“Fat people in America are reduced to nothing but fatness. A fat person has a health problem of any kind? It's because they're fat. A fat person is single? Well, duh. Fat. They deserve it. A fat person is poor? That's not surprising-obviously they have bad judgment and no impulse control! Because why would a smart person choose to be fat? If a fat person goes to a restaurant and sits on a broken chair and the chair collapses under them, it's because they're fat. But if a thin person sits on the same broken chair and the chair collapses under them, it's because they sat on a broken chair.”—Lindy West, Being Mean To Fat People is Pointless: A Good Old Fashioned Plea for Civility
“Curvy women are real women. Skinny women are real women. Women who have had boob jobs or lip enhancements or liposuction are still real women. Size 0 may make no sense mathematically, but a woman who wears that size is as real as the one who wears a size 16. What makes us “real” people is not the shape of our flesh but our basic humanity. And we lose our humanity when we judge.”—Hugo Schwyzer
9 Ways to Be the Person You Wanted to Be as a Kid
We may have dreamed of castles and flying carpets as kids, but what we really wanted was a lot simpler: We wanted adventure, possibility, fun, and a few good friends to share it with. Regardless of how your life looks now, you can have those things. It starts with how you choose to be today, and what you choose to do with what you have.
That’s how you learned back then. You explored and tried on different hats, and rarely said the word “can’t” unless your mom was calling you in for dinner. If something sounded fun, you were game.
Open up to fun again. Be silly, playful, creative, curious, excited, adventurous, and open. Give your overworked adult mind a break and enjoy experimenting. Finding new possibilities isn’t a cerebral experience. The only way to create a life that will bring you joy is to use your joy as a compass.
2. Invite the new kid to your table at lunch.
Okay, maybe you didn’t do this one. We all wanted to belong back then, and that usually meant staying with the group. But sometimes it backfired on you. Sometimes the new kid was fun. Sometimes the new kid was a great friend. Sometimes the new kid had parents who rented bounce houses for their birthdays.
If you only allow yourself to interact with people you know and trust, your world will remain small, albeit manageable. You never know what experiences new acquaintances might introduce you to—and you never know when an acquaintance may turn into a friend that feels like home.
3. Don’t ditch gym class.
It was in the curriculum for a reason: it’s good for you. Shocker, I know! Dodge ball was more than just an opportunity to knock your friends out and be the last kid standing. It got your blood pumping, gave you an energy outlet, and increased your overall health.
You can’t do anything in life if you’re too sluggish to get off your couch. This is nothing new—we all know that exercise is good for us. If you need additional motivation not to sit on the bench, consider these hidden benefits of exercise: research has shown even moderate exercise can boost the immune system and prevent chronic illness.
4. Don’t jump off a bridge just because your friends are doing it.
You don’t want to think of people you love as negative, complacent, or stagnant, but many of them probably are. Thoreau said the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation—and as bleak as that may sound, there’s some truth to it. The majority of people don’t do what they want to do, and feel most comfortable surrounding themselves with similar people.
Don’t be a similar person. Love and accept them as they are, but decide to do it differently. There’s no good reason to be quietly desperate when you can be boldly satisfied. That’s not to say achieving what you want will be easy; but you will respect and admire yourself more when you’re actively living out loud, if not yet in results, in the process.
Let's talk about body image
I received this in my inbox last week:
“I just wanted to say that aside from how much I loved today’s episode, I thought your outfit was so adorable and I wish I had a better body to wear that. I weigh 280 and have been this large my entire life. I’m also really interested in sewing and watching you be so awesome on the LBD and elsewhere has inspired me to further lose weight so that I might be able to one day make the clothes I’ve seen from you (and the other lovely LBD ladies). I hope to be beautiful both inside and out like you.”
And it broke my heart.
I am so tired of the standards of beauty imposed on women in our culture. I am so tired of women thinking and feeling that they are less than other women because of how they look. If anyone is going to look at me as some kind of body role model, I want the message to be one that celebrates confidence, health, and beauty in all shapes and sizes.
I have been on a long journey toward loving and accepting my body with all its flaws and quirks, and it’s not over. It’s something I work on every day. If I could spare women the obsession with appearance, the agony of scrutinizing imperfections, and the fear of being seen as unattractive, I would. Nothing has been added to my life by feeling unhappy with my body; a lot has been added to my life by appreciating and accepting it for what it is.
To the person who wrote that message: If you have been inspired to be healthier, then I applaud and cheer you on, but it’s important that you know you are beautiful now. Until you believe that, you’ll never feel beautiful at any weight. You are not defined by a number on a scale, nor does a certain number equal beauty. There is room in this world for many kinds of beauty, and the most attractive things are confidence and self acceptance. I wish for you, and every girl, the ability to see yourself as the gorgeous, powerful, radiant being that you are. The world doesn’t have another you. Celebrate your uniqueness, and shine on.
Hollywood (Live)Lady Gaga
Listen, I’ve got the sickest ambition..
In 2005, virtually unknown, but making a name for herself, Stefani Germanotta, now known worldwide as superstar Lady Gaga, wrote and performed the song Hollywood a total of three times from 2005-2006. A rather curious song, Hollywood is an incredibly prophetic piece that showcases Gaga’s determination to get where she wanted to be, Hollywood. But to get there, Gaga took a road less traveled by and stirred up some trouble in the process.
In the song, she talks about plastic surgery and how as a society today, we are pressured into looking like the people we see modeling on TV or in magazines. Gaga is known, praised and criticized for her weird, outrageous styles and usually never appeals to today’s standards of beauty. She sings “Sure, Hollywood’s commercially glamorous but naturally’s the way to be, and you can’t tell me I’m not sexy!”
By being the way she is and known all over the globe for it, Gaga is slowly, but surely fitting together a puzzle that when completed, will reveal that weirdness and ugliness fit into Hollywood just as well, if not better, than plastic surgery and beauty standards. That being Born This Way, is just as acceptable. That you are perfect just the way you are and not to let anyone tell you otherwise.