Friday, September 28, 2012

Makeup Free Mondays- September

I missed a week so there are only three photos, but as I promised, all makeup free. Because you don't need makeup to be beautiful despite what society may tell you. Plenty of people think I'm ugly (trust me, I get the emails telling me so!), but I don't care. Because it's not my job to beautify the world, it's my job to change it. Happy Autumn everyone!




Monday, September 24, 2012

Weight Stigma Awareness Week

BEDA's take action for Tuesday: Express
We just saw the end to suicide prevention awareness week just as we're coming up on the first annual weight stigma awareness week. According to BEDA, the binge eating disorder association, " BEDA’s goal is to bring awareness to a common and entrenched social injustice that often results in serious physical and mental health consequences for those affected". Consequences indeed. I feel the need to point out that suicide and attempted suicide are common results of those consequences BEDA is talking about. 

Perhaps it's no coincidence that the two awareness weeks are almost back to back. Considering that teens who even think they're fat are more likely to attempt suicide and, let's face it, the fat  hate starts early  and children as young as three years old show weight bias against heavier people, attributing things such as being ugly, lazy, and stupid. By three years old, people. That's some seriously early weight hate indoctrination. One study shows that children 5-11 prefer underweight friends and react more positively to underweight stimuli than overweight stimuli (which they, of course, reacted negatively to).

So what's the purpose of weight stigma awareness week? It's just what it sounds like- to shed light on the constant discrimination and stigma that is associated with weight. Fat people get the majority of the load, but thin people aren't without their burdens and stigmas as well. Assuming a thin person doesn't eat does just as much harm to the fat liberation movement as assuming fat people eat too much- it's all playing back into the idea that weight is a choice and you have to choose to be one specific size and shape. We have a long way to go on the road to destigmatizing weight and especially fatness, but that's part of what this week is about. Banding together as a community, getting the word out, and making a change. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cupcake Baby

I had such a great time with Travis McKeithan and loved so many photos that it was extremely difficult narrowing down my favorite ten. It was my first time at Umstead Park in Raleigh and my poor feet came away with blisters (but the shoes were adorable.. who could blame me?). Really though, Travis was a pleasure to work with and I hope to work with him again in the future. Enjoy!












Monday, September 17, 2012

Suicide Prevention Awareness Week

We just saw the end of Suicide Prevention Awareness week yesterday. I put off writing because I didn't know what to write. Most of you have read my personal struggles with suicide and you know that fat acceptance and body acceptance have been a miracle balm. What I've decided to write about is the "it's not my fault" mentality. For years I hung around suicide forums in hopes that I could help people either struggling with suicidal ideation or someone who had lost or was in danger of losing a loved one to suicide. What I saw over and over were people who bullied, abused, and neglected loved ones who wanted reassurance that the resulting suicide wasn't their fault. And people gave it to them. A common thread is to say that nothing could have stopped them.

I don't know who started this line of BS but I want to set things straight. You can help prevent suicide. No, you can't prevent every case, but people who are suicidal aren't lost causes. They just want the pain to stop and, believe me, the amount of pain they're in is tremendous. More so, if you bully, abuse, or neglect a person who's suicidal then you are part of that person's pain and you are contributing, directly or indirectly, to their suicide. I'm sorry, but this "it's not my fault" stuff is fluff that people tell you to make you feel better. It's not truth.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline says " No matter who you are, you can help prevent suicide". This is the real truth. 

Tips on preventing suicide:

If you are suicidal:
  • Talk to someone. It doesn't matter if it's a school counselor, a therapist, a parent, a best friend, or the suicide hotline. Talking can help you to calm down and perhaps find long term help.
  • Take it one day at a time. You want to kill yourself today? Wait until tomorrow. Then wait another day. Then another. Every day is a battle and an achievement. 
  • Keep a journal or diary
  • Be around other people. Being alone only increases feelings of isolation and the feelings that no one would care. When you're around others you not only keep yourself busy, but you see how much your friends love you. 
  • seek out support groups and other resources on suicide prevention such as reddit.com/r/suicidewatch or http://www.dailystrength.org
  • visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ where you can call or chat with someone if you're in crisis. 
Personal tricks I've learned to help myself stay in a stable mood:

  • open all of the curtains and, when the weather allows, the windows
  • look up when you walk, not down
  • spend time in nature
  • exercise regularly and eat healthfully
  • If low self esteem at all revolves around your looks, seek out fat and body acceptance resources. 
If a loved one is suicidal:

  • Never dismiss or invalidate their feelings. They're feeling like this for a reason.
  • Take this very very seriously. 
  • Encourage them to seek help such as a therapist or school counselor. If you are a parent then it is your responsibility to make an appointment as soon as possible. 
  • Talk to them and really listen 
  • Remind them how much you love them
  • If you've been part of the problem or you have influence over someone who has been stop immediately. Whether it's bullying, teasing, verbal nit picking- whatever. If you're a parent and a sibling of your child is bullying them, intervene immediately. Perhaps get the bully into therapy as well. 
  • Visit http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm 
Suicide can be prevented. Remember the old Smokey the Bear saying, "only you can prevent forest fires"? Only you can help prevent suicide. It's important to remember that suicidal people don't want to die, they want the pain to stop, therefore you have every opportunity to intervene and let them know that their pain isn't permanent and it can be helped. More so, I can't stress enough that the bullies and abusers (same thing really) of the world are responsible for the self harming actions of their victims whether it be self injury, attempted or completed suicide, or their mental well being. Don't say "it's not my fault", ask "what can I do to help?".