Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Most women at some point in their lives have struggled with their weight. And if you’re over 30 and have and access to social media, magazines, television, movie theaters and/or advertising (plugging anything from sports cars to carrot juice) you’re probably not down with fat.
It’s an ugly word. It says so much in the space of three letters. If you’ve ever been called the F word, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Lazy, slob, gross, ugly, unfuck-able; these are all judgmental derivatives of the word fat.
Even if we’ve never been considered remotely fat by our friends and family, chances are we’ve obsessed over the numbers on our scale at some point between learning to shave our legs and perfecting liquid eye-liner.
I was a stripper addicted to cocaine for the better part of a decade . THIS PHOTO of me (my own words in bold) was taped to my refrigerator for YEARS.
I want to wrap my arms around her and do everything I can to make her see what I refused to believe because of my inner-bully telling me I wasn’t enough.
Enough for what? More tips on stage? More validation I was attractive? The beautiful, curvy size-12 woman I am today looks at this photo and wants to simultaneously laugh and cry.
I’m not posting this to brag about being a stripper, or show off the bikini bod I wish I still had (and never appreciated). I’m posting this photo as a reminder for us all – including the media – to help young women see the beauty in their bodies, no matter what size.
Think about it. What chance do young women have if our standards are navigated by the skewed perception that skinny equals enough?
To be fair, I was a chubby high-schooler and my stripper period took place during the waif era. Still, I can’t help but wonder – what was I thinking (more on this later)?
“Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.” ~ Steve Maraboli
If we placed our fears in a petri dish and the universe asked what it needed in order to survive, we all know the short and long of it – it’s us. We’ve seen the Pinterest boards and Facebook quotes. We get it. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and we must do the things we think we cannot do. If only our understanding of fear somehow brought feeling back to the paralyzed consciousness it creates.
Just because we get why we’re afraid, doesn’t make our feelings less so. A child’s fear of monsters under the bed won’t lose validity when the lights turn on. They’re relieved when discovering the monsters don’t exist, but their fear was always real.
As we get older, the monsters morph into tangible worries like having enough money, making life changing decisions and to top off the insomnia trifecta, being in good mental and physical health.
Although fear is universal, our own struggles narrow the scope and they become much more crystallized within the walls of our story. Each of us has our path, and it’s always walked alone. Our compass is built from life experience, the realization of who we are (which only comes from letting go of who we pretend to be), and the choices we make based on how we handle fear.
Fear is fucked. No one really talks about it, because the more we talk about it, the more it exists. Also, with fear lives vulnerability. It’s a he-said-she-said trap of “I know you are, but what am I”; fear points the finger at vulnerability, while vulnerability blames its very existence on fear. It’s six of one, half-dozen of shit, making us feel weak and alone. So we bury them both, deep inside