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There is Never a Good Answer

ceruleanchronicle.com

Kerry Washington and Demetria Lucas photo courtsy of ceruleanchronicle.com

We go through life looking for answers in all the wrong places, and sometimes there is never a good answer. Last weekend I attended my first blogger conference, BlogHer 2014.  It was an amazing getting to meet so many virtual friends, and getting a taste of just how much I have yet to learn, about pretty much everything. There were some great speakers, including Kerry Washington who everyone (but me) seemed really stoked about seeing. I knew who she was in a general kind of way, but I have never seen Scandal, so I had no thoughts about who she was, or why she was there other than being famous (whatever that means). All the featured guests spoke in an interview format, and Kerry Washington, was interviewed by blogger Demetria Lucas. Not surprisingly, as this was an interview with a woman, the issue of body image and weight came up, I believe in reference to the recent birth of her first child, and her answer was astonishing.  She said she never weighed herself, and she had put away her scale because “There’s never a good answer there” she went on to say that either she was unhappy with the number, and it ruined her day, or she was pleased, and then didn’t want to eat for the rest of the day. 

courtesy of QuirkyChrissy.com

courtesy of QuirkyChrissy.com

This is what this incredibly smart, gorgeous,, thin woman, famed for her beauty said! She said it doesn’t do anything positive for her to weigh herself. OMG. She said it like it was a perfectly reasonable, sensible thing to say, and yet it still filled me with a strange mixture of awe, shame, horror and relief. As if there are good reasons to put that scale away beyond just giving up.  It made me question what motivated me to put away my scale. Did I do it out of a good, and healthy impulse, or out of resignation, and unwillingness to face my own reality. Does it have to be one or the other? The theme of this conference was “Selfiebration” which frankly terrified me. I rarely take selfies, in fact I took some satisfaction in an article I read about the narcissism inherent in this era of the selfie. I was greeted in my hotel room with encouraging stickers on the mirror, telling me I am enough (a message I never tire of hearing) and that I have never looked better (with which I beg to differ) and instructed to take some selfies with said stickers. And so I did:Yousunny californiaI am enough Clearly the center photo is just a nice picture of a deserted boulevard in San Jose, not a selfie.  So where are my answers? Where should I be looking for the right answers? Not my mirror, or my scale, I have been looking inward for what feels like a hundred years, and still I look outside for approval, love, acceptance, for the proof that I am selfie-worthy. You may look at these photos and say ‘you look cute’ or ‘happy’ or ‘good’ and I look at them and just cringe. It has taken a lot for me to even post them. I think it’s easy for Kerry Washington to toss her scale, and we admire her for it, and if someone like me does it, it seems pathetic. So, I keep searching in all directions for my own answers, my own peace, my own place where I don’t feel like I’m taking up too much space. I will keep trying to find the right places for good answers, and keep trying to ask the right questions!  So how awesome am I?      

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  • August 4, 2014 - 8:58 am

    Sarah @ LeftBrainBuddha - Ok, first of all, you’re awesome! And I beg to differ with the characterization of the selfie as narcissism. Sure, sometimes they can be done all self-promotery, but it’s also about being comfortable with our bodies and our selves. It’s seeing how much we change through the day and the year. So often women are the ones behind the camera, snapping pics of our kids or our pets or whatever, and the selfie lets us be seen. So bravo to you for snapping your lovely selfies and sharing them and being seen! (And you should totally watch Scandal — it’s so good!) Take care, lovely 🙂ReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 9:48 am

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Wow, thanks Sarah! What a great way to start the day with a comment like this! I am working on the whole selfie thing, so BlogHer definitely gave me a strong nudge in that direction. Scandal it is!ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2014 - 11:06 am

    Jade - Totally get where you’re coming from, and the feeling that it’s easy for people like Kerry to throw away the scales.

    In some ways I’d love to say – screw it, I’m big, whatever – but I’m so unhappy I can’t.

    I also understand how hard it is to share a photo when you feel that way, so well done for doing it!ReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 1:36 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Jade, Just say ‘screw it’ it will liberate you (at least a little).
      ThanksReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    Carol Cassara - That’s all we can do, search for ourselves. And good for you!
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/paging-marcus-welby-md/ReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 4:46 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Carol,
      Thanks for that, and thanks for the reminder, I can’t ever get too many of those 🙂ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    Carolann Iadarola - Great post! I don’t weight myself either….who cares? Great post and pics! I don’t think it’s pathetic at all…I think we deserve to have ego boots…do what makes you happy! ReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 4:47 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Carolann,
      Thanks so much, yours is a great philosophy, and one that I attempt every day!ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2014 - 4:45 pm

    April - You’re the first person to mention that Demetria and Kerry were there… LOL! I say that like I know them! I’ve seen Kerry on countless things and Demetria on her reality show. Anywho. I keep my scale out, but I don’t use it primarily. That said, I don’t take selfies. I don’t even brush my teeth in the bathroom, I realized. I don’t know if there are answers. I really don’t.ReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 4:49 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - April,
      Thanks for the comment, and I’ve read a bunch of recaps, and I guess you’re right. Were you there? I met so many people my head it still spinning, though it is slowing down!
      I say if I can take a selfie, anyone can, and you certainly should!ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    Sarah - I love your selfie! I’m so bad at them! Loved meeting you! And you NEED to watch Scandal! XOReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 7:57 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - sarah, thanks, I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who thinks my selfies suck! I think I’m due for a marathon of Scandal, which I will schedule for when my daughter goes to Guatemala (sniff) and leaves me all alone.ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    Aussa Lorens - I didn’t start taking selfies until I had a blog (and became a complete narcissist, obviously–ha). There is a strong pull to look at every single photo and immediately identify something wrong with the way I look, it’s incredible. But it’s a waste of time. I majorly regret that I have almost zero photos of myself traveling overseas, simply because I was too self-conscious to be in a photo. It seems like a quick way to leach opportunity out of a moment, when you’re so trained to criticize yourself.

    I know I’m totally fixating on the selfie thing, but I really like this youtube video I recently found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usixSGc7T9o Particularly where she talks about taking bad selfies. I’m on SnapChat and ONLY talk to my Sister in Law and I send her INCREDIBLY unflattering photos all day long. For some reason, this makes me feel better, like how I look doesn’t matter.ReplyCancel

    • August 4, 2014 - 7:59 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Aussa,
      I think you have the right idea about taking tons of selfies! I have one friend who always has good photos of me, and that’s because he always takes a million, so odds are some will be winners! I need to just suck it up and self-on (so to speak).
      You’re also right about no pix of me anywhere for the last several years, and there’s no getting that back.
      Thanks!ReplyCancel

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