Sponsor Spotlight – Jessica
January 31, 2014REbeLBE-log, Sponsor Spotlight
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Inspired, inquisitive, hard-working
How did you become involved with REbeL?
My friend Laura became involved in REbeL at the middle school level, and I loved hearing about everything that the organization stood for. When I heard that REbeL was coming to BVHS I volunteered right away!
What is your favorite REbeL activity/event?
Handing out compliment cookies at the football game is my favorite. Getting everything ready for the event is a great bonding experience for the students, and I love seeing them interact with the community. Plus, what’s not to love about free cookies?!
How is REbeL implementing change?
REbeL is implementing change by helping people understand how harmful it can be to take everything that the media and our society tells us at face value. It’s so important to think critically about what we are told to believe about our appearance and self-worth.
What makes you beauty-full?
I have learned to really embrace my muscular legs. They used to make me feel self-conscious, but over time they’ve become something I enjoy about my appearance.
I love that I can be: someone my friends can trust.
My hope for the teens that I work with is that they can be: Empowered enough to love themselves as they are and speak out against anyone who would make them think differently.
As I have grown older, I have learned to be: More accepting of my own shortcomings and more proud of my strengths.
I think our world would be a better place if we could all be: More understanding of our differences and how the world looks through the eyes of another person.
SPONSOR MAD LIB
MY NAME IS Jessica Edwards. I AM the librarian AT Blue Valley High. I’M INVOLVED WITH REBEL BECAUSE negative body image is an important issue that few people talk about. WHEN I FIRST HEARD OF REBEL, I THOUGHT “Why wasn’t this club around when I was 16?” I HOPE TO HELP TEENS BE critical thinkers, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT hearing media messages that make you feel bad about yourself IS HARD, AND I BELIEVE THAT THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF we were allowed to love who we are without thinking that we always need to “improve” ourselves. MY FAVORITE REBEL ACTIVITY IS handing out compliment cookies at the football games BECAUSE I know that a compliment will make someone in the community’s day. IN MY FREE TIME, I LIKE TO read books AND spend time WITH THE people I love.
Do you live with your house or in your house?
A house is a structure that allows us to be warm, comfortable, safe. A house can become our home; and as the oft-used saying states, “Home is where the heart is.” Ideally, home is where we feel loved, accepted, and at peace.
But if home is where the HEART is, then what if you think about your body as your home? Your body IS home to your dreams, your soul, to what makes you YOU. But do you feel at home in your body? Do you feel comfortable with how it looks and feels? Do you listen to its messages about hunger and sleep? Do you honor its signals and hear its wisdom? So many of us live with our bodies and not in our bodies. We are disconnected from our bodies and see them as somehow failing us . . . not thin enough, curved enough, “cut” enough, pretty enough, athletic enough . . . not enough. We do what we can to force our bodies to fit some externally determined (and often unrealistic) standard, and when that doesn’t work, many of us wish we could exchange this so-not-ideal-body at Target like an unwanted Christmas present. All the while, we fail to realize that these bodies, these imperfect legs and arms and stomach, are the most amazing gifts we will ever be given . . . and the most amazing homes we will ever own.
What would it be like to view your body as your home and to live in it? To take care of it, appreciate it, respect it, and ultimately, feel at peace with your body? As someone who used to abuse my body daily and take pride in my ability to completely disregard my body’s needs, I can attest to the challenging journey it has been to begin to honor my body as my home. But I can also speak to the incredible freedom that comes from walking this path. I don’t have a roadmap for everyone . . . but for me, realizing that my body is damn smart has been life-changing . . .
Like when my stomach grumbles, it’s not an annoyance to be ignored and it doesn’t mean I’m “strong” because I can somehow do so;
Or when I’m sick or tired or run down and choose rest over the gym . . . this isn’t being lazy;
And when I feel significant stress because of work or my family and need time for me . . . that’s not selfishness or indulgence.
Hearing the whispers of your body and choosing to listen . . . that’s life-changing. Then try coupling that with a recognition of the many ways in which your body works for you every day. Instead of looking in the mirror and criticizing your ______________ (fill in the blank), think about what that body part allows you to do . . . .
Hate your arms? They’re what you use to hug a friend and bring comfort to a child.
Your thighs? Without them, you couldn’t climb stairs or hike or run or dance.
Your wrinkles? Guess what? You’ve lived and loved and lost and laughed. Those little lines tell the story of you.
So instead of focusing on how your body looks, be grateful for the purpose it serves. We won’t always have these bodies but while we do, why not live in them? Truly live IN them. And see them for what they are . . . our “Home Sweet Home.”
Dr. Laura Eickman, founder of REbeL