It’s Week FOURTEEN on ChingonaFest Fridays! I’m not even going to lie to you.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and crazed, last-minute, Week Before BlogHer Memory Lane tripping with previously published work is just a nice way of saying It’s This or I Got Nuthin’. I used to go all out and try to provide shiny and new material before each conference but I moved beyond the need to drive myself off the nearest cliff repeatedly around the time I figured out 14 pairs of shoes and 50 copies of my unpublished memoir manuscripts are not required packing.

Hint: Unpack 12 pairs of shoes now. Leave the unpublished magnum opus at home. And you can thank me later.

That takes me to my reason for writing today. In an attempt to keep my ChingonaFest Fridays feature going with some regularity, I’m rerunning my kickass interviews with two of my fave BlogHer ladies. This week it’s Lori Luna and next Friday y’all get another chance to catch up with Elisa Camahort Page (without having to scroll).

If you’re new to the blog, here’s the link to the my Latina Dimelo column that sparked the conversation that’s still going strong. The premise is this: I want to raise my daughter to be a Chingona — on purposeLas Tias and cultural backlash be damned. If you like the column, I’d love for you to share with your social media circles, leave a comment on the link, or whip up a happy lil’ Letter to the Editor telling them how you feel and send it off to Editor@Latina.com. You may not think that kind of thing makes a difference, but trust me when I tell you it does.

Have you checked out my past #ChingonaFest ladies? Carol Caine shines in her interview last week. Trust me when I say it’s a must read.

It seems I’ve added Chingona Cheerleader to my soapbox recently (Mostly by accident but I’m running with it anyway). Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.

Lori Luna’s bio speaks for itself. She is the Vice President of Events Operations, overseeing all operational and logistical elements of BlogHer conferences. Since joining BlogHer in 2009, Lori has helped grow the conference business from one annual conference a year to include BlogHer Food, Entrepreneurs and BlogHer PRO, as well as the annual flagship event. With more than 12 years in the event/conference industry and background producing events such as COMDEX, N+I, and ad:tech, Lori has been instrumental in growing attendance for the events, as well as revenue for the company.

And now! Time for the interview!

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Lori Luna

Lori Luna

 

Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?  

Lori Luna: Always vanilla, I know that is boring to some but it makes me happy.  Vanilla is so versatile and can make anything taste good.

PC: I’ll go with that. Vanilla is kind of the blank canvas of the ice cream world. Favorite book and why: 

LL: Anything that has a political nature.  I love to read autobiographies of political people.  I find it fascinating as to why they do what they do and how they came to where they are whether it was in the past or current.  Another is the Book of Questions…it’s an icebreaking book that asks random questions that both starts conversation and generates fabulous discussion.

PC: So you’re saying the Twilight series is out. Okay, then..lWhat’s your favorite quote?  

LL: Fake it ’til you make it

PC: No wonder we get along. I say that all the time. I won’t ask you how I’m doing till I’ve crossed the finish line. Do you consider yourself a feminist?  

 LL: Most of the time.  There are certain things I am passionate about such as equal pay for equal work and then there are things that just don’t bother me like they would bother someone else. I guess I am an issues oriented feminist.

PC: Issue Oriented? I LOVE that. *Adds to mental Rolodex to use in stimulating conversation* Describe yourself in third person  

LL: Lori is a kind, generous, thoughtful person.  She has passion and fire and that is both good and bad.  She is fiercely loyal and will live and die on principle.

PC: I like the honesty. My fire isn’t always nice, either. Who inspires you?  

LL: Smart people.  When I have the opportunity to meet really smart people who are doing something fabulous I am inspired.  I also just watched the Tina Turner interview by Oprah and wow!  She was very inspirational.  I think I’m inspired in the moment..I don’t have a single person that I think, she (or he) inspires me to be “x”

 PC: *Blushing* It’s okay, Lori. You don’t have to talk in riddles. You inspire me, too. Do you dream in color or black and white?  

LL: Color

PC: ME TOO! But I don’t remember my dreams very often. How do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?  

LL: Frankly I am tired of how Latina women are always showcased with an accent. As if none of us were born here and can speak without the accent.  I find it annoying!  Oh and there aren’t enough of us!!!

PC: Amen on the accent thing. I don’t think I have one, either, except I roll my ‘R’s’ when I say “three”. Go figure. Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they’ve grown and flown the nest…  

LL: I don’t have kids

 PC: And let’s add “a million children running around in diapers” to the Latina stereotype. I’ve got one and the last family wedding I went to, I had tias outright ask me why I only had one. Like I failed the Mexican test, or something. Anyway, one childhood memory that has stuck with you…  

LL: One of my favorite memories is riding in the car with my mom and I was about 5 and Ricky Nelson was on the radio singing Garden Party.  My mom specifically called out these lyrics: You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxdiraVxwkI)  Ever since then I live by the idea that you can’t please everyone so you’ve got to please yourself.

 PC: Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?  

LL: Sadly I only speak English, what a pathetic Latina!

PC: Stop it right now. Language doesn’t define us. We do, sister. End. Of. Story. What’s your favorite dish? Why?  

LL: Anything my father cooks!  He makes a mean chorizo and menudo and oh, that always makes me feel like home.

PC: CHORIZO – yum! MENUDO- *blech!* Do you feel “Latina enough”? 

LL: Not when I’m surrounded by other Latinas who are fluent in Spanish and doing something in the Latin community…then I feel lame.  I am never ashamed or embarrassed by who I am I just feel lame that I haven’t embraced my culture as much as I think I should.

PC: Stop feeling lame, woman! I used to feel the same way, but now I just focus on my own perspective on Being Latina. Also? You like menudo. That automatically means you earned your Mexican card. Now…You have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine, AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON? 

LL: President Clinton! I have had an absurd political crush on him for years.  He is brilliant, charming, charismatic and did I say brilliant?

PC: It takes a special kind of charm to make us all question the meaning of the word “is”, that’s for damned sure. Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)  

 LL: No. Chew ice cream???

PC: Okay, then. Just me. MOVING ON! Describe your perfect day.  

LL: Any day where I can be with my dog and just relax – Missy first!

 

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And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me at aspiringmama@gmail.com or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine. Two besties made a bet on who I would say is right. For the record? They were both wrong.

Oh! And be sure to send me your questions to dimelo@latina.com. Don’t worry. I promise to give you a kick-ass code-name that doesn’t rhyme with your own.

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Who likes Pretty Pictures? My art and #ChingonaFest related snazziness are available by clocking the following links:

Etsy#MexicaninMaine

Etsy - ChingonaFest

ZazzleChingonaFest (make sure your filter is set to moderate because Zazzle says I’m a badass.)

Society6Pauline Campos

And because I like you so much…

Sign up for The Tortilla Press Newsletter! 

Follow me on Twitter, instagram, and here’s the FB fan page! I know. You’re *welcome.*

 

 

 
Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

It’s time to celebrate the Everything, y’all. More specifically, it’s time to celebrate the Everything that we are as individuals and the diversified fabulousnesses (shut up- it’s called poetic license) that makes BlogHer the thriving community we love.

Last year my jaw hit the floor when I was asked to cohost the first ever #MultiCulti community party with Ananda Leeke and Dwana Delacerna. To say I was honored is an understatement. To be asked to return as cohostess for the same event with the same amazing women is flat out just fucking amazing.

And yes, thank you very much for asking. I am quite proud I made it to the end of the second paragraph before dropping my first F Bomb.

The success of the MultiCulti cocktail I dreamed up — with The Husband’s help, of course — was just the icing on the proverbial cake that I’m probably allergic to. The cocktail, actually, is the reason I’m writing this. You see, I didn’t just throw alcohol in a glass and ice it without thought before tossing it back and calling it good. (Although that’s not entirely a bad idea.) No way, y’all. The MultiCulti was all about celebrating all that makes us who we are and the cultures and cultural identities we call our own. The cocktail had to reflect that. And then it had to actually taste good. I’ve got standards, y’all. As a former waitress and bartender, my street cred was totally on the line.

Here’s what I came up with:

BlogHer MultiCulti Cocktail

Non-Alcoholic Version

Equal Parts:

* Coconut Water

* Pomegranate Juice

* Blueberry Juice

*  Apple Juice

* White Grape Juice

* A splash of club soda

The Breathalyzer Version?

* Add two splashes of Malibu Rum

So why this particular mix? So glad you asked, Internet.

* Coconut Water is and has historically been a popular drink in the tropics, especially India, the Brazilian Coast, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Caribbean.

* Pomegranates are considered to have originated in the vicinity of Iran and have been cultivated since ancient times. Today the pomegranate is also grown throughout the Mediterranean, Africa, parts of southeast Asia, and in Arizona and California here in the United States. It’s also important to note that the pomegranate was introduced to Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769.

* Blueberries and are native to North America with Michigan and Maine coming out on top.

* Apples originated in Central Asia and have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe. The saying “As American as apple pie” didn’t exist until European colonists showed up on American shores. Apples also have a major role in Norse, Greek, and Christian traditions and mythology.

* Grapes have a pretty impressive history dating back up to 8,000 years ago in Western Asia. And the oldest winery was found in Armenia dating to around 4000 BC. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show grapes cultivated for wine, and historians tell us that Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans grew purple grapes for both eating and wine production. Eventually, grape cultivation made its way to other regions in Europe, North Africa, and North America.

* Rum has a hefty history and plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland. It’s been associated with The Royal Navy, the principal naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces, as well as piracy. Rum also was used as a form of currency to help fund organized crime, slavery, and even the American Revolution. Today rum is produced everywhere from Belize and Colombia to Australia, Canada, and Fiji.

See? Awesome, right?

Now, I can’t say what’s in store for the MultiCulti at #BlogHer14, because we’re still in planning mode. One thing I can say, though, is that the MultiCulti is not our party. It’s yours. We want you to own this party.

How do you do that?

* Hashtag the hell out of #Multiculti on your social media channels in the days leading up to the party

* Write  blog post sharing what multiculturalism means to you

* Give a nod to The Year of the Selfie by posting a #multiculti pic celebrating the Heinz 57 mix that makes you…you

* Tweet me with a favorite song (or 10) for a chance to have it included in the official #multiculti playlist we will be jamming to during the actual party

* Check out BlogHer’s Community Party Plan for Friday, July 25. We’d love to see you!

And, of course, join me and the growing #chingonafest community during our weekly Wednesday night twitter chats, at 10 PM, EST. We’ll be talking about the importance of celebrating diversity in our personal (and social media)! I may even have a surprise or two to give away during the chat. Use #BlogHer14 #MultiCulti & #Chingonafest in your tweets, and follow me, Ananda, and Dwana for some fun conversation! The #chingonafest hashtag may be culturally specific, but the spirit behind it is universal. That means we all get to play together in the sandbox.(Click here for my Latina Magazine column that lunched #chingonafest!)

I’m looking forward to so much in the coming week, and I know you are, too. For now, enjoy a look back at last year’s beautiful faces and take a moment to just breathe before The Crazy officially kicks off.

Cheers, y’all!

 

 

 

 Welcome to WEEK 13 of #ChingonaFest Fridays on Aspiring Mama!

If you’re new to the blog, here’s the link to the my Latina Dimelo column that sparked the conversation that’s still going strong. The premise is this: I want to raise my daughter to be a Chingona — on purposeLas Tias and cultural backlash be damned. If you like the column, I’d love for you to share with your social media circles, leave a comment on the link, or whip up a happy lil’ Letter to the Editor telling them how you feel and send it off to Editor@Latina.com. You may not think that kind of thing makes a difference, but trust me when I tell you it does.

Have you checked out my past #ChingonaFest ladies?  Lorraince C. Ladish made me look bad two weeks ago (but only because she looks so good and Elisa Camahort Page shined last week because that’s what happens when you’re Made of Awesome.

Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.

Today’s featured Chingona is …Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel.

 Cain is an amazing force on the internet, sharing her passion for discovery in food and travel on her award-winning site, Girl Gone Travel. Trust me when I say that if you aren’t already following, that you should be.

And now? It’s time for the interview!

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Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel

Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel

 

Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?  

Carol Cain: Chocolate…and a little nutty, like me.

 PC: And the tone of this interview is officially set. I like it. Favorite book and why

CC: The Illiad because I first read it in college and was so engrossed by the story and how beautiful it told. There are tons of others: Like Water for Chocolate, In The Time of Butterflies, but that is one of my all time favorite.

PC: I love Like Water for Chocolate! I may re-reading that one soon. What’s your favorite quote? 

CC: “It’s not that I’m fearless. It’s that I hate being afraid.” It’s actually my own, and a mantra I tell myself over and over to find courage when it fails me.

 PC: You are *so* #Chingonafest material. I KNEW it. Do you consider yourself a feminist?

CC: Ahhhh…loaded question. And, no. I suppose that others will, and have, thought I am because of my strong will, and confidence and outspokenness. But I am not much of a follower and I don’t really love labels, nor the expectations that they set for you. Though there are many feminists of color, I don’t really feel like the movement speaks for me and my lifestyle. That’s not to say I don’t support the women’s movement and female empowerment. I just want to be able to walk around barefoot  and pregnant while doing laundry and making dinner, and my husband supports me and my children and not get shit for it. I want to live my life however I please without having anyone tell me I am lacking in representing any group or movement. So I just don’t claim to and owe no one anything in exchange.

PC: *Nodding head* Sugar Jones had a similar answer in her interview. She basically said Yes, but as defined to suit her own definition. I’m down with that. And I get it, too, now that I am being referred to as a Latina feminist here and there. The label doesn’t really fit, but it does sometimes and, oh hell…back to Why Carol Cain Kicks Ass, yes? Describe yourself in third person…

CC: Carol really hates describing herself in the third person.

 PC: I think we should have recorded this one and saved it for the podcast I’m eventually going to make happen. Points for perfectly timing that deadpanned response. Tell me, who inspires you?

CC: My mother. She was the strongest woman I ever knew. I wish I had time to grow into my own womanhood long enough to tell her that.

PC: Who is it you hope to inspire?

CC: My children.

PC: I love how you share your family with us on social media. Every time I see your boys in a photo, I see their love for you in their eyes. And the kicker is..it isn’t sappy, which is surprising, because it *should* be sappy…which just makes it even more awesome. Right? Now…Do you dream in color or black and white?

CC: Color most of the time, but sometimes in sepia.

PC: Pretty sure the Sepia thing is a new one over here. Let’s play word association. I say CHINGONA and you say…

CC: Confident and brave.

PC: How do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?

CC: According to the media, there is only one kind of Latina…or two. She’s fashionable and really pretty and delicate and is an amazing cook and really sexy – without even trying – and just charming as hell. And Latinas play into that and it sucks. I’m an adventurous, tomboy, non-fashionista Latina.

PC: Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they’ve grown and flown the nest…

CC: You can do it, and when you can’t it’s OK too.

PC: One childhood memory that has stuck with you…

CC: Walking barefoot along the shores of Puerto Rico as a little girl.

PC: Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?

CC: English, my first language. Unless I’m angry…than it’s Spanish all the way.

PC: Right there with ya, sister. What’s your favorite dish? Why?

CC: Rice and beans…with avocado salad. Yum.

PC: Do you feel “Latina enough?

CC: For me I assume, cause really who gives a shit. And yes. I’m enough.

PC: BOOYAH, bitches. You have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine. AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON?

CC: My mother. Sushi and Malbec because I so much to tell her!

PC: Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)

CC: Ahh…that’s just you, girl.

PC: My mother always told me I was special. *shrugs* One Latina stereotype you despise?

CC: That we are sex-obsessed. That we all want to have children and get married. That we all know how to cook. That we all like fashion and heels and make up.

PC: Okay, I said one…but each single piece adds to the stereotype as a whole. I’ll just shut up now. One Latina stereotype you embrace (or is there one?)

CC: That family is everything to us. For the most part, this is very true. Familia sobre todo.

PC: Describe your perfect day.

CC: With my family at home or traveling. I enjoy them so much.

 

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And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me at aspiringmama@gmail.com or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine. Two besties made a bet on who I would say is right. For the record? They were both wrong.

Oh! And be sure to send me your questions to dimelo@latina.com. Don’t worry. I promise to give you a kick-ass code-name that doesn’t rhyme with your own.

photo(52)

Who likes Pretty Pictures? My art and #ChingonaFest related snazziness are available by clocking the following links:

Etsy#MexicaninMaine

Etsy - ChingonaFest

ZazzleChingonaFest (make sure your filter is set to moderate because Zazzle says I’m a badass.)

Society6Pauline Campos

And because I like you so much…

Sign up for The Tortilla Press Newsletter! 

Follow me on Twitter, instagram, and here’s the FB fan page! I know. You’re *welcome.*

 

It’s not glamorous by any means, but I spent Tuesday in my yoga pants and a tank-top — one of those with a built-in shelf bra — trying to beat the next power and internet outage. I had a #dimelo column to turn in and frankly, the internet connection was turning out to be a major pain in my ass. Write a sentence, save it (just in case), write a sentence, save it (and the power would go out). I was perfectly aware that emailing my editors on my iPhone to let them know I had no internet with which to work or turn in said work once I finally inched my way to the end looked about as solid an excuse as claiming my dog ate my homework in elementary school (when I only had a hamster), but the truth is usually amusing enough to remind me why I prefer to write non-fiction.

In between power outages and working on today’s language arts lesson with Eliana, I fielded questions from BlogHer newbies in the Skype-sponsored chat rooms (on my iPhone because No Internet, remember?) in my role as a member of the BlogHer Buddy System, responded to Facebook “likes” and “shares” showcasing my member news announcement (Can you believe it’s been one year for my #dimelo column with Latina already?), made a note to remind myself I needed to share the news about hosting the #MultiCulti party at this year’s event with Dwana Delacerna and Ananda Leeke (this would be the sharing of the news, y’all), and finally relented to the need for a bra when the time came to work out.

Eventually, the chats died down (because normal people sleep), the internet connection stayed connected long enough for me to actually hit send on the column, and my workout had left me stinking and satisfied. Eliana looked pretty smug, too, what with one of two book reports completed for the week and all.

There’s plenty I didn’t get to, mind you, so don’t think I’m sitting here all waving my completed To-Do list in your faces…mainly because I didn’t. I’m not even close, actually. My novel wast left untouched, the #chingonafest podcast brainstorming wasn’t stormed, the blog posts I wanted to write and stash to keep myself from going insane in the next few weeks have been shrugged off for another day — just like the columns I need to write before I leave for San Jose. Also left in the Fuck It (for Today, Anyway) List were the dishes still in the sink, the clothes in the laundry baskets needing to be put away, and I’m obviously not in bed by 1 a.m. again. There are errands to run — quite a few of them, actually — so I’ve informed Wednesday to be as agreeable as possible seeing as how Thursday is earmarked for another homeschool/work-at-home joint session. I’ve already decided the bra isn’t going on until it’ time to work out and getting dressed after my shower will mean putting on a clean pair of yoga pants and one of those tank tops with the shelf bra attached.

Somewhere in the craziness that is my everyday, I will find (read: make) the time to piece-meal added words to the novel, draw more Artsy Things because it turns out Other People Not Obligated by Blood or Marital Status consider me an artist of sorts, and if I’m really on track, I may even remember to list a few things in the etsy shops. I’ve got  suitcase to prep, business card to make for me and Eliana (yes, she blogs…on occasion), dog hair to vacuum up before the piles become puppies, another batch of homemade glittery paper to make with the child for this week’s craft, and a #chingonafest chat to run. All of this I can do. Most of it will get accomplished, even if not exactly as soon as I plan for. I already know I will be reminding myself often that I’m only human and that 24 hours in one day are never enough to do it all. That’s okay, too.

This is my Today and my plan for Tomorrow. I think my father would be proud and tell all his friends from both of the jobs he worked to support us all that his daughter became a writer, just like she said she would. “Ya did good, kid,” he would say. Then he’d crack open another Miller Lite, take a long drink, and smile that smile he smiled when he was proud but knew neither one of us was good at getting all sentimental with the other so a smile — just a slight dimpled smirk with an emphasis to the left — a smile would have to do.

Tomorrow, (Wednesday, July 9 at 10p.m. EST) we talk about our dreams and how to keep our focus on what we know is good for our souls. We are not that far removed from the yesterdays lived by the previous generations when work meant putting food on the table and dreams were reserved for sleeping hours. Maybe our dreams aren’t paying the bills just yet, or maybe they are and it’s glorious. Either way, it’s the making of the time to wish our dreams true on the topic list for #chingonafest.

Make sure you use the hashtag during the chat for a chance to win a signature Starfish necklace, courtesy of this week’s official #chingonagfest chat sponsor, The Starfish Project. You also can earn one extra entry per sharing of this post via any and all social media channels as long as you leave a separate comment for each share containing the link. I’ll add in two more entries in your name for signing up for my newsletter, The Tortilla Press, but only probably because it’s late and I’m slap-happy. One winner will be announced on Friday via my newsletter, so be sure you’re signed up!

Starfish Project is currently offering it’ 50/50 Summer Sale, featuring 50 percent off orders of $50 or more, through July 15. Shop and feel good about your purchase. And don’t roll your eyes at me, y’all. The #chingonafest hashtag may be culturally specific, but the spirit behind it is universal. That means we all get to play together in the sandbox.

 
This would be the first domino to fall.

The text from Richman’s Intagram update reads: “Had ordered this suit from Saville Row Tailor over a year ago. Think I’m gonna need to take it in a little. #victory #EyesonThePrize #AnythingisPossible #fitness #Thinspiration

‘Maybe he just didn’t know.” The Husband said to me. “No one can blame him for… Oh wait. Never mind.”

As soon as he got home from work, I told The Husband to go online and Google the name of one of our favorite Travel Channel hosts. We’re kind of on the crazy-strict side of what television shows we allow Eliana to watch, what with all the crap on TV these days, but we seem to have hit a consensus on our TV-happy place with many shows on the Travel Channel, including host Adam Richman and his show, Man V. Food. While we can’t eat most of the food he consumed on the air (we are gluten-free due to Celiac and allergies), we still watch. Richman’s energy is infectious, making him a natural in front of the camera.

Very recently, I saw Richman featured in a commercial and stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Richman, who had filled out during his time traveling the country in search of various restaurant food challenges, looked a different person entirely, having shed some 60-pounds. A Men’s Health article describes the weight loss as “taking control over his own body.” I don’t know Richman, but I was proud of him, and I told The Husband as much. I couldn’t wait for his new show to air.

“This is bad,” The Husband said, glancing away from the computer monitor. “He didn’t just burn a bridge here. He blew the damned thing up.”

I nodded. I can’t see anything good coming when a television personality tells a woman to kill herself in response to her comments regarding the #thinspiration hash-tag used by Richman in a post celebrating a too-big suit. Richman was understandably unaware of the dangerous connotations associated with the tag. It seems harmless enough — take inspiration and add the “th” at the front of the word and show the world that eating right and getting active does, in fact, work. (I’ll save the Thinness and Health conversation for another day). I get why he used it, honestly, I do. But the fact remains that the term is laden with dangerous undertones; it’s the tag used by the eating disordered in pro-anorexia ad bulimia forums to cheer each other on. So an instagram follower commented on the post and asked him to please refrain from using again. If I’d seen it, I admit I would have done the same.

Remember, this is cute and cheerful, seemingly lovable Adam Richman we’re talking about here. Who knew he was a Complete and Total Asshole?

Richman’s responses (which have since been deleted) , however, may have been his undoing, already resulting in his new show being pulled “indefinitely” by the Travel Channel.

 

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 Cunt. Go draw a bath and grab a razor blade. I doubt anyone will miss you.

And suddenly I’m inside my own head. I’m a college sophomore student home for the Christmas break holiday. I haven’t told my parents I’m on the brink of failing out. My friend and sorority sisters are tired of my drama and antics and if they haven’t already was hands of me, they are about to. I know this because of the letter I’m holding in my hands. My mother said it arrived with the mail earlier that same day, which mean it was sent from campus and intended for me to read alone and without  chance to respond. The words on the paper are blurry because I’m crying too hard to focus, and yet, I’ve somehow managed to keep the letter from getting wet as I sit in the tub, cocooned up to my neck by the weight of the piping hot water.

I had been hell-bent on destroying myself for a bit. I was promiscuous. I was bulimic, anorexic, extremely depressed and was up all night and slept through almost all of my classes for an entire semester. My friends tried to help, but I hadn’t hit bottom yet in my emotional well. Until I did. With an entire bottle of Advil or Tylenol or whatever it was sitting on the desk in my dorm room. But then I got scared because sleeping and ignoring the sun is not the same as never having the chance to try again. Death is permanent. And I got scared.

“If you really wanted to kill yourself you’d be dead and if you really had an eating disorder, you’d be a hell of a lot smaller than you are right now. All you are is a drama queen looking for attention.”

Luckily, my boyfriend at the time was a nursing student and he got me to the ER, I drank charcoal, lied when I was asked if I was still feeling like hurting myself (because wanting to and following through are two different things), and was sent home. Not too much time passed before I found myself with a letter sent to me by a “friend” and “sister” from the sorority I used to belong to.

With the letter in one hand, I kept reading those words over and over. I had the razor in my other. Maybe she was right. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe I was still eating to much. How many calories did one apple have? And one slice of cheese? That’s all I allowed myself every day. Anything over that, I punished myself by purging until my throat was raw and I was empty again. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to the hospital and just waited to disappear.

Or maybe not.

Maybe she’s wrong, I thought. Maybe I’m here right now because I got pissed off about being labeled and misjudged and knew I had to put the razor down if I was going to do any good in writing, sharing all of my experiences, and showing this bitch just exactly who she was dealing with.

I survived because I was told I wouldn’t. I kept going because someone told me to stop living. Anger and stubbornness are what set the razor back where it belonged in the tub. Growth and the desire to help those who are currently where I’ve been are why I’m writing the words you see here. Fuck Adam Richman and his close-minded vitriol. Fuck suicide and eating disorders and self-hate. Fuck all of it and Richman’s “apology.” Because words can’t be taken back, especially once they’ve been given shape and weight after having been written.

Cunt. Go draw a bath and grab a razor blade. I doubt anyone will miss you.

Richman showed his true colors in this exchange and may have ended his television career in one fell swoop. I wonder if he’s even begun to grasp the severity of the situation or if he’s still convinced he did no wrong here. But then, I guess it doesn’t really matter, does it? What does is speaking up and speaking out in an effort to reach those depressed enough to harm themselves and letting them know that someone gets it. That someone understands. That someone cares and will, without a doubt, miss them – sopleasestayalive.

Maybe Richman just didn’t know. Maybe he just didn’t care. Either way, the rest of us who do care are going to keep trying to pick up the broken pieces left  in Richman’s wake. I’m not fooling myself into thinking anything written on the subject at hand is going to change his mind, nor do I believe any and all apologies on his part are actually sincere. Instead, it’s time to focus on the silver lining.

#eyesontheprize #victory #anythingispossible.

Yes, Mr Richman, anything is possible. There are those of us who will continue to speak up in the hopes of helping the eating disordered recover and remind the suicidal that they do matter to those who need and love them. Feel free to sit this one out, Richman. We’re doing just fine without you.

Find out the warning signs of suicide and how to get help:

If you’re thinking about suicide or know someone who is, get help now. Not sure what signs to look for if you’re concerned about a friend? Here’s a list of warning signs from the You Matter Lifeline website:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline. Dial

1-800-799-4TTY (4889) for those with hearing or speech impaired with TTY equipment.

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