I am enough

To the person who called me a fat ugly cow, I have something to say to you.  You’re right, I am “fat” but I’m not ugly.  YOU are ugly, because your actions make you so. You’re mean.

I’ve been big my entire life.  Being called fat is a normal thing for me to hear. But what sucks, is that people have to point it out and use my own body against me as an insult.  I have medical issues that cause me to take medication on a daily basis that make me gain weight and makes it hard to lose it.  When you say “just lose weight” or “eat a salad”, trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried multiple things, and it’s still extremely hard for me to lose weight.  Hearing those words that you utter with disdain, for one second, left me feeling completely worthless. I’ve been told that losing weight was the only way I’d be an acceptable part of society. But guess what?  I grew tired of being a shadow who needs to live on the fringe hoping to be deemed “enough”- thin enough, pretty enough, special enough to be worthy. Just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean they are unworthy.  I have learned to love myself for ME. I refuse to let anyone change the way I feel about myself.  I’m not trying to glamorize being overweight or obesity. Trust me, it sucks.  But there’s a lot more to it than just body size. My body doesn’t make me beautiful any more than it makes me ugly.  It’s just a body. It’s not enough to make you hate me, or like me. I am enough.

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When people throw the word “fat” at me, as an insult, I often wonder what the point is they are trying to prove to me or even themselves.  I may not be attractive to you and that’s 100% okay.  My purpose on earth is not to be attractive to you. Everyone has their own opinions and types and that’s fine, as long as you don’t put someone down for not being your ideal of beautiful.  I’ve had guys say to me,

“You have such a pretty face and you’re an amazing person, I’d even date you if you were skinnier.”
“If you were skinnier.”

I’m a great person  with a beautiful face and an amazing  personality but I’m only worth dating if I were a smaller size. It just shows how shallow some people are that the size of the person means more than the person inside.  Here’s a tip:  I’m not going to change myself, just to make myself “acceptable”. I let other peoples opinion about my body  torment me for years.  No one should change to make anyone else happy other than YOURSELF.  A while ago I noticed that so many people shared that they felt the same way I did.  I reminded them that each and every one of us have special gift and are awesome in our own way.  I’m sharing this again for everyone who has felt “NOT ENOUGH” , and as a reminder to myself.

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Decide for yourself that you are ENOUGH- Enough to be happy, enough to be worthy, enough to be whatever and do whatever you want to be.

YOU are ENOUGH.

 

 

I


40 One Direction Things for Christmas.

It’s no secret I LOVE One Direction. My Grandma is always asking me what kinds of things I like, so I put together this list of cool things that are all about 1D.

Thanks for checking out my favorites! What did I miss? Is there a must have 1D thing not on my list?

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links- which pay me a very small commission if you purchase from the link.

Can Walmart #BeBrave?

Around Halloween something happened on the Walmart website.  There was a page that was titled “Fat Girl Costumes”.  I am plus sized, or fat,  and I was offended by that page.  I was so offended by Walmart labeling and fat shaming that I did what I do: I wrote about it.  I wrote about being disappointed and sad that a major retailer would just disparage a HUGE demographic that has LOTS of money to spend.  To me it seemed  to send the message that not only were our bodies unwanted and unworthy, but so was our money.  Even after Walmart offered a generic “I’m sorry, that should have never been on our site” message I was determined to never shop there again. I planned to shop  only at places that make it clear they value me and my shopping dollars.  I figured that was the end of it, because Walmart is so big and I’m just me, and I wasn’t going to make any changes. Let’s face it, I’m a teen blogger and they’re Walmart.1297821387705191974walmart-logo-hiA few days later I received an email from the corporate communications director of Walmart. He again apologized and asked if it was possible to speak with me.  Walmart, calling me?  Dan Toporek from Walmart headquarters called me. First and foremost, he apologized and asked if he could explain to me exactly what happened.  It seems an outside contractor whom Walmart hired to categorize and set up pages for them labeled the pages. It was the outside contractor who placed the words there, not Walmart. Walmart took it down as soon as they were made aware of it, but by then, it was too late. It had gone viral. He made it very clear that the contractor had been fired and those words were not the opinion of Walmart, but he took responsibility for it. Dan was very kind and gracious and genuine. In fact, he told that my post actually made a difference to the people at Corporate Walmart because it was made clear that it was something that effected me, it wasn’t just “a story”.

I used this phone call to open up a conversation about why it really bothered me. To me, the whole situation felt like bullying.  Simply by being overweight it is open season for mean comments, nasty catcalls, and hurtful words. I personally have been called disgusting, lazy, and been told I was so fat I was a waste of life and should kill myself, all because I wear a larger sized than other people.  People who are overweight are often bullied. Whatever a person is being bullied for- for being over weight, or gay, for being smart, or dumb, or black or white or for whatever the reason, it’s not ok. Bullying is never ok. Being bullied by a large corporation is also not ok.  I had a chance to explain that to a large corporation, and you know what?   They agreed with me.  When I asked Dan what Walmart does to help end bullying, he told me that they  have an anti-bullying campaign at back to school time, which I had never seen.   The truth is, EVERYONE does anti-bullying at the beginning of the school year, but guess what? They are not very effective. To be really effective you have to be committed to making real change, not just a once a year lip-service to say you are trying.

Bulling doesn’t just occur in September. It happens  every day, every where, all year long.  What we need is for someone with a HUGE reach, like Walmart, to help spread the message that bullying needs to end.

Nearly 100 million people shop at Walmart EVERY WEEK. That’s 1/3 of the American Population, or 4 times the population of Australia. Imagine if all those people saw the message on how to #BeBrave and help stop bullying, what could happen! 

We need Walmart to #BeBrave and to do more to stand up to bullies- starting with retail sites and showing that every customer is a wanted customer. I hope that maybe one day Walmart and I can work together to design a way to help people #BeBrave.  We need to spread the news that even if you’re different, you are worthy. Fat shaming and hatred will never help anyone, but support and care will. Plus sized people do not need to be offered aged, dated and ugly clothing simply because they are bigger sizes, and therefore not worthy of stylish and fashionable clothing. Considering that 67 percent of Americans wear a size larger than 14 means that we ALL want and deserve attractive clothing.   Something good DID come out of this. It started a dialog with Walmart and I that can hopefully make some SERIOUS CHANGES on how business treat people. They are willing to look for ways to help fix the mistake that was made, and for ways to make it better. They can start with helping to stop fat shaming and bullying.  The old adage “the customer is always right” isn’t always correct, however,  that “the customer always should be respected” should be.


Fat Girl Costumes at Walmart

When you’re plus sized, Halloween can be downright scary. Not the ghost and ghouls, but finding a costume.  It seems that whoever makes costumes thinks that nearly everyone who is female wants to be a “sexy” version of something- and they make the costumes based on that.  Every year I have a hard time finding a costume that will cover my butt, my boobs, and my arms. (Not only to cover myself, but OMG, it’s OCTOBER, people, and I live in Connecticut- it’s COLD)  I usually spend hours searching for a costume I like and that will work for my body. In fact, after being told I was too fat to be a Princes years ago,  this year, we made a Princess Costume that I could wear and feel like a real Princess in- all while at Disney World’s Mickey’s Halloween Party. (I’m not- by the way, anyone can be a princess!).

While I was looking for something less poufy and easier to trick or treat in, I took a quick look at Walmart to see if they had something I can use. I was searching Halloween online and I found a bunch of costumes. Some even appropriate!   All I had to do was to look for the

FAT GIRL COSTUMES

Yes, you read right. look at how Walmart categorized the plus sized costumes.

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Really, Walmart? Is that how you feel about a good portion of your customer?  Major retailers have shown for a while they do not care about their plus sized customers, based on their teeny tiny plus sized sections – maybe 4-5 racks of clothing if you are lucky, showing that the approximately 67 percent of Americans who are “plus sized”  they (and their money) aren’t important enough to carry a decent amount of stylish clothing-  but honestly, to be called “Fat” on the Walmart website shocked me.

Calling people FAT, Walmart, isn’t a Trick, or a Treat. It’s an insult, and another reason to not shop in your store.

*Update: Walmart has apologized for their gaffe on BuzzFeed and promises to never let their fat hating thoughts go public again:

“We first heard about it this morning — our teams immediately engaged, we’re working to remove it as soon as possible and make sure it never happens again,” Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala told BuzzFeed News.

“This never should have been on our site. It is unacceptable, and we apologize,” Jariwala added. “We are working to remove it as soon as possible and ensure this never happens again.”

I’m still never shopping there again. I shop at places that make it clear they value me and my shopping dollars. Most plus sized sections  are hidden in the back of the store, with one or two lousy racks of old lady clothes. NEWS FLASH, Just because we wear a size bigger than 10 does not mean we all need or want to wear mom jeans, crazy prints, and everything black. Finding clothing that I like as a plus sized teen is hard, finding a place to buy it is harder.  I found 5 good places to get plus sized teen clothing, and I spend my hard earned money there. I’ll never shop at a place that makes fun of me.


A Princess At Any Size

I remember it clearly. I was 10 years old. My family and I were on our first vacation at Disney World, and we were going to a Pirate and Princess Party. We didn’t know that it was a costume party but no problem, my Mom said she’s take me to get a Princess Dress. We headed off in the land of Princesses to get me a gown. Except, they didn’t have one for me.
I was in the beginning of Thyroid and Lyme Disease. My illness’ and medication caused my weight to skyrocket. We searched and searched for a Princess dress, but we couldn’t find one I  was way too big for the kids costumes, and the adult costumes wouldn’t work for me. I heard my Mom asking the lady at the shop for something, ANYTHING for me, and she said, “I’m sorry, shes too big for the costumes we have here” But all I heard was:

“She’s too fat to be a Princess”

I cried. I cried, because I was I was too fat to be a princess. All the princesses I idolized looked alike. They were all tiny and perfect. I felt so sad because I thought I could never be like them. I was only 10 years old, and I was heartbroken because I thought I would never be good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough to be the person, the PRINCESS that I wanted to be. I could never be a Princess. it was the beginning of the end of my ability to believe in myself.  It was beginning of my no longer loving myself. It was the early days of my story.

I just turned 16, and instead of a big party I asked for a family trip. I chose to go to Disney World. Our trip is right in the middle of Halloween, and I knew I could wear a costume. This time going in, I felt better about myself. I’m happy. I know I don’t have to look a certain way to be who I want to be. My Mom, her best friend Jane, and I came up with an idea. It’s still hard to find a Princess Gown in my size. but we decided to make our own. My Mom bought some curtains from a thrift shop and she and Jane came up with a perfect gown.-A MAGICAL Princess dress to prove to my 10 year old self that I AM a princess, and I don’t have to look a certain way to be one.  I am MY OWN PRINCESS.

AllyPrincessI’ve learned that no matter your shape, size, or however you look you CAN be a Princess. You can be whatever you want to be.
A Princess isn’t a size, it’s a state of mind. It’s loving yourself no matter what. It’s how to see yourself INSIDE. Its becoming your OWN Princess and not buying into stereotypes. It’s making your OWN magic!

You can be a prince or princess. You can be anything you In that gown, swishing through a amazing land of castles, Princes, Princesses and Magic, I knew without a doubt, I was – I AM a Princess. Then again, I always WAS one (My Grandma told me so). I just had to realize it.

I was a Princess all along.

 

 


National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.   We hear a lot about bullying when there is another  suicide- and there are many suicides. Each year in the U.S., approximately 2 million U.S. adolescents attempt suicide, and almost 700,000 receive medical attention for their attempt.  For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

Bullying contributes to much of that. I know. I wanted to die because I was bullied.  Thankfully I’m fine now, but I have thought long and hard about what would have helped me, and it was simple: #BeBrave

If just one person had decided to #BeBrave and stand up for me, and stand up to my bullies when I was too weak to do so, it would have changed my world.

Most bullies will back down when confronted.  If one person had said- hey, stop tweeting her, quit being mean, stop spitting on her,  LEAVE HER ALONE!  YOU ARE A BULLY! Perhaps things would have ended and I would not have lost 18 months of my life fighting back against depression.

That’s it. It’s that simple, and that hard.  To end bullying, all you have to do is #BeBrave and stand up for someone who needs a champion. Stand up and tell someone, “hey, that’s not cool, cut it out”, or to come over and say “sorry, that was really mean” when they witness bullying.  Being brave is getting help, a teacher, a cop, a parent, anyone to see what’s going on and help it to stop.  If you let people know bullying isn’t acceptable to you, and will not be tolerated around you,  then it won’t happen.

We can end bullying.  All we have to do is to Stand Up and Be Brave.

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Have you witnessed bullying? What do you think you can do to help stop bullying?


Daily Shows Racism Is Still Around

Last night, on the Daily Show there was a skit regarding terrorist groups and in an attempt to be funny, the show called one of the boys in One Direction a terrorist. In a segment with Jon Stewart, correspondent Jessica Williams “reported” on some new terrorist groups Americans may not know about. At one point, Williams jokes,

“Just as you were talking, a new terrorist group formed, with one member each from ISIS, al-Nusra, Al Qaeda, Hamas, One Direction and the Zetas drug cartel.”

WHAT?
Zayn Malik

There is only one person in One Direction who is Muslim. There is only one person in One Direction is of Middle Eastern descent. (He is half Caucasian, half Pakistani) That is Zayn Malik.
One Directions, and Zayn’s fans reacted to the slight, crying foul. In fact, trending on Twitter is the hastag: #TheDailyShowGoneTooFar, where fans expressed outrage and disgust that Zayn would be targeted for being a terrorist, simply based on his name and ethnicity. Some people said the fans were overreacting, but what they are really reacting to is the racism and prejudice being shown.zayn1zayn1

The outrage is about a person being called a terrorist because of his race. The outrage is being told that we can live in a world where racism can end, but having it used as a way to make jokes and get a laugh. The outrage is a persons worth being based on his religion. The outrage is that the youth of today is TRYING to to move past the shackles of hate and prejudice and moving toward judging a person by his actions, not the color of the skin or the place he worships.
I personally am proud to be part of a group that will stand up and take a stand against bullying and hatred. John Stewart and his writers should be ashamed of themselves. When they poke fun of politicians who make public statements that’s fair game. But making fun of a kind, giving person simply because he is a Muslim is unacceptable.


Is Harassment Humorous?

Recently, I came across a video on YouTube that disgusted me. Sam Pepper, a YouTuber, posted a video titled “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank”* which showed him asking for directions with a fake hand in his pocket, and his real hand would reach around and pinch a girl’s bottom. Prank? Am I supposed to find sexual harassment funny? I don’t think it is.

Sexual harassment is bullying in it’s basic form. Bulling is never funny. Why, then, is degrading attention and harassment toward  woman ever considered funny?

Sam Pepper put up new (back-peddling) video talking about the “prank”, which he says was a “social experiment” and the girls in the video apparently knew the concept of the video. Regardless of it being a “prank”, or even scripted, it is the absolute wrong way to raise awareness of sexual harassment. In other videos, he has done things such as “How To Make Out With Strangers”, “How to Steal a Girlfriend” and “How To Pick Up Girls With A Lasso”. All of which, show “unsuspecting” girls being harassed, belittled, and ridiculed. People argue that the girls were comfortable with it, as they just nervously laugh it off. But some girls don’t know how to respond to sexual harassment. Not all girls will outwardly say that they’re uncomfortable, or tell the person to knock it off. Even when told “I don’t like that…” In the video, he still proceeded to laugh and touch the girl anyway. How is that acceptable? When we allow people to make jokes about it, and not take NO to mean NO seriously, we are sending a message that harassing woman is ok -that it is funny and acceptable. Apparently Sam thinks disrespecting women is humorous. but I’m not laughing. It’s not funny. It’s bullying.

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Making harassment into a joke, making people them think it’s funny is all wrong. Sexual harassment is not funny. And It never will be.

*I purposely didn’t link to the video so I would not help promote the video, nor his profit from the clicks it receives.


One Direction Concert Experience + GIVEAWAY

One Direction Ultimate Fan Giveaway

I’ve been a One Direction fan for years now, and a couple weeks ago I FINALLY got to see them preform! On August 7th, my friend and I drove up to Foxboro, Massachusetts to see the Where We Are tour at Gillette Stadium. We not only got to see them on the 7th, but August 8th and 9th as well! I can easily say that those 3 days were the best 3 days of my life.  I want to share some of that joy with YOU! By giving away an Ultimate Fan Pack!  (but don’t forget to read how awesome my concerts were!)

The Ultimate Fan Pack includes: VIP Fan bag from the stadium, including One Direction Tank Top, 1D watch with exclusive bag, and lip balm. Also,  Our Moment Perfume, Where We Are book , This is Us dvd, and Midnight Memories cd.  Everything for a One Direction Fan wants!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We got to the stadium at around 2 PM to start filming my video, 60 Reasons Why We Love One Direction. I have to say, meeting the other fans was one of my favorite parts. I heard so many stories on how these boys affected the lives of their fans. It was an amazing atmosphere, because it felt like we were all almost connected to each other. Everyone there loved this band, just like I did. Everyone I talked to had been affected by One Direction in a positive way. They had even saved lives.

One Direction may just be a boy band to you, and that’s fine. But to their fans, they are so much more. They’re heroes, reasons to live, inspiration… It may seem silly, that 5 singing boys have such an effect on us, but they do. Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall, and Zayn have changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. While I sat in Gillette Stadium, I had a big realization. It was not just my friends and I that had been so greatly affected by this band. There were over 68,000 people in that stadium, whose lives had been changed by these boys. I saw people screaming from getting waved, crying from getting a kiss blown at them, even sobbing just from listening to the music.

On August 7th, I sat in section 313, and I had an amazing view of the entire stadium. It was surreal to see just how many people were there to see One Direction. I could see almost everything and I had an amazing time. On August 8th, I sat on the floor, right next to the B Stage. It was absolutely amazing. The confetti popped out right over our heads during “Happily”, and the boys were down there for a long period of time. My favorite night though, was August 9th. I sat right next to the main stage, and where they sat to sing the slower songs. It was so surreal to see my idols directly in front of me, singing the songs I’ve listened to in my bedroom for years. I did get waves, and kisses blown at me, and I might have screamed a little, not going to lie. Those 3 nights were the best of my life.

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Thank you to One Direction, for helping not only me, but millions of fans throughout the years. Thank you for helping us feel beautiful, for inspiring us to go for our dreams, for helping us not feel so alone.


A Bullied Kids Guide to a bully free school year

When you’ve been bullied in the past, the first day of school isn’t usually exciting, In fact, it can be terrifying!   It’s hard to walk back in the “lion’s den”, but there are a few things to  do that can make it a little bit easier.

How to Have a Bully Free School Year

Reach out and find new friends- If you had a hard time making friends in your classes last year, this year is a great way to get a fresh start. There are more and different people in your classes this year, which proves for more opportunities to make new friends. Don’t stay hidden behind your books, talk! Answer questions in class, engage in classroom discussions. Try to talk to the people around you as well. It doesn’t have to be a full blown conversation at first. Ask for a pencil, or give a compliment. Open yourself up to new friendships.  Talk to the people you get partnered with. Find a kindred soul. Love art? Check out the after school art opportunities in your class.  Love to sing?  Is there a drama program you can join?  You’d be surprised at the people who belong to groups that you don’t know. Look to grades above you and below you, as well.

Find someone to trust at school.- If you’ve been bullied in your past school years and you’re uncomfortable at school, find someone you trust. It doesn’t have to be someone in your grade. There are great people to talk to in guidance centers about daily problems at school. You could also find a teacher you really trust to reach out to. Teachers are there to be educators and supporters. It’s also a good idea to have your parents reach out  to administrators and teachers about your past experiences so that they are aware of people and things to watch out for.  You have a right to be at school and to be in a safe environment.

Learn how to #BeBrave – Being Brave is a simplified version of how to end bullying.

To Be Brave, you have to stand up FOR the bullied, FOR yourself, and TO the bullies.

It’s not always easy. in fact, it can be hard, but I promise you one thing, once you stand up to those who are bullying you and refuse to accept their behavior, they will leave you alone. If you stand up and report their actions, they will leave you alone, eventually. Most schools have anti-bullying policies in place and are cited in their handbooks. Get to know those rules.  One of the hardest things I ever did was decided to Be Brave for myself, but it saved me.

You may have had a hard time in the past, but you deserve to have a bully free school year. YOU DESERVE to enjoy school.  You may not become a popular kid, but you certainly can take steps to comfortable in school.  Take risks, talk to people you normally wouldn’t talk to. Raise your hand. Show confidence! Don’t let the bullies bring you down. Stand up for yourself. If you see someone else getting bullied, stand up for them as well. Make friends and be there for other people who get bullied. If you band together, the bullies have no power.

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