I just gave myself wings, and the view from up here is pretty freaking awesome.
Today I made a 2 part video about Perfection Paralysis and how I use it to make excuses. A lot of excuses. In the second part of this vid, I talk about Instagrammer and blogger Sarah Nicole (@thebirdspapaya) speaking out on behalf of every woman, and how we all deserve wings (thanks very much Victoria’s Secret). In case you missed it -in the face of VS’s statement justifying their exceptionally narrow scope of unreal aesthetic representation- Sarah posted a pic of herself in her Knix underwear, and, having digitally drawn on her own wings, started a freaking movement when she hit ‘publish’.
“I want to be part of this! I want to do this so badly!” My heart leapt wildly with joy when the image popped up in my feed; and then I froze. I couldn’t do it just yet. “When you brush your hair. And do your make up…” I scowled, evaluating myself in the mirror.
When I finally brushed my hair and shyly stood there in the bathroom, door locked, precariously positioning my phone to get the shot, I faltered. I decided it wasn’t the right time. “When you put the kids to bed.”
But that evening wasn’t perfect either. “When I can clean up so they don’t see the mess in the shot.”
For each opportunity I had to participate, there was an equal adverse reason not to.
“When you don’t have to use your cane.”
“When your eye isn’t inflamed and you can wear your contacts.”
“When your IBD bloat isn’t there.”
I nodded each time. These seemed like sound reasons. But I felt the icy numbness in my heart spread, and I knew that the excuses were snowballing and my expectations were winning. Worse, I knew that meant the exclusionists were winning too.
I knew I needed to fight myself hard, so I did what I always do- I hit record.
And then something funny happened. The minute I finished shooting -saying in my video that my first step to battle my perfection paralysis was taking that photo and being a part of that #everywomanisanangel tag- the doorbell rang and I got a delivery.
It was my own Knix order.
Well, my wardrobe was ready. Ok universe. I hear you.
Not 15 minutes later I got a call to pick my 8 year old daughter up early from school- she had a slight tummy ache. “I guess I’ll have to wait to take that pic until later.” I thought, defeated again in the wake of my own victorious ego.
“What’s this?” Vee asked looking at the package on the table. I explained it was some special new underwear. I also shyly explained what I intended to do with it.
“Why? I mean, what does it mean to take a picture like that?” She asked.
“Well, have you heard of Victoria’s Secret?”
“Yep. That’s the pretty pink girly store at the mall with all the lace in it.”
“Well, some people there don’t think that every human should be seen in a certain way, or should model their clothes. They will only let the ladies you may have seen in their pictures be their ‘angels’. And I believe that reality is beautiful. I believe that everybody is beautiful and should see themselves that way…And that we should see way more of that. So along with some other amazing women, I’m posting a picture of me with my own wings-“
“So you can be an angel too, right?”
“Exactly. But I’m scared to do it. And I don’t know how to take the picture. What do you think? Do you think that this is a good idea?”
“Mom. Its a great idea! What they’re doing makes me feel upset and I don’t think it’s fair either. That’s discrimination. Come on! I’ll take the pictures!” While I sat there with my jaw dropped, she grabbed my phone, told me to strip, and she jumped up on the couch so she could do the photo shoot.
I looked at my 8 year old. She was fearless and strong, and I wanted her to feel like that always. All my excuses melted away. I had no more mounting checklists or dizzying “maybe when’s” left.
So I jumped in.
And all of a sudden I felt the powerful spark of women coming together and igniting change. And I realized why movements are called MOVEMENTS.
Because I wasn’t paralyzed any more.
And looking into my daughter’s confident eyes, I could feel a new world set in motion.
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