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Before You Start- Shut the F*** up.

A letter of love.

Dear Everyone,

Ever since I was a child, I have heard the opinions of others about my body. I don’t know why. Every family reunion, birthdays, big social gatherings, people have always felt the need to add a line or two about my physical appearance. Was it necessary? No. Did it shape my way of thinking? Hell yes. Since little Mari could look at herself in the mirror and see her reflection, everyone else's thoughts have crowded her mind.

I wish I can say that I have successfully broken the cycle, wake up every day loving myself, and flaunting my curves like JLo flaunts her ass (can someone tell me if it’s real?!)… But guess what, I have my insecurities. BOY DO I HAVE THEM. There’s a little demon that creeps in my subconscious, and starts whispering hurtful things. This demon takes all my insecurities and starts listing them off, one after another after another after another…. My legs will never look good in shorts or skirts. My body's sole purpose is for chafing. I don’t have a thigh gap. My stomach is not flat. My butt looks deformed.

It's terrible. However, I have learned to take that demon and to grab it by the neck and say “Hey, before you start- shut the fuck up. I am a fucking awesome woman who has accomplished so much, and is going to accomplish so much more in my lifetime. And I’m gonna get a disney pass cause I’m a fucking winner.”

I know, I’m “passionate,” but, it gets the job done. The demon leaves. She's still there, but she is contained by my inner lion (that's what I call my self worth, but I will save that for another blog).

So you can imagine my horror one Saturday night when someone (yes a man, a moron) made an unwanted comment about my weight. And, just like that, the demon took off. She was running around with scissors in her hand causing chaos in my mind. She began screaming at the top of her lungs, “See, I told you everyone was noticing your pants were a bit more snug! You are gonna have to get back to running 7 miles a day! You’re never going to be a working actor, unless you skip a meal…” It took all the courage I had to say to myself, Before You Start- shut the fuck up.

The realization hit three seconds later that I said that out loud.

If I could go back in time I would slap him across the face. Because he had no fucking right. My weight is none of his damn concern. Just like his alcoholism is none of my concern. You get my point?

I understand that there are countless posts, blogs, and books about self image, self love, and "ignoring the haters". This blog seems redundant. It's an over-told tale. Hell, the fact that I am writing this after I wrote a blog about loving my body... may seem counter productive... but it doesn't make those insults hurt any less. In fact, they hurt more. There is so much that my body does for me. It supports me, it grounds me, and it lets me run up Runyon on a hot day without stopping (damn straight). My body continually stands tall no matter how many insults I give it, and still looks good on a Friday night.

We are living in a time of confusion, self hatred, and social media nonsense... and every day is a challenge to tell ourselves, that we are worth the love we give to others. We are worth the admiration we give to Instagram (silly, but I think we all know what that means). Midterm elections are tomorrow, and I urge you all, to not spread anger, but to spread your self love, and to motivate others.

To all those people, male and female, who feel they have the right to make comments about others, before you start- shut the fuck up.

To all of those who feel self conscious for whatever, physical, mental, or emotional reason… You are beautiful. You are enough. Love yourself, fiercely. Don’t let that little demon have all the power… You are your power, you are your strength, and you are your beauty. And if you can't find your inner lion (or whatever animal you call it), reach out to me, and I will help you find it.

With fierce love,

Mari

P.S. To the asshole who made that comment, you’re right I have put on some weight. I was severely depressed due to a major change in my life and was having severe panic attacks every day. They were so painful, I couldn’t eat. Once I realized how to handle that demon, I decided to focus on my day to day health so I would never go through that again. I wish the you best.

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