Beauty…

Well, hello dear audience. It has certainly been awhile. I promise these gaps in correspondence will be shorter moving forward. The E(A)rin’s have been busy changing the world of hardware and kicking butt in general.

Let’s be honest, sometimes life grabs you by the ear and takes you away from sitting down and writing out your thoughts. We’ve all been there and for that many apologies for no posts since August 1st.

Normally I try to stay away from serious subjects that involve the inner workings of my life, but this one is pretty important to me…especially on this day.

October 14th is my cousin Laura’s birthday. When I was little Laura was that glamorous older cousin that I couldn’t stop following around at family functions.

She was beautiful, smart, and funny. Laura always found a way for me, a very awkward and nerdy child with freakishly large glasses, to feel gorgeous. She introduced me to the Barenaked Ladies (before “One Week” came to the radio scene…they were actually pretty awesome and their songs had depth), taught me how to make necklaces out of hemp and heads from Bocaloca Beads (great bead store in Broad Ripple…rip) and was a constant sounding board during the peak of my awful middle school years.

We wrote letters. I decorated mine with stickers and doodles and she always wrote back faithfully (even when she was in the hospital) in her slanted and surprisingly boyish script.

Laura passed away about seven years ago after a long battle with anorexia and bulimia. Her death turned my world upside down during a time when I was struggling with my own body image issues. It’s hard losing someone to an often misunderstood and complicated disease like anorexia. On average, 1,000 women die from it yearly. It’s not a huge mass killer like other illnesses, however, it is one that can be prevented.

Beauty and weight is something we all struggle with. Why else would there be so many crash diets, so many diet pills, and so many procedures to make you have that ideal shape?

I’ll be honest I feel the pressure. I have my ugly days, my fat days and the days when I want to restrict myself from food. It’s not something I am proud of, but it is something that I deal with from time to time. We all do.

How do we, as a society, make women (and men) of all ages to feel beautiful? Is it through promoting healthy lifestyles and role models? Is it by stressing healthy activities and body weight? Is changing the Hollywood stereotype of beauty? Is it deeper than that?

Those answers I don’t know. But I do know that I miss Laura every day. I wish she was still here for me to talk to and receive the irreplaceable advice she was so good at giving. I wish she was able move forward in life’s amazing stages that we all take for granted. I struggle with the fact that she was just one year older than I am now when she passed. I can’t even imagine.

So today I challenge you, dear friends, to make someone’s day. Tell them they are beautiful and perfect the way they are, because God knows…it isn’t said nearly enough.

Peace out,

Erin

 

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