Archive for September, 2008
So, here’s the deal. Love Your Body Day is 2 weeks away and my goal is to get all of you to sign a pledge to be your own body champion. Below, you’ll find The Body Warrior Pledge that I drafted earlier this year. Pledge your desire to champion yourself by hitting the comments section below, sharing with us which statement will take the most determination from you to embrace, and then signing off with your name (check out the comments– I’m first!). Then, send this link to all of your girlfriends who should also be championing themselves and start a mini revolution amongst yourselves. Twice a week, I am drawing prize winners from all of the folks who have signed the pledge. The first drawing is this Sunday so go ahead and get you and your friends in the drawing. And no fear: if you don’t win a prize the first time around, your name will stay in the bucket for the subsequent drawings!
The Body Warrior Pledge
Because I understand that my love and respect for my body are metaphors of my love and respect for my self and soul, I pledge to do the following:
To stop berating my body and to begin celebrating the vessel that I have been given. I will remember the amazing things my body has given me: the ability to experience the world with a breadth of senses, the ability to perceive and express love, the ability to comfort and soothe, and the ability to fight, provide, and care for humanity.
To understand that my body is an opportunity not a scapegoat.
To be the primary source of my confidence. I will not rely on or wait for others to define my worth.
To let envy dissipate and allow admiration to be a source of compassion by offering compliments to others.
To gently but firmly stand up for myself when someone says to me (or I say to myself something harmful.
To change the inner-monologue in my head to one that sees possibility not problems, potential not shortcomings, blessings not imperfections.
To give my body the things that it needs to do its work well: plenty of water, ample movement, stretches, rest, and good nutrition, and to limit or eliminate the things that do not nurture my body.
To see exercise as a way to improve my internal health and strength instead of a way to fight or control my body.
To understand that my weight is not good or bad. It is just a number, and I am only good.
To love my body and my self today. I do not have to weigh ten pounds less, have longer hair, or to have my degree in my hand to have worth. I have worth just as I am, and I embrace that power.
To recognize my body’s strengths.
To no longer put off the things that I wish to experience because I am waiting to do them in a different body.
To understand that a body, just like a personality, is like a fingerprint: a wonderful embodiment of my uniqueness.
We’re talking sex and parenting over at Fierce Women Dish. Join us there!
October 15th is Love Your Body Day. One day where NOW wants us all to concentrate on loving our body– not because of what it looks like but because of what it allows us to do. Between now and October 15th, we’ll talk about bodies and body image, turn up our noses to phony beauty standards and celebrate our own unique way of being in this world. And you’ll have the change to win some prizes for coming along for the ride. And if we’re going on a ride, well, then, we need some road trip music. So head on over to Itunes and check out I Can Rescue me, a soundtrack to female empowerment I created last year.
And mull over these stats, compiled by the folks at NOW.
- More than 80% of 4th grade girls have been on a fad diet (Social Issues Research Centre).
- The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by less than 5% of females (Social Issues Research Centre).
- The average weight of a model is 23% lower than that of an average woman; 20 years ago, the differential was only 8% (Social Issues Research Centre).
- Each year the U.S. spends over $33 billion on weight-reduction programs, diet foods and beverages (HealthAtoZ.com).
All sorts of stuff going on this past week in the world of body image. Here’s some stuff I came across in my readings:
By Monica Herrera on Latina.com
Madrid Fashion Week Shuns Too-Skinny Models
Special Movie Premiere
with the producers
Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar
Marriott Charlotte Executive Park Hotel
Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 5:30pm
Sponsored by the Latin American Coalition and Community Investment Network
Question & Answer Segment with the filmmakers immediately following the viewing
Free and Open to the Public
Visit the sponsors websites:
Latin American Coalition – http://www.latinamericancoalition.org
Community Investment Network – http://www.thecommunityinvestment.org
So, there is an appalling urinal in Charlotte that has us fired up over at Fierce Women Dish. There’s also a lot of other great recent posts there, too, to check out. So bounce on over there!
Here’s another excerpt from the speech I gave at Ridgeview High School’s summer reading celebration last week in Columbia, South Carolina…
If there is just one thing that reading has taught me, it is to believe in the power of a single voice. That in telling our stories, in giving voice to that which seems small and that which seems enormous and everything in between, we begin to claim ourselves. And in hearing these stories we begin to become better, we expand ourselves into being even more than what we thought we were capable of.
It is so easy to be impatient with each other. To think that whatever we have planned to do next is so much more important than the person that is in front of us right now with a story to tell. When I was a first year teacher, I would arrive at school every morning at 6 am so that I could have a quiet hour before the first bell rang at 7:15. But about a month after school started, one of my students, John, discovered that I got there at 6 am and he began to come to my classroom every morning by 6:10. He’d come sit in his desk and talk to me. The entire time that I was writing notes on my board, collating papers, or recording grades in my grade book, John talked. I missed my quiet hour. I thought about telling John that I needed that time to quietly get ready or closing my door so he wouldn’t know that I was there. But something kept me from doing that. I’d like to say it was intuition. I think it was just that I didn’t want one of my kids to think I was mean. And then John’s dad called me. It turns out that John’s mother had died when he was a boy. “Thank you so much for talking to my son every morning,” John’s father said. “He told me yesterday that you have the types of conversations that he thought other kids have with their moms.” I was speechless. And you can bet that ever since, I have been grateful for every conversation that any one of my students wants to have with me. Being receptive to John’s stories—the ones he told me and the one that his father shared- made me an infinitely better teacher. Those mornings with John did not only impact him or me. They impacted every single kid that has ever walked in my door because John’s story made me want to be that person over and over again- for every kid that ever walked in my door. And that person is the finest version of myself that I can conjure up. There is not anything I wanted to do any of those mornings, it turns out, that was more important—for John or for me—than listening to his stories. I just didn’t know that yet when it first began.
I believe in the power of voice, yes, but, as John taught me, I also believe that we as people have a responsibility to give each other attention, to give each other respect as we unravel the meaning of our lives in the telling of each of our stories. Reading is one of the earliest ways that we can prepare ourselves for that act of unselfishness, for the act of patient listening that we must give to one another, for the understanding that we are each due. And it is also one of the first ways that we can experience new things.