I returned from an amazing trip to West Texas on Tuesday evening, and have been going great guns since. I finally downloaded and edited all my photos and will post them soon. One disadvantage to shooting in RAW - which I only recently discovered that I could even do on my handy Canon Rebel Digital SLR (thank God for kids who are smarter than their parents) - is that it takes more time to convert and edit. At any rate, I got some fantastic shots!
This week's Inner Mean Girl Challenge was to Stop Judging Yourself - and everyone else. So ask yourself these questions:
- What do you beat yourself up about the most?
- Who do you judge the most?
Hmm. So I have to say, as a woman in the modern world surrounded by beautiful celebs on magazine covers, I am guilty. I beat myself most up about my body image (see perfectionist post...that tricky little inner demon-girl applies to everything doesn't it?!). I love to work out, truly I do, but I hate my imperfections. And it's truly hard to 'go easy on oneself' in this plastic surgery and fake boob-obsessed culture, really it is. I'm generally pretty happy with my body and how healthy I am as a 40-year old (gulp) but still! So there ya go. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Any ladies out there hear me? So let's kick that inner-mean-girl-byotch to the curb, and love our bodies for all the amazing things they do for us no matter what size or shape!! Truth be told, I have gotten way better about this in recent years. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that when I was a teenager I suffered from MAJOR body issues. Lots of sad, deep stuff there, but I used to cake on makeup and literally could not bear to look at myself in the mirror without it. I would spend 15 minutes to put on makeup before just hopping over the fence in my parent's backyard to go buy a pack of cigarettes (and no I do not smoke anymore - thank God - gave it up when I turned 20 and never looked back). But... it took going to Australia with all the "au natural" students to force me by peer pressure to give up makeup. I wear some now, but I went many years wearing none. I found my inner beauty, and realized my outer beauty as well (I really thought I was hideous! Go figure).
This week's topic also reminds me of the whole Ines Sainz NFL harassment issue. It really got me mad to read about other women judging her. So here's a piece of my mind: if you judged her for wearing tight pants, or thought to yourself or said to someone else (whether you're a guy or a girl) "She brought it on herself" - Shame on you! No woman ever brings sexual harassment or rape on herself (not that rape was involved in this case, but that same argument sadly gets extended to rape). I don't care that she wore painted-on jeans, and is "bootylicious" as Rush Limbaugh said. Good for her!
First, we should not judge the situation (what she did, or may have done) from what we really cannot know - we weren't there. The fact that it wasn't even her bringing the charges speaks volumes. But why are women so catty to one another? Ines wrote an essay saying the women reporters who came down hard on her, saying she always dresses "inappropriately" etc, set women's rights back 50 years. That may be a bit of a stretch, but the point she makes is right on. Women can be very jealous of one another, and want to scratch one another's metaphorical eyes out (reminding me of the first week's Inner Mean Girl call with Susan Shapiro Barash- the author of the book, "Tripping the Prom Queen" - in my post "do I gossip?" - but also week 2's topic of "Comparison").
Why do ladies do this to one another? I have to say I really am not this way. I love women, and applaud their successes - whether physical beauty (which comes from a lot of hard work), or success in work. And I honestly try to see the best in others, even when they "mess up" and do something I would otherwise judge as appalling. Well, if you have not walked in their shoes, don't judge - or at least lift it up in prayer rather than spread it as gossip. The Bible never says not to judge at all, it says to be righteous judges. We can be discerning and make decisions on who to let in our lives, or our children's lives - and yes, there are certainly people we will encounter who will fit in this category. But to judge one another's walk of faith, or to judge someone who we've never met and a situation which we know very little about, in truth, is not righteous judgment.
I love my many, diverse, amazing girlfriends, and I love the accomplishments of women in general - and unless you've shunned ME in some form or another for some reason which you never told me about anyway, I probably love you and think you're the greatest. So let's all turn a corner here, and encourage and support one another - whether you know the woman or you see her from afar - instead of judging and attacking. You won't ever know the full story for most of these situations. With Ines Sainz - the topic actually relates to next's week's IMG challenge, to give up negative media. Though I tend to think of FOX News... it also relates to reading anything related to celebrity gossip and the like.
I could go on more about how hard I've been on myself since the cancellation of my book contract, and some other setbacks in the writing world, but for now, I'll keep this to the topic of beauty and body image, because I know so many women deal with this. Until next time... and if you're at all intrigued by these posts and thoughts, please consider the Inner Mean Girl Reform School! (On a side note, I'm so excited that I won a free 12-week Goal Setting course with Amy Ahlers - the Wake Up Call Coach. I'm going to start once I get back from Oregon and Montana!