7/29/13

Scouts BMI Controversy: Fat Shame

Hello my darling fudgies!

(New article for drop of pink out this week! confidence without makeup: http://www.dropofpink.com/2013/07/24/confident-without-makeup/)

I know I have not been incredibly present on the blog or on twitter, but I am working on a little project, and I am also writing some blog posts for next fall!

Today I want to explore the recent controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts Jamboree BMI controversy http://mobile.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/07/boy_scout_jamboree_new_rules_based_on_body_mass_index.html). But the basic gist of their new rule is that as of this year, scouts and adult leaders with body mass indexes of 32 or higher could attend the Jamboree only after consultation with camp medical staff, and those with BMIs over 40 were banned from coming altogether.
(here is an explaining in further detail for all of you who may not know what is going on:

Now let's explore this rule from 3 perspectives: rationally, statistically, and emotionally.

RATIONALLY:


 I suspect the Boy Scouts of America made this decision on with a purely rational logic. They must have assumed that by presenting a goal for the weight loss, this new rule would incite both overweight children and adults to lose weight and become healthier, which leads us to a rather substantial problem: statistics.


Statistically: 


Time and time again, research has proven that the BMI is an inadequate measure of someone's healthy weight, and most of all their health (I will let you conduct your own research but beware: it is shocking and slightly depressing). Among these limitations, it doesn't take into consideration a person's body frame or their lean body mass (muscle). Many body builders are, by the BMI's standards, obese, and therefor in the world of Boy Scouts are not fit enough to participate in activities.


But what I find most frustrating about this new regulation are the emotional consequences.


EMOTIONALLY:


 If all our decisions in life were taken rationally, the expected aforementioned consequences of this new rule would be 100% effective.

But we know that is not the case.
For most of the overweight population, food is a coping mechanism, much like drugs, alcohol or self harm. Their emotional reaction to struggle leads them to eat excessively.

Therefor: Will shaming and excluding members of the Boy Scouts community make them lose weight?

No; if anything, it will most likely make them eat.
If long term health is the goal, that is certainly not the way to go.

I also want to include a video by boogie2988 that really explains the vicious cycle of fat shaming


I will be writing a new article about the more general topic of childhood obesity soon.

Have an amazing Monday my loves<3
Xoxoxo

Gabby

7/22/13

Friend With An Eating Disorder? ADVICE

Hello my stunning fudgies <3

In an article I wrote for ANEB (which I will link when it is published), I elaborated on the act of opening up to your friends and family about your past or present struggles with an eating disorder. As I was typing it up, I started thinking about my own experience, and what I wish my peers had or had not done.

So if someone close to you has confided in you regarding their eating disorder struggles, here are 3 things to keep in mind:

Rule #1: Ask Questions (then STFU)

This is probably something they have been keeping inside for quite some time now, thus they might have a lot to vent. Don't make judgement calls, thank them for trusting you enough to keep this private handle it maturely, and let those floodgates open. 

Ask them about when it started, what are their triggers, if their parents know, etc. (***However, I seriously recommend you avoid the topic of specific details about the physical aspects of their eating disorder. eg: their purging or restraining habits, etc. More on that in the aforementioned article). You ask questions, then you keep quiet and listen. This is not the time to make comments, jokes or force them to get help the way you think they should. 

They obviously think you can handle the news, so honour their trust and shut the fudge up. 

Rule #2: Be Available, not Intrusive (so STFU, mostly)

Okay, so they confided in you. That is most likely a sign that, if ever they need help or support, you are the person they will reach. Take that job seriously (though don't take it too seriously and putting the weight of her problems on your shoulders. If you are not a professional, there is only so much you can do. Walking constantly on eggshells could bring issues for you as well). 

Be ready to step in if they ask for it. Key words: if they ask. Constantly bringing it up will probably make them rather uncomfortable. There is one exception to this rule though, hence the mostly: If your friend never brings it up again (and I mean for months) and their situation seems to be deteriorating and their safety/health is on the line, you have the right to confront them and/or seek help from a counsellor or any other professional. 

Rule #3: Be the Emotional Support (so again, STFU) 

Your job is to be the emotional support. The one she can vent to when she is stressed, depressed, anxious, tired, etc. This is where you can be most helpful, considering the fact that these factors are the triggers (therefor the cause) of her struggle. 

You are not the behaviour police: whether she is not eating much at lunch or hiding food from others, these are consequences that she must control on her own.

Think of it this way: you will not always be there to, for example, control their calorie intake. These behaviours are often something they are ashamed of, and pointing them out could really embarrass them. They won't stop because you make them eat more of their sandwhich, they will go continue their patterns somewhere else. 

So keep your mouth shut and be the shoulder to cry on, not the pasta police. Got it?
(see rule 2 for the exception). 


Hope you all have an amazing week, dollfaces!

xoxo

Gabby

Music I've been loving: Half Moon Run. Saw their show for the 2nd time last week and it blew my mind. You must check out their album: Dark Eyes. Here's a groupie picture I snagged of the guitarist/harmonica player/pianist/cutest guy on earth:  

7/18/13

The After Shot: By Anna


Hello my darling fudgies!

Today's creative writing piece comes from the immensely talented Anna, who is only 14 years old. We graciously borrowed this post from her equally wonderful blog storiesfromtheyoung.tumblr.com.  

Please enjoy and give her some love :)


The “After" Shot

Do you ever feel like a “before" picture? Like, one section of those side by side comparisons of celebrities or people losing weight. You’re the awkward first picture, flaws everywhere.
Your skin is uneven and often a different color entirely when compared with the rest of your body.
You have some fat in your cheeks that gives you dimples but you’d rather have cheekbones.
Any bone structure that genetics have graced you with is hidden under a layer of extraneous tissue.
Your eyes are to wide, eyebrows uneven, pupils dilated.
Your nose is crooked.
Your lips are uneven and too thin or too thick,
Your ears stick out.
Your hairs a mess.
We’ve all be there right?
But wait, there’s hope! At some point in your future you’ll gain/lose some weight in the right places. You’ll acquire tweezers and concealer. You’ll learn to style your hair in a different way to hide your ears and you’ll cover your under eye circles. The second photo will be professionally done. You’ll be prepared for it. Before pictures are too often selfies that were just on your desktop and you thought “hey I’ll use this as the before picture."
I’d like to be that person who says “I think the first picture is more beautiful/ amazing because they’re not made up and posed." Unfortunately I can’t claim that. We’re conditioned to value the second picture more. We find them more attractive and would rather associate with the mature then the juvenile.
I’m not going to go on about media and the distortion of what is beautiful. But I will say one thing.
I wish those pictures compared the people we are, not the aesthetic values of our skin.
I wish they showed the trials we overcame. The things we lost. The people we loved. I know for a fact that if someone compares a picture of me now and one in ten years they will like the after shot.
But I’ll like the before. I’ll appreciate the clueless and generally anxious and depressed teenager staring back at me. I’ll understand the bags under her eyes as a personality trait, not necessarily a flaw. She earned those dark circles from nights of insomnia and uncontrollable crying and hopelessness. She survived them and even though she’s never admit it, she wears them as a sign of pride.
Maybe as we get older we just get better at hiding ourselves in pictures. We are more willing to cover up our scars and tuck away our flaws.
Or maybe we just stop having those problems and have only those that don’t manifest themselves on our skin.
Of course I don’t have those answers, I’m only the before.

xoxo 

Gabby

7/16/13

Top 5 Self Acceptance/ Eating Disorder Books

Hello my beautiful fudgies!

If you know me in real life, this is no surprise to you, but for those of you aren't so "fortunate", I am
The Illustrious Book Nerd Award
proud to divulge a well-known fact about the girl behind the blog: I am, and always will remain, a huge geek, so much so that I even won an award in the 4th grade (pictured on the right) for spending the most time at the library (though to be fair, I loved the library mostly because no one could throw snow balls at your headgear during recess).

A characteristic of my particular nerdiness is that I find most of my hope, inspiration, and answers to my questions within the pages of a good book. I have thus decided to share the 5 best books (in my opinion) that deal with individuality, self acceptance, eating disorders and/or perfection.

Most of these are geared towards teens, to make your reading easier and more enjoyable!

You may notice a lack of self-help books, and there is a simple reason for that: if all self-help books concretely helped you to develop self-esteem, I would not have had the idea to create the FP blog.

*for a list of similar books but in French, check out ANEB's Teen Reading Corner



1. Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves, by Crystal Renn

Offering a behind-the-scenes peek into the modeling industry through the eyes of the leading plus size model* in America, as well as a trenchant look at our weight-obsessed culture, Hungry is an inspiring and cautionary tale that will resonate with anyone who has battled society's small-minded definitions of beauty.

*this book was written before Crystal lost weight, but I still find it to be an incredibly well-researched and thought-provoking work. 



2. Perfect, By Ellen Hopkins 

A companion book to Impulse, my favourite young adult book of all time:

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they'd rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. A story of streoids, eating disorders, and sexuality, Perfect is a great read to uncover the harsh truths behind the myth of perfection.

3. Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli

Who knew a young adult (borderline children's) book could be so deeply philosophical?

A story of a new girl, Stargirl, arriving at a typical high school in Arizona, and completely changing the dynamics of individuality and conformity.  Jerry Spinelli's simple, but undeniably effective writing style is superb. A recommendation for kids, for parents, and everybody who has ever struggled to conform. 

4.  Unbearable Lightness, by Portia De Rossi

In this groundbreaking memoir, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades, from the time she was a twelve-year-old girl working as a model in Australia, through her early rise to fame as a cast member of the hit television show Ally McBeal . All the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and concealing from herself and everyone around her the seriousness of her illness. (Amazon.com description, couldn't agree more)

5. Just Listen, by Sarah Design

My favorite Dessen novel by far: Although Annabel's facade makes people think she has everything going for her, she is lonely until she meets reformed bad boy Owen.

This book beautifully depicts the reality of family and societal expectations, as well as telling the story of an eating disorder from a sibling's perspective. 
----


I hope you all have an amazing day, and if you happen to be browsing your local library, keep these suggestions in mind!

xoxoxo

Gabby



7/13/13

Plastic Surgery Addiction?!

Hello my gorgeous fudgies :)


I have often been prompted to talk about the ever so controversial topic of PLASTIC SURGERY! 

Indeed, you are all apparently dying to hear my thoughts on this growing epidemic known as the cosmetic surgery fad. I do stress the use of the word cosmetic:  used or done superficially to make something look better, more attractive, or more impressive (dictionary.com), because the opinion I am about to promulgate is solely based on cosmetic, superficial alterations, therefore excluding procedures for burn or severe accident victims. 

Now. Let's dig in. 

Many people automatically assume I am staunchly opposed to plastic surgery, because I advocate self-acceptance, healthy body image and body positivity. And while I'm not exactly out on the streets preaching its benefits, I am not against it either. I happen to be incredibly liberal about these sorts of things: Doesn't affect me? Knock yourself out. 

The same theory applies to this particular subject, yet I still want to examine the causes behind this decision a little more closely, especially in relation to this idea of a plastic surgery addiction. 


I don't doubt that there are people who undergo these surgeries who are in it for all the right, healthy reasons: They are not getting it because:
1. They have been teased, bullied or pressured into it by peers
2. They think they can finally achieve perfection (LOL)
3. They think life will simply get easier (career, relationship, and self-esteem problems? POOF ALL GONE)

These people are likely to get the surgery, be content, and then that's that. 

But there is also an alarming percentage of cosmetic surgery undertakers for whom the outcome is completely different than the one formerly mentioned. 

Sure, they are happy with the surgery. For a while. 
But then it's not enough. They need something else fixed, plucked, smoothed, boosted, and plumped.
And then another, and another, until they are knee deep in silicone and debt. 
But the problem is not the surgeries themselves, we know they don't have to be that way.

What's really going on here?

The problem is not the crooked nose, or the flat chest. If they were, their alterations would have set the other person free.
The real problem is inside the person's head. It's a fixation he or she has created, constantly obsessing over this infinitely tiny portion of their whole. 

The obsession has nothing to do with the "flaw" itself. It is just a sublimation of the individual's deeply troubled body image and self-esteem. 

Completely unaware of this, he or she goes and gets the miracle surgery that will fix EVERYTHING. 
Right? As we know all too well, wrong, because it will satisfy them for a while, but the poor self esteem will creep back in, and find something else to be consumed by. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Those are my thoughts on the subject.
If you want to undergo a cosmetic surgery, I won't stand in your way. But think long and hard about your motives, and your relationship with yourself.

Personally, I wouldn't get one, because I know for a fact I won't ever be perfect, so why bother with fancy expensive surgeries when I can be perfectly happy with what I got?
Also, needles and scalps and chainsaws? (okay, maybe not the last one) DON'T THINK SO.

Whew that was a long one, but I was in need of a long scientific ramble.
Have a fantastic week my loves <3

xoxo
Gabby

7/8/13

3 Easy Tips To Feel More Confident



Good morning fudgies! It's been a while since I wrote an article for all of you (what have I been doing, you ask? this ad campaign video: 



If we could just wake up every morning feeling like Grecian goddesses, the world would be very
boring indeed. What would we complain about?!

Yet there are some days where we just need to feel a little sexier, so here are 3 easy tricks to boost up your confidence instantly.


1. Find, Focus, and Flaunt

Not unlike my holy grail to better self-esteem trick, I challenge you to go on a personal treasure hunt: identify your favorite feature, whether it's your piercing green eyes or your so-toned-they-could-be-baseball-bats calves,  and focus for just a few seconds on this quality. Memorize it, and when you are out and about, imagine it is all other people see. Let it radiate from you, put it at the forefront, and flaunt it like nobody's business. Distracting others from your flaws as well as yourself? Way to kill 2 insecurity-chirping birds with one stone.





2. Bust out your Beyoncé 
Yay feminine strength!
(dont mind the complete lack of muscle, my girl power is purely metaphorical)


The negative voices in our heads seem to be loudest when we’re feeling down, so why
not drown them out? Having a playlist on your iPod packed with girl-power anthems by strong, feminine role models such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, or Pink can be a great way to recharge your self-esteem battery as those whiny voices grow quiet. And if you dare, dance along a little bit, wherever you are, although this may not be ideal if you like to enjoy your music on the subway during rush hour. :)



3. Fake it ‘till you make it

If all else fails, painting on a cool smile while confidently strutting the scary, judgemental
streets can fool most anybody, including yourself. Repeating phrases like I can totally do this, I matter or I belong here can help brainwash your thoughts, morphing from theatre performance to real life beliefs. While you’re busy convincing your coworkers, family or friends that you are sure of yourself, you won’t have time to knitpick every single one of your dips and bumps, and before you know it, that confident act will no longer be a facade; it will just be you.



I hope you can use at least one of these tricks when you’re feeling a little blah, but please realize we all, as humans, have flaws and although you may want to erase them, the people who care for you embrace them.



Xoxo

Gabby

7/7/13

Eating Disorder? Think Again

Hello darlings!
This is the project I have been working on these past few days!
Starring Julia Muncs and directed, filmed, and edited by me:)

Hope you enjoy my dolls!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE! :)

video

7/6/13

A Spark: By Anna Hoyt



Hello my lovely fudgies!
I haven't written a post for you all in what seems, and okay might be, ages.
I am working on an amazing ad campaign video for The Fudge Perfection Project, which I truly hope you love :)
But today we have a new creative writing piece by Anna Hoyt (yes! the same one who acted and wrote  The Definition of Beauty: check it out at the bottom of the page!)

A Spark


A path of ice, of snow and sleet, one of a hurricane raging,
And a path of sand, of calming waves, of the ocean's innocent breeze.
Though these two paths are seasons apart,
Eventually their months must meet.
Along a road I had gone, until I met their crossings,
The path of ice, or the path of sand, both just as long and hard,
A choice that many have to make.
I took the path of sand and waves, the path my heart desired,
But after many seasons had gone,
I was again at the two paths crossings.
Regret and sorrow filled my soul, a journey of the weak-minded,
I had no choice but to start again, but now the paths were different.
One of fire, of raging heat, a nightmare waiting to happen,
And the other of water, of cool faith and forgiveness.
My heart longed for the path of forgiveness and faith,
But I took the path of fire,
And after many long falls, the fire had gone,
But now its spark is within me.

If you like her work, do let me know, for we may be seeing more of Anna's work in the future if you love her as much as I do. 

To see her monologue "The Definition of Beauty", click below!





http://youtu.be/tK1bUbyURec

Thanks so much dolls<3

Xoxo
Gabby

Music I'm listening to: "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Guns n Roses
Because Axl Rose in the late 80s=ASDDFKGHHLLZXCVBNN <3
This performance blows my mind everytime: http://youtu.be/riH9aygQdjY

Book: US history book 1 and 2
Yay summer studies!! -_-