I’m doing something a bit different today. The always wonderful Kate Sluiter of Sluiter Nation invited me to participate in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. Obviously, I said yes.

Kate even said some very pretty words about me so I need to buy her some fancy chocolate, I think.

Now I get to answer a few questions about how I put words on the screen and you get to stop by Kate’s post (and leave a comment because they are sparkly and shiny and we writer blogger people love sparkly shiny comments) and then you get to read mine (and leave some sparkly shiny stuff over here, too.)

Ready? Good…

1 – What am I working on?

A stroke? A brain aneurysm? Setting a world record for the least amount of recorded sleep in a lifetime? Possibly all of the above. But I’m also trying to keep my blog slightly relevant by occasionally remembering it actually exists. That’s important. I’ve also got the weekly Dimelo column online and my monthly column for the Latina Magazine. That, and digging through my column inbox, takes up a fair amount of my time. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m also working on deciding if I should selfpublish a memoir that got me agented once upon a time (we’ve since broken up — on good terms, y’all –  and agreed to see other people) or if I should just let it go. Many a writer has many a manuscript written and revised and polished to perfection that will never see the light of day. For some, it’s the book that got them the agent. For others, it’s the book that was written to prove to themselves they could, in fact, write a book. I’ll let you know when I figure out which way I’m going with this one.

The main reason I don’t sleep right now is because the paying gigs (hello #Dimelo) come first and the Wanna Do’s come after. My current Wanna Do is my new novel. It’s tentatively titled Diary of a Mexican-American Teenager and follows Mina, a 15-year-old Mexican-America eating-disordered girl, as she struggles to find herself in a culture that prefers to save face rather than bring disgrace upon the family. It’s very much based on my own experiences, but like any fiction piece based on real events, I have a lot of room to address topics I wouldn’t otherwise be able to touch in a non-fiction piece, seeing as how my family knows what the internet is. I’m still in the early writing stages, but I’m finishing this thing it kills me, dammit.

2- How Does My Work Differ from Others of this Genre?

Lots of Spanglish typos.

Okay, seriously, I think it’s my lack of filter and my ability to turn the filter completely off and tackle the hard stuff. I’m sarcastic and self-deprecating and inappropriate and like to use the word “fuck” like most use salt and pepper in the kitchen — add just the right amount and what tasted good before now takes fucking fantastic with just a few shakes of the right seasoning. But add too much and Perfect turns into an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey minus the bleeps.

I also am proud of my ability to capture fatalistic humor — a trait Latinos are known for — in my writing. I once wrote about the moment my father died and those who’ve read it have cried and then laughed and then laugh-cried. And in all the right places, too. I think my dad would be proud.

All of these traits are going into Diary. And yes, even the F-bombs. I was 15 once, after all. And so were you.

3- Why Do I Write What I Do?

Because I’d be in a padded room otherwise. Writing is my release. They say to write what you know and I was doing that before I knew “they” were a thing and that what I was doing was a saying.

I talk about motherhood and body image and eating disorders and self-confidence and self-perception and growing up balancing the tightrope of a hyphen between two cultures because this is what I have lived (and and am living). Too many of us are raised to internalize. To not rock the boat.

I hate that.

From my blog to my journals to my books (written and yet to be) I am the happy accident rocking the boat and ignoring the grumbles and glares from the crowd. I’m the one with the sailor-worthy language cheering on the chingonas while people who know me in real life secretly hope I just shut up for once. I won’t. Because I say what I need to hear and write what I need to read in the hopes of connecting with others searching for the same.

4 – How Does Your Writing Process Work?

BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!

Oh that’s rich. *wipes tears*

Let’s see if I can capture this accurately.

* Wake up at 10 a.m.

* Curse the sun

* Drag myself out of bed

* Feed self & child with food items that do not require actual thought

* Check email, twitter, Facebook, and grumble about the lack of book deal offers in any of my social media channels

* Work on homeschool lessons

* Open laptop for quick writing session while the child reads independently

* Close laptop to take care of the dishes, the laundry, bill-paying

* Open laptop to write and get lost in Pinterest-hell instead

* Open Word to write when Latina editor texts for a We Need it NOW revision

* Finish revision about the time the child finishes reading time

* Tell myself I’ll write after dinner

* Tell myself I’ll write after book, bath, bed routine

* Tell myself I’ll write after the dishes are done. Again.

* Tell myself I’ll write after The Husband gets his happy time

* Cross “sex” off the To-Do list

* Tell myself I’ll write after I pack his lunch for work the next day

* Tell myself I’ll write now because it’s 11:30 p.m. and my writing process is going exactly as planned

* Open laptop

* Stare at blinking cursor

* Say the words “You are totally my bitch” to the cursor.

* Wonder if anyone else is convinced the cursor is actually telling them to “go fuck themselves” with every blink back

* Grit teeth

* Glare at the cursor for being so…judgmental

* Grit teeth again

* Dive in to the words already written for reference

* Because I totally pantsed the first three chapters

* Just like I did the first book I wrote that was never published

* Because I’m ADHD and planning and outlining are super cute

* Plus? I’m a realist

* Find myself staring at the bitchy cursor again

* My brain is formulating

* Because I can’t type a word until the entire scene (or blog post, column, news piece) has written itself in my head

* EUREKA!

* Tell myself I am FUCKING BRILLIANT as I furiously type and type

* Plan my first extravagant purchase to celebrate hitting the NYT bestseller list

*Re-read what I just wrote, grumble, delete, start over

* Type furiously some more

* Gasp, spent, when the jumble of words being channeled from brain to fingers has come to an end

* Swear profusely when I realize it is now 3:30 a.m.

* Close laptop

* Doubt everything

* Talk myself out of not sharing because

* If it needed to be written, it’s meant to be shared

* Brush teeth

* Utilize ninja-like skills as to not wake The Warden as I sneak into bed

* Fall asleep almost instantly because the words I needed to get out have been written

* Rinse, lather, repeat.

And there you have it. The not-so-structured writing life I lead. If madness is a process, I’ve got this.

 

Now for the next stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour.

Megan Jordan of Veleveteen Mind is the brilliance behind Story Bleed Magazine, a knife-juggler (or so she says), host of the BlogHer People’s Party, and writes for Babble. Basically, she’s all that and a bag of really good chips. Plus? Megan has a way with words I can only describe as magical.

Robin O’Bryant of Robin’s Chicks is a syndicated humor columnist and the author of Ketchup is a Vegetable (and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves) . This woman busted her ass, took her self-published book to the NYT bestseller list on her own, and scored a two-book deal because THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT,  BITCHES.

 

The. End.

 

 

 

I’m a little on the crazed side with deadlines and trying to keep up with life in general. In an effort to pretend I’m not going insane, I am posting one of my most popular entries here on Aspiring Mama. The following was originally published in MArch of 2013. Sadly, the topic is just as pertinant today as it was the day I wrote it.

 

A friend recently sent me a link to an article on Ed Bites regarding the author’s thoughts on the media and eating disorders. The article, to be published in Emirates Woman magazine, is well-written, thought-provoking, and importantly (to me, anyway) written from personal experience.

The author, Carrie Arnold, recounts her own experience as an anorexic in treatment. When handed a sheet of stickers and a stack of magazines as a project for a body image group. The stickers were to be used by the patients to label the images of models and celebrities either with a smiley face promoting a healthy body image or a frowny face pointing the finger of blame at the image (and by default, the media as a whole), for promoting eating disorders.

Says Arnold on her blog, Ed Bites: {the latest tasty tidbits in eating disorder science}:

“I was no stranger to advertising. No one really is. But I knew that most ads were digitally altered and that bodies – real bodies – didn’t look a thing like what was portrayed on the pages of glossy magazines. Weighing roughly half of what I currently do, what I did know was that I was terrified of food and eating. Consuming more than the bare minimum of calories left me feeling dirty, and I felt oddly compelled to purge the extra calories via exercise or other methods. 

“Although I couldn’t see it in the mirror, I knew, on some level, that I had long since passed even the most whacked-out culture’s definition of ‘thin’. I didn’t want to look like a model – I’m a geek, not a fashionista. I wasn’t attractive, all sallow-skinned and bony, and I didn’t care. Starving myself was the only way that I could turn down the cacophony in my head. The less I ate and the less I weighed, the quieter my anxious thoughts got. Fashion never crossed my mind.”

And I get that. I’m a self-described life-long recovering bulimic. I was hiding in my parents’ pantry at the age of seven binge eating long before I knew the term and condition was one recognized by medical professionals and at the age of 15, took a news special on a woman treating teens with eating disorders as a “how to”. I was home alone and had been eating mindlessly all evening. At 5’6”, I was curvy but athletically built, wore a size 10, played varsity tennis, and thought I was fat. Random attempts to “become” anorexic had failed horribly and only proved to my warped sense of thinking that I had no self control. Binging, I learned that night, was what I had been doing most of my life, which only served to stuff down and quiet the chaos in my mind.

The answer I had been looking for

Purging was the release I had been looking for. As a first generation Mexican-American, I grew up observing the fine art of Not Acknowledging the Obvious like brides pregnant months before their wedding dates were to take place and family happily ignoring the fact that the premature baby born healthy and adorably chubby. Alcoholics weren’t alcoholics if they didn’t go to meetings and as long as I remembered to not throw up oranges in the shower, I didn’t have to avoid eye contact with my parents after they found the evidence i had forgotten about on the drain.

As Arnold points out in her article, it is very easy to see how the media and the models and celebrities portrayed take the brunt of the blame for “causing” eating disorders. Everything is photo-shopped. Headlines boast the Secrets to a Perfect Body and tell us How to Lose 20 Pounds by Labor Day in issues released just weeks before the actual holiday. And every Hollywood mom seems to either be under contract to drop the baby weight in six weeks, pose in a bikini, and show us how we can do it, too, or become the newest spokesperson for whichever major weight loss program hands them the biggest contract to sign. The message seems loud and clear: Perfection is at the finish line and you better work your ass off to get there before you have the right to feel good about yourself.

 

But is the media at fault?

Yes.

And No.

As Arnold says, compliments from strangers on how skinny she was may have given her a temporary boost, but they didn’t fuel the need to continue with her disordered behavior. I can relate to that, too. I never once looked at a magazine or a celebrity and thought myself less. My mindset was obviously disordered to begin with. If the media did cause eating disorders, every single person watching the same news special I did would suddenly have jumped off the deep end and embraced anorexia and/or bulimia just like I did.

“So what’s the big deal? Why does it matter what causes eating disorders? For one, it affects who we think are at risk and how quickly they are diagnosed… If we think eating disorders are the preserve of vain women, we are less likely to view them as requiring treatment and more likely to blame the victim. No, we can’t just snap out of it and, although normalising nutrition is crucial, eating a cheeseburger won’t cure us.”— Ann Arnold, Ed Bites. 

Changing our focus

No, we can’t snap out of it. Eating a cheeseburger won’t cure an anorexic and learning the definition of self control won’t suddenly help a bulimic figure out how to diet. Similarly, a society hell-bent on proving a market exists for glossy magazine covers of photo-shopped and over-sexed female celebrities and models is doing nothing more than giving the media reason to continue on the current path. If this shit sells, you can bet your ass it’s going to be printed. And while I firmly believe that the media is at least responsible for fueling body image issues in both susceptible children, teens, women and men, I can’t say the media has the power to turn a non-disordered person into an eating disordered mess.

Yes, the media plays a role in how we as a society have come to define beauty in ourselves and others. And as Arnold notes, printing celebrities and their own eating disordered struggles in the “style” section of their publications only trivialize the issue and reinforce the myth that eating disorders are a choice. That, my friends, is complete and utter bullshit.

So who do we blame?

No one, Everyone. Ourselves. Our mothers. The doctor who sent in a nutritionist with a pamphlet on the food pyramid when I was 16 and settled on telling her I couldn’t stick to a diet because I choked on the word “bulimia.”

“The girl thinks she has an eating disorder because she can’t stick to a diet,” I heard her say to the nutritionist in the hallway. “Send her home with this. I’ve got to get back to work.”

Okay, fine. That doctor I actually do blame for choosing to dismiss a cry for help. But is blaming her, or The Biggest Loser, going to help those already suffering? No. It’s not.

Does that mean the media is off the hook?

Not by any means. The media might not be the reason those of us unfortunate enough to have our brains wired in such a way that disordered eating behaviors actually make sense, but there have been plenty of times I have been written about my own good days being ruined by checkout lane headlines telling me I have no right to feel good about myself until I’ve managed to get my ass into the same bikini I wore before I got pregnant almost six years ago.

I’ll give The Powers that Be a pass on my disorder. But I’m holding the media responsible for perpetuating a false ideal of perfection, creating an environment in which our daughters (and sons) are learning to hate their bodies while they should still be playing with their imaginary friends, and reinforcing the belief that self-worth is based on a number on a scale. Eating disordered or not, that line of bullshit is the reason so many of us think happiness isn’t a right we deserve, but one we earn when the scale, the salesgirl, and Other People say we have.

I’m not good with that. I truly believe that until we learn to accept and love ourselves as just the way we are right now, none of us is going to find anything other than a skinner version of ourselves who happens to still hate who we are and what we see in the mirror.

Your job begins now

This is where you take responsibility, my friends.

If you felt good until you picked up that copy of whatever glossy magazine it was that gave you a complex and suddenly had you reaching for a bag of chips out of despair, stop buying, reading, or watching what is obviously a trigger for you. The stories might still sell. The stars might still be selling weight loss programs post-baby because we have turned yesterday’s A-listers into today’s headline just so we can talk about what they’ve gained and how quickly they’ve lost it. Turn your focus inward and focus on changing what you can (how you feel about and perceive your self and body image) and just ignore the rest because it’s not going away anytime soon. We live in a body-conscious time where numbers are given more value than self-perception and worth.

If you need help for an eating disorder or body image issues, seek it out. NOW. If you feel comfortable, share your story and let others know it’s okay to do the same. I applaud Arnold for doing so.

So where does that leave us?

Shut out the noise. Fix the mess inside your head. Then let the rest fall into place.

 

It's not the outfit that makes me uncomfortable, y'all...

What do you see here? I’d love to know, because I see a problem.

This rather adorable outfit is from Jelly the Pug and, last week, was available on Zulily. I’m fine with the outfit. It’s cute and perfectly age-appropriate, so don’t think I fell off the deep end. It’s the decidedly “adult” pose that prompted me to pull out the soapbox, y’all. This one, and the images like it, caught my attention and suddenly, the word “oversecualization” begin chanting itself in a loop inside my head.

When I images like this one, I see little girls and headlines about the dangers of over-sexualization and body image issues and

eating disorders and, sadly enough, I see complacency. We can’t be shocked if we expect it now, can we?

No. Just. No.

When Suri Cruise stepped out in high heels for the first time in 2009, the world brought out the voice of judgement. And we judged. We are so very good at that, aren’t we? (Don’t try to argue with me on this one because I’m sure the 7,200,000 results that popped up for Katie judged Suri in heels” will prove otherwise). In fact, I’m judging right now.

Photo source: Daily Mail UK

Not surprisingly, sales for high heels for little girls jumped and designers scrambled to provide more for the masses. A quick search shows this pair by Michael Kors.

Can we also talk about the $63? Can we?

 

The black pumps and that teeny tiny heel make me nervous just thinking about my daughter breaking an ankle while trying to walk in them. But when compared to the snazzy little number available recently on Zulily, the first shoe is downright tame.

Issa Maas wants to know if this one comes with a Fisher Price stripper pole...

I should point out that I’m not out to vilify Zulily — or any other singular source — for promoting the sexualization of young children, but I am now wondering if I should allow my 6-year-old to browse the site with me. She’s more apt to wear clothing she helps to pick out, but I don’t feel like having to explain why there is no way in hell I’m ordering her a pair of hot pink stilettos that look like they belong to a very tiny stripper No offense to the stripper, mind you. Maybe I can’t stop the world from playing strip-tease with our kids, but I can limit what my own daughter is exposed to.

I realize there are people who will think I’m overreacting. That my daughter will “see it anyway” on television or in movies or in magazines and I’m wasting my time trying to shield her from all I think she doesn’t need to see right now. They will say it’s not that big a deal and that little girls just want to dress like their moms and gush about how cute their kids look strutting their stuff in hot pink stilettos and say I’m too strict and need to lighten up. They will tell me that they may have had their own misgivings about buying their 8-year-old that string bikini for the neighbor’s pool party because all the other girls have them and not wanting them to feel left out, so they did it anyway.

I also am aware that the constant finger pointing is how we deal as a society instead of taking a moment to consider our own responsibility when controversies become headlines and we see our daughters adopting our body image issues as their own. We would rather blame Hollywood, the magazines with emaciated and photo-shopped models,  the fancy designers who tell us why Unrealistic Ideals are the new black, and the retailers for providing us with yet another choice we are aware we would have been better off without then admit we contributed to the demand for the supply.

All of this is okay with me. You will either agree with me or feel sorry for my kid. This is entirely your prerogative. You can buy the take your preschooler to see The 300 at the movie theater and tell them to just shut up when they ask you why that lady has her boobies out and that man just got his head chopped off loud enough for the rest of us to hear. This is your right and I’m not going to tell you how to parent your children. I am, however, going to do what I feel is right for my own daughter and her well-being.

I’m going to continue to say no. Whether or not retailers like Zulily or designers like Michael Kors bother to take responsibility for their part in the oversexualization of our little girls, I still have that power. The rest of her friends can jump off that bridge my own mother always talked about while mine has the biggest I Hate You Mom! meltdown known to man. She can tell me that I am ruining her life and all her friends get to do wear bikinis and listen to Justin Bieber and don’t have to wait for their parents to pre-screen movies before they can watch them, and I will wait for her to stop screaming at me before I tell her the answer is still no because I can’t undo today when tomorrow gets here. The damage would already be done.

This is not an exaggeration. In 2007, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls released a report suggesting that young girls are are affected in many areas of development as a result.

 

Sexualization has a broad array of devastating effects on youth, both male and female, and ramifications that extend throughout our society. Exposure to sexual images of girls has been linked to multiple mental health problems including girls’ low self-esteem, symptoms of depression, and eating disorders. Sexualization is also linked to girls’ increasing engagement in risky sexual behavior such as having unprotected sex and using drugs and alcohol, which impairs decision-making (APA, 2007).

 

This is what Suri Cruise in her high heels and shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and sexily-posed little girls modeling clothes for little girls have done (and continue to do) to us and our children. What we say to them – and what we let them see onscreen – will stay with them. Do we want that? Are we happy where we are?

I have already spoken with quite a few mothers who had the same knee-jerk reaction to the too-sexy child models as I did. I know you aren’t happy with any of this. Maybe we make noise and spark a discussion or three. The important thing is that we show our daughters that we are here when they need us and again when they don’t.  And that’s a start.

 

The internet is the greatest time suck ever invented. Yes, it’s where I make my living. But I’d probably get a hell of  lot more sleep if I stopped reading Things Written by Other People.

Like this story on CBS News about the judgmental asshat getting ready to present giddy little kids decked out in their vampire costumes with candy….if your kid passes the visual once-over for not being too fat, that is. No, I’m dead fucking serious. My friend Deb over at Truthful Mommy already wrote about it here. Normally, I’d be happy to just pretend I don’t have an opinion (which, frankly, I suck at) but this is important. Mainly because What The Hell?

As a mother, I can’t imagine the effect on a child’s body image, self-esteem, self-image (and quite obviously) a letter like this one will have…

Photo source: CBS News

As a life-long recovering bulimic, I can tell you what this letter would have done to me as a young girl; it would have crushed me, broken my very spirit, and sent me into a frenzied sugar-filled binge/purge cycle because the mean lady called me fat. Obesity rates and BMIs go right out the window on all levels when you’re dealing with an eating-disordered child or adult. We can be so rail thin that our fragile bones can barely hold us upright to so severely overweight that we cheer ourselves for successfully masking our inner-turmoil behind the fat society won’t bother to look beyond. Giving anybody, child to adult, the once-over and making a judgement-based call on perceived health is not only irresponsible, it’s stupid.

What if the kid has a bum thyroid, y’all? What if it’s that cute pudgy stage a lot of kids go through before hitting another growth spurt before they lean out again? And what if they are actually fat? I’ll tell you what…when they knock on that door or ring that bell and you look out into that sea of happy faces who still believe strangers are nice people from whom we can still take candy? It’s time to smile back, drop the Preachy Judgy Bullshit and just had out the fucking chocolate. Not your child. Not your job.

It takes a village to raise a child, she says? Let me tell you what I say in The Letter For the Lady with the Fat Letters:

Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays, Neighbor!

*Insert Unimaginative Photo Shopped Pumpkin Here*

You are probably wondering why I’m writing up this note. Have you ever heard the saying It takes a village to raise a child? Oh, you have? Interesting… seeing as how you’re note to our children indicates you have no fucking clue where the village holds its monthly meeting. Turns out only Those Who’s Homes My Kid has Defiled With Peed Carpets While Potty Training have voting rights and even they know I’ll kick their ass for even broaching the topic of weight in front of said child. That shit is best saved for when the kids are running off the sugar high and me and the Village are kicked back with a nice bottle of wine. I might not like or agree with what they have to say, but at least their words won’t be the reason my kid ends up in therapy in five years because they said TREAT and you said COMPLEX!

My child is moderately obese, you say? I’m sorry but I didn’t catch your name…Doctor…???

They shouldn’t be consuming candy like The Other Children, you say? I’ll bet you are a hoot at the office Christmas party after a few paper cups of boxed wine.

You hope I Step Up as a Parent, you say? You got it. I’ve already alerted the village and I’m sorry to inform you that you’ve been voted off the island. Cease and desist all contact with our children immediately.

Thank You.

P.S.: If you didn’t want to pass out candy, just fucking say so like the rest of us.

Sincerely,

The Head Villager

 

 

I used to be the girl who bitched about the skinny ones at the gym.

How dare they mock me and my curvy-self trying oh-so-hard just to maintain?

Why are they even here? I never asked the question out loud. But I’d usually answer it at home with a self-indulgent pity party for one complete with a pint of ice-cream and whatever else I had pretended I was buying for the non-existent friends waiting in the car at various gas stations on the way home. Then, because I didn’t know how else to process, I’d purge until my insides were empty and my thoughts cleared from the fog in which I had lost myself.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that others were looking at me the same way I looked at the girls skinner than my athletic 150 pound size 10 body. But because I had hips and ass and tits to spare, I let myself believe I was fat. And this is when I’d like to travel back to bitch-slap myself for the validation I kept seeking from without

I was looking in the wrong place. I should have been looking within

Fast forward past the thyroid that went bust when I was 21, causing me to gain 50 pounds in 6 months; the insulin resistance diagnosed at 28 when fertility specialists ran blood tests to figure out why I couldn’t get pregnant; the 45 pounds I gained during my pregnancy despite the hellacious full-term hyperemis that put me in the hospital three times during the pregnancy. Fast forward more…past the three hospitalizations in the first six weeks of my daughter’s life for severe mastitis (because breast reductions in which your nipples are moved and breast feeding don’t always mix, my friends); the inflammation from undiagnosed food allergies triggered during the pregnancy that meant constant bloating and puffiness; and the on-again-off-again eating disordered thinking that kept me in stuck in a never-ending yo-yo…

Hell, I should probably go as a hamster for Halloween. I’ve got the emotional baggage to pull it off.

Let go of the remote and hit play. We’re in the present day and I’m 35 for a few more months. I’ve got a six-year-old and have no idea how much I weigh because it’s better that way. I don’t  count calories or fat grams and the word “diet” is banned in my house. We eat and are active to be healthy and strong and that’s the only truth I want my daughter to know as she grows because I learned it far too late in my own life. I’ve founded a website with the intention of leading those seeking words they can relate to on a journey of self-discovery to healthy self- and body-image and I will never get off of that soap box.

Ever. 

I’m your train wreck. And I’m okay with you stopping traffic to stop and stare. Need to relate? I’m your girl. And yes, Skinny Girl, I’m talking to you, too.

I’ve been up and down 100 reasons-lessons-I-mean-pounds in the last 15 years. In that time I’ve been alternately curvy and hour-glassed and sort-of-at-peace with the circumference of my ass to crying in the dressing room while trying on the size 18 jeans I couldn’t zip up. What I have never been, and I’m okay with this, is skinny. It’s just not in my genetic make-up. But that, my friends, doesn’t mean I need the Skinny Girl to explain herself for not being happy with her body or, even worse, for being proud of reaching her own definition of healthy. It does mean, however, that it’s high time I apologized for any undue stress I may have caused you before I got my own shit slightly together and grew up.

Do you hear that, Skinny Girl?

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for not getting it sooner that shopping in the plus-size section is not a per-requisite for struggling with body image.

I’m sorry that fat-shaming is frowned upon but skinny-shaming is still acceptable because (and let’s be real, shall we?) we women can be some seriously catty bitches.

I’m sorry I was once one of the cheer-leaders of the previously stated cat-bitchery.

I’m sorry that the media has created a give-and-take farcical body-image-obsessed society in which skinny is good and anything other is not acceptable and that you got caught in the cross-fire. Fat women complain that photo-shopped perfection doesn’t reflect the average American woman and you, Skinny Girl, are left to your own devices because no one wants to hear you bitch about how you wish your inner thighs would touch.

I’m sorry no one wants to hear about the Skinny Girl being too skinny. I’m sorry that no one believes the Skinny Girl who looks in the mirror and sees a reflection wrapped in fat and insecurity.I’m sorry that you can’t be proud of how far you’ve come without someone else blaming you for making them feel fat simply because you aren’t.

You cry in the dark. You either starve yourself because your reality doesn’t match your perception and thinspiration is A Thing. You look in the mirror and wish you had more (hips, ass, thighs, meat) because you never feel as if you are enough. You look at the size zero in your clothing and have no one to talk to because we don’t want to hear about how the zero in your pants makes you feel as if you don’t even exist. Like you don’t matter.

But you do. We all do.

Curvy, fat, athletic, not, skinny, and skinnier, we are all connected when it comes to the battle we face when we step in front of the mirror naked; when we undress for the men and women who love us and wish would believe what they say when they call us beautiful because that’s what they see. And sometimes, on our good days, we do.

Baby steps = progress. Rinse. Lather. And repeat.

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