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WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

Not As Pretty As I Want To Be

6 comments | October 31st, 2012

black explosion chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist, now on OOC rewind)

We're assuming this comes from one of our younger readers.  Any advice from any of you who've been there before?  Here's what she's got to share:

I always felt really sad for not being as pretty as I wanted to be.

Then I had a nose-job and I was sure I would feel better, because it's an expensive plastic surgery that is supposed to make you look better (even if it's not that much) but never worse. It turns out I look worse.

I had this surgery 6 months ago and I've been crying since then. Not only because I still don't feel pretty, but because I actually miss my face. I looked better before. I'm disappointed and now I don't have any hope. I totally regret this surgery. I wish I could go back 6 months and tell myself that I looked just fine. Now I can't even take pictures 'cause my nose looks bent. I try to think "It's just a little imperfection" but that makes me angry, because I wasn't born with it, it ...

#bodiesI Am Not My Stereotype

1 response | September 6th, 2012

50s chestist

(story submmitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We're probably all guilty of having judged a book or two by its cover.  Feels a lot different when we're the book though.  Here's how she feels:

I have bleach blonde hair, big boobs, and apparently a decent ass. That doesn't make me stupid or shallow. It doesn't mean my life is perfect or that I am happier than anyone else. I have interest and issues too. I'm so sick of people taking one look at me and deciding I'm some sort of Barbie doll. {end story}

You ever been a victim of stereotyping?  When, how, why?  You ever been a stereotyper (most of us have)?  When, how, why?   Here's the thing about stereoptypes, they suck.  You can quote us on that.

#thecumulativeeffect1 Reason We Shouldn’t Compare

14 comments | July 18th, 2012

compared to what

(OOC via CNN)

Keeping up with the Joneses has been part of the American way since at least the 50s.  We compare oursleves to what they havem he, has, she has almost incessantly and certainly inextricably.  There was less to compare ourselves to, fewer data points and inputs and our social circles were limited to who we knew in the physical world, pre facebook et al.  But now, oh girl.  from the CNN report:

"Because of social networks, though, the field of competition has expanded dramatically. Now you're competing with the best pictures and the ebullient status updates of every girl you know. 'It's as if somewhere along the line, Facebook became the encyclopedia of beauty and status and comparisons.'"

If we've got a minute to spare we might just check out what's up on FB (or tw, or whatever).  And BANG BOOM ZIP, all of a sudden we're confronted with what she did, he did, she has, the party we missed and weren't invited to, the dinner that those guys had together, the fun, the laughter, the the the the...everything we weren;t ...

#lifestagesI Am No Longer Comparing

5 comments | June 20th, 2012

change

(story submitted anonymously, by a 33 yo Chestist)

Sometimes what we see is not what we get.  Check out her story:

I was staring in the mirror.  Noting every flaw, every change, every thing I wished were different.  I was picking myself apart - more observationally than negatively, and wondering how what I had once been had become this 33 year-old version of me now, when I found myself saying "wow, you don't look very good."

Just as suddenly and actually taking me by surprise, I found myself saying "it is what it is and you are what you are."  And I smiled at my reflection, and walked away feeling pretty good about the me that I am and no longer comparing it to the me I used to be :-) {end story}

Truth, the happy ending here took us by delightful surprise.  How's about you, Chestists? What do you see when you look at you in the mirror?  However it makes you feel, why do you think you feel that way?   What needs to happen or change for you to feel (even) better?  Let's #discuss.   

#thecumulativeeffectPretty Is As Pretty… Dresses?

19 comments | May 7th, 2012

seriously pretty

(Story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

I decided to conduct a little experiment, just for the heck of it.

We've all heard the phrase, "Dress for the job you want," right?  When it comes to my "professional self," I've always adhered to that old adage. When I meet clients, go to conferences, or am otherwise representing myself as a business entity, I dress professionally. (Let's not get into the irony of this, given that most writers are believed to work in their pajamas 24/7.) And there are differing understandings of what dressing professionally means, too, but let's just say that when I'm "on" in the business sense, I'm generally wearing a nice dress, or a skirt and blouse, or nice slacks, etc. I don't go meet a client in jeans. I probably don't give a lecture in a t-shirt. I clean up pretty good and know when to do it, is my point.

Now: I've always known that dressing accordingly boosts my confidence in those situations, too. It's a win/win because I look like someone a client can depend on, plus I feel capable and ...

Prettier, But For That

5 comments | April 20th, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I've always been told I'm pretty and attractive.  I think I am.  Not gorgeous or drop-dead hot, but pretty and attractive except for one thing.

I have a scar on my lip from getting hit by a rock my brother threw in a lake when I was 12..  I always think people are staring at my lip and wonder if they're making "scar face" jokes behind my back.  I usually get insecure the first time I kiss a guy.  It's like a movie in my head, where we're moving towards each other in slow-motion in that first romantic moment and then he screams when he gets too close. 

No doubt it's a much bigger thing in my head than it is on my face but I'd feel so much prettier but for that. {end story}

Is there any one thing about you that if you had it ~ or didn't ~ would you make you feel so much prettier or better about you?

#lifestagesDressed to Impress

32 comments | April 10th, 2012

clothese horse

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda) I don't think I'd characterize myself as "fashionable," past or present, by any stretch of the imagination. The way I dress is... fine. I think. I enjoy clothes, and I especially enjoy shoes. But I don't spend a lot of money on clothes, or a lot of time. In my current life, I'm a jeans-and-t-shirts type, most of the time. Do I clean up pretty good? I like to think so. Do people look at me and go, "I wish I had her fashion sense!"? Probably not unless they're sniffing a lot of glue. Still, it's clothing that encapsulates so many memories for me, when I look back on my life. I've written about some of my more unfortunate clothing incidents here, even. There's lots of good memories attached to clothes, too, though... even though a lot of the clothing in question is---now, at least---similarly cringe-inducing. There was my first pair of Esprit pants, in middle school, when Esprit was very "in" and hip. The pants were wide ankle-crops and sort of a coral-colored chino, and I ...

#bodiesWhat Is Prettiness (and Why’s It Matter)?

9 comments | April 2nd, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story originally submitted as a comment to Distortion, by Mir)

What is it about prettiness that makes us care so much (me included)?

We fight “you’re not pretty” messages with “yes you are, everyone’s pretty!” messages. We don’t feel a need to tell everyone that they’re athletic, or agile, or a story-teller, or musical, or scientific-minded, or a great linguist. We accept that there are degrees of talent or luck and if you’re at the low end of these, that’s fine. Go be great at the things you’re great at.

Kind-of drives home how much prettiness matters, which is just weird.  {end story}  

Why do we care so much about "prettiness"?  Do you care about prettiness?  What do you think pretty is?

#bodiesLiposuction Can Make You Happier?

7 comments | March 30th, 2012

plastic surgery

(OOC via Marketwatch.com)

According to this article, folks who get their lipos-suctioned and their tummy's tucked "report significant improvements in self-esteem and quality of life."  How bout that?!

So a few things.  One, we here @OOC are neither for nor against plastic surgery - we're totally for happiness and against feeling bad about yourself.  Our attitude, do what makes you feel good (and don;t do what makes you feel bad). Two, it kind of makes sense that patients who chose elective surgery would, on balance, feel good about their choice (though we're not sure these same #s hold when it comes to breast augmentation).  Three, this survey was done by a group with an interest in the outcome, which seems worth noting.  All this aside...

Have you ever had elective surgery?  Would you?  If you have, did it make you feel better about you? (We hope so.)  Plastic surgery, let's #discuss.

 

#bodiesWhere’s the Outrage?

8 comments | March 23rd, 2012

dude, wtf

So Kim Kardashian get hit with a flour-bomb last night at the launch of her new perfume?  Does Katy really have a new guy? 

Doesn't it sometimes seem like popular culture is focusing on things that maybe just don't matter all that much (and, we like gossip as much as anyone) and on those things that affect one or two of us but not that many of us?  Does it ever seem that maybe we should spend more time talking about things like this...

DYK:

- 50% of children 8-10 years old report being "unhappy" with their bodies?

- More than 81% of 10-year-olds said they are terrified of "getting fat."

- 80% of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad?

We could go on - and on.  We won't though.  But we will invite you to keep joining us - and so many others fighting this fight day to day - to try and make a difference.  We'll ask you to use your voice to ask "WTF" is going on and question how we begin to change it ...

It’s Only Hair…Right?

88 comments | March 13th, 2012

chestist soup

(story by Mir, from WouldaShouldaCoulda)

No one is ever going to accuse me of being easy-going; my teenager's favorite thing to say to me, these days, is "Geez, Mom, CHILLAX." (I am, I suspect, the only person with whom she uses that word, and the humor is partially because of that, of course.) I can be a bit persnickety, yes. A little high-strung at times, sure. I have strong opinions on many things. I'm okay with this.

One of the issues on which I cannot be bothered to feel strongly, however, is hair. Hair grows. No hair decision is irreversible; even if you're terribly unhappy with your choice, eventually you can do something else. It's just... not that big of a deal.

To me, this makes sense. To some folks who know me, though, I guess it was a little surprising when I let my young son grow his hair long. Or when I let my daughter dye a streak in hers. But to me, it was a easy way to let the kids have a bit ...

#bodiesI Am

13 comments | March 8th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist; posted originally in May and again now)

When we saw this from one of you, we smiled. BIG.  Here's her short (just 9 words) and wonderful story:

I love my body, just the way I am. [end of story.]

Her feeling good made us feel good.  So let's talk about feeling good.  Name one part of you (or as many as you want) that you LOVE (or like) just the way it is.  Could be a body part or your generosity, creativity, or fashion flair.  Whatever.  Us, we hope it's the whole of you, because we think you're awfully swell.  XO

#thecumulativeeffectGiving Away Our Self Esteem

11 comments | March 7th, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by Sueann, a Chestist)

Do advertising and the images you see in popular culture affect how you feel about how you look?  Sueanne worries you might.  Here's her story:

I just saw a segment on a morning show about the new Levis ad campaign "women come in all shapes and sizes".

I constantly hear psychologists, doctors, sociologists, etc commenting on how the media affects our self esteem and how we start as young girls to look at advertising images as how we should be.  I want to remind EVERYONE that it is an industry that cares about making money NOT shaping your developing mind!!!!  Don't look to the pages of a fashion magazine for role models!  Look instead at the people in your world who love and care about you. 

Look to our teachers, health care providers, social workers, and the all the people in your lives who make a difference.  The change can start right now with each one of us.  Don't comment on someone's acne, weight gain, or wrinkles. Have an open mind and an open heart to the kindness and wisdom that ...

#bodiesEnding the Myth

8 comments | February 22nd, 2012

Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 2.35.04 PM

(story by Carre Otis, a Chestist, and author of Beauty Disrupted)

Motherhood has brought me many joys and insights, but the new perspective it granted me on the role I had inadvertently played in young women’s lives for the 2 decades I spent in the modeling industry was downright sobering.

Although everyone who works in the industry senses how discriminating it can be — against size, against age and against so much more — I had given very little thought to the ways in which I had personally been part of the problem. Once it did occur to me; though, I knew I had to be part of the solution.

I was essentially paid to perpetuate the myth that we are all, or should at least try to be, 17 and a size 2 forever.

For those of us who are older than 17, that means trying to turn back the hands of time… and for those of us who are younger, it means trying to accelerate time — literally growing up before our time. As a young model I was placed in impossibly ...

#bodiesA Healthy Relationship With Self

13 comments | February 15th, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-02-10 at 11.51.13 AM

(story by Carre Otis, a Chestist and author of BeautyDisrupted)

When was the last time you honestly asked yourself, “How do I feel about me?” “How do I see myself?” Simple and obvious? Maybe not so much.

How we feel about ourselves and bodies affects much more than I think we realize. Our self image, confidence and feelings of self worth ricochet out through the universe — and certainly the universe of our daily lives and interactions. Our feelings impact other people, shaping their feelings about us as well as about themselves.

Do you feel happy? Confident? Beautiful? Centered in your place and mission in your workplace? At home? In relationship? With your children? With self and others?

Self-love is the battery that powers every other kind of love.

I believe many of us suffer the effects of living on an autopilot of low self esteem and negativity. We’re shut down, dismissing the very need to be in healthy dialogue with our inner selves.. The relationship with self must be nurtured first before we can expect to experience fulfilling and reciprocated relationships in other ...

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