Attending the BlogHer conference this past weekend, was like getting to hang out with the cool girls from high school. In this analogy, the cool girls from high school are actually from the internet. Having admired these women who share their lives through the glowing window of my laptop screen, I was thrilled to see that they do, in fact, exist in 3D, and they are amazing. And, unlike the girls from high school, they are actually warm, welcoming and supportive.
My first day at BlogHer, I had the privilege of hearing Jess Weiner speak about self-esteem and her own struggles with self-acceptance. She is the Global Ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem fund, and, through her books and speaking engagements helps people (I think mainly girls and women) make peace with their bodies and themselves. Right on!
Maybe if I were a healthier woman this would not have been the case, but I was anxious heading to BlogHer. What if other people are better writers than me? What if they read what I’ve written and think I am a tool? What if they all know each other and won’t talk to me, a lowly blogger without her own website? Wow. My perception of the internet is more like high school than I had realized.
Jess helped put my mind and ease and put me in a place of calm, cool self-collectedness rather than bitchy, catty insecurity. This mental shift made the conference much more enjoyable for me and, presumably, those around me.
Continuing the high school analogy, Twitter is like the yearbook, or maybe the bathroom wall? It is full of messages and new information from people I want to know more about. Today, Brené Brown, one of the other people I was so glad to see at BlogHer, tweeted that Jess has a new article out in Glamour.
I am totally inspired by Jess Weiner’s campaign and her apparent comfort with her own size (200+ lbs, I think). I have always admired people who radiate confidence regardless of size. At the same time, I know that when I am carrying excess weight, it is usually because I have been using food as therapy for some other emotional issue in my life. I have had a hard time reconciling my own pairing of excess poundage with insecurity and stress and these women who proclaim self-acceptance regardless of weight.
In her revealing article, Jess addresses this very idea. I was intrigued to read about her own realization that neglect of one’s body is different from not caring about one’s weight. Like on an actual scale there is a balance — obsession with a number can certainly be a sign of insecurity and lead to more insecurity while complete avoidance of one’s body and physical health to prove to the world that self-critical weight hang-ups are not healthy can lead to physical ailments (diabetes, high cholesterol) and might be a sign something is out of balance emotionally.
Thanks for the reality check, Jess Weiner, and thanks for sharing your story so that I might better understand my own.