Being a BA

I was recently called a "Bad Ass" by someone I admire greatly.  I took this as such a complement.  In fact I quite possibly told everyone that I spoke to the rest of the day that she called me a "Bad Ass".  And now I'm telling you.  Why? Because I take being a "Bad Ass" very seriously...and if you know me personally you know that serious and me don't hang out often.  Here's why.

I believe that weight, gender, race, (among other things) are social justice issues.  I believe that no matter what your size or your colour of skin or gender you identify with you matter.  And I have started being more vocal about that.  I believe in the power of words.  I have started calling out more people for the words they use and the effects these words have on others.  I will be honest that it does not make me popular with some and there are many people that just look at me like I am an alien life form speaking a language that they have never heard of...but I am hopeful that I am at least drawing attention to the meaning behind the words they are saying and that next time they might be more hesitant to say these words. 

Let's take the word "fat".  What does that word mean to you?  What does it mean to others?  How did a word that can mean- 1. a chemical compound found in food or 2. a description of size became a word that means "lazy" "unhealthy" "ugly" "gross" "unpopular" "unfit" (these are not my words- I ask this question when doing body image groups and these are the most popular answers).  We have demonized the word fat.  Kids hurl this word as insults on the playground (as young as 4...according to my kids).  "you look fat in that"( or some variation) is heard daily in schools, workplaces and homes.  I have heard parents say it to kids, kids say it to adults and even clients to me.  How can we change this?  Well I think the answer to this is so much bigger than this post.  It is a social movement that faces fat stigma head on and challenges society as a whole.  For my part today I want you do just be aware of your words.  Think about how you talk about bodies when you are with your friends.  Do you have the " we are so fat" talk when you get together for dinner?  Do you talk about the diets you should be doing or are starting soon?  Do you comment on the bodies of others to your partner or kids?  Do you say " I wish I looked like that?" when you see a body you deem desirable?  Just start noticing what you say...to yourself in your head and to others.  Are you helping to create this culture or stop it.  Is it so normalized now that you had no idea that you always spend 20mins talking about losing weight when you are together with your friends.    

When you look in the mirror what do you say?  Is it "damn I look great!" or something more critical?  Do you pick at the body parts you don't like or do say " legs let's walk through life today"  Or do you say what I have been saying to myself and to my kids for awhile now " Be Brave and Be Badass(BA when not wanting to say Ass in front of the bus mommies)"  Try it.  Find a phrase that inspires you and start saying it.  Whisper it quietly in the mirror or yelling it at the top of your lungs.  But say it...and say it enough that you start to believe it.  Say it more than the negative chatter you hear everyday.

Listen to your words.  Be mindful of your words.  And always be a BadAss...

until next time be unapologetically you while I be unapologetically me....