#IStandUp

 

This is a problem. One that needs to be addressed.

I have an unshakeable memory of a moment in my life. A moment when my ObGyn suggested I see a therapist because she thought I might be depressed. The therapist was a woman in her late 50’s. And I’ll live a million years and never forget the way she looked at me as she spoke the words no emotional healer should dare utter to someone that might be on the verge of depression – “Imagine being at an interview. You and another girl are the last two contenders. You’re both equally talented. There’s only one difference. She’s thin and glamorous. You’re.. Well, you. Who do you think they’ll choose, sweetheart?”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wondered if that was true. I’ve wondered if I’d lose my dream job because of the way I look. I developed an inner fear towards interviews because of her. And you know what the problem is?

She’s just one of the many, many people in this world who, everyday of their lives, continue to make girls feel this way. Like they’re not enough. Like their physical characteristics are flaws that will haunt the dreams they’re building in their minds.

Why does a size 0 swimsuit model still feel fat? Why does Queen Bee feel the need to photoshop her thigh gap? Why does the covergirl on a magazine claim to be make-up free when every inch of her skin is carefully airbrushed?

Have you ever been so uncomfortable in your own skin that you’d pay a man thousands of dollars to alter it? To look in the mirror and want features that aren’t yours. Her nose. Her hair. Her cheekbones. For what?!

The 70’s boasted women who are now considered too fat to have a life. Bigger women were considered beautiful then. A new mother’s pregnancy fat is considered a disgrace now.

But why?

I was having a conversation today and suddenly, something struck me as ridiculously abnormal. When taking a picture with a friend, it is no longer important that only you look good. The person with you has to look that good as well. A human being no longer makes a friend based on emotional attitudes. They’re solely formed on the physical characteristics. He looks decent. He’ll make it look like I have decent friends. She looks hot. She’ll make me look so cool. If I take pictures with them, I’ll get more Instagram followers. This narcissism fuels the concept of “Look Good, Feel Good.”

Fifteen pictures later, there’s always that one person who comments, “Who’s your friend? She’s hot!” And just like that, out of nowhere, your insecurity appears. You stare at your mirror and you see flaws. The girl with a happy-go-lucky smile finds that nonexistent flab and picks at it. Workouts. Fitbits. Walk more. Eat less. Smoothen your hair. Get side bangs. Curl it in the bottom. A Brazillian wax. Inch after inch, your body is carved to the world’s concept of perfection when it is anything but. Only, it’s no longer called an obsession. It’s called “Being Healthy.”

Have you ever stopped long enough to wonder why the men, who’ve always spoken about a “thinner” woman, are suddenly asking for more meat in their women?

It was a few days after the floods hit my city. We were finally out of our houses and in a safer, more drier part of the city. My mother looked at me and said, “I realize now that maybe it’s okay for you to be fat. Some people are meant to be the way they are. You’ve really helped at a moment of crisis. I think you should stay as you are. You’re a nice person.”

I smiled. Not because I’d received a compliment. But because my mother had finally understood something the world is teaching girls to forget.

It does not matter how you look. Nobody cares if you’ve got a thigh gap. Kylie Jenner’s lips are NOT real or natural. Who you are to the world is not about promoting the beauty you possess on the outside.

It is embracing who you are within. It is feeling like a million dollars on your worst day. It is knowing that you’re worth something because you’re kind. Because you’re caring. Because you think and act with your heart.

I don’t want to raise a daughter in a world where the person she turns to for help is going to teach her what that person believes are her flaws.I don’t want to let my sister live in a world where she feels the need to walk up and down the stairs because she ate a slice of pizza. I don’t want my mother to know that the world she’s leaving us with is polluting our brains with everything we’re not. I don’t want my grandmother to ever hear about how, if she were twenty today, she wouldn’t make the cut. Because her beautiful soul will never make as much sense as the perfect winged eyeliner, the close to nothing stomach and an unhealthy waistline.

Who you are today is everything your daughter will live through tomorrow. Is this really the world you want to create for her? Is this the example you want to set?

Because I’d like to believe that somewhere behind those fake eyelashes are eyes filled with tears at the inability to be who you are. And I’d like to hope that this post is telling you it’s okay. It’s okay to not fit in. It’s okay to have thighs that stick together. It’s okay to not have an hourglass figure. It’s okay if your nose looks weird. It’s okay if your cheeks are chubby. It’s okay if your chin looks doubled.

It’s okay. Because that imaginary standard they’re setting? That will go out of fashion within the next decade and all this energy you’ve spent fitting into that stereotype will become pointless. But a good heart? A kind soul? That will always matter. That will always stay in fashion.

So take a deep breath and wipe that makeup off. It’s time to stand up for who you are.

#IStandUp for You.

Who’re you standing up for?!

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28 thoughts on “#IStandUp

  1. motherofmayhemblog says:

    This post is brilliant. You are not being self indulgent. You are taking on and conquering an excellent topic and writing it so well with your writing style. Very satisfying read. Thanks! 🙂 I find on this topic that some women find it sporting to make other women feel ugly and inferior for not having it “all” If I could change one thing it wouldn’t be my appearance, I would change the way those women treated the rest of “us” haha hope that makes sense….

  2. Robert Doyle says:

    Wonderful post as usual.I feel uncomfortable saying too much here coming from a male perspective on this but I’ll just say that for me beauty is an all encompassing factor. Guys that think beauty is only about the physical without considering the mental are wrong in my eyes. And I never, ever thought that it had to be one or the other growing up, the way some people explained it to me. I hope I’m making my point here that I agree with you and find it completely unfair that you were ever told these things or were expected to do something different just to conform. As I get older I say screw conformity these days. It should not matter anymore. Be yourself and always be yourself.

  3. laurelwolfelives says:

    This is a really good post. I raised my daughters to believe that they were beautiful just as they were. I have heard of women who spend thousands of dollars to look like one of those Kardashians. WHY? Everybody knows they’re fake.
    I don’t understand.
    I’m one of those size “0”s but I don’t “think I’m fat.” I think I look like a dead person. My size is due to severe trauma and depression and I despise it when somebody asks me how I “stay so thin.” I’m so thin because I’m sick. My daughters are not rail thin…they are healthy….and that’s okay with me.

  4. 83unsungheroes says:

    I honestly can’t believe that a professional would say that to you! It’s probably more a reflection on how they work than anything else…

  5. Misfit Spirit says:

    I found you through the community pool and I’m so glad I did. This is a fantastic post beautifully written. Perfectly executed. I’ve been trying forever to say this as well as you just did. Keep up the awesomeness babe!! ❤️

  6. Dream4Fun says:

    What a sad post. I don’t live in a world like that so I can’t judge. It seems like total madness that anyone would believe that being “hot” is important. Important for what? Why would any girl want to be “hot” and be simply a plaything for some crazy guy? I don’t even want to go there. I suggest we all stand up for people to be who they are. Everyone has a right to get respect from others.

  7. lifebylovee says:

    This is beautiful. There’s a different in being healthy and killing yourself to fit the mold of what girls are trying to look like. Being a good person and having a kind heart will never go out of style.

  8. peaceof8 says:

    This is a very powerful post. Thank you. It is such a process owning and celebrating your own unique beauty in this world and hard enough when you HAVEN’T had a life altering moment like you had when that dreadful therapist used those words. I have had a moment or two in my life like this as well and it’s amazing how words can haunt you and echo in your mind no matter how many other positive things happen that point you to your beauty, which is there in all of us, men and women. It takes constant diligence to be our authentic gorgeous selves and to shut out the negative voices. So glad I have discovered you and your talent! Keep writing. The world needs your beauty!

  9. OhCess says:

    I love this. All along I thought Im the only who feel this way. What a great post! Hopefully I can get some inspiration with your posts and be able to do one like this 🙂 Also followed you!

  10. thoughtswritten2016 says:

    I just happened to stumble across your blog and wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this. Really lovely writing on such an important topic. I’ve come to think that physical, material (superficial?) matters become important when we don’t feel a deep, organic sense of well-being inside. When we don’t feel this we go looking for it elsewhere- maybe its in money, or designer clothes, or fancy cars, or restaurants, or what we look like?..There’s a great documentary called the Four Horsemen that addresses this idea, which you might enjoy! Great post- I am looking forward to reading more of your work 🙂

  11. Priyaaaaal ;) says:

    awesome read ….. embracing what you are…loving urself the way u r…. are the most important things… which this generation seems to have forgotten….. your post really helps waking those who are feigning sleep from this reality….
    u are a wonderful writer…keep writing..keep inspiring 🙂 🙂

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