My 2011 TED Talk

It’s finally here, my 2011 TED Talk. I haven’t watched it, because in my head, everything about it felt perfect.

It’s been almost 4 months, I feel the exact same level of confidence now as I did then.  To this day, it is still the most raw, honest, surreal and life changing moment of my life.

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  1. Shar says

    What a beautiful and inspiring talk. I am a reader that never comments, but I had to write to commend you for your courage, vulnerability, and persistence. Self-confidence is a huge thing, and it’s not intended just for the girls with the perfect bodies. They deserve it too – but not more or less than anyone else on this earth. Beauty is from your personality, your heart, and the way you love others. You raising awareness on finding beauty internally is a huge thing, and I applaud you for this movement you are creating through your campaign. Thank you for the beauty that you brought through this TED talk… it was tremendous! Your children are very fortunate that they have a mother that will be an example in a world of conformed tunnel thought. Please don’t ever lose that, and never hide your voice. It’s too powerful.

  2. Christy says

    This is what courage and being candid look like. Thank you for saying and sharing this. I distinctly remember being called “hippo hips” in 5th grade. I remember the day, the boy who said it, and the girl who laughed. These hips birthed a healthy girl 3 years ago — 20 years after 5th grade — and she is beautiful and perfect and fearless in the pool while wearing her swimsuit. I don’t want her to lose that enthusiasm, so I, too, will wear my swimsuit (from Lands End!) and personally squash anyone who would ever say something like “hippo hips” to my girl. Thank you for your courage to speak the truth.

  3. Sharon says

    You’re awesome and inspiring. Thank you for actively making a difference. You inspire me to be the change I want to be in the world.

  4. Heidi says

    I have to say…while watching this I was kind of “eh… yeah, I’m big too but I wasn’t bullied so I can’t really relate” and I honestly didn’t think I was going to be affected (effected?) by you taking your clothes off..but here I am bawling..and I am not even sure why.

    You are awesome.

  5. Ashleigh says

    I’ve been reading for years but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I have been waiting for the video of your speech since you originally posted about it way back when.

    I just watched this (at work) and it brought me to tears. You’re an amazing writer and public speaker and I think you made your point tremendously. You’re so strong and confident and definitely beautiful.

    I think the word “inspiration” is overused these days but that’s definitely what you are. Thanks.

  6. Alicia Snelgrove says

    I just want to thank you. I have delt with being overweight since I was probably 8 or 9. I was a skinny baby and kid, then I quit being a picky eater. I can remember being called thunder thighs by a boy in 4th grade when I was in 3rd. To this day I know his name, what I had on, and how I felt. I have also never worn shorts again.

    When I was ten my own grandfather told me ” you’re getting more and more like your mother every day” my grandma asked what that ment and he said “fat”. I didn’t understand why he had the need to say that, and I still don’t 14 years later. My mom wasnt even that heavy either. I refused to go to there house for awhile, and if we did have to go I stayed in the car. My grandfather actually came out to our truck and I pretended to be asleep. He apologized, and put a $20 bill in my hand. Fat kids need money I guess. In his defense he did develop alzheimers and dementia a few years later, so it may have been an early onset tick. It hurt either way though.

    My whole family is even guilty of a few slurs against how my body has looked. Hell when my husband and I get into fights I always assume he is calling me “fat & ugly” in his head. He never has and he never will though, he is my biggest fan, I guess its just my defense mechanism going off.

    Being over weight has only been fun once in my life..when I was pregnant with my son,OH MY FUCKING GOD , I LOVED my big belly and cute maturnity shirts. ok, so maybe I started wearing them before I was even capable of showing, but, I rocked the look.

    Anyway…it was in highschool that my doctor found out I have hypothyroidism. Cue the thyroid fat chick jokes in highschool. Most people see me as a fat woman. They don’t know I have a diease that I fight every day. They don’t know I have a hyper 18 month old and that when he is napping I dont want to work out, I want to watch crappy tv while sitting on my ass. They don’t know that I actually eat healthy foods (most of the time.) They just see another over weight 24 year old girl, in too tight of pants ,because the dryer really did shrink them. I hope one day I can embrace my body how you have yours. Your TED talk is the beginning of a revolution for me, and hopefully the world. <3

  7. says

    You are amazing. That is all. If I am ever lucky enough to have a daughter, she is watching this. And when my sons get bigger, they will too. Thank you.

      • Kristen says

        Ah thank you so much, I’ve been waiting to watch this since you posted about being invited to speak at TED. Seriously though, I’m an 18 year old, curvy, aspiring writer and you are such an inspiration/role model to me. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, and you’ve helped me feel so much better about myself. Thank you.

  8. Michelle says

    Seriously, I knew you did this but never saw it. As I sit here typing I am crying of course because I am so proud of someone I have never even met in person. You are awesome and everytime you post something, it moves me to some sort of emotion. You continually make me pee my pants and I hope you never stop being you. xoxoxo much love chick!!

  9. Danielle says

    I have been reading your blog for a while and have yet to comment, but I want to tell you that you are amazing. I cried watching this video, I haven’t been over weight until after I had kids and now even being an adult I get bullied for it. Also the whole when are you due thing, I got that from my mother in law when knew I had my tubes tied and that she would not be getting anymore grandchildren. It was hard to hear someone close to me say that but it happens all the time. You give me to confidence to say yeah well you can kiss my big fat ass if you don’t like me the way I am. You are beautiful and amazing and I think you helped so many girls/women with this and I know that I am one of them. Maybe next summer when it warms up I will show my swim suit confidence. Thank you so much Brittany!!

  10. Mandie says

    Tears. Of joy. Of pride. Of hope. Thank you!

    I talk to my students (I teach college freshman) about bullying, especially girl on girl hate. This was hugely inspiring. You’re beautiful!

  11. says

    Hi Brittany,
    First off, this is kind of amazing. It did make me tear up and feel pretty impressed and wowwed by you.

    But I have a but.

    I hope that’s not horrible.

    I don’t know what your speaking voice is like regularly, but you sound really scared in this. And to some degree, that’s really very moving. That you were so terrified but forged ahead. I don’t know if it was the speaking in front of a group or the taking off of the clothes, but I feel like the tone could be so much more powerful if the strength of your voice matched that of your words.

    Then, I actually felt a bit slighted when you said that you “earned your curves” by being a mother. You said that you’d looked this way since you were 8 – and I’m assuming that means that you’ve been overweight prior to having children. But also, what about me? What’s my excuse for being fat? I don’t have any kids. I’m fat for the same reasons that I believe most everyone else is: eating too much and not exercising enough. That’s how I earned my curves anyway.

    So, I just wanted to share a bit of what I thought while watching this with you. My biggest thoughts were totally go-you thoughts. Congratulations on doing it!


    • Brittany says

      No way, buts are totally allowed:)

      I would be lying if I didn’t say getting up there in front of over 600 people, knowing I was going to take my clothes off, wasn’t terrifying. It was. In fact, I followed a guy who invented robots for Disney…it was intimidating. But once it was over, I felt a high I had never felt before. Some people rock climb. Some people jump from planes. Apparently I take my clothes off in front of an auditorium of mostly men over 40.

      However, in terms of me earning my curves, I stand by my statement, and I am sorry if you felt slighted, but know that was NEVER my intention. I was up there telling my story. My evolution. I can’t speak to anyone else’s story or journey, but for me, it took motherhood for me to understand and appreciate my body.

      But thanks for your comment and keeping the discussion going, because it’s so important and NEEDS to be spoken about out loud.

  12. says

    My only disappointment, Brittany, is that you felt that you had to preface/introduce your TED Talk by telling us that since appearing, you’ve lost 38 pounds.

    It’s as if you are embarrassed about the way you looked 4 months ago – As if you needed to say, “I weigh less now so keep that in mind when you see me in my bathing suit near the end of this video.”

    Perhaps you don’t believe your own words… Perhaps you don’t know that you were JUST as worthy of my admiration then, when you were 38-pounds heavier as you are today, following your 38-pound loss.

    The truth is, you may be 38 pounds heavier in 4 more months but NOTHING, least of all what you weigh can NEVER take away your TED moment. Furthermore, no matter what you weigh, there are those of us that will never judge you based upon your physical appearance. I get you. I understand you.

    The first time I remember being put into a bathing suit was for a swim class my mom signed me up for when I was 5 years old. Before the class she took me to my aunt’s German bakery because my mom said she wanted to show her sister how cute I looked… However, instead of complimenting me, my aunt told me that unless I sucked my stomach in , no man would ever want me.

    I can trace my poor self-image and my decades-long eating disorder right back to that moment… Not an excuse to be/remain fat. Not a crutch to lean on when I slip off plan. Just a reason. And, just a fact of how some of us are treated.

    Believe me when I tell you that you are Beautiful, inside and out. Especially inside, where it matters most.

  13. Chelsea says

    So I’m a little behind because this is the first time I have watched your Ted talk, but I had to send you a message. Thank you for these words. My family is really hard on my nieces and daughter to stay thin. I just want them to be healthy and happy and how can they be either of those if they are constantly pressured by their family to look a certain way? I can’t wait to share your inspiring words with my beautiful nieces. They should be proud of their curves not trying to find a way to get rid of them. Thank you for CGG.

  14. Gwen says

    That strut at the end… you aint seen nothin` yet… That was The Best!

    You have got it so together. Good on you girl, older girls like me have got some learning to do from you.

  15. Sarah says

    I don’t know how I am just seeing this, but I love it. I just had my first daughter in October and on her behalf and my own I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  16. Brenna says

    I just want you to know that I cried throughout this entire video; self-hatred seems to be taught in women from a very early age. Thank you so much for doing your part to help us fight this cultural and global war against our natural bodies.

  17. Stephanie says

    Even though I read your blog on a fairly regular basis, I had never watched your TED talk. However, after reading Andy’s awesome comments in Brittany Emails, I was compelled to watch. I am SO GLAD I did. You are amazing! Thank you so much for putting yourself out there.

  18. Carley says

    You are seriously so awesome. Thank you for your video. You are so beautiful. You’re an inspiration to women all around the world. :)


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