(All images by Lisa Foote)
What is Smash the Scale about?
Well, Smashing the Scale isn't necessarily about destroying metal, although any girl (and guy!) at this incredible shoot would tell you that is incredibly liberating. Instead it's about making a conscious decision to detach your worth from that number on your scale. Smashing the Scale isn't about being unhealthy. It's about deciding what your definition of beauty is and knowing that it is enough. Smashing the Scale isn't about exclusion either; you may not understand the concept or be interested. And that's totally okay. Leave us to our crowbars and keep on trucking. We'll always be rooting for you. Smashing the Scale isn't about anger, but instead the joy of calling society on the carpet and telling it how it is. And Smashing the Scale isn't about being perfect at loving yourself, but rather about making a personal commitment to starting your self love journey. Smashing the Scale is much bigger than it sounds, it's the most empowering thing you can do. Try doing it for you.
You can read the original post here.
This entire week will be dedicated to sharing our stories about why we've decided to Smash the Scale this year. Why we've decided to separate our value as a human from the number on a scale. Why we've decided to define our OWN beauty and not buy into what others tell us we should be.
(Sam by Lisa Foote)Sam:
My story isn’t special. And I realize that my body image shame can’t just disappear with a photo shoot fairy tale ending and the sparkling shards of broken scales. This demonstration didn’t and could never erase the hours of self-loathing, the countless reflections from which I hid in disgust but secretly and obsessively couldn’t look away from, and of course the hopelessness that anyone could ever find me beautiful. Ever. And I know I will still have those moments.
But what happened that day wasn’t about this painful past. It was about the idea of a future where, even if those moments still happened, I would be armed to fight them. And the weapon was simply this – the recognition that I am not alone. That I could enter a girl gang of fifty women I had never before met and in an instant, feel an intensely personal connection with each and every one of them because of one thing we had in common. One thing that we all recognized as we came together: that all of us were FUCKING BEAUTIFUL.
So cheers to 2014-- to empowering the beauty of an individual not a number, to smashing scales and stigma, to Jes and the visionaries of the Body Love Conference, but most of all to coming together in the true and powerful recognition of ourselves as gorgeous human beings.
(Sarah by Lisa Foote)
I decided it was time for me to smash my scale because, like too many women (and men too), I have struggled for years with body image issues and accepting the reflection I see staring back at me in the mirror. Even as a very young kid, I was really aware and sensitive to how different I looked from everyone else. In my first dance class, I remember standing in my tutu, poking my stomach, and asking my mom "why don't I look like my dance teacher?" My first memory of body image crisis and self-perceived imperfections. I was taller than everyone my age for years. At age eight, at the start of third grade I remember shopping for back to school clothes and needing a size 12 pants- I immediately jumped to the thought that something was wrong with me. By the end of that year I was wearing a B cup bra. This was all then followed by glasses, and braces (twice) and lots of awkward stages, getting picked on for wearing overalls, the traditional "four-eyes" comments, no dates to dances because I towered over them.
It was not any better in high school, I had no friends, looked different from everyone because I wasn't a bottle-blonde, cheerleader, abercrombie-wearing, BMW-driving, plastic surgeons daughter. But oh, how I envied them so much and would constantly criticize myself for not looking like them. I disliked myself so much and thought these other girls didn't feel the same about themselves because they were skinny and beautiful. College went the same way, me sitting home alone on a night pouring over sorority girls facebook pages, so jealous of how they looked. I associated their looks with their status and happiness- and so badly wanted to be like them.
I didn't know how to handle my aversion to my own appearance. I started working out with a girlfriend to get in a little better shape. This soon spiraled out of control and I was weighing myself multiple times daily, eating nothing but celery, doing hours of cardio, wearing leg weights under my pants, abusing laxatives, spending time with my fingers jammed down my throat hunched over a toilet. I related the number on the scale directly with my self-worth. And since I had such low self-esteem already, it didn't take much to affirm my worthlessness. It was hell, I let myself become my worst enemy. The whole time I was so upset by what I was doing to myself, my family and loved ones, but I couldn't stop. I hated myself and was convinced I was worthless, ugly, fat, stupid, unoriginal, wretched, uninteresting, despicable, insignificant- the list goes on.
Slowly I've been working to change my thought process, and self-perception. I don't want a number, which is really nothing more than my personal relation with gravity on this planet, to dictate my moods, my self-worth, make me spend hours in the gym and avoid people, events, and my life. I am tired of spending so much time and energy hating myself and trying to be something I'm not. Seeing so many beautiful, wonderful and amazing women and realizing their physical appearance has very little to do with how terrific they are has been helpful in adjusting my thought process.
It's been a bumpy road, with more ups and downs than I'd like to admit. But I'm still standing. And standing strong enough to yield a hammer, a bat, and a crowbar to smash the shit outta my scale.
(Alison by Lisa Foote)Alison:
I did smash the scale because i wanted fully feel over being trapped by insecurity and self doubt. Ive always been "big". Since high school when i was a size 12. After high school i climbed up to an 18 by my mid 20s. I was active, playing roller derby, but was still big. The majority or the girls on my team where very small and thin, this included my best friend. I hated going out shopping cause she could just walk in anywhere get a dress if the rack and go. No ugly sacks with zero definition which most people think size 16 ladies want to wear. I got called fat by my own coach and that part hurt. She made it seem like i was fat because i wasnt trying, which wasnt the case. I was active i was just BIG. That was in 08/09.
Earlier this year i saw your article on things they dont tell fat girls. It literally changed me as a person. I started looking at myself differently and deciding that i was big but so fucking what. I was also funny, a good friend, a mom, a wife, a derby skater (this time for a renegade team, run by one of the most amazing woman ive ever met who has also done wonders for my confidence) and lots if other traits that had nothing to do with my weight. This year i wore a 2 piece to the beach. I never did that even at size 12, so doing it at size 16 was crazy to me. I wore my 2 piece and guess what happened? Nothing! The world kept spinning, it did stop or explode. I had a great time with my friends and life just kept on going. I did this project as a way to finally say "FUCK YOU" to that number that had held me back and held me down for so long. To show people that you set the definition of your worth and confidence. If you want to work out, do it. If not THATS OK TOO!
We want you to join in!There are multiple ways to do so:
1.) Blog about it, and share your link on The Body Love Conference Facebook. I will also share on The Militant Baker's Facebook and keep an updated roster at the end of this post
2.) Share your story on The Body Love Conference Facebook or in the comments here on this blog. Post it on our wall or post below! We want to read and share both on The Body Love Conference FB and The Militant Baker's. We want you to have a platform in which to announce your mission.
3.) Create your own image with our simple PNG overlay. Instructions on how to do so here. Post it to our wall so we can share this as well!
4.) Tweet and tag @BodyLoveConf. Hashtag the shit outta your posts with #SmashTheScale. Instagram us here.
This is a resolution revolution and we want you to be part of it.