weight shaming

The Aftermath (#31DaysofBlogging)

Hi friends,

Remember earlier this year when we asked you to rally with us against weight shaming to promote self-love and kindness? We posted a blog called “When Someone Calls You Huge” and it told an honest story about someone calling me (Kate) “huge” on a group text that the person didn’t know I was on. What you might not have noticed is that a few days after we posted the blog, we took it down. (We JUST re-posted it again yesterday after 7 months.) If you did read the blog (which you can now...HERE) you know that we made no mention of who this person was, what we were doing when this happened, etc. The entire point of the blog was kindness, forgiveness, no more weight shaming, and loving our awesome bodies! We encouraged people to not hold onto pant sizes or negative words and to be grateful for our ability to breathe, see, touch, smell, run, etc. 

We now are going to tell you what happened to us after we posted that blog. This is the next part of the story.

We were singing for a male artist at the time and what we didn’t tell you was that the person who called me “huge” was a crew-member who we were on tour with. Two days after posting the blog, we were asked to remove it from our website because it could “reflect poorly on the personal life of our employer.” Confused. Baffled. Bothered. We didn’t get it. How could a blog about my weight affect my employer? But, okay...fine. Because we had great respect for our employer AND because ironically the blog was about kindness, we took it down. 

Ten days after we took the blog down…we were abruptly fired.

No explanation. No warning. We received a 1 minute phone call telling us that all of a sudden “the organization is restructuring and no longer has a need for female singers.”  

Yet, one week later, they hired...you guessed it, a new female singer. 

Our original intent in writing the blog was to appeal to you (the reader) to encourage us all to stop the weight shaming, bullying, negative self-talk and to focus on better loving ourselves. 

But now, our message is getting an addition: To do all of the above AND to not be afraid to tell your story, even if it costs you something.

For us, it cost us our jobs. We had the rest of our year until November blocked off and in a moment--the entire year changed for us. We aren’t trying to badmouth anyone. We aren’t trying to start trouble. We’ve worked with and for some great men in this industry. This is not a post to bash men, it is simply to stand up as women, with women and for women to not let fear silence us from telling our stories, so that all of us together can make a change. 

This has been a difficult year for us. There are more details than we can even share here with you and we haven’t shared any of this publicly until now. It's been hard but we aren't going to let the difficulties define the year. We are always encouraging people to share their experiences honestly and openly, and we felt that if we didn’t share this, we wouldn’t be following our own advice. 

This is the amazing thing…the story is no longer about us or what has been the outcome of just our situation.  This is bigger than us. We have the chance to be a voice for women everywhere who are afraid to stand up and tell their stories in fear that it may cost them something. Our voices are all stronger when they are banded together.

We have something that we’d love for you to do for us: Be kind the next time you don’t want to be. Don’t let fear hold you back from telling your story. Show love. Forgive quickly. Love yourself. Stand up against bullying. Against weight-shaming. Against any kind of discrimination. If you need someone who will listen, leave a comment or email us. We are all in this together. Our voices all deserve to be heard.

You are beautiful and worthy of love,

Jill and Kate

When Someone Calls You Huge (REPOSTED) #31DaysofBlogging

This blog title might sound familiar. We originally posted this blog shortly after we got back from Afghanistan in April 2015. It was only on our site for 3 days before we were asked to take it down…which we did, and we haven't re-posted it until today. We'll tell you more about that tomorrow. If you already read this…please read it again. Let the words sink down to the depths of your heart. You are beautiful and worthy of love. xo j&k

Have you ever been on a group text and someone didn’t know you were included on the group text and then they said something mean about you to the group?

Well, I have. Let me tell you...not the most fun thing I’ve ever experienced. It sucked actually, but I’m going to tell you all about it for two reasons:

1) I hope it’s helpful. I know I’m not the first person this has ever happened to and we always say we are all in this together, so I’m going to share in my painful experience in hopes that it helps you if you’re going through something similar. 

2) This blog is as much for me as it is for you. It’s a letter to myself to remind myself of the truths that I know to be true. 

Here’s the backstory. I had posted a picture on Instagram the night before from my bunk on the bus and used the hashtag #bunksaresmall. Next day, a friend who loves to make fun of all the silly hashtags we use took a pic of me as I was sitting with an *empty box on my lap. (*not sure why I was sitting with a box on my lap but it was funny and we all were laughing at my ridiculous-ness.) He sent it to a group text. 

Well......

Someone responded (not knowing I was on the text) and called me: "a #HUGE singer." He called me HUGE. 

Here's the picture:

 My first and immediate reaction was hurt and embarrassment. My second reaction was, Psssh, what does he know? What a jerk. But then those dark voices began to quietly rise...This was the inner dialogue that began as I stared at the picture and I began to second guess myself: 

“Omg, was he right? Am I huge? My legs look huge. It’s just a bad angle...or is it? What does huge even mean? Does everyone think this and I don’t know it? Well, everyone thinks that now. What a jerk. Who calls someone huge? Ugh, I want to hide.” 

But then, something changed in my head/heart. I looked at the picture again. I actually thought my legs looked awesome (a little orange from my bronzer...haha...but still awesome.) I remembered the great workout I had done earlier that day. I remembered that I had felt great in that dress before walking on stage that night. I remembered how awesome it had felt singing to thousands of people.

A mirror pic before walking to stage…yes I took off the sweatshirt before going on stage :)    

A mirror pic before walking to stage…yes I took off the sweatshirt before going on stage :)

 

Jill and I began to talk. Important side note here: Don’t ever say anything mean about me because my IDK my BFF Jill does not handle such things well. She was maybe more mad than I was :) Ha! Love her.  Anyway. I started thinking. 

SCREW THAT. Are you kidding me? My body is awesome. I am healthy. I can run for 3 miles RIGHT NOW if I want to. My body can propel itself. Both of my lungs function on their own and all of my blood is rushing through my veins. When I put my hand to my chest and feel the beating, I remember that I’m alive and have a purpose. I don’t have cancer!! I can run and climb and jump. I LOVE MY STRONG, AWESOME BODY. My body could make another human being. I can smell and see and touch and feel. That's amazing.

 

Like any woman I’ve ever met in the whole universe--we fluctuate in our weight and I’m just tired of focusing on it and making it the center of the world.

AND I’M TIRED OF ALL THE WEIGHT SHAMING. It's happening to celebrities and non-celebrities alike. It’s just got to stop. If someone is looking at that picture and calling me huge, I just don’t know. Not that it’s anyone’s business, but full disclosure moment: the very day "dude" called me huge I was pumped because that day I happened to look at the tag of my jeans and I was wearing a size 8! A size SMALL sweatpants from Victoria’s Secret. A medium T-shirt. Here’s the flip side...I also have pants that are a 12/14, sweats that are a size L and shirts that are an XL. WHAT THE HELL DUDE? Who cares?

When I look back on my life I do not, I repeat, I do NOT want to remember what pants size I could squeeze into. Good Lord people, we’ve got THINGS TO DO! We’ve got dreams to dream and goals to be achieved and ain’t nobody got time for the ‘ole weight shaming game. (if you could hear me typing I’m getting heated and may break my keyboard.)

Don’t think the weight game is not something I haven’t had to deal with...cause I have. I won’t drag you into the long history of my story right now (saving that for my book!) but let’s just say I have fought the inner demons that tell me I can only receive love if I’m a certain size or weight. 

Being in my early 30’s now, I feel like I’m starting to find my feet. The grounding of the truth that I know. One of those truths that I believe is that we are all valuable. Each and every one of us is worthy of love. If you're a size -0 or a size 125--whatever is your healthy and happy place--it doesn't matter! 

I also believe that God created me to be exactly who I am and that I was not a mistake landing on this planet at this time. I am loved by the creator of the Universe. My 5 foot 9 inch body is perfectly and wonderfully made. 

Let me get back to this part. I AM HEALTHY. Guys, do you know how many people I know right now that have cancer and would literally do anything for a healthy body that may or may not have a few extra pounds on it? I am determined to be thankful for my healthy, amazing, awesome, strong body. I love feeling in shape and I love seeing pictures of myself feeling confident. Some days I feel that more than other days, but I am desperately trying to not make that the gauge of my mood or let it effect the trajectory of my day.

Here’s the kicker. Because part of my life is in the public eye and on the interwebs, strangers have said mean things to me before. It still hurts--I don’t care who or what anyone says--when you read something mean about yourself, it hurts--even if just a little. But, this was different. This is someone that I know. 

So, what to do? Well, I’ve forgiven him. He hasn’t asked for it or even apologized but that’s okay with me. All I can do is forgive him in my heart and move on. To wish him un-well or to try and hurt him back is foolish and honestly it goes against what I think God has called me to. “Don’t repay evil with evil, repay evil with good.” 

It reminds me that I want to do the opposite. I want to build people up. I want to encourage other people. I want to cheer for them as they are running their race. Competition and jealousy can just go take a freaking hike! We women have a knack for competition and jealousy and I say, let’s just all cheer for each other, ok? Let’s have the mentality that when one of us is winning, WE ARE ALL WINNING. 

If I could leave you with one thing, it’s this. Please repeat after me:  "I AM BEAUTIFUL and worthy of love. I AM BEAUTIFUL and worthy of love." 

Write it down. Make it your screensaver. Take a sharpie and write it on your hand if you need to. When the little voices start to creep in, say (yes, even sometimes out loud): I AM BEAUTIFUL and worthy of love.

And one more thing….let's be kind, friends. The easy thing is to always cut someone down and make a jab, but words hurt. They just do. I think words cause some of the deepest wounds...so let's all give pause before we say something mean. Be kind to the person that doesn't deserve it. Be kind to the person you always disagree with. Be kind.

Sending lots of love to you on this fine Monday morning. 

-kate