Lust For Life

Proclaiming to love yourself in this world is seen as brave, as courageous, as rebellious.

In a world that profits from your self-loathing, saying a big ‘Fuck You!’ to the people that perpetuate this hatred within you is seen as incredible…and I find that so disturbing.

I am not brave or courageous for loving myself.
I am not defying the odds, or society.
It is not heroic to love the flesh that you inhabit; it’s human.

Just tonight as I was waiting in line with my groceries, I glanced over and saw a reader’s digest style magazine, and every single cover line was about women shedding 2 pounds, 4 pounds, 10 pounds QUICK!  I literally flipped it the bird, and I know it was a superfluous act, but it felt SO. DAMN. GOOD.

1 year ago, I would never have seen it that way.
1 year ago, I would have snuck that trash onto the belt hidden amongst the rest of my purchases.
1 year ago, I would have felt immense shame within myself seeing those bold-font reminders that I am taking up too much space in this world.

Today is a different story.
Not every day is easy but – this day, this hour, this minute, this precious fucking second, I can stand exposed in front of glass coated with metal amalgam and admire what is reflected back at me.

I can gaze at it with soft eyes that carry love instead of hated.
I can caress each curve, each line, each bit of abundance with compassion and pride.
I can move and twirl and bounce, and watch with joy and childlike whimsy.

It has taken me so long to stand here today.  I am tired – literally fatigued – at the notion of having to wake up every day and despise this shell that affords me so much on this Earth.  I simply refuse to do it any longer.

To love yourself allows your mind to truly be free.
To be free of invasive thoughts that steal the light of day.
To be free to see the stars that twinkle against the velvet night sky.
To be free to breathe in every molecule of oxygen so deeply that you taste the pine on the trees.
To be free to live with lust and valiance.
To be free to drink in the magic of the world that surrounds you.

I will not allow others to police my body any longer.
I will not allow others to impose rules upon my autonomy.
I will not allow others to cripple me within my own soul.
I will not allow archaic, misogynistic views of female nudity to remove my power.

I am here.
I am evolving.
I have worked hard to peel back the layers that have been plastered unwillingly onto me to keep me ‘sheltered’ and ‘compliant’.
I don’t want to be sheltered, and I will never be compliant.

I will own my womanhood.
I will own the divine beauty that resides in my soul.
I will own the flesh that houses every speck of dust within me.
I will own this life, and all that I am gifted by it.
I will shower with gratitude those who see my true light, and I will walk away from those who don’t.

And I will not apologize for any of it any longer.

“‘Cause we’re the masters of our own fate
We’re the captains of our own souls
So there’s no need for us to hesitate
We’re all alone, let’s take control…”

 

I am beholden to empowering, inspiring women like Jan Stolee (who is credited for the breathtaking photos below).

Without whom, I would not carry such meaningful conversation regarding change, allowing growth, and coming into yourself.
Without whom, I would be unable to (literally) see the spike in my confidence through her lens.
Without whom, I would still be ashamed of my uncovered skin – instead of being gifted the vision of the true beauty that a woman’s body holds.

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Forty Nine

DISCLAIMER: There is strong language used in this post.  #SorryNotSorry for it.  I’m fed up.

belly

I started this blog primarily as a fashion blog.  To essentially play dress up with my favourite outfits and share them all with you.  I’ve always been complimented for my sense of style, so it’s been fun to share my creations and to gather inspiration from others!  For a while now though, I’ve been finding my love of the fashion world dwindling, and after this past week, it’s safe to say: fashion can FUCK OFF.

Yep, I said it, and part of me can’t even believe it, but there it is.  Now I think I understand better why some (most) women hate shopping for themselves. I am feeling SO defeated and just…nothing positive, so I won’t even express those feelings out loud.


Since I started my medications about 2 months ago for my depression and anxiety, I have gained a significant amount of weight – about 12 pounds.  It wasn’t super shocking; I expected this knowing weight gain was a potential side effect. While that might not sound like much, in 2 months on my 5’5″ frame – that’s a lot… and honestly, I hadn’t really given it much thought; if I did, I would redirect those thoughts in a positive direction.

👉👉👉  re: cute little belly is cute.

Standing in *generic store name here* though, I found that an impossible task to do. I could not escape the extra weight in those lovely 360 degree mirrors.  You know, those mirrors that I swear to GOD are designed to highlight every “flaw” you have and implant a deep-seated hatred towards yourself – one that has you walking out having spent more money than you intended when you walked in in an effort to curb the loathing.

Walking in wearing a size 6 pant with room in the waist, having to choose size 8 and 10 from the racks, and struggle to gain the cooperation and permission of my newly thicker thighs, I felt a very familiar disgust towards what I saw in the mirror.  I gave up.  I just stood there in my skivvies, bare and vulnerable, going over every inch of my new body with a fine-toothed comb.  I’ve been working SO HARD on building and promoting self-love and positive affirmation when I gaze at my reflection, and all it took was 5 fucking minutes in a dressing room to unravel all the work I had done.  The industry that I had so loved before had enormously let me down.

I was disgusted; disgusted at the dimples and extra rolls that stared back at me, and disgusted at myself for having fallen back into this trap of negativity.

That disgust SHOULD be directed at the companies who clearly don’t know how to size clothing anymore (how can I be 3+ sizes at one fucking time?!), but my disdain immediately went to my newly developed ponch and I wanted to just admit defeat and cry.


In talking with others, and in seeing different posts on the internet regarding this exact topic, I just wonder… How does the fashion industry think that it’s okay or even necessary to vary clothing sizes so greatly? (Anyone else remember when they were one size in every single store, but are now probably any variation between 4-6 different sizes?) How can they do so knowing how this will absolutely affect girls and women psychologically?  Anyone in fashion familiar with the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”???

WHEN DOES IT END? WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE FUCKING LINE?!

Had I been younger, this experience would have had me revisiting my ED tendencies. I’m struggling to keep those thoughts at bay even now…

Fortunately, there is always a silver lining.  For me, it’s that I have my eyes wide open to the stats and the struggles that I was so blind to in my privilege before.  My whole life, even previous to my dealing with anorexia and bulimia, I have been tiny statured by nature.  I was always able to go into any store and find something that fit, and that I felt great in.  I never understood why some people hated shopping.  I never recognized the struggle that others faced because I couldn’t relate to it..and I have no problem admitting that now.  I was naive.

While we’re here, let’s review some stats, shall we?

  • According to a 2002 survey, 28% of girls in grade nine and 29% in grade ten engaged in weight-loss behaviours (in a class of 30 students, that’s roughly 8 to 9 people).
  • 37% of girls in grade nine and 40% in grade ten perceived themselves as too fat (in a class of 30 students, that’s roughly 11 to 12 people). Even among students of normal-weight (based on BMI), 19% believed that they were too fat, and 12% of students reported attempting to lose weight.
  • In a survey of adolescents in grades 7–12, 30% of girls and 25% of boys reported teasing by peers about their weight. Such teasing has been found to persist in the home as well – 29% of girls and 16% of boys reported having been teased by a family member about their weight.
  • Body-based teasing can have a serious impact on girls’ attitudes and behaviours. According to one study, girls who reported teasing by family members were 1.5 TIMES MORE LIKELY to engage in binge-eating and extreme weight control behaviours five years later.
  • In a study of 14–15 year old adolescents, girls who engaged in strict dieting practices were 18 TIMES MORE LIKELY to develop an ED within six months than non-dieters, and had almost a 20% chance of developing an ED within one year

  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
  • Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders have the highest morality rate of any mental illness.
  • 13% of women over 50 engage in eating disorder behaviours.
  • 16% of transgender college students reported having an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders affect all races and ethnic groups.

These stats (and others) can be found here and here.



More than anything, I’m fucking angry. This bullshit that if you’re not between the sizes of 000 and 3 that you’re not valid or worthy is just that – BULLSHIT.  That if you don’t look like the woman on the cover of a magazine, you’re not acceptable.  You know, that woman who doesn’t even look like the woman on the cover of the magazine? Yeah.

FUCK these societal standards and FUCK these oppressive fashion standards.

What’s unacceptable is how the modern fashion world operates in tandem with society; what’s NOT is YOUR BODY.  I find my love of the fashion world diminishing because I can no longer cater so heavily to an industry that literally propels itself on the destruction of the very demographic it’s created for.

It’s not that I didn’t realize these things before.  It’s that I ignored them, turned a blind eye, because I felt like they didn’t directly affect me.  All you have to do is flip open a history book to see how productive that mind-set really is…

So going forward, this is what I want you to take away from this rant:

I can’t say that I won’t ever do any fashion posts again.  It’s not true, and I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said it.  But I will do my absolutely best to shop consciously and create in a way that is body positive and inclusive.  I’m still learning and growing myself.  I hope you’ll allow me the space I need to expand my thinking, and the constructive criticism that will help me get to a better place.

Women can be vicious creatures, especially towards one another.  I hope that we can create a #GuildofGirls who pledge to stand up for and support each other, while standing against those who seek to pit us against one another and tear us apart.

MOST IMPORTANTLY:
You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of happiness, love and acceptance; you don’t have to be thin to BE happy and loved and accepted.

You don’t have to strive to look airbrushed 100% of the time.  You don’t need to keep hurting yourself to fit into a mould that isn’t even REAL.  A favourite quote of mine is: “Beyonce doesn’t even look like Beyonce.”  Cut yourself some slack.  You are a bona fide beauty just the way you are.

That cellulite, those belly rolls, those angel wings (aka extra flap of skin under your arms) – EVERY SINGLE WOMAN has at least one of the above.  It’s normal, it’s okay, it’s beautiful.  You don’t have to be ashamed of these parts of yourself.

IT’S OKAY TO STRUGGLE WITH HOW YOU FEEL WHEN CHANGES HAPPEN TO YOU AND TO YOUR BODY. I’ve been struggling to accept my new body, but I’m trying, and that’s what matters.

Unfollow those IG accounts that have you uttering hateful things about yourself every time you browse them.  Stop reading magazines if the only reason you’re picking them up is to measure yourself against what you’ll find inside.  Respectfully ask those in your life to refrain from commenting on your body, and be okay with letting negative people go in order to maintain your own sanity.  Seek out body positive people in your life, and in your social medias.  Reach out and ask for help, or lend support to others who are needing it.  We are all in this together more than we even realize.



“Your body is not the enemy”. No. It absolutely is not.

You are SO MUCH MORE than what you look like.


Cover photo courtesy of Wear Your Label
Shirt available for purchase here.  Use “MAYETTE10” to save! ❤

 

Forty Eight

Hello!

I have the most exciting news!!!

As most of you know by now, I’ve opened up quite a bit over the last couple of years about my personal struggles with Mental Illness. A huge catalyst of being able to do so has been Wear Your Label – an extraordinary, rapidly growing, Canadian company that fights back against the stigma of Mental Illness/Mental Health in pretty cool ways.  Along with some stellar threads that showcase positive MH slogans, they also donate 10% of net profits to partner initiatives!

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Their conscious clothing line has given me my own strength; it’s allowed me to take back ownership of myself and not just be seen as the obstacles I combat each day.  It’s also introduced me to a safe community of people that I can look to if everything were to blow up in my face.

Having said that, I am SO SO SO incredibly excited to be able to share with you all that I’m “officially” a member of the WYL family!

I have been chosen to represent them as a Brand Ambassador for 2017!  

My heart is exploding with joy, excitement, and gratitude at the phenomenal year I know lies ahead. This is a company I’ve deeply appreciated and supported, and I’m happier than a kid in a candy store to have this opportunity to further spread Mental Health Awareness with some really awesome people!

There will be some perks along the way, I promise  — like this promo code!

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If you want to help to break the stigma behind Mental Illness and promote healthy conversations about Mental Health, use code MAYETTE10 when you check out to save 10% on your order!  Head on over to http://www.wearyourlabel.com and treat yo self…Or a friend or family member  Share the love and spread the word!

I just want to say  Thank You  to everyone who has supported me, without judgement, who allow me to be me (in whatever that entails), and who continue to support me. I honestly can’t thank you enough, and I hope you’ll stay on this journey with me

Exciting things await this year so please stay tuned!

I can’t wait to generate conversation and hopefully spoil my Marshmallows along the way!

❤ xoxo
Mayette

 

#BellLetsTalk

Hi Marshmallows!

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It’s one of my favourite days of the year  

Just a few years ago, I would have had a very different reaction for this day (hint: it wouldn’t have been excitement…). I would have done everything I could to spend the day like a hermit and avoid conversing at all costs.  It’s a dark place to be in when even you’re afraid of your mental health struggles.

However, today is a different day and a different time; the further I come on my mental health journey, the easier it gets to talk about the obstacles I face and advocate for abolishing the stigma so others feel safe in sharing their stories, too.

So – #BellLetsTalk about how it’s OKAY to make noise about Mental Health.  It’s OKAY to struggle and talk about those struggles.  It’s OKAY to have bad days.  It’s OKAY to give an honest answer when someone asks you, “So how are you REALLY doing?”.  

Donning my #AnxietyAlliance tee proudly from @wearyourlabel to let others know that I’m anxious, too, and it’s a welcome and safe invitation to enter a conversation about it

All of us have hardships and struggles, and lately my anxiety has been a real big one for me.  I’ve had crippling days; days where I can’t get out of bed, let alone even think about leaving my house.  Days where I feel like I’m not good enough for anything.  Days where it all just becomes so overwhelming.  Days where I honestly think things will just never, ever start to get better.  But they do, and they have.  Had I known that reaching out for help and telling my story to someone sooner would have resulted in my healing beginning a lot sooner, I wouldn’t have suffered in silence for so long.  My eyes were also opened to just how many incredible, supportive, loving people I had around me when I allowed the walls to fall and the dam to break, and I am so SO grateful for each and every one of them.  I would not be able to so openly stand up and share my story today if not for them all.  I may not even have been standing here at all.  ALL my love and support right back. xoxo

And I want you to know, if you’re reading this and struggling, that it’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to ask for help if you’re ready to take that step. You are valid, you are worthy, and you’re so NOT alone in your journey. Whether you realize or not, there is a community of warriors and of survivors that will take you by the hand and support you every step along the way.  

It takes a lot, for a lot of people, to talk about what they have experienced or what they are going through, and so I just want to throw out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has shared their story today.  I’ve seen so many brave, inspiring stories full of strength on my News Feeds…far more than I’ve ever seen – and what an incredible sight, indeed.

Your openness, willingness, and trust is helping to pave this road so that those who have come before us, those who are with us, and those who will come after us will have a much smoother journey. From someone who has only recently taken the first steps toward the sunshine, that is something so amazing.

Today is not just for today.  Let’s keep the conversations going for the next 364 days. Not all of us struggle with mental health obstacles, but we all have mental health to take care of.

All my love to all of you XOXO Never be too humble to reach out.

Forty Six

Hello Marshmallows!

It’s 2017!  A whole new year!

I’ve been thinking about doing a New Year post for, well, precisely 9 days now.

As New Years posts go, they generally include some kind of “New Year Resolution”…though, I’ve tried really hard this year to not have anything specific, or anything written in stone.  As history would show, I don’t have the best luck with them.  Generally when I would profess any kind of resolution in the past, it wouldn’t actually end anywhere other than my own misery and disappointment.  In light of this fact, I’ve decided this year to throw any and all promises of doing out the window, and allow myself the space to just do.

Resolutions are usually always about “new year, new me”, but I don’t need to be a “new me”. I don’t want to be, either. Instead, I want to simply look back on how much stronger I am, how much I’ve grown, and the things I’ve actually accomplished without obligation. Instead, I want to look forward to how much I have to gain, how many possibilities are out there to grab hold of, and concentrate on becoming a better version of yesterday’s self.

In expressing that, I also decided that this was the perfect timing to throw all caution to the wind and start living my life FOR ME.

Which is why I did this:

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Yep!  I took a HUGE leap of faith and just did it.
#PinkHairDontCare *insert sassy emoji girl here*
(thanks to my amazing stylist, Jesse! ❤ ❤ ❤ )

My Christmas gift to myself was to do something I’ve wanted to do for years but never actually had the cajones to do.  I’d been too afraid of what people would say, or how people would react, that I was always able to talk myself out of doing something that I really wanted because of someone else – or a few someone elses.  Isn’t that how it always goes?

(Can we just take a moment to acknowledge how CRAZY that sounds when you say it out loud?!) 

I can’t even express how freeing and magical it feels to throw everyone else’s opinions out the window. I’m finally allowing it all to be on MY terms now – how it should have been all along. No more second guessing my own happiness for the thoughts of others and the fear of what that might bring. No more allowing anyone else to dictate how my story should and will be written.

People will forever have opinions about you. People will always judge you.
For anything, for everything.

Forget the haters and do whatever the hell you want. THEIR OPINIONS DON’T MATTER. You do.  Your opinions matter.  Your happiness matters the most.

It’s been almost 2 weeks now that I’ve had pink hair, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.  Every single time I see it in the mirror, I can’t help but smile and giggle.  It makes me SO HAPPY, and it’s brought me a level of confidence that I wasn’t sure would ever exist.

For the first time in almost 30 years (that’s a LONG FRIGGING TIME PEOPLE), I finally – truly – feel more like the me that was meant to be in this body than ever.  I don’t care if people think I’m weird, or different, or too “out there”, or “not conservative enough”.  It doesn’t matter.  Whether people love my hair, or whether people hate my hair – it makes absolutely no difference to me because I adore it, and that’s the bottom line.  Being “normal” is far over-rated (what is normal, anyway?), and life is utterly too short to not have fun.

On a related note, I suppose the same can be said about myself in general.  Somehow with my fuschia locks, I am newly entitled to this freedom to just BE ME – whatever that actually looks like.  I’ve thought a lot about this blog and what I want it to look like, and I’ve realized that I’ve been lying to myself this whole time.  I’ve been trying to fit myself into this pre-constructed mould of what I SHOULD look like in the blogging world.   Instead of writing about and sharing the things that bring me joy completely, I’ve been neglectful and resentful because I feel like I can’t keep par.

Fashion is one of the things that I am passionate about, but there are SO MANY OTHERS from all different facets, excluding the fashion world.  I’ve decided that I’m going to turn the focus from this being an exclusive blog about fashion to a blog just simply about me – and whatever that entails.  Whether that be mental health, or what I wore to the movies, or the newest adventure I’ve been on.  It’s not going to have a specific topic focus.  It’s going to be messy, a little all over the map, and have some kinks and quirks that I will not iron out.  It’s going to be “everything but the kitchen sink”, so-to-speak – and that’s just how it should be because that’s just how I am; a little bit of everything.

So … I have absolutely no idea what this means going forward, but I’m hoping that I will be able to once again find the jubilation in writing, and in creating.  Whether you like me, whether you hate me, or whether you simply just tolerate me – it makes not much of a difference.  This is a journey I’ve begun – to start living and doing – for me, and no one else.  But, if you’re on this journey with me, regardless … thank you.  I’m looking forward to what will unfold.