Standing next to supermodels

It sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?

Having to stand next to a supermodel.

What could be worse that being side by side with a leggy blond or brunette with perfectly symmetrical features and cheekbones that could cut wood?

I personally try not to follow too many fashion models on Instagram because it’s bad for my mental health and self image.

I try to follow curve models.

They have curvy butts and thighs and sometimes even a soft belly.

It’s comforting to me to see women with body types like my own.

It makes me feel like less of an unlovable freak and more like a beautiful woman.

I’m not sure beauty magazines understand the impact they have on young women growing up when all they promote within their pages are size 0 models.

It’s a 445 BILLION dollar industry based on convincing women that they need this lipstick, dress, purse, face cream, etc, in order to be beautiful.

I am reminded of a line in “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” that goes something like this:

DO NOT READ BEAUTY MAGAZINES, THEY WILL ONLY MAKE YOU FEEL UGLY.

Beauty magazines are in the business of making beautiful women feel ugly.

When I was younger I loved beauty magazines.

I used to subscribe to several of them and I’d comb through the pages of the magazine picking out makeup, clothes, and accessories that I really wanted.

It gave me a little thrill.

Now, it makes me shudder.

And yet, I am a beauty consumer of the first water.

A VIB Sephora member.

A Platinum member of ULTA.

And I’ll be damned if I don’t also buy makeup from Milani, Beautylish, and elf.

If the amount of makeup we buy is proportional to how ugly we feel inside, then what do my spending habits say about me????

God, there’s a frightening thought.

Steve and Anthony

When my boys were little, there were two men who helped me through all those sleepless nights – Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter and Anthony Bourdain the American Chef.

Late at night, there’s not much TV to watch and so what did I do at 3 am when Duncan or Gavin needed a feeding?

I watched Animal Planet and The Travel Channel.

Quality entertainment at breastfeeding o’clock in the morning.

When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006, I was heartbroken.

It was as if I’d lost an intimate family member, such was my grief.

Now, upon hearing the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, I am filled with the same grief.

Those two men kept me company when I was up all alone, taking care of my boys, trying to get them to go back to sleep so that I could then go back to sleep.

My ex-husband was still sleeping in bed, but Anthony and Steve, they were with me.

I have plumbed the depths of despair myself, when my oldest son passed away from cancer in 1998.

I know what it’s like to feel like the burden you carry is too much to go on.

My heart breaks a little when I think of the suffering that someone must be going through to actually take their own life.

There’s no way to make sense of premature loss from suicide but there is a way to help prevent them.

We need to remove the stigma on mental illness, which is just as rooted in biology and biochemisty as any illness so that people can get the help they need without fear of judgment.

I promise to all my family and friends who love and care for me, that I will always take my mental health seriously, and that I will reach out when I’m not feeling all that great.

I also promise to make myself available at 3 am, when things are rough, and they just need someone to talk them though the night.

Just like Steve and Anthony did for me.