Sunday, February 26, 2012

Strip Me... What Will You Find?

People Magazine does it every year...

They dedicate an issue specifically to those they name "Most Beautiful People," and while all those featured are indeed beautiful, I can't help but ask, what are the requirements?  What is People Magazine looking for when they search out the "Most Beautiful People?" As far as I can tell, I see what is on the outside as being the primary requirement.  What do I have to negate that? What do I have to keep me realistic about what is beautiful...

God's Word:

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

This is not a post dogging on People Magazine, in fact, I am a fan of the magazine.  It seems to be the closest to mixing celebrity and reality over any other celeb focused magazine out there.  What this post is about, however, is encouraging others to think about how they portray themselves, to think about how they would define beautiful.  If you're a parent, what are you teaching your kids about true beauty? If you're a teacher, an aunt, an uncle, a grandparent, and so on and so forth.  We all have the opportunity to impact the world we live in, the people we come in contact with everyday.  So I encourage you dear reader to keep reading... stand up, and join me in helping to change the way our society views "beautiful" and the path we are setting up for future generations.  Stand with me to get the word out this week during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week for Everybody Knows Somebody.  If you don't know someone, you do now.

Hi, my name is Cristyn and I've been walking in recovery from Anorexia Nervosa for 11 years.  My struggle started at the young age of 12 and continued until I was 19.  Six and a half years hidden under a dark cloud, in a depression, thinking my true identity laid in what the scale said, how much my hip bones stuck out, and how much faster I could run when my number dropped.  Now here I am 30, passionate to fight the fight to make a difference in what future generations see as "beautiful."

Did you know?*
- Only 1 in 10 men and women seek treatment for an eating disorder.
- Up to 24 million of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder)
- Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness
- Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents
- An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male
- The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females

Here's me all made up for a photo shoot:

And while a lot of credit goes to the make-up artist who did my make-up and the super talented photographer who captured this moment of me.... I still, at the end of the day, go home wipe off my face and what I'm left with is what I have deep down inside me.  My heart I would hope speaks much louder than my face, my clothes, my hair, and even the shoes on my feet.

Here is me au naturale:

And yes, I have this ridiculous vein that pops out of the middle of my forehead and I'm not really sure why.  I just noticed it a couple years ago and over time I've come to embrace it as part of my natural beauty and unique look.  

One of the things I'm doing this week to help represent and embrace natural beauty is take part in the campaign, Barefaced and Beautiful, Without and Within through The Renfrew Center Foundation.  I hope that you'll join me in partaking in even something small to help raise a voice for the awareness of eating disorders.  

Although I may not be the most eloquent writer/speaker and I may not have penned a book (yet), I ask that you share this with the circle of people you are in relationship with.  Family, Friends, Church Community, Co-workers, and even strangers that follow you on Twitter or FB.  Let's be a part of something great that could change the world for generations to come!  I may only be one voice in a million, but I refuse to let anyone take that from me.

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