Thursday, June 19, 2014

Who's the Bully?

I was watching the Today Show this week and one day they had on a woman named Victoria Erickson.  Victoria had seen a photo of herself and a friend that someone posted on Facebook.  At first she thought she looked so happy and she WAS "so happy" as she had just reunited with her best friend after being apart for their freshman year of college.  Then she started analyzing the photo.  This is something I too, do quite often when I see a photo of myself.  She started to focus only on the cellulite in her legs.  She began obsessing and rather quickly the joyous memory of spending the day with her friend turned into self loathing.  Savannah Guthrie told Victoria that she didn't even notice the cellulite in the photo and just thought it was a great picture of two friends.  This struck a cord with me.  Sometimes we have a poor self image of our bodies not because other people are pointing out our flaws but because we point out our own flaws.  I realize now that I am my own bully.  I tear myself down worse than anyone else ever could.  I look at every spot of cellulite, every blemish, any ounce of fat and hold a magnifying glass to it.  I torture myself.

There is a piece in In My Body that is about two best friends.  It's about how through the other persons eyes, you are beautiful and actually see you for who you are.  Your friends don't see the worst things about you.  They see the best things about you.  Your true friends, that is.  My friend's opinion of me is much more positive than my own.

Victoria decided she needed to shake this unhealthy attitude of hating what she saw in herself.  She began to realize that she had the power to change her perspective.  She writes, "That's right. I decided that I love this honest and flawed picture so much so that I am going to embrace it, celebrate it and yes, share it. Because I decided I would fight my demon and embody it because I didn't -- and don't -- have the time or energy to let it wear and tear me down anymore. Because it's not important. And more so, because I hope when you look at yourself, whether in reflection or spirit, you do the same.  Because we're better than that."

So I am going to try to not be so hard on myself.   I am going to try for once to see myself how my best friend sees me.  I think you should try too!  Let's give ourselves a break from our inner critic for once!

Read Victoria's article published by The Huffington Post...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In Others' Words

Inside and outside of my body...What words have been used by others about you? "At times, it can seem as though the line between our self-identity and the identity placed on us by others is blurred. This makes it difficult for us to free ourselves from the confines of words, and alter the perception we have of ourselves."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beautiful Bald Bride

There isn't much more that can be said or shown through this article.  This bald bride is certainly beyond beautiful in every way!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Far Along Are You...

Is a question that I get at least a few times every year.  Now, never having been pregnant, this is quite annoying to me.  Do I look heavy?  Is it how I dress?  Do I look like I've been throwing up all morning?  Is a positive pregnancy test stuck to the back of my jeans? I have asked myself all these questions (and then some) every time it happens.  The last time this happened, the question a random guy asked me was slightly different in that he asked how long ago I had my baby (as I was walking my dog down the street.)  My mind didn't even know where to begin feeling insecure and I still can't fathom that one.  And yet, people wonder why I hover on the border of being agoraphobic.  However, for as much as I get the "are you pregnant" questions, my friends who ARE or have been pregnant get comments which are just as annoying.  I have been witness to such classics as, "Are you having twins?", "You must be due any day!" and "OMG you are so BIG!" Sometimes they have even been asked these questions, in the months AFTER delivery.  God, I wish I were kidding.  

I'm not even sure how to address the issue of strange people inappropriately TOUCHING women's bellies!  And yes, someone has touched my stomach before whilst asking when I was due.  "Sorry, not pregnant, I just ate a dozen bagels...whole.  Now please remove your hand because I won't hesitate to cut you."  I never even touch a close friend or family member's belly who is pregnant without asking first.  There is one sure rule for all of humanity to be aware of and that is to NEVER, EVER comment or ask someone about their pregnancy unless you have received 100% confirmation via phone call, text, Facebook status, baby shower invitation or are witnessing the actual head of a baby emerging!  (I don't know how you would stumble on that last scenario but hey, anything can happen.) And even then, avoid the comments unless they have everything to do with how beautiful that pregnant woman looks or to find out how she is feeling.  

Here is an article called 7 Clever Comebacks to Rude Pregnancy Comments.  Another article dispenses clever comeback advice for someone who is not pregnant but is often confused for someone who is.. It's a Muffin Top, Not a Baby Bump. Now Leave Me Alone! 

Next time I will be armed and ready with "Oh no, that's not a pregnant glow. I'm just super attractive. Thanks for noticing!"  Followed by a mental picture of smashing that person in the face with a pillowcase full of lemons.  I am pretty sure that's where they get the saying, "When life gives you lemons, smash them in your enemy's face to make lemonade!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Amy Purdy

Has anyone else been watching Dancing With The Stars?  I have not but I had to take a look once I found out Paralympian Amy Purdy was a contestant.  She lost both her legs, kidney function and almost her life after contracting bacterial meningitis at 19 years old.   Now she has learned to embrace her new body and is able to move the way most of us WITH legs cannot.  I'll let the video tell you a bit of her story and show you her amazing performance from this week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Add to our playlist!

MUSIC.  It's therapy.  It's celebration.  It's nostalgic.  It's fun.  It's tragic.  It's perfect for whatever mood we are in GOOD OR BAD!

This week we want to make an In My Body Playlist.  We will start a thread on FB and want our FB fans to add songs that they connect with in their bodies!  Next week I will post the playlist and maybe  some of us will find a new song to fall in love with or to motivate while working out or to just make us feel better about living in our bodies!  It's as simple as that!  

On my way to work today I heard a fun song and found it worthy of our list...
Kacey Musgraves Follow Your Arrow

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Shocking(?) photographs stir up controversy

Beth Whaanga Photographer: Nadia Masot

An IN MY BODY Facebook fan sent us this link to an article about a woman named Beth Whaanga who at 32 years of age, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The reason there is such an uproar about this woman is not that she was diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age, but because she bravely posted photos of herself on Facebook after undergoing a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery and a full hysterectomy.  The reason she and her photographer friend, Nadia Masot took these shots and posted them was not to be sexual but to show the world what cancer does to the body (from the outside scars.)  She wants to encourage other women no matter what their age to do self examinations so that cancer can be caught as early as possible.

This article resonated with me because of a piece of the history of In My Body.  For those of you who don't know how IN MY BODY the musical came to be, here you go... it was born out of a song, our namesake, our anthem, called In My Body, written by Dan Martin and Michael Biello nearly 20 years ago.  In 2009 our concoctor, writer and producer Lis Kalogris was inspired to combine her love for this song along with the powerful and beautiful encaustic photographs of Leah Macdonald.  Leah's photos were of women with bodies of all shapes, colors, sizes and SIGNS OF TRAUMA.  Lis and her daughter Kate (fellow writer of IMB) started the IMB Project (as part of their family's non-profit called the KatherineAlexandra Foundation,) which was a multi-arts exploration of body culture which consisted of a gallery exhibition, workshops, panel discussions and mini-musicals.   That's it in a nutshell but if you ever want more info, just let me know!

Although Leah and Nadia's photographic styles are very different in many ways, the subject matter tied the two together in my brain.  Hence, this posting.

Getting back to Beth Whaanga, by posting HER startling photographs, many people reported her postings as "inappropriate" and about 100 people "de-friended" her and wanted her photos banned.  Facebook disagrees with the criticism and is allowing the photos to remain!  What do you think of these photographs?  Would you deem them inappropriate and offensive even though she posted...
"WARNING: These images are confronting and contain topless material. They are not in anyway meant to be sexual. The aim of this project is to raise awareness for breast cancer. If you find these images offensive, please hide them from your feed."?

Jessica Photograper: Leah Macdonald
Side note: for those interested in seeing Leah Macdonalds work, it is currently being shown at Cabrini College in Radnor, PA with support from the KatherineAlexandra Foundation until March 31st.