God in the Mirror
You are one-of-a-kind and were created in a special way for a special reason. Your “God image” is your spiritual diamond. It has the ability to reflect God’s glory back onto Him, but no glory in and of itself.
Think of a diamond. The reason is it so precious and beautiful is its ability to reflect light. A diamond has no light in and of itself; it needs external light to shine onto it. Your “God image” is your spiritual diamond. It has the ability to reflect God’s glory back onto Him, but no glory in and of itself. Your talents and abilities are not yours for your own benefit and glory. God gave them to you for the purpose of reflecting back His glory. Miles McPherson - April 28, 2013
At this point, it's common knowledge that Barbie's body
isn't the most realistic. But what would it actually look like if the famous Mattel doll was a real woman? That's what Rehabs.com
set out to find out.
The search engine for locating mental health treatment centers put together an infographic using data from the 1996 study "Ken and Barbie At Life Size,"
which was originally published in the academic journal Sex Roles
. The graphic compares the proportions of a Barbie's body to the body of the average American woman as well as the average model and the average anorexic woman.
Some of the numbers are quite striking. While Barbie's head would be two inches larger than the average U.S. woman's, her waist would be 19 inches smaller and her hips would be 11 inches smaller. Since her waist would be four inches thinner than her head, Barbie's body wouldn't have the room it needs to hold all of its vital organs, and her uber-skinny ankles and child-size feet would make it necessary for her to walk on all fours.
The infographic was created as part of a larger report on body hatred among young women
. And although January 2013 research showed that peer influence may impact body image
even more than pop culture, it's never bad to be reminded just how unrealistic the bodies of the dolls you grew up playing with are. LOOK: How A Barbie Body Measures Up To Real Bodies
Yesterday I went to church. Now typically when the sermon is on church expansion or raising more money for a newer building I get in my car and go back to bed, but something the pastor said kept me in my seat. He told us he was going to let us out a few minutes early to go tour the new site. They gave each one of us a marking pen and asked us to write peoples names that we wanted to attend church in the future and or scripture on the walls and floors before they lay the concrete and put the stucco up. The site was beautiful, and it got me thinking about my own foundation. Am I covered with positive affirmations, verses, and prayer or is my foundation just concrete and stucco? We are each built for a divine purpose, and it's whats on the inside that counts.
I swear people think it is so easy to gain weight. A few years ago, I left a company that my husband founded for the sake of our marriage. I was struggling with depression and got down to one of my lowest weights. Being in recovery I knew what I had to do; which was get healthy again. I had never heard the term before that, "food is medicine" but I made that my mantra. Without food in my body I realized my medications were not able to properly work, I was having a harder time doing yoga because my balance was off, and my mind was not thinking straight. My mood swings were up and down like a bi-polar patient, and in my mind there was no way I could lead these eating disorder support groups and talks I was giving and hosting without being in action myself. Now I know one alcoholic can help another alcoholic early in sobriety, and I feel the same is true for an anorexic, bulimic, and or an overeater, but during this time my head was very critical. I needed to get out of the spotlight that I created for myself. I was so passionate about helping others, fixing others, that I forgot to take care of Hallie.
I am blessed to live in San Diego where there is a great recovery community for eating disorders. I joined a therapy group that specialized in eating disorder recovery every week, and started seeing my individual therapist and a nutritionist. This team was helpful because although my head knew what it was supposed to do, the accountability is what I lacked. I was holding everyone else accountable, and needed a coach for myself. I was an athlete growing up so the concept of a coach is easy for me to adhere to. I needed routine discipline and my exercise was drinking Ensures. This time the road to recovery was different, because I was different. I am not 16 dealing with an eating disorder, I an adult dealing with life, and using my eating disorder as a crutch. The work I did- I paid for not my parents. Everything I invested in this time was of my own making. These were my hours, my money, my food, my investments, and I started to realize that I didn't want to abuse or sabotage what I was giving and offering. This process is never an easy one, and no one forced me into the decision.
Today I have made my goal weight, and I feel stronger. My body has curves, my boobs are bigger, and my butt is rounder. I put on a pair or old JBrand jeans the other day and they barely fit. My eating disorder said to me "your fat" and I looked in the mirror and logically asked myself am I fat, and the response was no, your enough just the way you are.
, for being great! (I'm a peer mentor for a local youth group.) You have some awesome resources on body image/eating disorders. We wanted to let you know we've bookmarked a few resources as well as your site! :) Terrific!
Anyway, as a part of a fun assignment...they needed to find some eating disorders/body image resources...which they did: http://www.labrazelhome.com/pages/Body-Image-In-Your-Bathroom-Mirror.html
. They wanted to let you know that they think it'd be a terrific addition to your page. They'd love to contribute on such an important issue! Knowledge is power right? :)
(This is also an important issue that hits home as well, as my sister suffered from an eating disorder that almost took her life. Anything I can do, and the kids can do to spread awareness is important!)
I also told them I'd award them with something fun if their suggestion were added! If you're able to use it on your page, let me know. :) They'd love to see it.
The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted. As an actor and woman who, at times, avails herself of the media, I am painfully aware of the conversation about women’s bodies, and it frequently migrates to my own body. I know this, even though my personal practice is to ignore what is written about me. I do not, for example, read interviews I do with news outlets. I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me. I arrived at this belief after first, when I began working as an actor 18 years ago, reading everything. I evolved into selecting only the “good” pieces to read. Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. I thus abstain from all media about myself. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator. Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration. And casting one’s lot with the public is dangerous and self-destructive, and I value myself too much to do that. However, the recent speculation and accusations in March feel different, and my colleagues and friends encouraged me to know what was being said. Consequently, I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about. A brief analysis demonstrates that the following “conclusions” were all made on the exact same day, March 20, about the exact same woman (me), looking the exact same way, based on the exact same television appearance. The following examples are real, and come from a variety of (so-called!) legitimate news outlets (such as HuffPo, MSNBC, etc.), tabloid press, and social media:One: When I am sick for more than a month and on medication (multiple rounds of steroids), the accusation is that because my face looks puffy, I have “clearly had work done,” with otherwise credible reporters with great bravo “identifying” precisely the procedures I allegedly have had done. Two: When my skin is nearly flawless, and at age 43, I do not yet have visible wrinkles that can be seen on television, I have had “work done,” with media outlets bolstered by consulting with plastic surgeons I have never met who “conclude” what procedures I have “clearly” had. (Notice that this is a “back-handed compliment,” too—I look so good! It simply cannot possibly be real!) Three: When my 2012 face looks different than it did when I filmed Double Jeopardy in 1998, I am accused of having “messed up” my face (polite language here, the F word is being used more often), with a passionate lament that “Ashley has lost her familiar beauty audiences loved her for.” Four: When I have gained weight, going from my usual size two/four to a six/eight after a lazy six months of not exercising, and that weight gain shows in my face and arms, I am a “cow” and a “pig” and I “better watch out” because my husband “is looking for his second wife.” (Did you catch how this one engenders competition and fear between women? How it also suggests that my husband values me based only on my physical appearance? Classic sexism. We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as “fat.”) Five: In perhaps the coup de grace, when I am acting in a dramatic scene in Missing—the plot stating I am emotionally distressed and have been awake and on the run for days—viewers remarks ranged from “What the f--k did she do to her face?” to cautionary gloating, “Ladies, look at the work!” Footage from “Missing” obviously dates prior to March, and the remarks about how I look while playing a character powerfully illustrate the contagious and vicious nature of the conversation. The accusations and lies, introduced to the public, now apply to me as a woman across space and time; to me as any woman and to me as every woman. That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women. A case in point is that this conversation was initially promulgated largely by women; a sad and disturbing fact. (That they are professional friends of mine, and know my character and values, is an additional betrayal.) That the conversation about my face was initially promulgated largely by women is a sad and disturbing fact. News outlets with whom I do serious work, such as publishing op-eds about preventing HIV, empowering poor youth worldwide, and conflict mineral mining in Democratic Republic of Congo, all ran this “story” without checking with my office first for verification, or offering me the dignity of the opportunity to comment. It’s an indictment of them that they would even consider the content printable, and that they, too, without using time-honored journalistic standards, would perpetuate with un-edifying delight such blatantly gendered, ageist, and mean-spirited content. I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment? How can we as individuals in our private lives make adjustments that support us in shedding unconscious actions, internalized beliefs, and fears about our worthiness, that perpetuate such meanness? What can we do as families, as groups of friends? Is what girls and women can do different from what boys and men can do? What does this have to do with how women are treated in the workplace? I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women. It doesn’t actually matter if we are aging naturally, or resorting to surgical assistance. We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others—and in my case, to the actual public. (I am also aware that inevitably some will comment that because I am a creative person, I have abdicated my right to a distinction between my public and private selves, an additional, albeit related, track of highly distorted thinking that will have to be addressed at another time). If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start. Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who. The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.
I want to walk through this doorway
I want to open my mind
I want to pledge my allegiance to all I can find
I want a car that will crash through the barriers,
to a road no one knows.
I want to feel less control
want to bend and I want to land far from home.
The revolution of the earth around the sun
is the perfect lesson of how it should be.
So if I cannot learn to journey and return,
to never rest till I've seen all I can see.
I want to learn a completely new language, one I don't understand.
I want to help someone lost, someone helpless,
with the strength of my hand.
I want to come to the base of a statue built before they counted the years,
and there I'll fall with my face in my hands and cry
and feel their hope in my tears.
The revolution of the earth around the sun
is the perfect lesson of how it should be.
So if I cannot learn, to journey and return,
to never rest till I've seen all I can see.
Train rides and pastures colliding,
colors and customs I've never seen.
I know, yes I know, I will stumble,
but time is precious my friend.
Those who journey can easily understand,
the more they see the more they'll learn,
the more that they will be.
So this I swear to you, and this I swear to me,
I'll never rest till I've seen all I can see.
I want to know where the stength of a person lies,
in their past or their future.
Is it in the way that they hurt or they love themselves or is it all an illusion?
I want to crawl from this skin that i'm painted in,
Body, please let it give.
I want to find the Creator of all good things
and ask what it means to live
All I Can See lyrics by Brendan James
I don't know about you, but I am not a big fan of Valentines Day. My negative feelings towards the holiday started around grade school. I remember sitting in class, watching delivery after delivery come to all the pretty girls in the class or to the girls who were older and had boyfriends. In junior high and high school your boyfriend was suppose to give you a gift, if not he was a looser. The feelings I felt most Valentines Days were, sad, lonely, insecure, and not enough.
Looking at Valentines Day now as a 32 year old, I feel confused. Why does society choose 1 day a year to celebrate love? Why do I buy into the idea some years, and other years I revolt? What really happens if there are no flowers, gifts, chocolates, and stuffed animals to hand out to people we love? The answer is simple...we are still enough.
The greatest commandment is, "love your neighbor as yourself." The commandment does not read, "love your neighbor on February 14th." We are supposed to love others daily, encouraging them, and walking along side them. The other part of the commandment is, "love your neighbor as yourself." If I am expecting flowers, cards, dinner, and gifts on Valentines Day, I might be setting myself up for a resentment. Expectations=Resentments
If I want flowers then I should go to the farmers markets or grocery store, and buy myself some. If I want a nice card telling me how wonderful I am, then I should try writing to myself (If I don't like myself, and can not write positive affirmations, then I probably won't believe a card that someone writes to me anyways). We all want to feel loved and special; however sometimes it takes our own initiative
Let's make a commitment this Valentines Day not to obsess, compare, set expectations upon others, and live to love for 1 day. We will love daily our neighbors, our enemies, and ourselves.