getting real with u
Last week, Tyler Shields, one of my all time favorite artists and I finally had a photoshoot together that we’d been talking about for years. Literal years. We ended up shooting all different looks and we took some photos I’m really proud of.
We both posted them and the response has been pretty cool.
Seems like a lot of people were stoked to see a different body type (than usually represented in the media) embracing herself.
I want to get real with you. I have tried for my entire life to be skinny. To look like girls I see in magazines, on instagram, etc. I did my first juice cleanse at 13, was on Jenny Craig when I was 14, bulimic by 18. You name it, I’ve done it.
I got bullied my whole life, but pretty intensely in middle school for my weight: fake youtube accounts were created to comment on my videos, boys writing on my facebook photos, honesty box (god, remember honesty box?!?!) prank phone calls - i mean… it got bad. So bad my parents made me switch schools.
Eventually, I got to a point where losing the 10, 15, 20 lbs wasn’t worth it. Thinking about my food intake, my waistline, most importantly, what other people were thinking about my waistline, was consuming me in every single aspect of my life and I was miserable. For all of high school I didn’t show my arms to anyone because one time in middle school someone told me I had man shoulders and fat arms. I lost weight, I gained weight and my happiness didn’t change! There was NO correlation. At all! Like at ALL! I could be skinny, hungry and still miserable. Or I could be less skinny, still hungry, still miserable! And I was so sure that being skinny would make me happy/make people love me/make all of my wildest hopes and dreams come true. Eventually I realized that idea was WRONG.
It hit me recently that I, and I alone, am responsible for my own happiness. I get to decide whether or not to wake up and look at my body like it’s something awesome, or terrible, or fine, or disgusting (or as my favorite 7th grade troll says “disgutsing”). People will say shitty things. They will. Because someone said shitty things to them. Because they are unhappy with themselves. Because they’re mean. Because WHO CARES. They will say shitty things and usually it has nothing to do with you. So I’m trying really hard to wake up and choose to see my body as exactly what it is - mine, and the only one I’ll ever have. It lets me walk, and dance and sing and move and run and go to soulcycle and pilates and also lay on the couch and watch SVU for hours. I get to decide to love it or hate it. And that decision changes, sometimes every 14 seconds. I don’t wake up feeling confident everyday. I don’t. Not even close.
I got the feeling after reading some comments and messages (lovely ones!) that some of you might be feeling the same things that I feel and I wanted you to know, you’re awesome. You’re not perfect. No one is. You’re you! And you’re better at being you than anyone else in the world. So figure out what you love about being you and embrace that. And the things you don’t love so much, embrace them too. Because life is so much better when you do. I spent years believing other peoples thoughts about my body, thoughts that they probably didn’t think twice about shooting into my brain like evil little arrows. Thoughts that have lived in my brain for 15 years, thoughts that built a home and had kids and rescued a dog.
But, I’m trying something new. I’m trying to start believing my own thoughts about my body. Which is that I am so lucky and thankful that it works so well (especially after lots of years of me treating it like total shit)
So today I’m starting small, I’m waking up and choosing to just be stoked that I can pick up my guitar and write a song. My body lets me do that, and in my opinion, that’s pretty awesome! So good morning, your body lets you be you - don’t let anyone take that away from you. You’re awesome. Now, go out there and be your bad self.
PS. TYLER SHIELDS, AM I RIGHT?