Forget What the Media Is Telling You About Your Body

I need 4 minutes and 34 seconds of your day. I need you to watch this — every woman, man, girl, and boy — and I need you to absorb it.

I need you to give yourself permission to start loving and enjoying the body you have been given to live this life with. All of the advocates and bloggers and celebrities in the world cannot do that for you. YOU have to do that for you. Whether you are a parent, a friend, a mentor, a teen….you have to start appreciating your amazing body. It will impact how you live the rest of your life.

Forget what the media is telling you about you. There is nothing wrong with you. YOU write your story. In that story, make sure you are awesome.

Please watch this with your boys and girls. Share it with your classroom, your sports team or Girl Scout troop or church youth group. Share it, because we are spending way too much time thinking about what our bodies look like in life, instead of LIVING LIFE.

Go live. You look amazing.

Buyer Beware: Striped Skirts and Fat Talk

“Oh no, not that skirt. Horizontal stripes will make you look fatter,” Grandmother shopping next to me says to a little girl, slapping the girl’s hand away from a really cute tiered skirt. The little girl shrinks. My mouth and Amelia’s mouth fall open in shock.

I want to climb on top of the rack of clothing, and scream at this woman, telling her how cruel and damaging Fat Talk is to girls, especially when Fat Talk comes from the people this girl should be able to trust the most. I want to screech out the stats running through my head — percentages of little girls who hate their bodies and diet and have low self-esteem. I want to grab her and shake her and tell her what awful messages she is planting in this girl’s head. I also kind of want to hug her, and tell her to stop projecting her body hate onto this young child.

Not wanting to get kicked out of Target, and not being a crazy person, I didn’t. But I really, really wanted to.

Instead I picked up the exact same skirt, and held it up for Amelia. I’m not trying to be an ass, I just can’t let the grandmother’s words be the last thing the other girl hears in that moment.

“Hey Smalls, look at this! How awesome are these stripes!? Wouldn’t they look so fun and colorful while you run and spin? How fun!” I say. 

“I’d say it is full of awesome,” 6yo Amelia offers while waving to the little girl.

Fat Talk Free Week: The Women In My Family (Part 2 of 3)

Who doesn't feel awesome dressed like this?! Pigtail Pals owner Melissa Wardy, circa 1982

I realized yesterday that the women in my family have given me an incredible legacy. It is something I have always known, but not until yesterday did I really get it.  You see, I was doing a trunk show for Pigtail Pals (awesome empowering products for girls, go buy some!) at a local women’s expo. On my table I also had some postcards for the Fat Talk Free Week sponsored by Tri Delta sorority. Several women would pick it up and ask what it was about. I would explain what Fat Talk is, and why we as mothers needed to be careful what legacy we leave our daugthers.

And then they would cry.

Every single one of the women would tear up, and say, “Oh, that is beautiful,” and “Oh, thank you so much for what you do.”

I tried to give them examples of what Fat Talk is, and as I did so, I realized, I do not have one single memory of my mother, my aunts, my girl cousins, or my grandmothers ever participating in Fat Talk in front of me.

In fact, when I sit here and think back about what the women in my family did talk about, I recall topics like gardening, family heritage, hilarious stories about the men in our family, world events and politics, careers, education, books and movies, etc. But appearances? That was never the topic of conversation. If anything, I remember compliments given to each other on looking nice or wearing a color that was very flattering.

Not once did one of the women in my family berate their weight, their appearance, their beauty, their worth.

Not once. Not that I can ever remember. And that is the legacy of beauty the women in my family left for me.