I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot lately. My posting schedule has been really erratic, and I really miss the days when I was coming up with new things to say all the time. These days I have a lot of ideas, but always end up talking myself out of writing about them. All day today I planned to write a post, but had a hard time deciding what I wanted to post about. Then I hopped on Twitter for a second and came across this message about the Proud2BMe Summit. I opened the link, and, as part of the Proud2Bme 3-day challenge, made the following pledge:
When I did, I noticed that the goal is to get 10,000 people to take the pledge. As of ten minutes ago, when I took it, 305 other people had done it. Given that today is the first day of this 3-day challenge, 300 pledges isn’t bad. But considering how many people are affected by Photoshopped images and the unrealistic standards they create and disordered eating, 300 is a pretty small number.
I first heard about Proud2BMe through an email that NEDA sent out, but (I’m slightly embarrassed to admit) I wrote it off they advertised it as a site for “young people”, which I can only assume means people who are younger than I am. Clicking through the site, it’s clear that it’s targeted toward teenagers. But that doesn’t mean that the information it contains, or the call to action that it embodies, don’t apply to people of all ages. We’re all affected by the pictures we see in advertising and fashion spreads, on the red carpet and television, and in the movies. Why shouldn’t we all rally to take the same pledge? While it’s true that disordered eating affects a disproportionate number of young people, it’s also on the rise in older populations. I think we could all benefit from a large-scale campaign like this one, that targets people of all ages. We’re all susceptible, and we all need to be encouraged to be proud of who we are and how we look.
For a while, my friend Jill took a self-portrait every day. Eventually, she compared the pictures she’d accumulated over the course of the year. It was a cool project, and one that put emphasis on day-to-day existence. She took pictures of herself before going running–these were pictures of her, and not some image that she’d manipulated in some way in order to present a certain angle of herself to the rest of the world. I’ve been wanting to do something similar for a while, and I think that I’m going to try it out as a way of expressing that I’m proud to be me. Each day, I’ll take a picture that will show where I am and who I am at the time I take the picture. It will be a way to record the reality of that moment or that day, and not a way to create something artificial. I tend to be pretty critical of the way I look in pictures, so I’m nervous about doing this. My goal will be to accept each picture, no matter how much I dislike it. In time, I hope I’ll come to love each picture for what it represents, although I’m not necessarily going to hold my breath until that happens. I may end up sharing my pictures, I may not. I haven’t decided yet.
Will you take the pledge to show the real you? How will you tell yourself (or the world) that you’re proud to be you?