.
I applaud you Matt Diaz, and sincerely hope that your bravery helps show people that they can love themselves without condition. You are worthy. We all are.
Watch Matt’s touching video below:
Matt is currently trying to raise funds to undergo surgery that would remove his excess skin.