This weekend was so amazing. My non-profit hosted a screening of America the Beautiful. The film takes a powerful look at America’s obsession with beauty, and the filmmaker – Darryl Roberts – was impressive and inspiring and well-received by an audience of people for 15 to 65.
On Saturday I had the opportunity to be part of an amazing panel. It included CJ Legare, the first plus-sized model ever signed to Elite Model Management, and the owner of Power Pinc; Darryl Robert – the filmmaker of America the Beautiful; Amanda Buller – licensed and registered Dietician for the University of Texas; Rozana Zaifer-Sims Psy.D and eating disorder expert, Alexis Jones founder of i am that girl, and top 3 finalist on Survivor; and me.
I was so inspired by the message and story that each one of these people brought to the table, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with them. The name of the panel was “Does Health at Every Size Work?”. We had a lot of differences – age, gender, race, our stories, our speaking topics, our philosophies, and the audiences to whom we usually speak. We didn’t even all have the same idea about Health at Every Size, but we could all get behind the idea that in order for people to be willing to take consistently good care of themselves, they probably have to like themselves first.
And it was bigger than that. For that glorious couple of hours, we became a mutual admiration society – we had a dialog, we learned from- and were inspired by – each other, and I will say for myself that I came away much better for the experience. We weren’t six speakers who felt like we had to keep it close to the vest because we’re “competing” for the same gigs and attention. We weren’t activists looking for attention and a by-line. We were people who want something so much that we are willing to transcend our differences, and the idea of competition, and play on the same team
That’s where the power is. Not just in the field of self-esteem and body image, but everywhere. When we start looking for common goals and playing like we’re on the same team, then we can’t help but make the world better. You couldn’t have a baseball team that was made up entirely of pitchers – you need different players for different jobs and it’s no different out in the world – we need all of our voices to be heard.
So, don’t just let your amazing light shine, look for opportunities to help others do the same and watch the magic happen. You are an amazing being and you never need to dim someone else’s light to make yours brighter, and I know that for sure.
If you want to make the world better, if you want to help people love themselves more, then I want to be on your team – just tell me how I can help and put me in coach!
Thank you CJ, Alexis, Darryl, Rozana, and Amanda – you all inspire me more than you will probably ever know!