A Wayword BoPo Sheep

20150822_111131I am struggling with my body positivity. I’m not sure what else there is to say. The soaring confidence I used to have in the body positivity movement doesn’t seem to be coursing through my veins like before.

It’s not that I don’t believe in the movement. In fact, I still believe it has done tremendous things for my life. I would have never embraced my ability to dance without it. I never would have explored the forest, waterfalls, and hiking in general with out it. I certainly would not have found the confidence to get on stage and try stand up comedy with out Body Positivity.

Yet, if I were to give a “State of My Union” address, I would have to say the state of my self-confidence is at a low. It’s not an all-time low. I still know I am in a better place mentally than I was when I started this journey two years ago. But, it is low.

The only thing I can pinpoint this dip in self-confidence is starting comedy. Specifically, watching myself on video constantly. I tape every set I do. I want to see how my material does. I want to see what nervous ticks I have on stage so I can work on them. The problem with cameras, especially when you have to prop them with beer bottles on a table, is the angles suck. I see myself, admittedly, at some of the worst angles in some the harshest, unflattering light. As I find less about my performance to beat myself up over, I find myself focusing on what I look like on stage.

Let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter what your size is. It is important to think about your image when you are building a career like comedy. It’s important to think about what people see on stage. I have no guitar to hide behind. I have no distractions on stage. It is just me, microphone in hand, wanting to gain the trust of an audience enough that they are willing to find humor where they might not otherwise. What I wear, what I look like is important.

It’s important for anyone, in any field. There is room for personal flair, and for all body types. In whatever any of us do, it’s important to project confidence and look like you have your shit together.
12705568_10207076201757668_390478687671836899_nBut, I’m struggling with the duality of it. Does this mean that I need to worry about my VBO in jeans? The rolls that I have? I’ll be honest. It drives me absolutely nuts. If there is anything about what I see on camera, it’s my midsection that fucks with my mind more than anything else. Where is the line between ensuring I look put together and trustworthy, and yet embracing my body for what it currently is with love and respect?

I don’t know the answer. I am far from someone who can give advice at this point. Perhaps I need some.

It’s not fair to blame it all on comedy, either. That ordeal with Craiglist hit me harder than I ever wanted to admit to anyone. I still struggle with stepping in front of anyone without thinking about it. The struggle with online hate is real. Maybe I should have waited longer before entering a new career, a new community, a new spotlight before working through that. There are other factors, other influences, that don’t have the same BoPo philosophy. It’s also not fair to blame anyone by myself. I have lost my way.

I am a wayward sheep. The farther I wander from my herd, the farther I get from the habits that helped me love my body, and the closer I get to the habits that didn’t. I drink less water. I drink more soda. I put garbage in my body. I will say, this moment has helped me remember something vital about this movement. When you love something, you treat it with care. Body positivity helped me love my body, and want to take care of it. The farther I get from that, the more I don’t care.

I think it’s the feeling of failure that burdens me the most. How could I be such a proponent of a moment for two years, and the moment I really become tested lose my way?

And, I hate to talk about it. I don’t want to be one of those women that seeks input from others to feel better about themselves. I don’t want to be a woe-is-me about this. But, I wonder if it’s important for others to see the struggle. It’s not always easy, all the time. Every journey has up and downs.

Why You Should Take The Picture

katy1We are in the midst of party season. As someone battling with the weight of body shame, this season is both fantastic and frightful. My nightmare before Christmas is always the pictures. Yes, I’m admitting that even as a proud voice for Body Positivity, I still struggle with taking pictures. I’ve almost lost my fear of the selfie, but I’ll admit that I tend to only post the images where I look a certain way. It’s the group pictures that I can’t really control that still bring anxiety.

The thing about pictures, especially at this time of year, is they really aren’t about what anyone looks like. I know that seems silly, given that we are creating a permanent record of appearances. But, truly, it has nothing to do with how anyone looks. Taking a picture is a really futile attempt to freeze a moment in time. It’s about trying to use the magic and sorcery of modern technology to place a moment into a bottle and keep it with us for the rest of time.

12313576_934377866615255_5393670197344542289_nWhen I look back on pictures, I’m not looking at what the other people look like. I’m not picking apart my imperfections. A picture is a jumping off point, the spark that ignites a memory. As we move farther and farther from that point in time, we need that spark to remind us of the amazing moment we had in our lives, and importantly who we shared it with.

I know it’s scary to get in front of a camera. I understand the sweaty palms, the raised heartbeat and the heaviness that body shame brings to the picture. But, I also know that when I am older and far away from that moment, I won’t see or remember any of that. I will embrace the sorcery, and let the picture spark the memory. I will remember the joke that shared minutes before, and the loving exchange of hugs moments later. It will bring back to life the people in the room with me, even when life takes them far away. family

Pictures aren’t about being perfectly posed, impeccably dressed, or aesthetically pleasing. They only capture the best of us if we let them, and the best of us has nothing to do with how we look. So, smile and let the love of the moment shine through you. Remember you are creating a spark, for yourself and for others. Let them see you shine.

I Don’t Want To Shop Next To The Tire Section Either, Ms. McCarthy.

I was scrolling through Facebook, and I came across Purple Clover’s article on Melissa McCarthy and her desire to eliminate “plus size” sections in stores. McCarthy makes an excellent point that when over 70% of the population is size 14 or higher, is it necessary? Of course not, but that’s not what confuses me.

Comment1What confuses me is the people who actually deny the logic of the idea. If you look at the comments from the post you’ll find a good group of people absolutely against the idea. And the reasons are insane!

Of course clothing size matters. Obviously McCarthy isn’t trying to do away with sizes over 14, she just wants to eliminate the label that goes with them. What a person decides to wear is really no one’s business but theirs. Why is the world filled with people who believe it is there job to police wardrobe choices? Comment2

“It’s okay to be a bigger girl, just don’t show the world HOW big you are.” This blows my mind. Absolutely BLOWS my mind. Why does anyone have to hide who they are from the world. First off, if anyone doesn’t like how you look they have the freedom to look elsewhere. Secondly, anyone should be able to wear whatever makes they happy. If that happens to be a look you don’t agree with, too bad.

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Of course, there are concern trolls everywhere. The idea that someone who is wearing a size larger than 14 could also be working on on their health is just too much for people to bare. It would be impossible for someone of any size other than what these trolls deem healthy to be avid hikers, dancers or even dedicated gym rats. For the record, there are some “plus size” people who are stronger, faster, and frankly in better actual shape than you are. Just sayin’.

I think it’s pretty messed up to say women should wear appropriate sizes, but not want to offer comment4them in the same clothing section with every other size. It’s not encouraging obesity to “let” women of all sizes shop in the same section as “regular” people (of course, remember than women under size 14 are currently a minority). If anything, making women “shop next to the tire section” is discrimination. I think these people should ask themselves why it is so important that “regular” sizes and “plus” sizes not be on the same rack next to each other. Should my clothes not 20150110_152314touch your clothes? I sure wouldn’t want to come in contact with your ignorance, either. Perhaps I’ll accidentally catch it.

I say, good work Melissa McCarthy. I look forward to seeing your brand, seven7, in stores. I welcome the day when I can go shopping with my “regular” sized friends and not have to go to separate ends of the store. I’m excited that there may be a day when I don’t have to choose between a dress I love that is a size too small and a dress I hate but is the only one in my size. It’ll be a welcome step in the right direction.

No Body Shame 24 Hour Challenge – Update 1

I just got back from line dancing. It has been six hours since I made my pledge to not body shame myself for a 24 hours period.

Let me tell you, it’s been really hard.

It’s amazing once you start consciously paying attention to behaviors you never focused on before, how much you notice. I had to stop myself from saying horrible things about my body at least one in every conversation. It made me realize I am really nondiscriminatory about who I will talk s**t about my body to. I would have said something to EVERYONE I talked to tonight. Even strangers.

Of course, going into specific detail of what I wanted to verbalize about myself would defeat the purpose. I’m sure I could be breaking my own rules by still having unspoken negative words.

Baby steps.

I imagine the next 8 hours will be okay, because I am going to go to sleep. I’m safe for that time.

I can understand why I am so hard on myself in a bar, surrounded by people. I am used to using my self deprecating humor as a way of entertaining. I enjoy making those around me laugh. So, I can see why my No Body Shame Challenge was tough for me there.

What will happen in the morning? I will be home with my son, not really talking much. I feel like that should be a breeze to. I feel like the hard part of this challenge is over, but we will see.

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