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Self-Esteem Lessons (As Taught By Fat Cats)

What we can learn from these chubby felines about accepting ourselves.

I spent my lunch break today doing one of my favorite activities: watching cat videos on Youtube (As the kids would say: #YOLO.)

I stumbled across this gem as I was browsing through pages of videos after searching for “fat cats” specifically (regular cats just weren’t going to do it for me today folks.)

This news anchor can’t hold in her laughter as a very fat cat named Holly attempts to lose weight by swimming. The tubby feline apparently “dislikes the outdoors and other physical activity,” according to the news station.

She can laugh all she wants, but there is no beast with more confidence and poise than a Fat Cat.

The web is full of stories about the declining self-esteem, for both sexes, as we attempt to wriggle our way through a web of media saturation and societal ideals when it comes to our bodies. It is a sad state of affairs when a 7-year-old is strategizing her diet plan.

Cats are different because they just do not give a hoot about you or anybody else. You can say whatever you want to them, and you will get a blank stare of disgust in response. This unbridled confidence also applies to the noble group of fat cats.

Go ahead and make fun of a fat feline. Try it out and see what happens. No seriously, find the nearest obese cat, look him right in the eyes and tell him you do not approve of his large size. You know what is going to happen? Nothing.

A fat cat will hear your insults and, after a pause, will proceed to not care at all. It loves the way it looks and doesn’t let anything stop it from enjoying favorite cat activities, like rolling around and scratching news editor’s leather office chairs. Say what you will. This cat will continue living the way it wants without being conscious of any weight issues.

Did Garfield even bat an eye when faced with constant criticisms about his weight? I think not.

Many treat overweight individuals like second-class citizens. The mindset is that it is not okay to be a certain shape because it is different than some sort of fantastical ideal propagated by the likes of Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston. Those on the other end of the spectrum should hide from the outside world until deemed worthy of happiness.

It can come in the form of offhand jokes, unwanted weight-loss suggestions and even cruel comments. Words that come out like arrows and pierce any hope of accepting one’s own body.

The confidence of a fat cat should be a lesson to us all about the importance of shutting out criticism and loving ourselves. Sure, a cat won’t respond to the haters because it can’t comprehend the complexity of human speech, but I bet it wouldn’t care if it could.

Words only have power when they have an effect on a person, and learning how to achieve this zen-like patience is a wonderful way of shutting out all the negative energy out there. It doesn’t have to just be about weight, but any other difference that others will use to put you down. Tackling that nonsense with a simple “meh” goes a long way to feeling better in your own skin.

Fat cats are happy with themselves. They don’t care what you define as happiness, or what is considered “normal.” They do what they want to do and have a great time doing it. Have you ever seen a fat cat look anything but content? I think not.

So the next time you are feeling down about yourself, just remember the age-old wisdom of fat cats. You’ll be glad you did.

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