Tag Archives: media influence

Steven Tyler’s Creepy New Video: What the hell was that??!

13 May

Ok, who saw the amazing debut of Steven Tyler’s new video on American Idol last night?

There we were, my husband and I, watching our fave show with our 11 and 8 year old children, when on comes this crazy whirlwind of clips of Tyler, first with chimps, then singing to a teenage girl who ends up slowly stripping throughout the video, intermingled with scenes of Grandpa Steve slapping around with  Nicole Scherzinger.

What exactly is a parent supposed to say to their kids in this situation?

Isn’t there something wrong with promoting a 60 year old dude lusting after a teenager? (ok she is probably in her twenties, but c’mon!!)

It’s demented. It’s not normal, or reality, or cool. It’s just lame (and Anon just save your “you are just jealous” b.s. for another day because this is pathetic). And if you don’t think its pathetic, you are not a parent in your right mind.

Do you know what my kids said?

“Mama, this is really inappropriate.”

God bless America, how low can we go?

Remaining rants and questions;

  1. What’s up with the beginning shot of the makeup artist chick sticking her finger up his nose?
  2. What animal is Tyler’s little friend in the beginning — a seal?
  3. Love how he dresses on Idol actually, but the white women’s pantsuit with floppy hat is not cutting it.
  4. I mean seriously, did they cut this entire video together in a day or less?
  5. I think I am really pissed because I had really grown to like Steven as a judge on Idol, and I started digging his Aerosmith songs — but now I am left feeling embarrassed for the poor guy.
  6. I could not find ONE blog ripping the hell out of this video like I am, so I figure I am totally out numbered here but whateva, this is my space to let it rip.

-mamaV

XO

I love this girl.

11 May

Andre’a sent me this video and asked me to post it. After watching it, it is my pleasure to post it. I post this with a message of hope and prayer to all of you reading my blog.

I wish for you happiness, self confidence, and freedom from self hatred.

I wish for you glimpses of hope in your daily life that give you the energy to believe a better life awaits you.

I wish for you adults that have their heads screwed on straight, capable of guiding you down a path of self confidence and respect for your body.

I wish for you friends that surround you, encourage you, and never judge you.

Even if my wishes do not come true, you will make it. You are going to make it. This ED hell is going to pass, and you are going to live the life you were meant to. As horrific as all of this is, I truly believe it is happening for a reason. That reason alludes you now, but someday it will be clear.

As clear as it became to me when I started writing this blog 20 years after my struggles had past. The day I wrote my first post was the day I understood why I suffered so much to get to this place.

Love,

mamaV

XOXO

 

Hot or Not?

27 Feb

*Warning: Triggering & Disturbing

This image received over 1800+ diggs; one of the top pictures of all time in Digg's "General Science" category.

The inspiration for the "Attractive Face Scale" experiment was derived from two scholarly sources; Hot or Not, and my personal fave Beauty Check.

,

Beauty, it appears, is now a matter of science. And according to the genius Pierre, the inventor of this  technology, concludes his hypothesis;

"FAT IS NOT ATTRACTIVE."

Wow…dude…. now that is deep.

You have personally inspired many, many more girls to strive to meet your standards by starving themselves at the tender age of 8.

Congrats,

mV

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PS For more disturbing fun facts, click over to Pierre's flickr page, hover your mouse over the image and see all the wonderful comments users have made on each and everyone of the images within the collage http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierre_tourigny/146532556/

More from one who knows

27 Feb

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We are going to keep rolling with Shelly, from the HBO documentary THIN, because I can see you are all relating quite well. This dialogue is good for Shelly and for all of you.

I want to highlight the paragraph below because it strikes at the core of what I believe is a major issue for many of the girls of this community. My hope for each and every one of you, is you can reach the place Shelly has achieved, the place where I live as well, because this is a place of peace and contentment beyond compare:

“I guess I was scared to really look at my life because I was afraid that I wouldn’t like the person I was growing up to be.  Actually, honestly, I guess I was more afraid that people wouldn’t like the person I was.  So I hid behind an eating disorder and a raging addiction so I would have an excuse for why people didn’t like me.  I always had some disorder or dysfunction in my life to blame.  And now, since I am I am recovery I don’t have those things to fall back on and if people don’t like me or what I do, I know have to realize that it is their choice and I don’t have to take responsibility for them or their feelings.”

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If you take away anything from Shelly’s statement it’s to live your life for you.

The take away from me is to pound this mantra into your head – life is not about making people like you.

On to Shelly’s thoughts for the day;

So finding out who I am has become the priority in my recovery.  Trading in the identity I have lived with for so long for an identity that more accurately reflects who I am is daunting.  Sometimes I wonder where I fit in this huge, scary world.  While in the throes of my disorder I knew I fit in the world of eating disorders and I was comfortable there.  I could relate to people who were struggling and I am sad to say I shared tips and thinspiration.  I fed off the energy that others with ED had and often I became competitive with others.  Every part of my day revolved around my eating disorder.  Everything I did during the day was focused on how to get thinner and keep myself sick. 

Now, here is where the difficult and fearful part of my recovery comes into play.  When I finally resigned to the fact that I would give up my eating disorder, my addiction, and any other self-destructive coping mechanism I was left with 24 hours day to fill with things to do.  I felt lost, confused, and extremely afraid. What was I going to do?  I had no idea.  When I voiced this concern to others they would tell me that I could do anything I wanted.  I tried to believe them but deep down I was frightened and didn’t know if I could really play this whole recovery game.  But I decided I would at least try it.  I felt like there was no harm in trying and if I didn’t like it then I could always go back to my disease(s). 

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I have to be honest… at first I didn’t like it.  But I didn’t dislike it as much as I disliked being consumed with negative thoughts all day long.  Negative thoughts did come and they still do, but I treat them differently.  I don’t listen to what they tell me.  I just notice them and let them go.  Accepting them and being aware was the first part of my recovery.  When the thoughts told me that I shouldn’t eat that french fry…I ate more than one.  It was difficult, but as I became more and more aware the thoughts became less and less powerful.  I kept fighting and I made a commitment to not give up until I tried my absolute hardest for at least a year (I usually don’t like putting time frames on things but I did this time to keep myself going.) 

It was so difficult that sometimes I would pace up and down my hallway because I was so anxious.  I was trying to find things to do.  I read, I knitted, I walked outside, I cried, I cleaned,  I made my meals and then when my husband came home from work I spent time with him. The most important thing I did (and am still doing), however, was to look deep within myself.  I started to figure out how I liked to spend my time, what my morals and values are, what makes me happy, what pisses me off, what stresses me out, how to handle it, etc. 

It was overwhelming because in ten years I had not let myself look at things.  For the past ten years I was merely surviving and I realize now that my ED and my addiction were merely distracting me from doing anything, especially finding out who I was. I guess I was scared to really look at my life because I was afraid that I wouldn’t like the person I was growing up to be.  Actually, honestly, I guess I was more afraid that people wouldn’t like the person I was.  So I hid behind an eating disorder and a raging addiction so I would have an excuse for why people didn’t like me.  I always had some disorder or dysfunction in my life to blame.  And now, since I am I am recovery I don’t have those things to fall back on and if people don’t like me or what I do, I know have to realize that it is their choice and I don’t have to take responsibility for them or their feelings. 

Slowly, it is staring to get a little easier and I am grateful I didn’t give up. I am now trying to find a job.  The nursing field is stressful and because I am now just starting to take care of myself I don’t feel I am ready to take care of people in that environment just yet.  Plus, I might go back to school because I am healthy to do so.  I guess I feel like I CAN really do anything I want to do.  I hate to admit when I am wrong, but I guess everyone was right…again!

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To those of you who are fighting don’t give up no matter how hard it gets…you have already made the commitment to at least start to fight.  For those of you contemplating recovery my hope is that you try before it is too late. 

Nowadays I go to bed so tired and drained.  And it is not because I haven’t eaten or purged all day…It is because I working my ass (not literally) off to get better.

-Shelly

 

Shelly Speaks

24 Feb

 UPDATED: See post from Shelly on her recovery 5 years after the documentary.

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Shelly Guillory from the HBO documentary THIN is ready to have her say.

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Since the death of her friend Polly Williams, she has decided to come out fighting. Fighting against eating disorders, and the media that fuels them. Here is an update from Shelly sent to me via email;

So I haven’t been around much on the internet and there is a simple reason for this.  I am getting better.  It is easy to say but extremely hard to do.  As a therapist once told me ,(and I laughed at this and totally used this phrase in a mocking tone on more than one occasion)…”it’s simple, but I am not saying it’s easy.”

Little did I know she would be right. 

I cannot say why I decided to get better, but a few months ago something just “clicked”.  In AA they say a person has a spiritual awakening, but because I don’t like that term and I was never like Moses and saw a burning bush, I am just going to go with my Clicking Theory.  I had hit an all time low.  I was depressed, anxious, malnourished, and I was addicted to benzodiazipines.  I realized I had to do something or I would die.  Honestly, I really thought death was the only way I was going to get over this, I almost welcomed it.  But deep down inside I knew I didn’t want to die, but I deeply believed I couldn’t get better.  I kept telling myself over and over again, “you have tried and you have failed everytime.”  But had I really tried?  Had I really surrendered and given recovery every ounce of energy I had?  The answer again was simple…No, I had not.

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Shelly one year after treatment at Renfrew, image source: Lauren Greenfield

So in September 2008, I surrendered and it was quite possibly the scariest thing I had ever done.  I realized I had to put aside my preoccupation with weight, food, body image, thinness and everything else that comes along with an eating disorder, once and for all.  I was terrified because I knew without all those distractions I would be force to feel.  Feelings I had not allowed myself to feel in so long were powerful.  I felt uncomfortable because I had not felt anything for so long.  The amount of anxiety I felt scared me and I several times I thought about quitting, turning back to starving and purging.  But I knew I couldn’t.  This was my time and I knew something greater than myself would get me through it.  My confidence was shaky and many times I didn’t believe I could do it, but I just kept telling myself over and over again that I could no matter what I really believed.  The power of positive self-talk has sustained me in my recovery. 

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I ate and I gained weight and I sobered up (6 months clean).  The concept was simple, but the process wasn’t easy.  I cannot say this enough, I was scared out of my mind…sometimes paralyzed by fear.  Even today I still have a lot of fear and anxiety.  Recovery is a slow process and because I am impatient it has made the process slightly harder.  But I realized I would rather feel uncomfortable for a little while than to not feel at all. 

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A change is happening in me and I welcome it this time instead of pushing it away.  This is the first time I have allowed it to hapen.  I am slowly finding out who I am, what I like, what I don’t like, who I want to be and so on…although scary, it feel awesome and It feels real.

So I write to tell you it is possible.  I was one who wasn’t supposed to make it. I am going to prove those who doubted me wrong.  And it is going to feel good.  And I win in the situation.  Recovery to me means living the life I want, to not be weighed down by unnecessary worries and irrational thoughts.  It means not putting unrealistic expectations on myself and not feeling like a failure when I don’t meet them.  It means improved relationships with the people I love and care about.  It means I can reach out, tell my story and give people hope.  It means I can truly be the person that I am.

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I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with my thoughts and my dreams and hopes.  But I will continue to write because hopefully it not only give you hope, but it will also remind me of what I am working for and what I want to attain.

The freedom I feel from not actively engaging in Ed behaviors has provided me with opportunities that I never even noticed before. I will speak out and I will advocate because I know my story needs to be told.

My hope for you today is to at least have one minute, one hour, or even a few hours where you can step back, take a look a look at who you really are and experience peace and serenity.  It may materialize into something greater and more powerful than you thought possible.

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Until next time…

Shelly

In memory of Polly.

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Father beware

28 Dec

I contributed to an article for the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and I’d like your perspective on the topic.

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Did your father contribute to or help you with your eating disorder?

It seems to me fathers, and men in general, are more active and involved on this blog, my youtube and in email. I believe they are tuned eating disorders, and their concern for their daughters rises with the tide.

The 1950′s are over. No more stern, old Fathers sitting at the sidelines watching gentle Mother handle the girlie issues. Thank goodness. Today’s dad’s seem to be willing to jump right in there and express themselves, and urge their daughters to do the same.

My father was and is nothing short of amazing. Always has been and always will be. He had a way of listening, not judging, and above all trusting me (even when he sure as hell shouldn’t have!)

I knew he would love me no matter what. I was a model, and yes he was proud of that, but only because I was proud of it. When my interests shifted elsewhere, he followed along, with a keen sense awareness that my woven path was part of growing up.

His role was to observe my path, not drive it. 

Did you father realize this? Or did he push, and preach, and send you mixed messages?

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Paul Nyhan, SeattlePI

The main advice I gave to Paul Nyhan, the reporter for SeattlePI, and a father of a two year old girl;

1) If you call your daughter fat, she will never, ever forget it.

2) Listen to her express her feelings about her body. Don’t shove her feelings away or cut her off. Just listen.

3) Don’t pretend to be the expert, because you aren’t. No man possibly could be. The female conscience on body image is a long, weird, tangled mess – us girls don’t even get it half the time!

What advice would you add to this list?

Be real. Be blunt. Tell him the facts.

I’ll invite Paul to read your responses so he can gather a full view a father’s impact on eating disorders, body image, and the whole beauty saga.

-mamaV


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