I received an overwhelmingly positive response to my "personal" posts, which both made me very happy and was a very pleasant reminder that I'm not the only one in the world who feels like a complete crazie sometimes. I was thinking maybe I'd try to write one-ish a week - what do y'all think? I don't want this to be therapy for me, Mollie hears enough about my problems, but I would love to open these posts up to discussion - have a forum if you will. I mean, I know not that many people read this dribble of mine, but if it impacts even one person then I consider a post a success. And judging by response to the last few, there have been some successes. Bailey (here, here and here) has written some pretty heavy stuff about what it is to be an every-woman, and if you haven't already I highly recommend the reads - and comments. And while I think what she is saying is awesome beyond awesome I also think she's covering it pretty dang well, so I'll leave that to her. I want to talk about another issue many of us women face on a day to day basis: our bods. This is a very sensitive topic for me - one because I have a storied past with body issues and two because let's be real, who wants to talk about what their waistline is looking like these days. Here are the facts: I used to be a lot bigger. I didn't take care of myself for a long time, and then I woke up one day, slapped myself in the face, and said damnit Cassie you're so unhappy get your sh*t together, woman! Ok so it wasn't that easy, but it happened, and is still happening. I work my tail off every day to lose weight, or maintain my weight, or whatever. And believe me, I don't even pretend to be alone on this one. I know it's an uphill battle for even the healthiest of us every. single. day. I don't really want this to be about me though - but if you do have any questions about trying to lose weight or get healthy, seriously shoot me an email, I like to consider myself an expert of sorts at this point. I want this post to be about this gal:
What a babe, right? This is Robin Lawley, a 23 year old plus-sized model who happens to have just landed a Ralph Lauren campaign (the first plus-sized model to do so) along with, obviously, frolicking on the beach for Cosmo Australia. When I saw these photos my first thoughts were damn that girl is HOT - not hmm, she looks chunky, or yikes, she has a muffin top, or eek, a little unfit...no. She looks great. That aside though, after scrolling through the comments on a few article, I've come to understand that there are two very different and very serious sides to the "debate" over these photos - the first being "Since when did a size 12 become plus-sized" and second "She looks disgusting and unhealthy, put down the fork" (seriously?). My thoughts? My thoughts are this: a size 12 is plus sized. It just is, I'm sorry. I used to wear one and depending on a designer / store still might, but I have never operated under the veiled reality that that was "normal." And a quick note on Robin's size 12 too, she is 6'0 plus - stretch out a body that long and you are bound to look different than a 5'4 size 12, or even my 5'8 size 12 - that's just a fact. Now, that being said, to me she is not necessarily a "plus-sized" woman. For the world of modeling, yes, for the real world, no. Her arms and legs are very fit and the only "big" part of her is her tummy and breasts. More power to her. I bet she works her ass off to look that way, and I think she looks fabulous. We should all strive to look like this, which when I look at these pictures is happy and healthy for her. Obviously we are never going to all look the same - I will never be as skinny as many of my friends, I will never be a C-cup, or look like Robin Lawley, but if I am consistently striving to be the healthiest version of me then all of that is OK, and you should feel that way too. Does that mean you should sit on your couch and gloat because you're smaller than she is? Have you ever heard of skinny fat? It's a scary thing. As for the other side of the fence, those people that think she looks unhealthy, gross, or unfit, I say take a hard look at the world you live in because it could not possibly be reality. In a country where we are battling a serious, serious obesity epidemic, to look at this woman who might be slightly overweight but probably isn't, who are you to call her any of those things? Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I guess I can see both sides of this, but reading such horrible wastes of breath like "she has rolls on her stomach, and very litle muscle tone, at age 20 these are signs that she is unfit," (which isn't nearly the worst) make me want to jump out of my skin. Stop staring at your computer screen! Go to a yoga class!
Which brings me to my next point - even more than Robin Lawley and these photos, here's what I don't understand - WHY do women insist on knocking each other down all the damn time? Seriously. Isn't it hard enough to just survive your day without hating on someone? Don't we face enough challenges - at work, at home, in life - without having someone we don't even know judge us for what we look like, or what we're wearing, or that 10lbs we've put on? We've all done it, and I am no different, but I am ashamed. I'm ashamed of myself, and of the judgements I've seen here, and here (in my favorite wellness guide, no less!), and I am ashamed that we as women - who should be supporting each other and building each other up - perpetuate this belief that we're not good enough. That it's ok for men to knock us down because we knock ourselves and each other down so much that what does it even matter? It's not ok! Who is going to fight for us if we don't fight for ourselves? So, to wind all of this rambling up (anyone still out there?) I think we should take a moment to celebrate what we see above - which is an absolute fox doing what we should all be doing, rocking out on a beach somewhere and giving an nth of a shit what us less fortunate desk peons are saying about her on Facebook. Robin Lawley, you are amazing. Your thoughts?