Category Archives: #thebodyyouhave

The One Item Challenge

HauteCash

Soooooo once again it’s Haute Cash time at Torrid (check it out on their FB page or website), which means it’s time for a shopping trip!

Their late summer/early fall collection came out and I LOVE it! I came home with some great stuff (of course), and that leads me to this: a little challenge I do to build confidence and improve my own body image.

Every time I shop for clothing, I make myself buy one item that makes me a little nervous to wear. Sometimes it’s tighter or a style or color I don’t normally wear; usually though, it’s something that’s shorter than I’m used to.

First I’ll find the item and make sure to pick the right size. I try it on and look at myself in the three-way mirror: I force myself not to judge what I see, to not hear the voices saying things like “Should you really be wearing that?” Or “What will people say?”

This week, I bought a short blue skirt.
This week, I wore the short blue skirt.

Give it a try, post your story. ❤️

#thebodyyouhave #shareyoursas

What would you say?

From a conversation with a theatre friend last night:

“I have so many friends to invite to the group, but…I invited one girl and she accused me of judging her for being fat.  She think she’s fat. I told her that wasn’t what I meant, but the conversation kind of ended.”

She asked for my advice, what I said was this:

“What I would say is this group is not for “fat” people. It’s for people who might struggle with body image in any number of ways, and they need support and to hear they are worthy. I’ve heard you talk yourself down so many times. And I think if you share your story, you’d be surprised at the amount of support you’ll get. It might help you.”

So- what do you guys think? What would you have said? I would love to hear your thoughts. ❤️

#TheBodyYouHave
#ShareYourSAS

Are you read to #ShareYourSAS ?

SASBanner1

ShortsOnSaturday was a hit!

As I’ve already reported, Shorts On Saturday was a HUGE SUCCESS last week! Why?  Literally thousands of you posted your photos and stories. But even MORE of you (and this is the best part) took the time to lift each other up over and over again. And that’s what this is about, why it’s working. THAT’S the movement, my friends!

And it’s already having a huge impact.  I have no doubt every one of you read, at least, one story this week about someone who hasn’t worn shorts in 5, 10, 20 years — and they wore them on Saturday! You may have read about someone who has been told their whole life they “shouldn’t leave the house like that” or they “will never get a man with a body like that”. On Saturday, they were brave. They took action against their fears.  They realized they are worthy, they are beautiful.  Or someone took a smaller (but equally important) step toward a bigger goal: they wore their shorts around the house, they wore a sundress for the first time, they showed their calves for the first time.  These are the things already happening a hundred, a thousand times over!

Onward and upward!

What’s the answer?  Um, GO BIGGER! Let’s make that wave of support and acceptance swell a little higher this week, next week, every day…

Shorts On Saturday is now Shorts All Summer (SAS)! And so, my friends, it’s time to #ShareYourSAS !

How it works: Simple! Don’t wait until Saturday to wear your shorts and tell your story.  Wear them any day, every day.  All summer long! If you’re taking baby steps (go you!), give yourself a more gradual transition into your new comfort zone.  Share your photos, stories, and positivity all summer long – Share your SAS!

Ok first, how perfect is the word “SAS” for this group? Love it.

Second, the “Share” part: sharing is the key. It’s why we’ve gotten to this point. You shared not only shared your stories and your photos, but you shared your support and your acceptance.

Look what we did in one Saturday. Now imagine what we can do ALL SUMMER! Put on your shorts or whatever empowers you. Leave the house. Support each other.

#ShareYourSAS !

 

 

 

 

 

“…miles to go before (we) sleep…”

cropped-thebodyyouhave-waterfall-banner-4.jpg

Two weeks ago, I thought I was sooo busy– looking for a new job, rehearsals, kids’ activities, errands, family time, friend time, slowly working my way through deep-cleaning the house…

Ha. Yeah. Anyway.

It still doesn’t feel quite real. I told my husband this whole thing has felt like an out-of-body experience. I never expected anything like it. Growing up, my dream was to be on Broadway, to make a living with my passion for performing. But life happened and don’t get me wrong; that’s a good thing.  Theatre has remained my passion; it fulfills me, it makes me happy and it hardly ever feels like work.  On the other side, I’ve also settled into what I refer to as “the day job”, the career. I’m good at it, I like it and I work hard; but that’s where it stops.  Theatre = passion.  Day job = work. This is life.

Then Friday, June 24th happened.  I’ve long been passionate about body image and acceptance within my own circle of friends.  I’ve taken to Facebook multiple times in the past to discuss similar experiences of being judged or shamed about my body.  But this time the right message reached the right people at the right time. Hence, a perfect storm.  Not that I’m complaining, but for someone whose audience usually sits in a dark theatre and watches me randomly burst into song while I pretend to be someone else, this was something completely new. Out of my comfort zone.  And a little scary.

A simple post I wrote about putting on a pair of shorts rallied the troops- behind me.  It created a call to action about what I’ve referred to as “the last legal form of bigotry”.  Now I’m suddenly the face of a movement that is gaining momentum and already affecting change; and that’s a big responsibility that I don’t take lightly.

Yes, this responsibility is scary- because it’s so important.  It is, and will continue to be, hard work. But in my experience, when you’re passionate about something, you don’t mind the work. In fact, often times it doesn’t FEEL like work. And that’s exciting! It’s refreshing to combine something you’re passionate about with hard work- and see the results.

We’ve been given a brief window of opportunity to do something with this movement. The media storm lifted me up and now it’s up to me and all of you to keep it moving onward and upward. I truly believe if the right decisions are made at the right times and for the right reasons, this will get bigger and better and could theoretically cause a landslide that tears down sizeism.

If that’s going to happen, the message needs to do two things:

(1) It needs to, HAS to stay visible. I’ve had several people jokingly (or not) say “When are you going on Ellen?” I laugh uncomfortably as I imagine what my detractors are saying about that. It’s a long shot, but can you imagine the impact? Yes, staying visible means keeping the brand visible in mainstream media: online, on air, on paper. Specifically, what will that entail? I’m not sure.  Media is a fickle friend. And while something like ‘Ellen’ could have a huge impact, the long-term  visibility and relevance of our message in the public eye depends more on ALL of us keeping it alive by what we’ve been doing for the past two week: sharing our stories and supporting each other. Taking action.

(2) The message also has to stay on point. That message, from the beginning, has been this:

“Don’t let the body you want keep you from loving the body you have. Celebrate each other. Every day.”

That’s it.  It’s a message of acceptance, not only telling us to love ourselves, but also reminding us that we as human beings are responsible for NOT tearing each other down. For ANY reason.

#TheBodyYouHave is not about discouraging a healthy lifestyle. It’s not about promoting obesity or laziness.  And while it obviously needs to reach those who are doing the tearing down, the message is not specifically about the woman at the UPS store. Her words moved me to share my experience; sharing that experience was a catalyst. That’s all.

So for now, do this: take action. Be the change.

Build each other up with your words and actions. That’s where it starts. Where does it go? That’s up to me and to you.  How about a society where human beauty is as varied a spectrum as human sexuality?

Does that sound exhilarating? It does to me.

#thebodyyouhave

Update from ‪#‎TheBodyYouHave‬ and ‪#‎ShortsOnSaturday‬:

Update from ‪#‎TheBodyYouHave‬ and ‪#‎ShortsOnSaturday‬:

So as we all gear up to spend the holiday (for those of us in the U.S.) with family and friends, here’s a couple of updates and some info:

1) It’s official: We’re officially continuing the #ShortsOnSaturday campaign as part of the official #TheBodyYouHave brand message! More details to come.

2) TheBodyYouHave Blog: Tuesday will start a regular cycle of discussion topics meant to encourage the sharing of experiences. It will also have fun stuff like styling tips, places to shop AND it feature stories…from YOU.

3) Media: this week, I will be featured on Eye Opener News, a national news outlet. I record tomorrow morning and am not sure of broadcast times. I will also be live on 98.7 KLUV DFW, not sure when. I am in discussion with Entertainment Tonight, more info coming.

4) To answer several messages: I am absolutely open to speaking at events and for podcasts, etc. Email me at thebodyyouhave@gmail.com or message me for a contact number.

Now, enjoy your Sunday! As for me, It’s bedtime for an early interview tomorrow!

The best thing I believe we can do for our kids with regards to body acceptance and self-worth.

TL;DR A lot of my personal opinion and theories. The best gift you can give your kids is to not pass on your bad body image baggage.
 
Hello. I am married to Brynne Huffman. She asked me if I would write some entries and this one seemed to jump out after the discussion going on in an earlier post
 
I wanted to expand on the comments I left on one of the posts here regarding how so much of this is a generational cycle. (Thank you Kathy Derby!)
 
You were maybe chastised regarding your weight or other flaws by your mother/father, grandparents, aunts/uncles so you strive not to pass that on to your daughters/sons. Many parents DON’T try and they end up perpetuating the cycle. So many people in this group have written about how much effect things said to them at a young age have. How those word are carried with them to this day and how this this may mean that you may never get to where you completely accept and believe your self-worth. But I believe, by not passing that behavior on between you and your children, your kids have a better chance to grow up to be able to love themselves; they are not carrying around that baggage from the people (relatives) in their life who should be their biggest supporters and role models. And the fact that this abuse is coming from the people who are supposed to be our protectors is part of what makes it so insidious. It’s hard to convince a child that a parent is wrong about something when the whole first part of that life you are told and conditioned to listen to your parents and believe they know best; and it makes sense as that’s how you stay alive long enough to learn to do things for yourself. So it becomes a deep seated belief, rooted in your very personality as it first develops.
I truly believe that, even in families, you need to speak out about this stuff. I think our kids need to see us stand up to people, especially family, and let them know it’s not acceptable behavior and won’t be tolerated. Seeing you defend them against that kind of damage helps armor them to be able to do it themselves when you won’t be there.
 
When it comes to combating these things in society, it’s my belief that bigotry and discrimination of all kinds are things that have to literally die out to have society progress. My major example being Veteran soldiers and attitudes towards the groups they fought against. In the cases of wars it’s hard to convince a person that some group is the enemy and acceptable to be killed. Just for sanity’s sake, many people will, in their mind, make members of that group less than human. The bigotry helps them get over the taboo of taking the life of another human that may even look just like them. So to then expect those soldiers to reenter society and discard those feelings once we are at peace with that group is unreasonable. And people thinking that after years and decades of peace that they should be able to reconcile and forget those feelings and prejudices seem to forget that if a soldier admits that his bigotry is/was wrong, then he has to face that he has committed violence against another human being. And the people at home supporting those soldiers and who may have lost loved ones to that conflict have the same bigotries and conflicts. Hence your racist older relatives.
 
But, in my opinion, the best gift those earlier generations can give is to NOT pass on those prejudices to the next generations. That way the bigotry dies out with the people who hold it in their minds but the future generations get to start with a clean slate. This is why I think you see the milestones made in civil rights and other social issues follow a fairly predictable pattern of acceptance. And I am in no way saying that this is universal or that it means we don’t have to fight for these causes. We do and there are always people who can rise above. I feel like we are approaching this kind of change in the body acceptance movement. I think that the groundswell of information and knowledge regarding what makes people fat or skinny and all of the causes that are more complicated than “lazy” or “big boned” or “eating disorder” is making the generation coming up more aware. I think they are going to have a much better chance of learning acceptance about body issues and are probably going to be around for some life changing advances in the sciences related to human physiology. My goal is to not pass on to my kids the damage and prejudices I grew up with and to give them the chance to love themselves without passing on that baggage.
#thebodyyouhave

The Original “Shorts” Post

This is the original post from Facebook on Friday, June 24th. You can read it directly on Facebook here.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ok here goes. Read this. It’s long. I don’t care. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want compliments. I want action. Read it.

Women. Please, I beg of you PLEASE do not tear each other down. There is so much hate in the world right now. Rape culture. Hating Islam. Hating LGBTQ. No more hate.

Today I put on a pair of mid-thigh denim shorts, a flowy white blouse, flip flops and left the house to run a couple errands.

Let me pause for a moment to tell you it took some courage to both purchase and wear said shorts because my legs, while tan from swimming and muscular from dancing, are (1) not where I would like them to be and (2) are not up traditional beauty standards (read: Photoshopped) because cellulite.

My second errand of the morning was a drop off at the UPS store. I stood in line between two women. Woman #1 in front of me was about sixty. As I took my place in line behind her, she smiled and complimented me on my tan and my hair. We chitchatted about the weather and children until it was her turn at the counter.

It the spirit of paying it forward, I turned to Woman #2 behind me and smiled. Woman #2 was probably about 30-35, very attractive, about a size 8, wearing a shirt that says “COEXIST”.

She says: “Your hair really is amazing. ::cocks head to side:: “You should probably rethink the shorts though.”

Yeah. Read that again.

My face instantly flushes, not out of embarrassment but anger. No, not anger. Rage. This as my head slowly tilts to the side. If you’ve seen me really angry you know what I mean.

My fists clenched up. I know this because I felt my nails digging into my palms. So many things ran through my head. Because I don’t have time to get arrested today, what came out was this:

“You should probably rethink your shirt.”

I turned around and ignored her until I left the store. I wanted to say more but was afraid, of all things, that I would start crying. All I wanted to do was go home and change my clothes. And THAT made me angry.

Gender doesn’t matter.
Race doesn’t matter.
Religion doesn’t matter.
Sexual orientation doesn’t matter.

But fat?
Apparently fat matters.

And I’ll go a step further and say it especially seems to matter as an actress. Matter more than talent. Than attitude. Than pretty much anything else. Because fat girls are not believable heroines, ingenues, or objects of sexual desire. But that’s a whole other post.

Listen, people.

Especially women.

Plus sized doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy.
Plus sized doesn’t necessarily mean lazy.
Plus sized doesn’t mean ugly or undesirable or untalented or uncoordinated or LESS. THAN. HUMAN.

You might have an issue with my body. I don’t. And I’ve worked very hard past judgmental family and friends, past divorce, past depression to NOT have an issue with my body.

Women. Do not tear each other down.

Celebrate each other.

Every day.