Body Shaming
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If you did not find this cover amazing, you have a problem!

@cosmopolitanuk October cover is the plus size model @tessholliday and got some really bad comments around the world.

This morning I saw an article about it in The West Australian, where the columnist wrote: "This isn’t a conversation about aesthetic, or about what’s fashionable. About whether or not you think Holliday is model material or otherwise.

This is about more of the same rubbish being peddled to women — that is that any shape and size is beautiful, even at the incredibly unhealthy extremes."

If you DO NOT AGREE, you are on the right track!

But if you AGREE, I'd like to ask you a question.

1 - Are you a doctor ?! If not, you really have no way to know if she's healthy or not. If you are a doctor, go to the next question ...

2 - Did you have access to the model's medical exams?! If you did not see them, you also have no way to know if she's healthy or not.

Did you realize that you cannot say if someone is healthy or not by looking at a photo?! I really don’t know why people say what you should or should not do with your body, just by judging what they look at in a photo, or in person. - Isn’t it easier to just stay quiet and mind your own business?!

Now, let’s move to a more serious problem... BODY SHAMING!

You may have preferences on how you want to look physically, you may wish to lose or gain weight, just as you may be completely satisfied with your body! But you can only do this with YOUR OWN BODY!

Yesterday a photo of a future collection of Revolve was prematurely released. The brand of Los Angeles is known for its famous ambassadors such as Camila Coelho, Rocky Barnes, Aimee Song... ALL SKINNY! The photo in question was a shirt written: "Being fat is not beautiful, it's an excuse."

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HAS ANYONE HERE QUESTIONED OR SAW SOMEONE QUESTIONING THE HEALTH OF THESE INFLUENCES?

Being fat does not mean being unhealthy, and being skinny does not mean being healthy.

And with that we go the third photo: The 5 Minute Rule!

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Identity

Who are you? What do you do? I can say my name, talk about my job, my marital status, my age. I can say that  I have children, grandchildren. Maybe I can start by saying where I was born. Anyway, I can talk about a lot of things so I don’t have to really talk about  me. 

Suddenly I realize the many veils that hide me. Veils? Or characters that live within me? It is really hard to know who I am in a world totally adjectival, in the world of labels and stamps. I guess I'm not who the world thinks I am. Life is actually a search for who I am.


As a child they told me: Be a good girl! I was later told to study, but not to forget about getting  married. I only realized how fast time had passed when I heard: be a good mother and, of course, a good wife. And if need be, forget about your job, your family should be your priority. Oh, and remember to be a good lover, or else your husband "will pursue elsewhere what he can not find at home". Argh !!!

Even the mirror manages to pressure me to be quiet, silent, and boy, do I avoid it! But when I take a sneak peek, I can hear: "Hmmmm!! You need to lose a few pounds..".

It's hard to resist. I leave the office, I stop by the supermarket, I pick up the boys at school, I do the laundry, I improvise dinner and while I clean the table dreaming of a time just for me, I feel the shiver of a hand on my thighs followed by a whisper: ”I want you". I do not know whether I get happy, if I faint or if I dream of a bicycle ... The day does not end ...

Who am I? This is a tough question... Maybe I am what they expect me to be. Or what they chose me to be. Surely I am the improbable, the invisible, which is never here.
I collect characters in search of a story. Everyone likes a good story. What am I? A collection of promises. What do I do? Everything and nothing, because I still do not know about myself.

And so I shudder whenever I hear a determined voice say my name, my marital status, job, age. They are voices who believe they know me ...

As I still do not know... silence... and I still try to find me, to meet me, between tears in the movies; in the music that vibrates in my body, that moves me and almost reaches an anonymous place in me; in the fleeting glance that reaches me in the street; in my voice seized by poetry; in the caress that touches the place of the shiver. And I walk ... I walk, I walk in search of me ...

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Self-Esteem

Today the talk is about SELF-ESTEEM.

 When my instagram and blog became bigger than I ever imagined they would be, I decided I should be part of this body-positive movement and also talk about self-esteem in relationships, professional life, and motherhood.


We never know who is following us, we do not know their life story, their fears, and so I decided that I would talk about any subject in the most transparent way possible. My mission is to make at least ONE person feel good, have their self-esteem elevated, or their fears crushed.


But let's get down to business...
We grow up in an extremely sexist society, where many abominable behaviors become commonplace. I have lived most of my life surrounded by men, and I have always used that classic phrase "I only have male friends, because women are very annoying." - But I changed my mind and behavior, so today I think it's important to say that, and especially to show that it's okay to change our minds ... Of course, people still point to things I said in the past, but now I am another person. I think differently and I'm very happy to have changed my behavior and my mind... To keep making the same mistakes is foolish.


Of course, for a while, I felt bad for all the terrible thoughts I had over many years, but I decided to make peace with myself and start doing things differently; embracing more and more women who are fighting against these social patterns.


Now let's talk about these patterns ...


It is very important to understand that this goes far beyond our own behavior. The standards exist in the fashion industry, in transportation, television, magazines, and especially in our homes - they are everywhere!


What should we do about it? I say self-love is the most important thing. Let me give you an example ..


Last week I went to my in-law's house, and there's a pool. I grew up on the beach, so I packed my bikinis, but because of insecurity I decided to take a one-piece bathing suit as well.

I woke up on Tuesday and it was a beautiful day. I just wanted to lie in the sun and stay for hours - remember that I'm speaking to you as a person who lives in New York and, because of pregnancy and giving birth to Gigi, spent a year without sunbathing.


Well, I went to get ready to go to the pool. I looked at myself in the mirror and without any shred of love, I put on my one-piece swimsuit to hide my body and I thought, "I do not have a body to wear a bikini ..."


On the way from the bathroom to the bedroom, I asked myself,  "Why do I need to have a body to wear a bikini ?!"
-    First, I just need a body; and we all know that I have one.
-    Second, I just need a bikini; which I also had with me!


And after answering these very simple questions, I ran into the bathroom, changed into my two-piece, and went to enjoy the pool! See how easy it was to resolve this conflict?!


The problem is not what we want to do, it is dealing with the comments and unloving looks of the people around us.


But why do we let ourselves be shaken by what people think?! That's what I've been saying on Instagram several times.


People who do not look to themselves with love, will also not do so with the other person; they only want you to be someone they can't be, so they transfer their frustrations to you! You see how dangerous it is... It's not about you, it's about the dissatisfaction they carry about themselves.


I will give an example that happened to me last year... I got married in July last year, and in May someone criticized my body. They said I had to lose more weight for the wedding, to look beautiful in my wedding dress. Below you can see two photos from May 2017. I was very insecure about everything, I looked at myself in the mirror and I felt fat. In my head, I would be a horrible bride if I could not lose more weight.
So I decided to follow what these people said and I started a super restrictive diet to lose even more weight...

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The result was much more stressful than you can imagine ... I had a kidney infection because of the diet I was doing, I went to the emergency room, and besides the medication, the doctor said that my recovery would be faster if I ate carbohydrates. I do not need to say that the consequence would be to put on weight so that my kidneys would not be overloaded.
Also I had the stress of my wedding dress. The one I had bought did not fit anymore a month and a half before my wedding, so I was desperate for a dress that would be ready on time. It was pure adrenaline, because after I found the dress I wanted, I received the news that it would only be ready two days before the wedding. What if something went wrong in the dress ?!


Luckily the dress was ready a little before, because they had errors and at least gave time to fix it... But you see the point I want to make?! It's not about weight, it's about being at peace and happy with who you are. Love your body and yourself no matter what. If I had just ignored the comments I heard and was secure about my body and what I wanted for myself, this would not have happened. So you can see that it is not the other person's fault, IT IS 100% MY FAULT! 


Taking responsibility for yourself is one of the most important factors in this process. All the stress I have experienced, was my responsibility!

The wedding was great, I looked beautiful, I had fun, and that's the most important thing! But if I had not taken that responsibility for myself, I would have spent the entire time whining about what happened.


How does this work in our lives?! It's exactly the same thing! 
Today my priority is to strengthen myself more and more to raise a little girl who is completely free of these patterns. Is it going to happen outside the house?! OF COURSE! But if she practices the self love when she is little, she will understand that she can be who she wants, do what she wants, and learn to ignore any comments that shake her self-esteem.


Kids are free of patterns and prejudices when they are born. Adults are responsible for their insecurities. It is not that they teach this purposefully, but what happens is that the child begins to identify these patterns in adults and if the parents, for example, are insecure people, who are always complaining about their own body or think less of themselves, they will start to feel insecure as well.


Think about it, if mothers and fathers are the most perfect people in the world, and if they feel horrible about themselves, how will this child feel about it?! How will she grow up to be secure about her own body and her behavior?!


That story of building a better world for our children begins at home and goes far beyond material issues.


So what I want to say to you here is: Do not let yourself be shaken by the comments of others. Take care of your self-esteem, exercise your empathy with other people instead of looking at them full of judgment. When you look at others with empathy, it automatically comes back to you, and it's easier to deal with issues that still bother you.
But the next time you are judging someone, ask yourself why it bothers you so much. What's inside you that makes you judge or comment on other people's bodies and choices?
 

To finish this post, I will challenge you to start a week with more empathy and no judgement!

In the virtual world... innumerable possibilities.
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The relationship is over. Between tears on the pillow, a question is stuck in my head: do I want to be alone? After a few days, new questions come to my mind and my heart. Where can I meet someone interesting? Will I fall in love again?

Technology is a method of approach to dating that every day gains more followers in the form of relationship websites and apps. It's a modern and effective modality of meeting new people, forging encounters, fantasizing about relationships, and why not virtually find love?

I thought I knew everything about human relationships but I was completely wrong . We are always learning, discovering and reviewing concepts ... only in movement, life is fun. And I, suddenly, became an apprentice of myself in the world of virtual relationships. With a simple enter, I can narrow the distance and with just a delete, end the existence of ephemeral loves. "Hello, I'm Mark, I like your profile and I want to meet you; I'm Nanna, I do not know if I want to meet you, but you can convince me; I am João, a Portuguese photographer and I just want to have a conversation; I'm Rafa, I'm good at talking; I am Didier, I do not want commitment, I just want to have fun; I'm Ana, I'm looking for a serious commitment ... "

Everyone is looking for someone for various reasons, willing to challenge distances, and recreate old times. A menu of intentions and characters in search of a script: those who only navigate at dawn - married, mischievous - those who move in the shadows and do not let themselves to be seen clearly; the solitaries, who need to speak, talk about themselves, but do not want to listen to the other, who will never meet, incompetent for any kind of exchange.

Oh, sometimes you can run into the voyeur, a classic type whose pleasure is to see the other, to enjoy their image, fixed on specific parts of the body. Being the showcase is a unique condition for a relationship in the virtual world. There are also the anxious, eager for affection, even if ephemeral and false. No matter what, they need affection and are so easily a prey for scammers, crooks that circulate on these websites just to take money from you.. Scammers are easy to identify, often said to be in isolated areas: in Africa preferably engaged in very profitable activities, or serving in the American army in the Middle East or Asia. Poor men, so needy and unprotected ... Scammers, men and women, always tell a personal tragedy; they identify the victim as their soul mate and although they are uncreative and repetitive in the messages they send, they persist, and when discovered and denounced, return with a new profile, similar to the previous one, because they think they are invincible. They survive on the anguish and hope of those who cannot stand to be alone. There are various resources on the internet - websites, blogs - that help identify these crooks.

It is also easy to find the deceivers, experts in seduction, transiting on the threshold of ecstasy and pain. They come full of promises in exchange for virtual caresses, sporadic joys, and unconfessable desires. They could go to erotic websites, but their enthusiasm survives only from the seduction of ordinary people, who are imprisoned, and throw themselves blindfolded and occasionally fall in love. The deceiver tangles his victim, who might even suspect, but then concedes until the final blow happens: the fatal pressure of the delete ... I always wonder what hurts more? A blow to the pocket or the heart? The combination of the two can be hopeless ...

The good news is that despite the mishaps, it is possible to also find people who are there to exchange experiences, talk and eventually start a relationship and those who are looking for someone to fall in love with and live a great love.

In the virtual world, the first attraction is rational; the photos please, but it is the profile's information that definitively appeals. In a club or bar, the first attraction is immediately physical. In the virtual world, everything seems to be very fast, but it also takes a ripening time for the first attraction to be confirmed in the exchange of messages, in the visual conversations. Of course, we have to consider that in the virtual world I tell another just what I want him to know. That also means I can present a fantasy of myself. But also in the real world this happens ... Everything is a game of opportunities and unveiling.

Like a GPS that facilitates access to remote places but does not identify hazards on the way, communication technology transposes the obstacles of distance and time, brings people together, but can not read hearts and minds. This is a unique and exclusive task of human perception, without intermediaries... Is it difficult? Yes it is; But, it's going to happen...

New Partners

We have great news!

New partners will contribute to the blog. Twice a month on Tuesdays - starting tomorrow - the author Nanna Palhano will provide articles for reflections.

The column 'What if..’ was created to talk about life in general, the thoughts and situations that we can run into... 

And my partner in crime Barbara Borges, will share her awesome travel impressions, her knowledge of fashion, beauty, and of course her incredible braiding ability! But since she is a little undisciplined, I’m not sure when she will write. I hope soon...

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