Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No Filter

Posted by Amy Baranski

Unedited. No filter. No makeup. Real life. 
Melissa wrote a pretty fantastic blog post about dealing with eating disorders and the unhealthy inner dialogue about the way we (women) perceive ourselves as perpetuated by the culture that dehumanizes us into pieces of an always imperfect commodity. She was the brunt of some a messed up "joke" in high school and cruel teasing (read her post).

Funny enough I've always thought of Melissa as very beautiful. First off she has fantastic gams! Her skin is gorgeous. She tans well. She has effortless style even if she'll complain (humbly) that her clothing choices are limited. Her big toe is WAY prettier than mine. Yeah maybe she doesn't have washboard abs. But she can do a very pretty backbend during Bikram yoga--to the point that the teachers call her out. And she has three bright beautiful children with her today. I think she deserves to give her tummy a break. It's done a lot of work

We all have something about our looks that we feel ashamed about. If we didn't there wouldn't be this vast, vast market of opportunity to "fix" ourselves with products so that we can feel better and look better. Wasn't there a blog post that recently went viral encouraging mothers to look at themselves in the mirror (in front of their children) and remark: "Look at that pretty mama!" Saying it even when we don't believe it might help us to believe it someday. It's probably a better learned behavior to model even if it's a lie before it becomes the truth.


I can look happy too (note the sunglasses).
I've certainly been made fun of but not for the size of my waist. Hairy legs in middle school (wasn't allowed to shave), breasts (small - but once lovingly described by a tipsy friend as "two scoops of vanilla"), and my genetically-gifted under eye circles (although drunk bums always seem to think I have "really cool eyes" - that's a real confidence booster).

No one ever calls me fat, except once when I was pregnant.

People have wondered if I had cancer, enough vitamin k? I constantly get asked if I've had enough sleep. What's enough? I mostly respond, "No, I just look this way." And...I like it!
I like the way I look.

For the most part.

I guess.


Not always.

It's not something I can change. I accept it. But it's hard. It's work to be out there about who you are. And, I'm not always out there. Just a year ago I was having late night fun with a girlfriend and she wanted to try on her 80s prom dresses. It probably would have been a total gas. But I couldn't. I didn't feel fit enough. I declined. It was an awkward moment. Way to bring the evening to a screeching halt Amy!

So yeah, I 'm the skinny girl. Does that make me love myself any more? Not really.

I love that Melissa opened up this month to discussing body issues and the really awful stuff we think to ourselves and say to others. We should care about our health and the body health of our community! That's important. Too many Americans are suffering and dying from curable and preventable diseases. But should we tie up our happiness and sense of well being into looking a certain way? Of course style and dressing up is fun. Make-up is fun! We're even devoting a whole month of this blog to styling. But maybe it's time to shake off the need to live up to these ridiculous standards of beauty.

Let's try presenting a life to each other without any filters to hide our flaws. It's hard.

I almost didn't publish this post, it's that hard.

1 comment:

Melissa Baumgart said...

Wow, Amy! I am so flattered. What sweet things to say about me. I hope that by the month's end, I can live into your vision of me.
Love you!