When I was in high school, my dear friend Emily would address me by saying, “Hey, beautiful!” It always unnerved me back then, though I would never have been able to articulate why. With my 20-20 hindsight, however, I can quite easily tell you why: I didn’t believe I was beautiful.
I never mentioned this to Emily, of course, because sheesh, how rude would THAT be. And so she kept doing it. And so I kept cringing. But eventually the cringing lessened, and then subsided completely. And on a day to day basis, I may still struggle to believe that I’m beautiful. But what I DO believe is that Emily thinks I’m beautiful. I believe that every day, and it is meaningful and helpful and a generous gift for her to have given me.
Originally posted 2014-04-28 06:36:21.
A girlfriend of mine has been unhappy with her body for … well, for as long as I’ve known her. She is one of the most naturally beautiful women I’ve ever known, and her generous, open, loving personality just serves to amplify the startling physical beauty that shines out from her silky hair, and ladylike hands, and creamy skin, and perfect-pout lips, and dive-into-me eyes. But she battles her body, and loses.
She adjusts her food intake, and then adjusts it some more. She tries meal schedules and diets and avoidance of certain foods. She counts calories. She exercises twice as much as me and twice as hard. She varies her workout routine, and monitors her heart rate to optimize her efforts, and pushes herself to her physical limits. And she stays the same shape and size, and she stays unhappy.
Originally posted 2014-04-17 06:19:36.
A few weeks ago, one of the major local TV networks asked me to contribute to post-Golden-Globes red carpet commentary. It was an amazing opportunity that would’ve put me in front of an audience I don’t normally reach. Even folks who don’t care much about fashion often take an interest in awards season finery. And, of course, it would’ve been great for the ol’ resume.
None of the TV stations in town are particularly acid or negative, but knowing what I know about expectations for red carpet recaps, I responded with some parameters. In addition to highlighting looks from some of the women of color and women of size in attendance, I insisted on a positive spin. “I don’t do bodysnarking and don’t want to talk about ‘disasters’ or focus on negatives. I could offer some constructive feedback, but no ‘worst dressed list.’ I would want the segment to focus on the best looks of the night and why they worked,” I told the producer.
Originally posted 2014-02-18 06:23:45.