As I thumbed through the glossy ads, I was able to actually see art. I saw past the ugly modeling world that has haunted me since my twenties, and actually took pleasure in the incredible images for clothing primped on odd looking girls painted like ghosts with blank stares into nowhere.
It was Gwen Stefani peeking at me from the cover that told me to pick the thing up and sure enough her layout inside rocked it like she always does. She tells of the first time she put on red lipstick and said to herself, “Yeah, that’s the shit right there.” My mind said “that’s cool.” Quite a victory for a person who once shunned all makeup in favor of a baseball hat, pony tail and pasty white complexion to send the eyeballs elsewhere.
My girl Gracie is the other part of this equation — I always tell her she “brought the girl back in me.” She’s a total clothes horse raiding my closet with more frequency. Our jewelry has morped into a mutual stash, and I’m always hunting for the polish remover, or body spray, or my fave brush. I’m having fun telling her modeling tricks of the trade when it comes to making outfits work, putting on makeup, or caring for our skin (proactive is the greatest product on earth, take it from this 43 year old former zit face, its magic).
So there you have it, the feel good post of the year. Wow, have I evolved to a place that I never imagined would be possible so many years ago when I was drowning in the ED pits.
Every morning my family crunches in our bed and wakes up to the Today show. When its not about murder and mayhem, its generally some disturbing story about teens bullying the crap out of each other, boys jumping on the eating disorder bandwagon, and now — girls asking “Am I pretty?” — on YouTube no less.
During many of these stories, I rant about how I am going to blog about the topic (which I rarely do since my day gets away from me and I forget about my outrage). But this one stuck. It’s not going anywhere but here.
I cringed as I watched a few of these videos (turns out there are loads of them). Take a look at this one from WickedLemons1 and then we’ll talk about all the ways that this is not the way to go about gaining approval from your peers;
Is it over? Was that painful, or was that painful?
Did you see yourself in there?
Did you have the stomach to look at the comments WickedLemons1 is getting since this morning? Don’t bother. I’ll tell you what they say, without even looking, since when you launch a question like this (let alone any video out to the universe) you are asking for it, big time;
Honey, you are gorgeous. God made you perfect. Love yourself! XOXO
Bebe, you are HOT — what’s your numba?
Well, you are PRETTY UGLY actually.
What the !@#$%^*& is your problem. Get a life. Quit feeling sorry for yourself. I’m sick of white bitches whining………..”
Am I right? Of course I am.
So let’s get to the real question — why would anyone, regardless of age, color, class or creed think this is a good idea? What gets into the mind of a teen that decides to get all dolled up and ask if they are pretty or not? What are they expecting?
In this case, I believe WickedLemons knows she is pretty and she just wants to be validated. Not a crime.
I guess its the need for attention and validation that just kills me. One thing my teenage life gave me was a crystal clear perspective on the reality of the world. When you are tall, blond, skinny and a model – the girls hate you, the guys love you. You’d think that would be fun, but it actually sucks because its fleeting, and fake, not to mention degrading. Yet all I see is young women (or I should say most women) flaunting themselves for the wrong kind of attention.
We just got cable (seriously, last family on earth to cave for it) and I suffered through an eposide of The Housewives of Orange County. What an embarrassment to the female population. I mean seriously, a gang of stretched faced bleached blondes cock-tailing way the hell too much, married for money, and obsessed with one thing and only one thing – themselves.
This life is pathetic so let’s just make one reality show after another featuring these freaks so we all become brainwashed to the point of no return that life priorities are in this order:
3 and me.
Don’t be one of those girls. Don’t walk with WickedLemon1 either (sorry kid – truth hurts, delete the damn video NOW before it haunts you forever). Look in the mirror, focus on what you have been GIVEN (like health for example may be a nice start since it is the biggest blessing you have and trust me you will miss it when it is gone). Figure out your passion. Focus on your SKILLS. Be a person not a damn manniquen that gets used, abused, and tossed in the trash.
You are here for a reason. Figure out what the reason is and throw your heart and soul into it. I guarantee you will be happier with this lifestyle, than sitting in your cold, dark, lonely bedroom asking perfect strangers to rate you on beauty scale.
Hannah Montana has grown up to be a wonderful young woman, with beautiful curves and a flowing mane — but what do we see?
Yep, just another fat ass, just like Demi Lovato who ended up getting (successful) treatment thank God.
I hope and pray both of these brave women will stand up and fight, and keep fighting, not breaking down to the pressure to be something that does not exist. The challenge has got to be completely overwehlming since at the end of the day its just…
And we all know the mirror lies as we are criticized. A day can start out all bright and sunny, only to
turn ugly, fat and gross due to a sly comment from some irrelevant bastard. Your body has not changed, your mind has, but somehow you convince yourself the bastard was right. Your thighs are disgusting. Your arms? Kinda big, no? And your stomach, from the side, is a lot pudgier than 7 hours earlier, really sticking out, you look kinda pregnant actually. Out comes the evil scale that proves your thoughts, the number WAY higher than it “should” be.
And there the downward cycle goes, eventually into the toilet where you upchuck after breaking your fast out of pure desperation, leaving you feeling like the big – fat- loser that you are.
Let’s watch (and pray) Miley proves them all wrong. Pray she withstands all the naysayers trying to bring her down, giving her strength to strap on her boxing gloves to keep posting pictures of Marilyn so she becomes the new “norm.”
What a world that would be.
I got home from a business trip at 1am, and went in to snuggle up with my 8 year old son before heading to bed. As I left the room, I noticed he had tacked these “RULES” on his door, and I had to share.
I’m thinking I am adopting these rules in my life as well….if only life was that easy.
Diagnosed with mono (again). I mean, come on — I am 42 years old (total grandma to most of you I know, plus its not like I am making out with some dude behind the bleachers — happily married soon to be 15 years!)
Anyway, I’ve been through a battery of tests. Everything normal. Actually, perfectly normal. I am healthy as a horse, except for this mono mystery virus that keeps pulling me down every few years. Needless to say, this doesn’t feel normal to me, I can’t help thinking there is something more behind it you know?
In case you don’t know mono is caused by the Epstein Barr virus. Basically, you have to have it in order to be diagnosed officially with mono. Same deal with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS. I don’t know about you, but CFS is the last label I want slapped on me. I don’t feel like carrying that ball and chain around the rest of my life. Plus, in the US of A, CFS, just like Fibromyalgia are in our societies crock o’ shit diseases category.
Its in our head.
Lady, seriously, see the psych already.
Have you tried caffeine?
All statements that have been said directly to my face by arrogant doctors, including a kiddish resident that called me ma’am. I called him dude. Tit for tat.
So in the cyclone of these doctor appointments I catch a glimpse of my online chart which states I have a “mood problem.”
Those of you who know me know that anxiety is one of those old friends I have tried to ditch my entire life but failed. So, I resorted to medicine, prescribed by a highly skilled psychiatrist whom I respect very much. Meds that literally changed my life, allowed me to read, concentrate, be a better mother, perform better at my job, and basically be a real person. The little cocktail of pills that I wish to God I had known about way back in my teenage years.
But to the kid, to the oh-so-wise resident doctor, this medicine is basically for total losers. Plus, my prescribed dosage is WAYY the hell to high, in fact he is shocked because he has never, ever seen a patient taking these dosages of psych drugs (which is not saying much since I think I was his first patient EVER).
But still, his words sting. I know you know what I mean.
Here’s the point, we’ve got to blow off all the people that regard mental illness as some sort of weakness. Its all in our head, we are all mad. Might as well bring back the sanitariums and shock treatments to get these crazed people under control already. To this day, I struggle with this, but ultimately I come out on top.
In this situation (you’ll get a kick out of this), I listened to the kid rattle on with his ball of crap philosophy, asking me questions like
“What do you have to be so anxious about? So you just hang your hat on believing anxiety is genetic?” In the next breath, he went on to tell me there is simply NO WAY I have mono. After all, I don’t look sick. He tells me how people with mono can barely walk, and me? I look perfectly healthy.
I insist on the test anyway. He acts pissed but runs it. I ditch out of the office before getting the results because I’ve had my fill of this dude.
Mono tests come back positive.
The guy is a genius! I wonder what his face looked like when he saw those test results…man I wish would have stayed around for that.
So here I sit. Resting. Resting. Resting. And thinking about how glad I am ME and not HIM. Thinking about how proud I am that I express these things here in the hopes that one of you may relate and feel just a little bit better about yourself.
You are not nuts. They are. Save yourself a lot of heartache and trust me.
This is the tagline sprawled on a “back to school” t-shirt for girls sold at JCPenney. No, I’m serious, this is a real shirt sold in the United States of America in 2011.
I mean seriously people, WTF is wrong with this country?
Who in the hell comes up with this crap? Was it a man or woman? A mother perhaps? And then, who were the JcPenney BUYERS that went for it. What about the stock people that put it out on the shelves. They only all caved due to pressure from the almighty Twitterverse (us, a band of users who cry holy hell until they give)
And finally, I would LOVE to see the parent and/or grandparent who actually purchased this offensive rag. There’s got to be a handful of girls who strutted into school this week, hair all curled up, makeup slathered on, booty shakin’ just the way mama taught her.
How cute and sassy.
This really, really bugs me guys. It’s probably because my daughter is 11 years old, and she is so awesome. The kid just amazes me, and it scares me to think about girls who have demented mothers or fathers who would purchase this shirt and allow their dear child to wear it. How would my girl feel about herself if she didn’t have a mom that is always making her aware of how screwed up fashion and media is? Would she be a different person than she is today?
I remember thinking that maybe because I am so passionate about these topics that I would screw her up by talking about it too much, or saying the wrong thing, or exposing her to stuff she is too young to understand. No worries on that, not a one. The key is talking, being open, making all of this a regular part of life conversation — and, without a doubt, being a shining example. An example of how to dress, act, be, believe, think, breathe and see the world.
Many of you ask me “don’t you sometimes just want to give up on all this?” — I always say “No, never, it’s not hopeless, change is coming slowly,” but today, right now, I feel like we are taking gigantic steps backwards into the sewer and the vast majority of girls have zero chance of turning out healthy and happy because the reality is that society doesn’t respect them. Society sure as hell doesn’t respect women as a whole.
Man we’ve go a long way to go girls,
Its late. But I couldn’t go to bed without writing about Amy Winehouse. I always found her to be so interesting to watch, she just had that kind of face. Her features so bold, eyes exaggerated with jet black liner, pale skin painted with vibrant tattoos, and that crazy teased hair. I thought she was quite beautiful, even at her worst.
Never new she was bulimic, on top of everything else, but this was reported in the news dating back to 2007. Can you even imagine? What a sad, miserable existence Amy had here on earth.
Let’s say a prayer tonight she is at peace.
Let’s also turn off the tabloid news that is incessantly ripping her to shreds, harping on what a loser she was because she was an addict. Where is the compassion? Can’t people see the pain in an addicts eyes? Why can’t we grasp the fact that no one would choose this life? The poor girl just wasn’t strong enough to beat the damn thing. And then there is her heart broken father, seeing him crying kills me. Daily News is reporting he wrote her eulogy back in 2007, fully expecting her to pass away young.
In order to have compassion in a situation like this, I think it helps to know an addict, on a personal level, because once you do, you will always compare other addicts to your loved one, and feel somewhere inside so very sorry for their suffering. On the ED side of things, well, once you’ve been there you get it. There are no words except its hell, and to picture this lovely talented woman on drugs, drinking herself to death, and vomiting up her meals is almost too much to bear.
Digging around on other blogs I found info that said she was bulimic since her teenage years, and as she was getting healthy she was called fat at size 10. You can’t frickin’ win in this world.
In the picture at the left, she is unrecognizable with her gorgeous, voluptuous body! And no, I know what you are thinking — she does not look GOOD on the right. She looks dead. She looks miserable, and you know very well she is suffering so deeply, so don’t even start thinking you wish you were that skinny.
So back to the prayers. Prayers for peace for this talented young woman and her greiving family, and the loss of a great talent.
A dear friend of mine sent me this song that you need to hear. This singer has struggled our struggles and she no doubt expresses it in this tune “Control.”
If only we could let it go, you know? It’s like we can gain glimpses of it, but then we slip back into our patterns of incessant worry over all the things that might happen, could be happening, will occur (even when 99% of it never does).
This is why I believe it is essential to surround yourself with people, music, images, and family who “get it” and who make you feel optimistic about yourself and life.
Have a listen, or two, or twenty — and keep your head screwed on straight today.
words and music by Dave and JJ Heller
The cut is deep, but never deep enough for me
It doesn’t hurt enough to make me forget
One moment of relief is never long enough
To keep the voices in my head
From stealing my peace
-Move forward eagerly, while embracing the now.
-I am free to choose to live as I wish and to give priority to my desires.
-Remember that your body only is not you. The sum of who you are is more important than your body.
-I’ll definitely remember who Stephen Hawking is – but not who won Miss Universe’s last contest.
-I am thankful for all the parts of my body that function correctly
-I appreciate all the movements that my body let me perform
-I am thankful for being able to touch, see, smell, hear and taste
-“I don’t ask for more: the sky above me and the path under my feet.”Robert Louis Stevenson
-Our physical body is a key part of our existence.
-I listen to my intuition.
—–my 2 cents….. My dad bought me a bday card about 10 years ago that I keep on the wall of my office, its reminds me’ “You are a human sparkler, you are.”
Not all — but a large population of today’s eating disorders stem from our societies focus on body image and weight.
Let’s face it — our society is nuts.
We accept the fact that “Plus-Sized” models are now size 8-16. We accept the fact that magazines airbrush the living crap out of every single image of women within their pages yet we hold ourselves up to that standard. We accept the fact that kids as young as 4 are dieting (yes that is a f-o-u-r). We accept the fact that more lives are lost because of eating disorders than any other mental illness but God forbid we fork over the $ to treat sufferers. We accept the fact that Pro-Anorexia is a lifestyle that has infiltrated every corner of the web and our solution is to “Shut down those sites!” We accept the fact that dieting moms push their issues on their daughters. We accept the fact that sports require restricting food and water for weight requirements and pure vanity. We accept the fact that fat chat is a daily event that takes place in front of our children with listening ears.
But then we sit and wonder;
What’s wrong with our children? Why are they not happy? Why are they cutting? Why is there so much bullying? Why did that child commit suicide?
It all comes as a shock when you don’t open your eyes and walk around this insane planet for one day and notice how totally destructive our society is to our self image and body image.
Do it — I double dare you. Watch prime-time TV tonight. Google the word “thinspiration.” Open a fashion magazine, pick one, anyone and see the walking dead who are hailed the closest thing to perfect that we’ve ever seen. Browse this list of dead women consumed by their disease. Look at the athletes lost who were more dedicated to their sport than their lives. Take a stroll into Victoria Secret at the mall (actually you don’t even need to step inside since the massive promotional images on the outside of the store include a woman’s ass in a lace thong which is so appropriate).
Then go about your lovely little day. Concerned about your lovely little problems. While your children stick their fingers down their throats within earshot while you pretend to not notice. A burden you say. A frickin burden.
**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, therapist or counselor. I am however a woman who has recovered (fully) from her eating disorder and I have been blogging on this topic since 2006 which stands for something. Qualified to make these statements? No. Making them anyway? Yes. Ranking like a lunatic? Absolutely.
I am failing at my attempt to steer clear of the Charlie Sheen saga, but it’s too sad, scary, and odd to look away. I followed, then un-followed him on Twitter, only to find myself waking up each day to watch the Today show for the latest on Sheen’s Korner.
At first I figured Mr. Tiger Blood was just a cocky drug addict on an ego driven binge (which is nothing to laugh at) but the videos in the past two days turned a corner into something different.
Something that I recognized.
The experts are now saying he may be Bi-Polar, in the midst of a maniac episode. Seems entirely reasonable to me. The part that bothers me so much is that Sheen’s public video testimony being played out in public shows how very shallow we all are. Why do we like to watch others people’s pain? They say its because it makes us feel better about ourselves. I think that is a crock. I’d say its just pure entertainment, an escape from our bla-zay lives.
Back to the public, we are a very judgmental bunch that gets their laughs out of seeing mentally ill people aka nutjobs, lunatics, crazy, insane individuals spin out of control. How hilarious.
No doubt people are just gunning for Sheen’s downfall or death because after all he is not a ‘real’ person. He is just some celebrity with too much money, too many women, and waaayyyyy too many Twitter followers (Guinness Book of World Records? Cripes)
So, I guess I ask that as you watch Sheen’s life play out, you start first with compassion (I am reminding myself of this as I say it to you). Remember he is a person with feelings buried deep inside that are going to have to come out someday and its gonna be ugly.
I hope the poor guy survives. I mean really, he is somewhat talented, he’s got kids, and whether he is on drugs, bi-polar, or both this is something that should bring sadness — not entertainment to this media obsessed planet.
PS my 11 year old daughter just walked in the room and I asked her what she thought about Sheen’s situation, here is what she said;
“I think that someone should be protecting him. If he’s doing drugs or he has mental problems, its not funny. Why is the news reporting on it? It’s like they are trying not to laugh at him while they are cover the story.”
Ok, so here is what they have their undies in a bundle about; the video shows a young woman struggling from childhood to adulthood, engaging in various illegal activities, and then on to cutting, an eating disorder, and suicide attempt.
As a parent of a 10 year old girl, and a 7 year old boy, I fit the demographic of a mom that should be in a state of shock over this. As you all know, this stuff is everyday life here at mamaV, so I am totally digging this. This is how kids feel for god’s sake!
Do parents think ignoring this is going to make it not happen to their daughter or son?
The truth is if you are a parent that ignores the cuts on the arms and the bones sticking out of the collarbones (aka PLEASE HELP ME warning signs) you just missed your shot at saving your child’s life.
Let me know what you guys think, below is P!nk in her own words talking about why she did this video (didn’t know she was pregnant herself, I gotta get with the program). Click to next page to view video and Pink’s commentary
Thanks to Amanda and Elizabeth for this thought provoking image from their FB page. If you were to build a collage such as this for yourself, what would you put in it?
As I looked at this, I noticed the medical diagnosis in the background, which had my mind expanding into that arena, as well as all the social labels we put on ourselves. Here is what I would include in a collage about me;
Pictures of models since I’ll never shake that label. This is one that I had to let go of a long time ago because if I tried to “live up” to societies expectations of what I am supposed to look like, I would die trying.
I caught this video on whim, and loved it! Katy Perry has been iffy to me in terms of appropriateness (cupcakes as boobs…..really?)
But the theme for Firework is so inspiring;
4 young adults with different issues/insecurities that are holding them back from being themselves;
An girl who feels overweight not swimming at a party.
A child with cancer, bald from chemo stuck in the hospital.
Kids in a household with fighting parents.
Gay young male wanting to come out.
Check it out and tell me what you think. Love, mv
I think this is the very first post I have ever written about religion. I am not sure why I have avoided the topic, but if I had to guess I would say the topic tends to be off-putting to some (and I certainly don’t want to seem like some holy roller).
So, on to the topic; do you pray?
I started wondering about this when I responded to a direct email I received from an eating disorder sufferer. I found myself almost typing the advice to add prayer to her life, but then I thought it was inappropriate since how do I know her background, culture, and other factors of her beliefs? For me to state she should pray seemed rude.
What do you think?
I have a regular prayer that I somehow made up in my head, I have no idea when, it goes like this;
“God, help show me the way and help me be the best person I can be.”
How about you?
My guess is you let people walk all over you. You spend your day worried about what everyone else thinks about you fretting around asking yourself “do they like me? Am I good enough? Am I thin enough? Am I pretty enough?”