Thursday, February 25, 2010


"Goodbye, Hollywood-- you just don't fit me like you should."

That lyric grabbed me the moment I heard it. Jet is usually something I enjoy listening to when speeding down the insterstate on my way back to school because it's rocking enough to roar over the constant road noise. Driving from Florida to South Carolina all the time gets old... but Jet never does. They will always make me think of the very first iPod commercial I saw; the bright solid colored background, covered with thrashing silhouettes of presumably joyous dancers. And in the background, Jet, pounding out a rhythm. Are you gonna be my girl?

The ultimate question every girl is supposed to want to hear. It's a pivotal moment, really. Some girls pine over it all the time, and it's reflected in their choice of movies, songs, books, posters, workout schedule. It's sort of second nature for girls in America these days to feel as though they won't be someone until they belong to someone. Which is definitely not a new idea (You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, anyone?)... but something that is radically new-- to me, at least-- is that you're nobody until you love you.

Oh sure, I've heard the spiel before. "You won't find love until you love yourself!" But that's bull. You know why? Because loving yourself is not a guarantee that someone else will love you. It's not a quick fix to bring someone flying to your doorstep with toffee and lilacs. Loving yourself should not and cannot be a decision you use to get somebody to like you. It has to be (can only be) an action that stands alone, for its own sake, and generates its own rewards.

If it doesn't, you're not doing it right.

I tried the whole shebang. Diet pills, piano lessons, ridiculously lengthy reading lists-- books about dating, books about being single, books about growing up, finding direction. I looked in every place that I could for something to tell me what I had to do to make myself good enough for love. I wanted to follow a list of instructions that would make me a better person that I could in turn love, and that would in turn be loved by someone else. But I've found that the thing all those self-help books make you believe is that you are the problem. You're the one that needs to change. But that's a lie.

Think about it: The self-help industry is just that-- an industry. They make their money on people who are looking for ways to change themselves. In that vein there aren't very many books (at least that I'm aware of) that identify the real truth: You don't have to change yourself in order to find some self-esteem. You find self-esteem by learning to love yourself as you are-- and changing the things around you that aren't conducive to that.

It's not that you're not good enough for Hollywood, you see. It's Hollywood that doesn't fit.

Finally everything started making sense. I stopped frantically searching for ways to improve myself. I started paying attention to what great gifts God has already given me. I've got fabulous hair, I think. I'm really funny sometimes. I can't sing all that well, but I can remember an astronomical number of songs. When I started really loving those little things, it just started to grow. This feeling. It had been hiding deep inside of me all along, and the more freedom I gave it, the stronger and stronger it got. My oh-why-can't-I-be-skinny-and-find-LOVEs became heck-YES-a-size-sixteen-is-SEXYs. Eventually it didn't even phase me when I didn't have a date. I knew what I was worth, and finding or not finding love couldn't change that. The pain had gone away. Self-acceptance and self-love is a skill that has to be learned, but once it is, it's something that pays for itself.

So I thought that was a pretty apt title for this blog; Goodbye, Hollywood. I'm a size 16, beautiful woman who loves fatshion. And if that doesn't fit in with someone else's ideals, they're the ones with the size issue. Not me. Certainly not you.

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