Category Archives: body haters, body lovers

That’s the first rule: We don’t tell anyone.

girl-window

I let it get to me.

A few weeks back, after bumping past anxiety and mirror reflections, my mind took over. When that happens, it’s never pretty. I walk straight past reasonable and head for hopeless.

Nothing will work. Downhill is the only direction.

That sucks. Let’s just say it. That really sucks.

Especially when it feels like you’ve been good, through with it, tossed that sucker in the trash, and then one night the anxieties start closing in on you and your living room walls.

We do this. For weeks, we’re unconcerned with the way our jeans hug our hips or our curls frame our faces. And then, it takes us like a whirlwind when suddenly, or not so suddenly, we’re dripping with upset.

That’s the first rule: We don’t tell anyone.

We hold the moment down, suppress it for an hour, busy ourselves by folding laundry and scrubbing dishes. We don’t say it out loud because it doesn’t need to take root in us.

I didn’t want it to take root in me. I didn’t want to water it, let it grow, let it build inside me.

That worked, for a few days.

At first, it was a whisper. A text to an old friend from a different town. It was a reassuring phone call. It was sitting on my family room floor, nodding until I knotted the truth back into my brain.

I am so much more than small. In my life, I’ll be bigger. I’ll stumble over insecurities plenty of times in the future.

We think we can only ever be this size, this big, this person, and how many years do we have left? How many years do we have left to worry about calories and cupcakes and Coke cans stacked in our recycling bins for the neighbors to gawk at?

We think about monitoring that for the rest of our lives. We think about waking up at 24 and 34 and 44 and suddenly, we’ll shake off the guilt of last night’s brownies and pizza. Right? Right?

We won’t. I won’t.

But holding that in, being ashamed by my smallness, and all the ways I may someday look, made it harder.

The next day, we were sitting side by side on my couch when my friend texted me, checking in the way best friends do:

Hope you’re ok.

When her words popped up on the screen, I flicked the message away. Maybe, maybe we would pretend it wasn’t there. But that doesn’t happen. I am learning that doesn’t happen. When people care & bring you into their lives, you can’t skip around the dusty parts, the cracks and fault lines. You get it all. He got it all.

So he asked. And I tiptoed around it because I didn’t want to be the girl who cries about her weight when she buys size zero jeans. I didn’t think that girl deserved anyone to know, that anyone would understand. I thought I had to check all those bags at the door the second I let a boy into my life.

So I let her sit silent in her family room and pretend it wasn’t happening.

It’s hard to go from caring about your body to not. These past few months, I’d gotten far, only to let it crash down on me.

That night, after brushing off the message like nothing, I held my breath and said something.

It’s easy to be honest in the car on the highway with the dark sky & the window scenes flashing by. You can hug the door handle and sit safe against it. You can hold the scenery with your eyes and tell the trees your fears & anxieties. You can pretend it is just you, just you in the quiet car moving toward some moment after you say what you need to.

I whispered. I backtracked. I started & stopped. I apologized for caring and said I didn’t want to be that girl.

Nobody, nobody wants to be that girl. But in that second, I let go of being the kind of girl who never worries about weight and I let go of the breath in my chest.

Hey. It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok.

That’s all I needed. But in the middle of a big world, it’s hard to know if we’ll be accepted or rejected or mocked or disregarded or acknowledged. We save such a small slice of hope for the idea that maybe, maybe we’ll be acknowledged.

I took that chance. Spit it out. I’m glad I did.

The Answers To Your Biggest Questions

Most days, this blog gets the saddest search term referrals Google’s ever seen. These are the answers to the questions you’ve been asking of me.

 

Things I Learned In College

Four years is a millisecond in your life. Spend them doing everything you can to make yourself happy + fulfilled so that when it’s over, you don’t glorify it as the best time you had but the beginning of something even more real, true, and messy.

 

How To Write A Letter To Someone With Cancer

how-to-write-a-letter-to-someone-with-cancerStart every sentence with “I love you.” Finish by telling them why. And in the middle, remind them of their strength. Even if they’re gone. Especially if they’re gone. Make yourself weep 15 years after the funeral with the honesty of words you know were true then and still true now. Cancer is the thing that wrecks us. Don’t let it wreck you preemptively.

 

What Happens If You Key A Car

The sister of the car’s owner has a blog. She Taylor Swifts you with a letter.

 

Fingers Keep Shaking

It is just nerves, my darling. It’s just the symptoms of being too alive in a numb little world. Find a back road + a reliable tune to drum against your steering wheel cover. You’ll be OK.

 

Writing A Stellar Cover Letter

Tailor it to the job. Be honest. Share a piece of yourself.

 

Pep Talk For A Daughter’s Breaking Heart

Come see me. I have too many words for you.

 

What Are The Most Important Lessons You Learned In Your Career? Answer

It. Changes. (The career and the answer.)

 

How Do You Know When You Are Ready For Something

readyforsomethingYou don’t. Oh, child. You never will be until it hits you in the face.

 

I Don’t Know What’s Going To Happen In My Life

Same here, kid. Same here.

 

How To Feel Better When You’re Not Pretty

notpretty-beautifulRemember that you’re beautiful. And that all the passion in the world is more beautiful than lined red lips and trim waistlines and perfectly curled ringlets rolling between your shoulders.

 

Important Lessons You Learn While Growing Up

lifelessons-growingupIt gets hard. You fall down. People die way too young. People die by accident. People die on purpose. People walk out of your life in the middle of drunken house parties and never come back. Sometimes, you’ve got to break your own heart. You are worth more than a 3 a.m. lonely hookup. Your fingers deserve to be held by someone who’s there when it gets hard to stay put. The last thing you want is a mother, but it’s the first thing you need.

 

Loving Yourself Is A Burden

Please hold. Have you met Eryn Erickson, yet? Didn’t think so.

 

Once In Awhile Blow Your Own Damn Mind Meaning

You’ve got to do things that frighten and push you. You’ve got to run forward with a little reckless abandon and kiss the scars when things do go wrong if ever you want to see the shine.

 

What To Do When You’re Not Pretty

Watch this video. Cry ugly tears. Look in the mirror and smile.

 

Love Isn’t Easy Why

Because none of us are alike, and when we fall in love, it’s at a split second in our lives where we are the most in sync with an otherwise totally dissimilar human being. And we wake up in love but afraid because we see the cracks and crevices where we don’t align and have to find our way back to that moment. We have to want to find our way back to that moment. Not everyone does.

 

Reasons To Apologize

You were wrong.

 

I Like To Tell Myself Stories In My Head

Good. Write them down. And then, find someone to publish it.

And if you are among the hundreds and thousands of people who find yourself searching for quotes about body image or love letters to young girls, I hope you’ll pull up a chair and stay awhile. Because I have so many words for you, lurking in the space between each and every post. Those are topics I have learned to hold in my heart. They make me sing.

The Body Divide + The Song In My Heart

I’ve never met Steven. But he sent me an email last month with all the enthusiasm you can contain in a brief but encouraged message and asked if he might write something on the subject of body image. And so, he sent me this. It is the sort of thing we must never forget – no matter our size. He calls himself The Roving Gypsy and blogs at Life Moves On.

I’m that guy. The somewhere-around-three-hundred-pounds guy. The guy who, save for a small portion of my early childhood, has never been thin. That guy who has never worn a size smaller than large since my younger youth.

Thrust into the world of school yard bullies unprepared for the torment of first grade through twelfth. Not ready for the stares of my peers as they whispered words of discust to their thin friends a little too loudly.

First grade, day number one. I walked into a place called Hell.

It’s been seventeen years that first unsolicited remark about my size. From peers and teachers alike.

I used to believe I was the victim of an all too wrong body. I believed that what I looked like determined my worth. And I was worthless. Any advance by girl – who now I see, probably was interested – was seen as a way to hurt me.

Because that’s what all did. They hurt the fat people.

It’s been seventeen years, one failed relationship, and one current relationship since then. This isn’t the story of a boy who learned to hate. Not the people around him. Not himself.

It’s the story of a man who learned that love couldn’t see fat, thin, freckled, black, or white. Couldn’t see the differences in differing bodies.

Looking in, both relationships were with women who were thin. Looking in, you’d say she felt sorry for him. Looking into each others eyes they knew, what he looked like compared to her, or she to him had no meaning.

Body image wasn’t the key factor. It was that my heart sang when in the presence of the other and theirs while in mine.

It wasn’t what we looked like – our body image. It was our heart image.

This divide we have over bodies. I thought a lot about it in my years as the fat kid. During the few moments of rational thought I could find.

I came to one conclusion. This divide is the result of an abnormal society. A diseased society. What else, to me at least, can it be? When it’s a scandal that either woman could have fallen for a guy of my size? But when a girl starves herself trying to reach an ‘ideal’ image, or a boy overdoses on steroids to maintain a muscular facade. That’s normal?

I wish I could see them; tell them what I found. This beauty in heart image.

Live to love. Love to live.

9 Celebrity Quotes To Push Through Any Body Image Issue

What celebrities say matters to us. Whether we admit it or not, there is a calm, sure feeling that washes over us the minute someone with some power in this world comes out and says, “I’ve felt that; I know that feeling; it’s not right.”

For that half-second, we are on the same page. They become human. We become acceptable versions of ourselves just by knowing that if they’re flailing around, we can be, too.

So today, in that spirit, I’m bringing to you quotes on body image and eating disorders from some of today’s most known + admired celebrities. Women who have spoken out about it and knocked down the myths of stick-thin beauty. Women who want what they do to matter more than how they fit into a dress. I hope you’ll find solace in their words.

(1) Adele

“I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.”

adele

 

(2) Anne Hathaway

“There’s no magic bullet; there’s no pill that you take that makes everything great and makes you happy all the time. I’m letting go of those expectations, and that’s opening me up to moments of transcendent bliss. But I still feel the stress over ‘Am I thin enough? Am I too thin? Is my body the right shape?’ ”

anne hathaway body image

 

(3) Emma Watson

“My weight has fluctuated between a size 6 and a 10. When you’re growing, your body is still figuring itself out and it takes a while to settle down. I keep telling myself that I’m a human being, an imperfect human being who’s not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure.”

emma watson quote body image nice figure glamour

 

(4) Rhianna

“You shouldn’t be pressured into trying to be thin by the fashion industry, because they only want models that are like human mannequins. They know that if we see an outfit on a mannequin in a shop window we will love it and want to buy it whatever size we are. That’s why they have size zero models — they want to sell clothes. But you have to remember that it’s not practical or possible for an everyday woman to look like that. Being size zero is a career in itself so we shouldn’t try and be like them. It’s not realistic and it’s not healthy.”

rhianna size zero quote

 

(5) Zooey Deschanel

“You do not need to look or be anorexic to be successful in Hollywood. The range of what’s acceptable is a lot larger than what people believe.”

zooey deschanel body image quote anorexic

 

(6) Taylor Swift

“I definitely have body issues, but everybody does. When you come to the realization that everybody does that — even the people that I consider flawless — then you can start to live with the way you are. I’ve read interviews with some of the most beautiful women who have insecurities. And you look at them and you’re like, ‘How do you have? Name one thing wrong with yourself,’ and they could name a handful.”

body image taylor swift quote

 

(7) Jennifer Lawrence

“In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress. I eat like a caveman. I’ll be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumors! I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I’m invincible. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss so I’m going to skip dinner!’ ”

jennifer lawrence body image quote

 

(8) Emma Stone

“You’re a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake.”

emma stone red velvet cupcake

 

(9) Demi Lovato

“If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends. Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s very crucial that you get your feelings out — but don’t ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred. I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she’s worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything.”

demi lovato eating disorder quote

Edit 8/6/13: If you’ve arrived at this post from a search for body image quotes and need a little more body positivity in your life, here are some other posts you need to know about.

+ Next Steps: What To Do When You’ve Lost Tug-of-War
+ To The Girls Who Would Like To Be Skinnier Tomorrow
+ And so here I am, vulnerably presenting to you the mindset of a 19-year-old girl who jumps off the deep end and seeks solace in the wrong kind of comfort.
+ How To Save A Life