7/27/14

A Thinspo (rant) Poem

Hello my self-loathing thinspo friends
I know many of you like to pretend
That your pictures of protruding bones
Don't advocate anorexia, or bulimia, or EDNOS

But ah! here's the truth, the harsh reality
Your thinspo is a thinly veiled lie, a formality.
Thinspiration is inspiration for what?
To be thin at all costs, to be dying no matter what.

How is that not encouraging disease?
Encouraging boys and girls to long for those 000 jeans?
How could you live with yourself knowing,
that the damage you cause is ever growing?

Thinspo blogs, you evil thigh gap feeders
Condemn you for homocide, better yet murder!
As your audience dwindles don't ask yourself why
Some of your followers get better, others die.

So my dear thinspo blogs, I bid you goodbye.
I'll waste not energy on your unintentional cries.
But if you ever get sick of being so broken
I'll be right here, with arms wide open.

7/23/14

The Importance of Eyes

Hello my angels,

As some of you may remember, during the prehistoric ages of the blog, I wrote an article, since then rewritten and found here, about how to love yourself on a day to day basis. I've received some lovely feedback from you all, especially through the heartbreaking and inspiring emails I've read over the past 2 and a half years. How. Ever.

When I gave you the advice to look for 3 positive things about your body, some of you replied:
"But Gabby, I don't have any positive things about my body".
...
Let me just take a second to prepare my head-smacking hand.

I understand where you come from, you know I do. When you are filled with self-hatred, observing the the smallest beauty particle seems a rather daunting task.
But you must also understand that you are wrong.
There are thousands of physical attributes you possess that I, myself, find beautiful.

Sometimes it's just about knowing where to look, and knowing how to start.
My suggestion for self-love first timers?
The eyes. 

Yes, those 2 roundish blog smack dab in the middle of your face. Their beginner status lies in the 3 body positive characteristics of any beautiful body part:

1. Unique

No one's eyes look the same. When you're thinking about finding beauty on your face, really look into your eyes.

Their color, whether light blue or dark brown, with millions of different light and dark spectrums of color in between?
unique.
Their shape, whether oval or round, framing the irises like the gold filigree around a Monet?
unique.
Their features, whether big or small, filled with lashes or bare like a beautiful blank canvas?
unique. 

There can be nothing wrong with your eyes in terms of beauty, because no one's eyes are identical in any of the former ways. Your eyes are your eyes only, and that makes them more beautiful than anything else in the world.

Think the same way about your nose or your lips, in terms of originality, and you're on your way to self love stardom!

2. Ability

Sometimes it's important to take a step back and look at our bodies not as sexual objects designed to please the modern beauty standards, but as freaking fantastic machines that make our opportunities endless.

Think for  a quick second about what your eyes do for you everyday. You see the people that you love, the colors that you favour, the foods that you crave, the sights others would kill to see!

We don't spend enough time thanking our bodies for what they help us do.
Beauty isn't just "eh ma gurd that's pretty". It's also strength, and talent, and giving.
By those standards, what is more beautiful than your eyes?

----

Usually I have a 3rd reason for everything.
But this time its up to you to decide why your eyes are beautiful.
Maybe it's the glasses you wear, or the darkness of your undereye circles (I happen to like that, don't judge me).

Whatever the case may be, find beauty, hold on to it, and have a body positive day.
xoxo

Gabby


 

7/17/14

Why I Hate "My 600 Pound Life"

Hello my sweet fudgies,

Let me just talk about something that seriously bothers me.

Last week, I was visiting some American colleges and browsing through TV stations we don't get here in Canada, such as TLC. Now this is not an attack on TLC as a whole, because let me tell you, I live for "Say Yes To The Dress"(crying brides and pretty dresses? sign me up) But I stumbled upon a rerun of "My 600 pound life".



Don't know what that is? Trust me hon, you're not missing out.
It's basically a documentary, if you dare lower this label to such an trashy degree, that follows the struggles and the subsequent weight loss of a 600 pound-ish human.

Again, nothing wrong with TLC, although it is called the "Learning Channel". I don't know what I'm learning by watching Honey Boo Boo dive in some mud, but that's neither here nor there.
Many other networks produce shows like this all over the globe.
It's a freaking epidemic.
And it infuriates me. Why?
Here are 5 reasons these shows should be burned at the TV stake:

1. It portrays the obese population as less than human, as animals: 
Watch as Human A eats an entire box of chocolates in its regular sofa habitat. How gross. 
Wow! She ate that all in 15 minutes! That's insane, but that's how they do it in their house. 
...

Doesn't that sound a bit like an episode of Animal Kingdom?
The way they observe and dissect and judge their behaviours, like we would tigers and whales, changing their status from a simply overweight person to an entirely different creature.

Would they make a TV show about a human who eats a lot?
No, that's not good television. It's too moral, it's too boring?
But making a TV show about a gross fascinating creature? Now that's showbiz.

2. It's purpose is to make others feel better about themselves

Now I must admit, I was once guilty of this action.
I would watch Teen Mom when my life wasn't so great and think to myself: "well at least I'm not pregnant".

But the problem here is that this is the same destructive concept as bullying:
to boost yourself up, you tear others down

So when viewers see these overweight people on TV, they cannot help but enjoy the feeling of superiority. "Well at least I'm not 600 pounds", they think. No wonder these shows are uber popular; it's an instant pick-me-up!

But here's the catch: not being pregnant or not being obese doesn't make you better.
It gives you a false sense of entitlement. Unfortunately, most carry that feeling into the real world, judging and shaming others who are different to feel that same rush of superiority.
Welcome to how regular folks become a-holes, my loves.

3. It puts the emphasis of their existence solely on their weight

The title really says it all: my 600 pound life.
Their life is reduced to their weight.
That is all they are, all they ever have been, all they ever will be.

Only towards the end when they lose the weight can you see a diversity of life scenarios, a complex and intricate life, like "regular people" live.
How. Rude.

Being overweight is not all a person can be.
They have jobs, families, friends, hobbies.
They are human before they are fat, you know, TLC.
or WORLD, really, because few seem to understand.

-----------------------------

These shows can have dangerous consequences on the human psyche, ones that can control the way you see others different than you for the rest of your life.
Sure, these shows can be good entertainement, but at what body negative cost?

xoxo

Gabby





7/12/14

"Too Many" Piercings: A Short Rant Poem

hello my loves!

This is dedicated to all modified folk!

Does my septum ring bother you?
Are my stretched ears annoying you too?
Because your glares and stares are pretty pitiful.
Your excuse? It’s “too much” to be beautiful. 

Too much metal, too much modification,
To fit in your perfect beauty ideation!
Funny, I was unaware of the information
That beauty is only beauty with your type of expression.

Take a glance from my perspective, through my eyes,
‘Cause in my head, beauty has no size.
Never too much, never too little,
Hence there’s no such thing as “too much” to be beautiful.

I know why you think incorrectly.
You believe the lie told by society
That a specific size of curves, a right amount of hair
Is the key to avoid judgmental glares.

So if my piercings make your skin crawl,
And my tattoos make you climb the walls,
I’m sorry to say that it’s your own difficulty!
‘Cause my metal is “just enough” for me.

7/7/14

The Hypocrisy of Body Positivity?

Hello my angel fudgies:)

Yesterday as I was searching the body positive tag on Tumblr, I witnessed an incident that made me rethink the body positive movement.

If you saunter into this tag, you'll find many plus size women flaunting their curves, showing off their pride in their bodies.
They may include a short story about how their confidence used to be dismal, but now they have learned to accept their bodies, flaws and all.
Of course, they receive praise in the form of likes and reblogs, an Internet standing ovation, if you will.
And of course I am 284949% in favour of this demonstration of self-love.

But yesterday I saw a girl, an approximate size 4, who posted pictures of herself with a very similar story to her plus size counterparts. She had lost her confidence as a teenager, but gained it back as she grew into herself.
I expected roars of applause.
After all, I'd seen this type of post before, and the kind of response it usually sparked.

Yet there was no love, no praise.
Instead there was a lot of hate.
"You're just fishing for compliments"
"What do you know about being shamed for your body?"
"Go back to your thinspo blogs"

Is body positivity restricted to those who fit a certain body criteria?
Doesn't that go against the basic pillars of body positivity and self-acceptance?
Indeed, I do not know if this was an isolated incident, or an example of continuous thin shaming, but here's something I know for sure:

Body positivity excludes no one.
If it does, it is no longer body positive. It becomes the media. 

The definition of body positivity is a celebration of all body types.
Yes, certain body types, such as curvier ones, are not as celebrated in the media, hence I understand why some might want to find their niche in an internet community.

But we must not forget that insecurities stem from our brains, not our bodies.
So you could have the body of a Victoria's Secret Angel, and still feel like a big old sack of nothing.
Here's why those insults are irrelevant, and harmful to the body positive community:

1. Fishing for compliments?
Perhaps, but if we scroll through Tumblr and see thousands of women being encouraged to show off their bodies, and being praised for their courage and grace, wouldn't we want to take part in that fun too? Self-love is essential, but getting some positive feedback is not a bad deal either.

2. You don't know "Body shame"?
I have to disagree. The number of thin girls I know who have been called out for looking "anorexia" or "like a twig" is simply astounding. Perhaps they haven't been misrepresented like plus size girls as have on TV, but it doesn't mean they haven't been misrepresented in the real word.

3. Go back to your thinspo blog?
The thinspo community is a dangerous one, and again, a mental rather than a physical threat, so asking someone to go back to their "thinspo" blogs is not only incorrect, but rather insulting. You are comparing someone to an eating disorder friendly black hole. Not cool, children.

I love the body positive community, don't get me wrong, it inspires many of my posts.
But we must include all bodies in this positivity, not just the ones we identify with.
If not, we lose the entire purpose of a positive, body friendly community.

Over and out
xoxo

Gabby



7/6/14

Me Update

Hello my angels

I haven't been posting as much as I would like these past few weeks.
And I could give you plenty of excuses;
how my job is exhausting
how I'm trying to enjoy my summer
how my left nostril hurts
blablabla. No excuses.

I just wanted to update you all on my life right now!

1. My job: I have a pain internship (rolling in that dough, I know!) at Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island, where I do mostly translating, excel worksheet preparing and, of course, blogging!
Here are a few articles I have written for them!

Robin Williams vs BBBS
Why A Blog? 

2. My spoken word contest: the deadline is approaching, and the 100$ bath and body works gift card is ever so tempting, so keep those submissions coming!

3. I'll posting a lot more on my Youtube channel this summer, so don't forget to subscribe. Perhaps a tattoos and piercings video will show up soon...?

That's about it for today.
More in depth article coming your way this week!

xoxo

Gabby


6/27/14

Collarbones: WTF

Good morning my beautiful fudgies:)

I should just stop going on Tumblr all together, shouldn't I?
Because it seems like every other week, I discover another unsettling body negative facet of this website that makes me want to throw a newborn out of a window, and every other week I write rant about it on the blog.

So I apologize in advance, but this is another fascinating edition of a recurring segment I'd like to call:
Tumblr: what. the. @#$%^& 
Apparently, the thigh gap has a hip, new cousin called the protruding collarbone. Yay!

Indeed, the new sign of ultimate beauty (or thinness, because really, isn't that the same thing?) is a defined clavicle. Its rise to fame is quite the typical Cinderella story: the clavicle used to be a body part no one paid attention to, until (most likely sometime during the 1990's heroin chic Kate Moss era) someone realized it was a classy way of ensuring that no matter what you are wearing, as long as your décolleté is exposed, everyone will know just how fabulously malnourished you look. It became the most prized possession in all of Hollywood, especially since the collarbone cannot (legally) be surgically enhanced. (the NY times explains all of its appeal here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/fashion/10clavicle.html?_r=0.)

But in recent years, the razor sharp collarbone fad has grown exponentially, mostly amongst teenage girls. But why, you ask? Yeah, you probably guessed it.
Tumblr. 
Oh tumblr, with your pro-ana and thinspo blogs, altering the body image reality of millions, how I love and loathe you all at once.

Many of the reasons why I dislike this trend are the same as my hatred for the thigh gap, which you can read about here, but there is one other major reason I find this obsession ridiculous.

You can fake a protruding collarbone. 

Now I don't promote, agree with or condone the unhealthy fixation of any body part, but if for some odd reason you need to look like your clavicle could be used as a weapon, YOU DON'T NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT OR HARM YOURSELF IN ANY WAY.

The thing that makes the collarbone prominent is the shadows underneath and above the bone, making the hollows look deeper, and the light that reflects directly on the bone, making the bone appear raised.

Do you really think everyone you see in commercials, on the red carpet and on TV have these amazingly defined cheekbones, noses and clavicles? Think again.




You can do your own research on Youtube or other websites, but I hope this will pop in your head next time I tell you that the images you plaster on your walls or on your dashboard aren't always what they seem.




Have an amazing week, my lovelies.
xoxo

Gabby

6/26/14

How To: Body Positive Shopping

Hello my angels!

Men can say what they want, but shopping is a sport.
If not physical (walk for 4 hours in flats that were made to stop your feet's circulation, then you'll see), then surely emotional.

There are many ways to do the whole shopping experience wrong, to go in to just have fun and walk out with blisters on your feet and holes in your self-esteem.
Listen up, ladies and gents, this is how you shop body positively.

http://karinashappiness.tumblr.com/ inspired this post. go say hi:)

1. Do Not Go When You're Feeling Low
You wake up on a Saturday morning, and you're feeling kind of blah.
But hey, today's the day you planned on going shoe shopping!
You walk into a mall and you're bombarded by models and mirrors, a dangerous combination.
Your self-esteem shrinks, your wallet shrinks.
You walk out and lay down on the parking lot cement and die.

Okay, so that last part might be a tad exaggerated, but when you're feeling down on yourself, you are more likely to spend money on items you otherwise wouldn't to make yourself feel better, to compensate for your low self-esteem. Why do you think they put those pore-magnifying mirrors in Sephora?!
Your life sucks, you suck, the world sucks, but these shoes will make it all better, said Jimmy Satan Choo. 

Go when you're emotionally ready to be hit by a ton of size 0s. Otherwise, Netflix it is.

2. Buy Your Size
You walk into (enter favorite store) and try on some clothes.
Cool, you're a size 6!
Then you move on to the next store, and while trying on some other pieces,
NIGHTMARE! SIZE 6 IS TIGHT!
The dream hath crumbled, you're a hippo, it's over.

STOP, child.
There is a reason why one store fit and the other one didn't.
Sizes aren't universal, they are approximate.
Certain stores have admitted to shifting sizes up (a normal 4 is labeled a 6) to make women feel better and buy their clothes just for the size tag! Don't be a fool, wear the size for you.

Newsflash: no one will stop you in the street to check what size your shirt is in.
But if you buy the right size, and you look amazing and feel comfortable, someone might stop you in the street to ask where you got that fierce shirt.
Just saying, I'm basically making you famous.

3. Plan Ahead

You've been walking around for a while.
Your shoes are tight, and they are sucking the life out of you.
You just had Thai food, and you feel bloated and dehydrated.
You're starting to get cranky.
UGH this shirt is disgusting.
"I'm disgusting".
You call your mom crying from the changing room while the saleslady awkwardly pretends not to hear you (14 year old me, everyone).

To stay focused, happy and energized, hence to have a productive body positive shopping experience, you have to plan ahead.

Wear comfy shoes. Limping is not in this season, my loves.
Bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated will prevent migraines and nervous breakdowns. Science.
Eat light to avoid a cramp or a bloated "omg I look 9 months pregnant"stomach.
I promise you'll be feeling a lot less "disgusting".

------

That's all for me today loves
Stay strong <3
xoxo

Gabby