The picture I've been too ashamed to show you.

Every day I watch the news, and everyday it becomes more and more clear to me as to WHY women have body image issues. When a nominee for the President of the United States of America can get away with flippant misogyny, sexism, harassment and blatant objectification of women on the political platform... well, it makes me mad.

She's a 4. Miss Piggy. Such a Nasty Woman.

And I won't even say the most offensive comment... you know the one.

I've worked REALLY HARD in the past few years to see my body as more than the sum of its "imperfect" parts. I've practiced, actually PRACTICED looking at my naked body in the mirror, staring, until what I saw before me normalized and I could see my body as whole. 

I've come SO FAR in the past couple of years, but sometimes it's still hard.

Just this summer my husband took a picture of me at the beach that sent me into a completely unexpected body-shaming tail spin. I thought I was past that nonsense. I internalized all the garbage we hear about our bodies, and I let it paralyze me.

 
 

I cancelled date night. I hid in a cover-up for a few days. I didn't play with my kids.

I shared my anger, sadness and shame with my husband, and do you know what he said?  "No wonder you feel the way you do, sweetie. The only women I saw walking on the beach this week without a cover-up on were tall, slender, muscular women. Where in hell was everybody else? I'll tell you where they were. Sitting in their beach chairs, hiding their bodies!"

It was true. WHERE WAS EVERYBODY ELSE?

I got back in my suit before our vacation was over, but when I did, I was inhibited. I tried like hell not to be, but it was hard.

The how-to-have-a-beach-body societal pressure has always made me bristle.  I want to believe that I am stronger than any societal message, but sometimes, when I'm feeling open and free and vulnerable, I get gob-smacked and I crash into a puddle of self-deprecating tears. And I believe every slanderous comment and magazine headline that says my body is not beautiful enough.

Except right now, I don't feel myself weakening with every nasty comment I hear on TV, I feel myself gaining STRENGTH.

So today, I'm taking that picture that I've been too ashamed to show anybody, and I'm putting it on the damn internet, and saying... YOU MIGHT THINK I'M A 4, BUT MY BEAUTY CANNOT BE MEASURED ON YOUR MISOGYNISTIC-SEXIST SCALE. IT'S TOO BIG FOR THAT.

I'm not gonna lie, I had to look long and hard at this picture to see my beauty. It was hard for me to look past the cellulite on my thighs to see my gentle smile, my relaxed shoulders, and that smokin' hot pink bathing suit I'm wearing!

The longer I stared, the more I saw.

My dignity. My brave. My strength. My fierce. My happy. My kids. My beauty.

(Whoa... it makes me tear up just to read those words.)

And I can see YOU too.

Listen gals, the ONLY WAY we are going to start seeing ourselves as normal, is if we reclaim ourselves. If we say... NO WAY BUDDY, YOU WILL NOT TALK TO ME THAT WAY!

We cannot hide. We cannot sulk. We cannot forsake our collective power as women because we are afraid.

We must STAND UP and reclaim OUR BODIES. We must STAND UP to the rhetoric, and say NO MAS. We must STAND UP to the bullies and say, HERE I AM.

I just finished up the most recent round of Stasia's Style School, and I'm so incredibly proud to say that there are literally DOZENS more women in the world, STANDING UP and saying, I WILL NOT HIDE ANY LONGER.

(I love you SSS5 Style Sisters!!  You know who you are!)

Meet Jennifer, Style Sister (and total fire cracker of awesome) from the latest round of SSS, and read what she has to say about reclaiming HER body!

 
 

"Before Style School, my default clothing choices were all about trying to hide my “problem areas” by dressing in long tops and dark colors, basically trying to be invisible. After seeing my photos every day in Style School, it was so clear that trying to hide those areas just didn’t work – more often than not it actually emphasized what I was trying to hide! So, despite my great resistance to it, as a Style School experiment, and in that safe space with the Style Sisters, I gave up trying to hide. It’s been an amazing mental shift to give up dressing from a place of shame and hiding and instead moving into a place of celebrating what I love, and who I am on the inside. I feel so much brighter and lighter, and more engaged in the world – more confident. It’s like I let go of a burden that I didn’t even know I was carrying. It’s been a much deeper and more meaningful change than I would have ever expected. Style School is so much more than the usual style "guides" - Stasia gives us the tools and the safe space to learn how to figure out how to let our best selves shine, inside and out." Jennifer G.

Right now is the PERFECT time to RECLAIM YOU!

Put on your shorts and your mini skirts. FREE YOUR KNEES. And your arms. And your belly! 

How in hell are we EVER going to normalize ALL WOMEN'S BODIES, if every perceived imperfection under the sun is being covered up and hidden from sight??  

It starts with me. And with you. 

If the thought of it gives you heart palpitations. Good. Do it anyway. I'll be doing it alongside you!

xoxo Stasia

PS. If you're interested in signing up for the next round of  Stasia's Style School, click HERE to get your name on the list!