“Be a Lady They Said”

I saw this video today and was moved even more than I expected.

I just finished filming a project in which I played a pregnant woman- so pregnant she goes into labor, actually. It got me thinking about all the times my eating disorder/ the voice of society told me the only way to be a working actress is to be as skinny, pretty, and young-looking as possible.

Well, that’s not true, obviously. I’m actually busier with my career than I’ve been in a long time, and I haven’t had to starve for one second of it.

Let’s be radical. Let’s stop letting society tell us what we need to look like, act like, sound like. Let’s love ourselves no matter what.

I say “society” because yes, men tend to perpetuate these ideas and paint them on us, but if we choose to stop buying into this crazy pressure, we can take back our power. Women also judge women for not being thin or pretty or whatever enough- usually because these women are insecure that they aren’t thin or pretty or whatever enough, either.

We are ALL enough.

Let’s STOP undergoing painful and expensive procedures unless we truly, truly want them for just us!

Let’s STOP dieting all the time and shoving our fingers down our throats and working out an extra hour because we dared to have dessert. Let’s STOP calling food “bad.” Let’s STOP calling ourselves “bad” for wanting to enjoy it!

Let’s STOP worrying that men won’t find us desirable unless….

Let’s STOP competing with each other and judging each other and trying to make each other look bad so we look better.

Let’s STOP believing the lie that how we look is the most important thing about us, or the one that it’s our job to “make” our men feel a certain way about themselves. Let’s STOP buying into the idea that being a wife or mother is the only reason we exist.

Let’s STOP pretending to be “cool” about things we don’t want to be cool about, and instead learn ourselves and set healthy boundaries.

Let’s STOP apologizing for who we are, how we feel, or our very existence!

Let’s STOP pretending our sexuality is offensive, or our bodies are some type of bait we have to disguise and cover up because men “just can’t help themselves.” Let’s STOP slut-shaming each other. Let’s STOP saying “yes” when we mean “no,” or saying “no” when we want to say “yes!”

Let’s please, please STOP letting the rest of the world make us feel ashamed for being real, imperfect, thinking, feeling human beings who have needs and opinions.

Let’s START taking our power back. Let’s START conversations about changing the status quo. Let’s START encouraging ourselves and each other to rewrite the story we’ve bought into for so long.

I’m a more powerful human being at 34 years old and at my current size than I ever was before. My age doesn’t define me, or my eye wrinkles, or the few grey hairs I’ve discovered this year. My size doesn’t define me one bit. It’s literally the difference between having one number on a clothing label or having a different number.

What defines ME is my voice, my mind, my heart, my capacity for love and empathy, my relationships, my art, my work, my growth.

What defines me is that I want to be a person who can inspire other women by being successful without beating myself up, obsessing over calories, or buying into the story that I need to preserve my youth or have a perfect body to deserve anything good in my life. I would like to inspire others to love themselves as they are, no matter what.

Let’s STOP letting other people tell us who we should be, how we should act, what we should think. It’s exhausting. It’s damaging. It’s pointless. And it needs to STOP.

Now.

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