Saturday, November 18, 2017

Representation matters.

This is a post about how representation in media matters. But before we get the meaty-made-ya-think part, a back story that will seem like shameless self-promotion. (It's not but I'm writing on a blog so who are we really kidding?)

I was never one for the "wheelchair Halloween costumes". I want to think it's because I was cool enough to carry a clever costume sans ~sO InSPirIng~ gimmicks but if we're being honest, I just didn't want to draw any more attention to the 300 pounds of metal I'm sitting on, thank you very much.

This year though, Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on the rolling podium was just too good to pass up. (And I'm working on the insecurity part).

I spent hours with the help of my cousin building a podium that attached to my chair. I got the perfect outfit. You'd think I was feeding the entire dessert crowd at a French bistro, I had so much mousse in my hair. On Halloween, my friends and I went out onto South Temple and got some action shots. We laughed and luckily we didn't get hit by a car.

This was the resulting video--editing props to Jeremy Walker.

I was so excited to watch it and post it and become internet famous and Melissa McCarthy was going to message me about how funny I was and maybe we'd become friends.

But 32 seconds later...all I could think was " that what I look like?"

And my criticism wasn't with my lack of makeup or ill fitting suit jacket. It was all about parts of my body that are with me every day.

Is that what I look like in motion? Are my hands really that bony? Are my arms really that gangly? Does my head really look like a bobble head when I go over a bump? Do I really have that much surface area on my right side?

All the fun and excitement and anticipation that led up to that moment were gone. Replaced instead by self-loathing and angst and doubt.

Now I've lived in this body for 25 years. I know what it looks like. But it's not very often I see this body from someone else's point of view. I see myself from my reflection, from my selfies, from the photos others take where I say "could you hold the camera up a little bit higher?"

It's like that awful moment you hear your voice in a recording (which was another cringe-y moment for me in that video). I was seeing my body the way everyone else was seeing it and I didn't like it.

After some tears and a sleep, I got over it.  I posted the video and got lots of laughs, just as I had hoped. But I really wasn't that over it. I still had that nagging insecurity and I really haven't watched it myself since.

It wasn't until yesterday, with that experience fresh in my mind, that I saw this Instagram post disabled model Jillian Mercado.

Wait, a second. That's kind of how my hand looks. And I'm not repulsed by her. Not in the slightest. She's gorgeous and unique. Why was I any different?

I have never really seen myself in media. Even in "we love every body" beauty campaigns, my body is conspicuously absent. I've long held strong opinions on representation in media but in this moment, at 25 years old, I realized truly how much never seeing my body portrayed not even as "beautiful"but just NORMAL has impacted my self image. I just need to see me.

And I have it easy! I am a blond haired, blue eyed, straight, middle class white girl with decent bone structure. I can afford makeup and hair products and clothes that flatter what I'm working with. I recognize that while my body is different, it still doesn't deviate far from what we have classified as the norm. I also recognize my worth is infinitely more than what I look like.

My friends who are disabled people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, who are struggling just to get BASIC needs met, let alone worrying about what they look like--if you can't see it, you can't be it.

I'm not sure why I wrote this. None of it is an original or groundbreaking thought. I really don't need people to tell me I'm pretty (really, please don't). But as I sat on it, I realized earlier this week, I needed to write it for some reason, maybe there is someone who needs to read it today.

To you I say, don't hide yourself because you don't see yourself. You'll go on a weird journey when it comes to loving your body. You'll go from self-loathing to gratitude in an instant.

Your arms might be gangly. Your hands may be bony. Your head might bobble like a bobble head. You're normal.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Work in progress and a little Parks & Rec

So, this isn't the promised blog revamp. Just a...sorta-vamp. I took a design class this year so I figured I would have no problem designing my blog. Well, I didn't have a problem designing it but boy, actually putting it in some sort of language a computer can read...that's another question...

 In the meantime, this will do. I'll find some one who can teach me the technical stuff. Or I'll fork over the $100 to have someone do it. (Oh my heart, it hurts!) Or maybe I'll do both.

 Anywho, I threw a fun party a while ago (*cough* February 13 *cough*) for GALENTINE'S DAY! As an aspiring Leslie Knope, it only fit.

Blurry iPhone photos or it didn't happen!

Gifts for the Gals, Photo Booth props (that we forgot to use) and a little last minute Valentine artwork.

Close up. Don't mind the fold in the middle of the picture. I forgot that an 8.5x11 piece of paper doesn't quite fit in a 8x10 frame #reasonimaPRmajor

We did Leslie proud and had a waffle bar

The Gals. Some thought it was a goofy picture, apparently.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Can't stop, won't stop

So, I DO have some new stuff coming for ya. (Perhaps a new blog design...???)

I have been wearing cute clothes, just haven't been documenting it.

I have had some entertaining things happen to me, just haven't documented them.

So to get you through these next few weeks, check out my Facebook for random updates and thoughts. (People tell me they're good?)

And watch this video on repeat and pine for summer....

Monday, November 19, 2012

That awkward moment when you title a post "that awkward moment when..."

I generally am not a very awkward person. I can usually say what I mean and if something embarrassing does happen, I laugh it off as good story for later (oh boy, do I have a doozy for you later). There is one time when I just exude awkwardness. Its at any door on campus. (long explanation first, funny story second)

Getting into a building is like an intricate dance for me. Should I speed up because this person is going to hold the door? Should I slow down, let this person get in the door and then hit the button? Ok slow down. Oh shoot. They're holding it open but I already hit the button. "Oh, yeah, uh, thanks! Have a good day!" And then I usually shake my head at just how awkward I was.

I've discovered that it's usually safest to underestimate people's kindness and then be surprised when they are nice. It usually works well for me. But one day, I forgot my door opening manifesto.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the BYU library (I should probably be a little more familiar with it...), there are two sets of double doors at the entrance. When I hit the door opener button (there has to be a more eloquent way of saying that...) both sets of doors open at the same time. That's four doors. It's like the parting of the Red Sea, which is a little excessive for me but it gets the job done.

One day, I was heading up to the library and walking behind an older gent. I'm assuming he was a professor. I was pretty close behind him so I assumed he'd hold the door for me. Wrong. The door closed in my face so I backed up and hit the access button (ah, that's better). Just as I hit the button, the door slamming chap got up to the second set of doors, which opened automatically as he was reaching for the handle.

And the doors smacked him in the face.

I felt bad. I really did. It was most likely an honest mistake on both ends. But like all embarrassing stories, it makes for a good one later.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sometimes, it's OK to...

-Tell every single person you see how excited you are for Thanksgiving and Christmas (They most likely agree. If they don't, run)
-Eat a burnt bagel for breakfast. And then burnt pizza for lunch (I'll let you know how Saturday goes).
-Stay in on a Saturday night and watch Little Manhattan and Hunger Games.
-Google "sometimes, it's OK..." to get some ideas for a blog post you're writing.
-To not like any of the results you got.
-Still be happy anyways because that was two (now three) ideas!
-Also question whoever said Sometimes it's OK to not keep your eyes on the road (who are you?!)
-Not take outfit pictures.
-To spend way too much time on Pinterest (I'm going to keep telling myself that)
-Be really attracted to Capt. Hook on Once Upon a Time.
-Be really glad the elections will be over in just a few days.
-To watch this video a million times

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh yeah, Halloween.

Most college girls on Halloween:

I was a lumberjack. I had a beard. And an ax. And an attitude to match (not really).

We ate chili, watched Red Eye, hardly ate any candy (weird...), much fun was had.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Long time no....whatever.

Source: via Shelby on Pinterest

This picture is in no way related to this post. I just really like it. Yay for cute kids.

You know that awkward moment when you see a friend who just got back from some amazing vacation or just got engaged or something like that? And they say to you "Tell me about your life! What have you been up to?" And you just sit there...thinking...steam starts coming out your ears and you realize you haven't done anything exciting in the week or month or year since you've seen them last. And then you want to just to crawl into bed and cry?

Oh, you don't ever have that experience? Then what are you doing reading this blog? Go carry on with your crazy, exciting life and leave the rest of us to watch Say Yes to the Dress and eat an entire bag of Goldfish (slight exaggeration.)

Ok, so I have done more than just eat and watch TLC since I wrote last. I went home over the summer and got to hang out with my family and fwiends. I then came back to BYU to start my junior year of college. Yeah, junior year. That means I'm like, almost graduated. Weird.

I've got some wicked awesome content coming your way so stick around. Please?