Thank you(s), epiphanies, and a HUGE break-up!

This week, in my little corner of the blogosphere, I have been more touched, motivated, and thankful than I could EVER find a way to put into words. A couple days ago, I wrote down possibly one of the most vulnerable subjects of my life. You can read it HERE. Puh-lease, please, please read the comments below my post if you haven't! What I wrote started the discussion, but the amazing part was in the response. From the VERY bottom of my heart…thank you. To every woman that made me realize that I was not alone in feeling this way, to every man who was so incredibly sweet that I want to just wrap my arms around you and never let go, and to everyone who even took one minute to read what I wrote. I am amazed.

Beyond the support, something else happened. I'm even daring to call it healing. It may seem silly to say I didn't realize how many people struggle with this, but I really didn't. I didn't feel alone anymore, I felt empowered. I feel compassion for anyone that has ever felt like less because of their weight or their mirror. I read so many articles about the issue (here are three of really good ones: The best article I read anywhere!, Body Image Tips, and Teen Body Image Talks - Stopping the Issue at the Start), my eyes hurt. It made me angry. And anger makes me want to fix things. It won't happen overnight, but I'll be damned if I continue to accept feeling this way for the rest of my life.

Which brings us to the break-up. It's Friday. I've never broken up with anything on my blog, but taking a page out of the book of Shine, this break-up is gonna be a big one (TWSH). Diet companies, airbrushed magazine ads, and unrealistic ideals on outside appearances? WE ARE DONE. No more will I allow you to make me feel like crap about my jean size, my Jessica Rabbit rear end, or my cute little round face. It's mine. It's the only one I get and it's pretty adorable. I'm on to your antics. I know that diet companies have become a $40-100 billion industry based on "failure" or the perception of failure. I see the *Results not typical at the end of every article, diet advertising, and before/after photo you bombard us with endlessly. And I've had it. I may not feel better about this tomorrow. I'm not going to end a 19 year struggle with this overnight, but I'm going to turn my focus on kicking your ass instead of berating my own.

I'd like to challenge everyone to do a few things this next week, month, year of your life. Stop buying diet aids that promise unrealistic results. Stop allowing your friends to obsess (if you see it) over their "imperfections" and find a way to talk to them. Have the conversation. Stop being afraid to say it, because I promise you…we're all feeling it. Stop calling yourself "fat" when what you really mean is, "I'd like to work out more" or "I feel like I'm not living or promoting a healthy lifestyle". Realize that every comment you make could be affecting much more than just you. You could be aiding the struggle of the person sitting next to you and continuing a vicious cycle. We are all beautiful. We are not all Angelina Jolie. And thank God, can you imagine all the babies? If you see something promoting unhealthy expectations, don't buy it. Write a letter to the company, the tv show or magazine promoting it. And equally, promote the good stuff. Dove's Real Beauty Campaign or Glamour's Campaign to bring real life pictures into magazines are just a few rocking my socks off. People are aware of the problem. If we stop supporting the unrealistic expectations, maybe just maybe we can start seeing the beauty in who we are today and stop living for the person we'll be 5, 10, or 50 pounds from now.

This won't be the end of the talks about this on my blog, but I promise to return to regularly scheduled programming of ranting and useless lightweight ramblings here next week. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone the only way I knew how. In the words of MJ, "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a CHANGE!"




Brittney said...

Awesome! Its nice to know you're not alone in the world. I LOVE what Dove is doing :)

Evening Sketches said...

i read this and had a variety of emotional reactions.
My first one was "Right on SISTAH!" I might have done a desk fist pump and raised a middle finger at the people magazine in front of me.
My second was was "Uh oh, she's totally talking about me" Yeah, I know it. I'm one of those girls that has a badly damaged self perception. BADLY DAMAGED. I hate hearing myself complain about my weight and attractiveness. I do not do it to get attention or praise, I genuinely feel not-so-hot bad about myself. I've never felt this low about my appearance in my entire life and I'm not sure what to do it about. Ironic that I felt better about my body at 250lbs. Irony is a bitch.
Anyway, I am really going to try to take control of loving myself. I'm also going to be there to make sure you feel completely loved! Your call to lead the charge is inspiring, and although difficult, I too think it's absolutely necessary.
We can do this, we really can. I'm breaking up too! "All the single ladies, all the single ladies!" (when I typed/sang that I thought of your fabulous booty dance. You have some killer moves woman!
In the same spirit Jessica Simpson (although I can't stand her) is appearing in Marie Claire sans makeup and airbrushing.

Gofahne said...

@Brittney, I couldn't agree more. Support systems ARE all they are cracked up to be. I didn't even know much about it and now I plan to buy as much Dove in place of other products as I can!

@Sketch, Oh how I wish I could have been there to see that. I promise this was not about you, or anyone in particular, and mostly it was about me. I think we know the source of your insecurity right now and though I'd like to rack him in the balls, that won't help anyone. You have an amazing journey ahead of you my dear! Great friends, and people no longer accepting the outside view as the best representation of who someone is...will make this little world a MUCH better place.

Anonymous said...

"Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly... but trust me on the sunscreen."

-Baz Luhrmann

Shannon said...

I needed to read this. Thank you!

shine said...

You know that I love you (and your ass) dearly. But I'm still trying to figure out what "TWSH" means...

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