Words Hurt, by M Rugg

The post regarding positive self image. As long as I can remember I've had a struggle with body image and food. In my teens to mid twenties I had the yo-yo of gaining weight and losing weight. As a girl in High School, I was always asked by my mom & dad when having a snack after school "do you REALLY need to eat that?" Of course, that just made me irritated and to be defiant take 2 times of whatever it was. Be it a cookie or something else. I had a certain popular guy call me "fat ass" every day..which didn't help either. I went nuts exercising 3 hours a day after school and got down to 110 lbs. The guy actually had the nerve to ask me out on a date, and I told him no. I never was over a 120 lbs until I was 23. Between my seizure medications, and constantly compared to my older sister. Who in my families eyes is perfect and can do no wrong. I started to use food as comfort. While attending my sister's wedding reception I heard a friend of hers saying to some of the guys her husband is friends with. "Look at Christine, then look at Melissa. They don't even look related!! Melissa is such a f$%#@(g cow!!" I was having a really good time until I heard those words out of some nasty little woman's lips. I was embarrassed, and mortified. Quietly, I pulled her aside and let her know that what I heard her say was not going to be tolerated and I'd have her thrown out if anything else was said again. Later she brought it up to my sister, and of course I was confronted for being rude to her friend. The friend didn't elaborate on what happened, just that I was going to throw her out of the wedding reception. I went on to tell Christine exactly what happened in front of my mother. My sister made excuses for this woman!! "Oh, she was drunk don't take it to heart" When people are drunk, is when people let things fly...I call it "truth serum." After that day, I became obsessed about my weight. I only would eat 1 apple, a can of pineapple, and 1 box of snack sized raisins. That was my total intake for one day. Depending on my energy I began to run, or walk 9 miles a day and began taking laxatives to expel what ever went in my system. I am not proud of this in any way...it is my little dark secret. About year later, I had lost over 70 lbs. My physician became worried at the huge transformation in such a short time. She asked what I was doing to lose it all. I was honest, I told her. She got a look of complete and utter shock. Then said that she had to tell my family that I was doing this unless I stopped. She started to explain how my organs would shut down, and that I could die or need an organ transplant. I stopped doing the weird eating habits and laxatives, but became more obsessed with exercise. I try to not think about all of this because it makes me feel like for some reason, being the woman I am isn't good enough for other people. When I have mentioned me and how much I miss the way I was at age 25...it is because I was accepted by everyone. I wasn't questioned, or interrogated as to how all of these pounds magically melted away. I was courted, invited to places by my family, set up on dates, and had a very lovely boyfriend later that year. Inside, I absolutely was disgusted and tried to numb things with casual sex, and partying. Later that year things came to an abrupt halt and I had to move back home because I had a nervous breakdown due to repressed childhood memories from abuse. My system did shut down,and i was unable to stay hydrated. I was constantly passing out. Having to leave the east coast and move back in with my abuser was something I hated. it made me a bitter, angry person. All I did was try to find ways of escaping. Travel, getting engaged anything to just be able to disappear. From 2001- present I've been trying to learn to love myself, or at least accept " what is" in life and do my best with what I've been given. That's the hardest thing. Learning to accept, move on and heal. I'm not all the way there, but I haven't given up. Words can cut you worse than any knife. The sting lasts forever, and they hurt worse than a punch. My motto is if it's not helpful, or have the best of intentions then don't say it. Once you utter some things, they cannot be taken back. ~M. Rugg

 

 

Racing Fashion REAL focuses on ALL. Through friendships from years over the internet and people helping each other. Many times this lady from the other side of the world hears my stories and I listen to her. Even though we don't hear each others voice we are friends and loyal. My dear friend is starting to see daylight at the end of the tunnel and believing she is beautiful. We all see the beauty and words hurt. May we forgive these people in the story who are ignorant of feelings and instead feel sorry for them. M Rugg is moving forward and living well and I am blessed for her friendship, be it through words or typing. We are friends.

In Australia, If you have issues with Body Image or Eating Disorders, Please contact, The Butterfly Foundation, Click Here.

If you suffer depression, please be in contact with Beyond Blue, Click Here.

 

 

Allison Snare by Joffre Sttreet Productions

Meet Allison, 24, a breast cancer survivor.

In 2013 Allison found a lump. Her worst nightmare was confirmed by the doctors, she had inherited the same affliction that her mother battled.

Her friends and community rallied around her but her partner Dwayne was her rock. Now the healing has started but the scars remain.

This type of photography I think is really important. Allison is one of the bravest young women I know. I expected the shoot to be emotional and challenging, but we turned up the cheesy 80’s music, talked about life, the universe and everything. While talking we created a bunch of different portraits showing her amazing attitude and love of life. A positive attitude is part of the healing process and Allison is amazing because she keeps smiling.

I asked Allison what charity she supports and I got the following response:

“BCNA (Breast Cancer Network Australia) & Cancer Council are both good. I can't remember which one gives out the free padded Masectomy bra & a free 'cancer' diary. It really helps when you're overwhelmed by appointments when first diagnosed.

But more than anything, I just want women to get themselves checked yearly, WAY before they hit 40. Donating's always nice but checking is way more important.”

 

Story and Images Thanks to joffrestreetproductions.com, Click Here

More information can be found at:

Anna Mott

Something has become very apparent to me in the community of not just 'Racing Fashion' and not just women, but a movement of people and souls that need healing and understanding. It will start right here with me. Every week I get dressed up for no particular reason, I don't enter the competition, but I come and I photograph ladies that I don't know who they are or where they come from. After some time we build up a trust through the lens. They know I will try and be there for you or send my camera person who does a much better job than I.

Over several years, I have watched young girls come and sit with their mothers and now turn into young women. I have not just seen a number on this site go into the millions, I have connected with people who want to share a story. Behind every face is not just an outfit with eye make-up lipstick and a fabulous outfit, it is a woman who is telling a story or embracing who she is through fashion. To take away from the week where she feels unappreciated in her occupation and to stand tall on a stage in couture. I may be one person and I am always expressing to my Doctor at my holiday home that I feel so sad. He said “you can make a difference, you just have to know how.”

These are my first steps and they are 'baby steps'. I am collecting stories from all over the world and I have some amazing ones. Sometimes it is not going to be the blossoming 'Disney' Character you wish to hear of. Some there will be no silver lining, but this is truth. Together we will find understanding, tolerance, and happiness.

Our first step forward is to accept what we have. What I now have is a very large audience that people do listen to. Two, yes we still want to showcase these beautiful ladies in their couture and chapeaux, but Racing Fashion is not about selling and never will be. It is about the introduction to all about the love of feeling fantastic in fashion.

Many have heard about the time that I was 100k, lost my hair and had a NDE so we won't go back into that dark area. I will go into the time when I had a miscarriage. This is the great unknown that we don't share and will touch any woman to the deepest of her core.

In between my two beautiful children I became pregnant. It was not long until I was off to have the 8 week ultrasound to pick up the heartbeat and progression of the pregnancy.

The ultrasound did not come together the way it is supposed to when you have the Doctor smiling and showing you the heartbeat and tiny limbs that will form a human. They were silent and searching. In the pit of my stomach I knew there was something that was not right. I was assured we shall make another time and sent on my way.

It was like a huge darkness had fallen over me, as a woman I knew I had to prepare my body for something it had not encountered. Days went by and another ultrasound went by with no heartbeat or movement, I was still worried yet assured that sometimes this happens and babies are behind organs.

My fears became a reality one night at home with my daughter who was under 1 and my husband who was helpless. I was in the shower and began to bleed uncontrollably. I was screaming and crying and as a woman does try to clean up any mess that is being made while in pain and body physically trying to expel something from my body.

I rang the Doctor, who told me I was having a miscarriage. It did not need a Doctor to work it out, for any woman this is a painful body and spirit event that can only be told in minute detail as every individual has a different story. The Ambulance arrived and I was just sitting in a pool of mess crying, my husband was helpless as he had my baby to look after.

I had a miscarriage and nothing could prepare me, my body or soul for this. This is something that women talk about silently and to this day it still hurts, but it is necessary that all women know that this is about being a woman. We go through the most horrendous battles, whether it be physical, mental or abuse and we come out the other side. Men also have these battles and we are open for stories to help others understand.

Many will say this is airing dirty laundry, but my philosophy is that we have to air in order to clean our souls. Finally, I now understand that my body was not ready for a pregnancy and after analysis, the embryo had an extra chromosome so my child would enter the world with severe mental and physical disabilities. As a woman, my body made an unconscious decision for me as I probably would not have lived through the pregnancy. This is a strong story that makes me sad, yet moves me along and shows as a woman how strong I am.

I love my cellulite, I will not stop eating to fit into a dress and as for a hat, they never care what I look like, they always make me fabulous.

 

This is about the strength of women and human spirit. If you wish to contribute or wish to stay anonymous and share a story, you are welcomed. This site has always been about you and even though I have begun this section, again it is about you. We will all grow together.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Everything happens for a reason.  The people we meet and stumble upon for the good, the bad and the ridiculous.  It is all about learning.  Today I would like to introduce a woman who is inspiring and changing the world for the better.

Being the 'stupid kid' at school because of dyslexia has taught me not to bother that I will ever learn my left from right, but to look where I can help.

I want to have a ripple effect in the community of 'All People'.  We all have stories.  I have started with a star of believing, Elizabeth Gilbert.

Let us go forward and celebrate the peace, love and community that makes our world beautiful.  No story is too big or too small.  We are in this together.

Photo credit: Barry Sutton




Dear Ones -


Can we talk about something?

For the last few months, I've been growing uneasy about a phenomenon I've seen playing out in the media over women's bodies and women's appearance.

And no, this is not about the USUAL thing that makes me uneasy in the media (the exploitation and hyper-sexualization of women's bodies, etc. etc...) That hasn't changed, and I'm not tackling that today.

This is about something new.

This is about prominent women publicly criticizing other prominent women about body image questions, and about each other's private beauty decisions. 

I don't want to see this anymore. 

The history of women's bodies and women's beauty is a battlefield of epic (and sometimes violent) proportions. The last thing any of us need to be doing is judging each other and turning on each other. 

What really frustrates me is the patronizing tone that is sometimes adopted, when a woman who has made a certain set of decisions about her own face and her own body criticizes another woman who has made an entirely different set of decisions about HER own face and HER own body. 

You know the tone. It goes like this: "I just think it's so sad that she felt she needed to do that..."

This is a tone of voice that fills me with ire, because: REALLY? Does it make you feel "sad"? Are sure you're using the word "sad" correctly? Does your neighbor's boob job really make you feel "sad"? Does that movie star's plastic surgery genuinely make you feel "sad"? Are you honestly crying into your pillow at night about somebody's Brazilian butt lift — the way you would cry about a death in the family? Honestly?

Or are you just judging a sister, and hiding your judgment behind a screen of moral appropriation?

Check yourself.

No decision that any of us make about our appearance makes us morally better or morally worse than any other woman.

The scale of beauty in our world is vast and complicated and often politically, socially, and culturally confounding. At one extreme, you have the "all-natural" obsessives, who judge anybody who artificially alters her appearance in any manner whatsoever as vain and shallow. At the other of the scale are the extreme beauty junkies, who will do anything for an enhanced sense of beauty, and who judge everyone else as slovenly and drab. 

We all have to figure out where we land on that scale. Lipstick, but no hair dye? Legs shaved, but not arms? Hair processing, but no Brazilian wax? Short skirts but no bikini tops? Two-inch heels, but not five-inch heels?

It all sends a message, and it all comes with complications. None of it is easy to figure out. And this is not even taking into account larger questions about religion, history, and cultural ethics. What looks like modesty on a woman in Rio de Janeiro looks like flagrancy in Salt Lake City. What looks like modesty in Salt Lake City is flagrancy in Cairo. What looks like modesty in Cairo is flagrancy in Riyadh. What looks like flagrancy to your grandmother looks like frumpiness to your teenager. What looks beautiful to me might look grotesque or even offensive to you. 

IT'S COMPLICATED.

My experience is this: once we have decided where we land on that scale of beauty, we tend to judge all the other women who have made different decisions in either direction around us: This woman is too vain; that one is too plain...it never ends.

It also bothers me that women who define themselves as liberal, left-wing feminists (like myself) will stand on a picket line to defend the right of another woman to do whatever she wants with her reproductive system — but then attack that woman for what she decided to do to her face.

Let me break it down for you: It's none of your business. 

Every single molecule of woman's body belongs to HER. 

Yes, even her lips.

Yes, even her butt. 

To judge a fellow woman for her choices about her own appearance is not only cruel, it also speaks to a fundamental insecurity that says, "I am so uncomfortable with myself that I have now become deeply uncomfortable with YOU, lady — and I don't even know you." 

So have some compassion for the fact that it is difficult for any woman to figure out where to place herself on that vast and emotionally-loaded scale of female aesthetic. And check your own vanity before you criticize someone else's vanity. (And do not kid yourself that you are not vain because you do not partake in certain beauty rituals that other women partake in — because you are also making decisions about your body, your face, and your clothing every single day. With every one of those decisions you are also telegraphing to the world your own politics, your own opinions, your own needs and fears, and yes, often your own arrogance.) 

No matter what you're wearing, you are dressing up, too.

As the great drag queen RuPaul has said: "We are all born naked. Everything else is just drag." 

So be sympathetic. Everyone is facing her own battlefield in her own manner. And the only way you can express empathy about another woman's vanity IS TO BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR OWN.

Once you have reached that place of authentic honesty about your own struggle, you will only ever show kindness toward your sisters.

So here's what I do.

When I see a woman who has lost weight, I say, "You look terrific."

When I see a woman who has quit dieting and embraced her curves, I say, "You look terrific." 

When I see a woman who has obviously just had plastic surgery, I say, "You look terrific." 

When I see a woman who has let her hair go grey and is hanging out at grocery store in her husband's sweatpants, I say, "You look terrific." 

Because you know what? If you are woman and you managed to get up today and go outside, then you look terrific. 

If you are still here, then you look terrific. 

If you are able to go face down a world that has been arguing about your body and your face for centuries, then you look terrific. 

If you have figured out what you need to wear, or do, or not do, in order to feel safe in your own skin, then you look terrific. 

If you are standing on your own two feet and the stress of being a woman hasn't killed you yet, then YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.

To say anything less than that to (or about) your fellow woman is to add ammunition to a war that is bad enough already.

So back off, everyone. Be kind.

You're all stunning.

ONWARD,
LG

This transcript has been taken from Elizabeth Gilbert Facebook Page, Click Here.

www.elizabethgilbert.com

 



 

 

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