Thursday, August 18, 2016

Haters Back Off

Ever heard of a YouTube show called Miranda Sings? 

My 8 year-old daughter is completely obsessed with Miranda, who wears baggy red sweats with a button-down striped shirt, plus horribly smeared lipstick.  She’s obnoxious.  She’s a horrible singer but believes she’s FABULOUS.   

To her detractors, Miranda declares, “Haters back off.”

Miranda Sings is on tour this summer, so we went to see her.   The venue was filled with young fans (known as “Mirfandas”) dressed in Miranda’s signature baggy red sweats, button-down striped shirts, and smeared lipstick.

“Inexplicable,” I thought, settling in for what I thought would be 90 minutes of torture.

Turned out I was wrong.  I was SO wrong. 

Miranda’s show is self-help on steroids.  With a madcap mix of song, dance, and the most bizarre stage props ever, she:
  • ·      Promotes self-confidence
  • ·      Encourages body positivity.  She urges fans to dress appropriately instead of provocatively (part of what she refers to as “porn”)
  • ·      Teaches girls how to pick a boyfriend, instead of being picked by a boy (or in Miranda-speak “bae”)
  • ·       Takes a strong stance against haters
What does this have to do with food, weight and body image issues?

#1) Let’s start with self-confidence.  When you feel good about YOU, you won’t use food to numb, cope or distract yourself from painful or upsetting thoughts, conflicts or emotions. 

What prevents you from feeling good about yourself? 

Where did you learn to relate to yourself this way?

What would you say to a friend who felt as you do?

#2) Body positivity.  When you feel good about your body, you don’t objectify yourself and make yourself a thing. 

What determines what an attractive body is?  After all, voluptuousness was preferred in the era of painters Rubens, Titian and others.  Marilyn Monroe would be considered plus-size by today’s standards.   Who defines beauty?

What do you think is wrong with your body?  Why?Challenge that idea.  What would Marilyn say?

3) Pick, don’t be picked.  So often we take our cues about our worthiness from what other people think.  If a “bae” likes you, you’re worthy.  If not, you’re not good enough.

Wrong!  The only person who decides your value is YOU.

The bathroom scale doesn’t decide.

Other people can’t decide your value.

Only you determine whether you are good enough.

4) Haters back off (especially if the hater is you).  There will always be people who don’t understand you, who point out your so-called shortcomings, and who generally try to make you feel bad.   If they’re not targeting your weight, they’ll find something else about you to pick on.

Are you self-hating?    Why?

Where did you learn to hate your body or criticize yourself?

Would you criticize others the way you criticize yourself?

When you accept yourself – fiercely and completely – you will feel good.  And when you feel good, you won’t use food to escape, numb, or reward yourself.  And that's how you make peace with food!

This was taken during the concert.  The "Self Help Seminar" that truly rocked!!

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