Thursday, September 27, 2012

Embrace Yourself

So over the weekend I attended a conference called Partnership WITH Patients in Kansas City, Missouri. It focused on Patient Advocacy and how to make a better impact through social media: ok, well maybe that isn't what the original goal was, but the Unconference on the second day  Health Camp Kansas City offered an opportunity to attend a breakout session with Rev. Kate Knodel on Power and Empowering and I chose, through some cajoling, to start writing again. So I am. Up until this morning though I was frustrated by exhaustion and the frenetic energy I was expending to "catch up" afterward. And I didn't see a chance to start a new blog until I found a point of purpose as I kept seeing this woman's photograph and the conversations around her, her faith, and our culture's "acceptable" norms on Facebook.

Here is a picture of a woman posted on Reddit for the sole purpose of being "funny."

Here is a link to the Jezebel Article including a response by the woman who is pictured and the photographer who tried to earn cheap points via Reddit.

The woman in the photograph, Balpreet Kaur, a baptized Sikh, embraces her physical being because of her faith. And I think that is great. I believe wholeheartedly in religious freedom and encouraging others to find strength where they will. But I have trouble with the idea of embracing oneself ONLY because of an outside tenet or rule.

Here's what I said on FaceBook today.

Everyone has likely seen this by now, but I thought I would add my two cents. I admire the woman for embracing herself because of her faith. However, there are those of us who look different and embrace ourselves (and others) for no other reason than it is who we are. I don't need an external rule telling me to love my body. I really just want everyone else to stop deciding what anyone else "SHOULD" look like. Maybe we could suspend judgement of others based on looks. Maybe we could let go of our preconceived notions of beauty and spend time getting to know people personally. And maybe we could just love for no reason other than we are creatures who share this planet and love makes it easier. 
So let's start a conversation here and/or on my Facebook page about embracing each other for no reason at all. Except, of course, love is a good thing and we should do it as much as possible. Discuss.

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