Tag Archives: society

Easier Now

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All of my life, I have struggled with the fear of becoming overweight again, because as a child, I suffered immensely from being the chubbier kid. I wasn’t confident, happy, or satisfied with my quality of life. This is not to say that if you are confident or happy at this size or any size, you shouldn’t be. I just know that, in my experience, I spent so much time, too much time, agonizing over how I could be different and how I could be better. I just couldn’t see the beauty in myself. Something destructive had stuck with me and had no intention of letting go. At such a young age, those kinds of feelings have a deep imprint on your soul. I know they did on mine. But this time around, at 21 years old, as I am not overweight but still trying to keep in shape and stay healthy, it’s easier. Everything seems….easier.

I’ve noticed the change. I’m not looking in the mirror as much, grabbing at the visible fat on my sides or tummy, or scowling at the figure that stands before me, disappointed by what I see. She’s a beautiful person and she has carried me through 21 years of life, 21 years of experience, growth, love, failure, and triumph. She is the portal in which I have navigated the plane of life and she is the woman I will be until the day I die. She will change, physically and mentally, as she moves forward, but there should be no reason why I should look upon her with judgment. Her body has been through injuries, sickness, heartache. She’s fought through loss, anxiety attacks, hurt. I no longer look upon her, the body that housed and loved me, like she is wrong and needs to be changed. I’m guiding her in the right direction, a healthier path and state of mind.

I’ve grown to adore this changed perspective towards my body. I’m not judging myself like I used to. I can look in the mirror, smile, and know that that smile is genuine. I do love myself, and I love my body. There will be times when I come down on the beautiful girl in the mirror, the one that looks back at me and reflects the life that I’ve been living and the experiences I’ve gathered, but I know that those times will be fleeting, and will not house themselves permanently within the corners of my mind, waiting for their next moment to swallow the spotlight. Self judgment is no longer welcome in my heart and I’m determined to keep it that way. From here on out, everything feels… easier.

xo Amanda Cramer

Mandirito.com

The Curse of Closeted Introversion: “You’re not an introvert! You’re so happy and friendly!”

Let me take this moment to address the word “introvert”. We cringe at it because we’ve learned that it’s not something anyone wants to be called and certainly not a characteristic any company would admire, according to common belief. It’s gotten such a bad rep in today’s world because opportunities are reaching out and grabbing at people that have the “loudest and proudest” personalities, leaving the people with the same intellectual capacities but a less dominant demeanor to wait for the next round of opportunities, fully aware of the kind of discouraging environment they face. I mean, who wants the quiet guy or girl, right?

Actually, wrong. Very wrong. See, the belief that an introvert would not be as successful as an extrovert is completely outlandish because the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” simply classify one’s interactions with their self and their environment, completely and totally separate from intelligence, ability to cooperate with others, and one’s personal initiative. These labels aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I know people label everything and everyone they interact with and that is how they classify and remember their surroundings, but how do you think I feel when others respond to me that “there’s no way I’m an introvert” because I’m friendly? When did anyone say an introvert can’t be friendly? It’s hard enough having to label myself, let alone try to explain it to another individual in a comprehensible way that, just because I can be loud, charming, and humorous, I know myself better than anyone else and that if I’m not an introvert, I lie close enough.

Deep down, I know I am an ambivert, but that term is such a foreign concept that holds all kinds of shades of grey, and it’s all about black or white with labels. Ambivert doesn’t classify in anyone’s folder, and the monotony of explaining being an “ambivert” deters me from using the term all together.

Introvert, ambivert, or extrovert, we all still have our own skills. We’re all talented, and a lot of us do need to care about society’s perception of us to some degree because of our future involvement in the workforce relies on it. Let’s try to redefine what is believed about introverts so they are given an equal shot at changing the world as everyone else. Introverts aren’t broken isolationists that can’t handle anything. We’re strong on the inside as much as we are on the outside. Our abilities should not be define by our tactics of socialization but by the character that we possess and the work we put forth to bring forward the talents we cultivate.

What are your thoughts?

The Short on Shorts Shopping: Are Our Bodies to Blame?

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Curves on a woman’s figure used to be celebrated as a feminine trait. I guess the party is over because every store that I’ve visited for shorts shopping has quite the unrealistic standards for my hip to waist ratio. Today, I tried on over twenty pairs of shorts, ranging from short shorts to those that are closer to cut offs to embellished shorts, each with its own proportions to ensure that I’d find a pair that didn’t feel too loose on the top, but definitely didn’t squeeze everywhere else. I ended up with one pair that hugged me just right, which ultimately left me happy and confident. I do have to wonder, though, how those who believe that it is their own fault that the clothes they are interested in don’t fit them, end up not in a ball of tears after what feels like millions of failed attempts. It can be hard to take the blame off of ourselves when we feel like we have physically deviated from the “look” that is force-fed to us at an early age. Our society promotes the standard that being thin makes a woman most beautiful (think “delicate”, “pretty”, “soft”), while being curvy or larger (muscular, thick) makes her less beautiful on the spectrum. When it comes down to it, curvy figures are hardly accommodated. I felt this deeply today. I felt like every single rack was mocking the fact that my body could not fit perfectly into the structured sizes provided to me. I don’t blame my body, though. I exercise regularly, eat healthily the majority of the time (my Chipotle fix is not going away anytime soon), and refuse to believe that the type of body that I have maintained and carried all through my life is at fault when the products that I, as a human, am meant to clothe myself with don’t provide me any bit of coverage, comfort, or dignity. This is the product of a society that wants me to squeeze into whatever mold they’ve got for me, and I’m not going to do it. I don’t blame my body for not being a size 2, or for having muscular, thick thighs that feel choked in cut offs. I won’t apologize for the way I am comfortable living and looking, nor will I apologize for not giving in to the belief that my body has to be different to be good enough to wear what’s being sold. I’m good enough and I deserve to wear clothes that look as great as they feel. If this means that I have to cut full-length jeans to make into shorts that aren’t going to leave my a** on display, then that’s what I’m gonna do. It’s bad enough to be shamed for your shape, but even worse when all that is available to you are pieces that exemplify what it means to have a body that is “acceptable”.

Random thought: long before we outgrow our own child-like curiosity, we are aiding the curiosity of others’ much younger offspring. We are made to grow older much quicker, to aid in the growth of others.

We grow up so fast that we forget that we were once kids ourselves. Our society wants us to believe that it’s better to grow up earlier, when really, we’re just paralyzing our own abilities to see the wonder in the small things that life contributes. We’re quickening the desensitizing process, when we should be a curious community, accepted at all ages for the ability to accept and be thrilled by what is put before us. We should learn together, rather than teach as if we are outside looking in.

The Only Thing They Should Be Editing is Their Attitude Towards Beauty

Today I was reading an article on poor photoshop jobs of the human form and I can honestly say that my faith is slowly slipping. Ugh, it makes me so sad. Not even because I don’t fit the image, but because people end up believing that they’re not aesthetically adequate. And that’s not true!

I honestly have to say that I am so disappointed in these people who consider this their job, to eliminate the “fat” parts of a model’s figure, minimizing her waist and providing her with a “much needed” thigh trimdown when, of course, she does not need it. Heck, I bet their own bodies are not perfect, and definitely not what they’re showing as an example of beauty through their work. What gives them the tools to dictate how others, who are perfectly fine and wonderful looking on their own, ultimately are exhibited in the media? I mean really, it’s disgusting. And what’s up with the cropping of chick’s crotches lately? Like, seriously, when did the shape of her vagina become so utterly offensive that it could not dare be shown naturally under a fully-covering, modest bikini? I don’t understand what the deal is with all these ads and the unrealistic standards they set, for both women and men. I work out often, and I don’t have a perfect body, but if I were being shown in one of these magazines, I would be significantly offended if someone thought it was their right to take my body and manipulate it to fit his or her beauty standards, to thin me out like I have no bone structure under my skin. I think all body types are hot, plain and simple. I see no reason that we should all look the same when we all have different genetics and different shapes. Seriously, work what you have, work out if you’d like to, and enjoy who you are. Who gives a crap about how other people feel about your nonexistent thigh gap. That’s your business. I’ve never had a thigh gap in my life, and I am not complaining.

“Feelings are for the Weak” (Who Are, Ironically, Much Stronger)

Ever since I was younger, it had been engrained in my head that those who are expressive of their feelings are weaker than the rest of the population that does not. It was always a battle for who could put on the best mask and pretend like they had their whole lives together, much better than the next person. I had surrounded myself with people that I considered friends at the time, but people that had no intention of building strength in the bond. It was a negative time for me, being surrounded by this kind of mentality. The first time I had really broken down my barriers I had built was my first serious relationship, which lasted for around 4.5 years, and even then, there were times when I wanted to keep them out of conversation and out of mind. I did, however, realize something when that relationship ended. All the times that I kept my feelings to myself were the times when I was causing my own destruction. I wasn’t punishing anyone else but myself by letting my pain eat at what I thought to be an otherwise strong exterior. I did learn something, over these years. Losing a serious relationship, eliminating the friendships that were destructive to my own path, becoming increasingly independent as I realized what was permanent and what was temporary…. I learned that I am much stronger than I thought I was, and that others who show the same kinds of strength are those who are not afraid to be real. I screwed up thinking that I was weak because I was honest about my feelings. I should’ve been upfront from the start, but I let my apprehension to do so get the best of me.

Part of this journey to redefine my understanding is shown through my writing. Writing gives me the ability to be honest without direct confrontation, and is something that can be shared or reflected upon individually. I’m continuing to grow and develop my skills of communicating what I need and desire from my life and my relationships with others, and I think this was a crucial part of my journey: establishing up front that being true to yourself gives you the best chance at happiness. I’m well on my way.

As for you, find the people you trust. There are many people out for themselves these days, but if you can find a handful that love and respect you as they do for themselves, you’ll become closer to connecting your feelings with strength. Those who do not patronize you for your vulnerability, but stand by you, are essential to your journey to redefine what is believed to be weakness. Strength comes from the heart. Don’t let your heart by trumped by your head, because in the long run, you’ll need a level-headed, honest perception from both.

Random thought: I always found it strange that the people who can afford almost anything end up getting the most handed to them free of charge.

…and then there are people out there that can’t afford to put food on their dinner table. I believe in giving back, but I also feel that the people who should be given back to are the people who work their whole lives, as hard as they can, and deserve better than what they get.