#bodiesMy Little Sister’s Body

24 comments | February 29th, 2012

chestist swirl

(story submitted by Emily, a Chestist.  Originally on 6.6.11 and again today)

It can be really hard to admit that you're competitive with a sibling - especially when they're the younger one.  OOC reader Emily gets her Chestism on here and now:

A great deal of my body worries, at age 21, don't come from Hollywood stars or even that classmate who does part-time modeling. Because I know that I'm this way naturally, genetically. But the story doesn't end there.

I'm ashamed to admit that a great deal of my insecurity about my body comes from my 16-year-old sister. Why so? Her body has developed radically differently from mine.

At her age, I was pretty much the height and weight I am now: 5'10" and a size 10 on average. It distressed me for a bit, but in my mind I viewed it as just genetics. I thought, when my sister gets older it'll catch up with her too.

Of course, though, it didn't. For whatever reason, in the genetic lottery my sister lucked out on body type. Although she's only around 5'5", she is also still a petite size 6, and ...

#bodiesBody v. Mind

11 comments | February 25th, 2012

chestist blue

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

One of the things that's most interesting to us about this Chestist's story, is she feels unattractive despite a BF that loves everything about her.  Why's that?  Check her story out here:

"I'm 20, 5'4, 165lbs and used to be 135 five years ago. ive always been curvy and athletic. other people say i am average but those cruel BMI indexes say i am over-weight.  when i looked up my BMI it was like getting punched in the gut. it doesnt take into consideration that i have a good deal of muscle mass in my lower body from having lifted weights and run track. yes i could spare a few pounds and i need to get back to the gym. but i am sick of the media throwing at me that i

am not beautiful because i am not a size 2. i am smart, funny, compassionate, and have a boyfriend who loves and thinks every inch of me is beautiful. Why is it that only appearance is what makes someone attractive and desirable? Why isn't it considered that the most attractive feature a ...

Happy HatingHurt You

10 comments | February 17th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

You ever been hurt so badly you want to hurt someone back?  One of you is dealing with this right now.  Here's her story:

I want to make you pay for everything you did to me. i want to hurt you. i want to hurt you on the outside even though i know it will never measure up to how much i hurt on the inside. {end story}

The rawness of her emotion and hurt is so real and tangible - probably because we can relate to it in our own ways.  Here @OOC HQ, we are of the opinion that these feelings are always best expressed as this writer has - in a safe place, productively, and not actually.    Have you ever felt as she does?  Did you act out on the want, or we you able to let time heal the wound and move on and past it?  Either way, tell us how. 


#lifestagesReady to Experience Love

7 comments | February 9th, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by abbie, a 16 yo Chestist)

The stories you all send us here @OOC seems to go in waves.  Lately, we've gotten more than a few from some of our younger readers who've been through things no one should go through and who - despite being younger - have found themselves and inspired us along the way.  This writer, abbie, has found her voice again, and this is her story:

I may not have known it then, but I have a voice. I am worth something. Always have been. Always will be. He may have stolen my body, but I refuse to let what he did steal my humanity. I've spent 4 years feeling nothing but fear. I am ready to experience love again. No matter who you are or what has been done to you, I hope you are ready to experience love today as well. {end story}.

Abbie's story is horror-full and inspiring both.  No matter our age, being ready to experience love - whether again or for the first time - is hard work, whether it's self-love, romantic love, or, well, ...

Love & SexNo Love

4 comments | February 4th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a 19 yo Chestist) 

Love shows up later for some of us than it does others.  Those for whom it takes its sweet time, seem to feel they're missing something that they ought not be.  This reader does and here's her story:

I've never had a boyfriend. I'm turning 20 in February, and i feel that i haven't accomplished anything love wise. When i was younger i imagined my life way differently then what it has ended up to be, and now i feel i have no more time to day dream because i'm here, and it's now, and it's nothing...{end story}

Do you feel you've "accomplished anything love wise"?  How has falling in love, being in love - or not - changed how you look at the world?  And what about our writer...what words of advice can you offer her?  Is turning 20 without having had a boyfriend reason to panic and consider life empty?  Us, we think hell no, but share what you think here (and now).  XO, OOC

#bodiesYou Be You and I’ll Be Me

4 comments | January 26th, 2012

compared to what

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

You ever have a good-friend who's everything you want to be, and who just by being themselves makes you feel worse about some part of you?  Buzzkill.  She does, and here's her story (with a happy ending).

I'm going to Hawaii with my best friend who is stick skinny and 6'. I am 5' and have an hourglass figure. My thighs touch when I walk. My stomach isn't perfectly flat. I hated my body. But all of this changed when someone came along and refused to leave my house until they were absolutely certain I loved myself. {end story}

Now, of course, we'd love to know what this wonderful someone said and did to help our writer love herself...but we're so glad she does.  Let's get back to the beginning though.  You ever have a good-friend who's everything you want to be, and who just by being themselves makes you feel worse about some part of you?  Share the who, when, wheres, hows and whys they made you feel less than.  Get it off your chest and let ...


4 comments | January 20th, 2012

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 10.17.50 AM

We first published this back in the early days of OOC, and just bumped into it again.  We thought it merited another passwith you, our new and larger audience, because so much of who we are today and how we feel about us, has to do with how our parents (often times our moms) helped us to feel...or not.

Sooooooo, did your mother teach you well, or were hers lessons you'd just as soon forget?  What?  Why?  Did your mom help instill self-resepct and self-confidence or self-loathing?  Was she happy with who she was?  How do you think that affects how you feel about you - now?  Moms.  Let's share.

Happy HatingYour Story Wanted. Yup, Yours.

comment | January 20th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

We're looking for your stories on your bad relationship(s), the ones that really hated on your happy.  They could be the familial ones, romantic ones, the one with your boss.  We've all had them (have them?), and think that we should get them off our chests, share the lessons learned - or not - and move on.

So send us your relationship stories (or pictures, videos and interpretive dances) to, and for every one of them we get that we will post on the site (they have to come in by a week from today, the 27th), we'll give a brand new storybook to an underprivileged girl, through our friends at FirstBook.

You share your story, and maybe you can help change hers.  Come on, relationships, let's get them off our chests.


Love & SexUnlucky at Love

4 comments | January 17th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Unlucky at love; it's a not-uncommon theme here @OOC, and a big (BIG) happiness hater.  But when you think about it...of all the people you know, how many would you consider lucky at love?

I've never had much luck in the Love portion of my life. Always watched love movies and watched all my friends go through it again and again but nobody ever noticed me. Am I just invisible or what? It makes me feel like I'm crap or that I need one of those love potion no.9's.

Advice please?  {end story}

What about you - lucky or unlucky at love?  Who'd got some advice to share with a Chestist asking for it?  Bring your game and your stories.  Remember, if you share yours, maybe you'll help change hers. 

#thecumulativeeffectStress Is Contagious

3 comments | December 28th, 2011


(story by OOC via CNN)   It's not you, it's all of us. For some of us, especially so at this time of year.

Yes, the stress you may be feeling (but which we hope you're not) might actually be the sum total of the stress others are feeling all around you.  Yup, like the common cold, stress is contagious.

  It's not just true, it's well documented.  The phenomenon is called "emotional contagion" in as much as because we can pass our emotions back and forth between and amongst each other like so many hot potatoes.  The original piece pointed out that "we humans are an empathetic bunch...and we can catch other people’s anxiety, depression or stress. Whatever they’re feeling, we feel the same way."  Remind you of yourself maybe?

The article continued citing "one classic study, 2- to 4-day-olds responded to the emotional distress of other newborns by crying as well. They did not respond similarly when they heard a synthetic cry."  Weird, right?

While the article goes on to discuss macro-enviromental influences etc (and ...

Love & SexI Like My BFF

7 comments | December 17th, 2011

broken hearted

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Unrequited love; it's such a bummer...

I've liked my best friend for the better part of two years. I may even love him, but he'll never look at me like that.

The disgusting thing is, instead of getting upset that he doesn't like me, I'm angry at myself that I haven't gotten over it yet. {end story}

You ever loved - or been loved - by a bestie, or a boss, or a cousin, or anyone who for some reason, whatever reason, was never going to look at you like that?  Talk about hating on your happy.  How'd you deal with it?  Like our writer, were you mad at you for not getting over it?  

#lifestagesSurvivor’s Pride

10 comments | December 5th, 2011

chestist blue

(story submitted by Matsu, a Chestist)

Her story is equal parts horrifying and inspiring.  It begins here:

I used to joke that getting married was something my mother would do for fun on weekends. 

She was a child of the 70's, whose own mother ran with greaser boys and regularly flipped off social norms and had a joyfully combative relationship with her husband. Maybe un-choosing that for herself, my mom decided that she wanted a 1950's marriage in the 1980's, and ended up in a series of marriages and years-long relationship searching for one that fit her ideal.

It was her lifelong dream: to have a husband she could rely on and children she could care for, a stable family in a stable home. But the longer she went without finding it, the more she relaxed her standards.  After her second divorce, she was a lonely and vulnerable single mother of a preteen daughter who, she thought, needed a father at a crucial time in her life.

So she found one.

Her third husband was abusive, but intelligent and trained to read the reactions of others. Like most abusers, he ...

Happy HatingIn A Hospital Room

5 comments | November 30th, 2011

chestist black scratch

(story submitted Anonymously, by a 25 yo Chestist) I am sitting in a hospital room with my husband right now. This is day 10. He fell two stories, through the glass pool house roof at his step-mother's house. He wound up with a burst vertebrae. Yesterday was the last of two surgeries he had to have to prevent paralyzation(a miracle it didn't happen btw)and rebuild that part of his spine.

I have barely cried this whole time and have not let him see me do it once so as not to stress him out.

Tonight I wound up sitting on the bathroom floor in his room balling my eyes out for over an hour while he was knocked out from pain killers. The thing that set me off was the nurse telling me there were not any blankets left when I am literally shaking here. {end story}.

The tragedy of falling through a glass pool-house makes this story unusual.  The experience of watching a loved-one struggle is far less unusual, and there are few things that can hate on your happy like it.  Have you ever ...

Love & SexThe Tell-Tale Ring

32 comments | November 28th, 2011

Chestist grunge

(story by Clarisse Thorn, a Chestist)

So, I have this ex.  I dated him for a long time, but we haven't really talked in ages.  I suspect that I hurt him pretty bad when he dated; he hurt me pretty bad, too.

I've written about him only a few times.  For instance, I wrote about him when I discussed my history of figuring out how to reach orgasm, because he ... was not a good sexual partner.  He pressured me in a lot of unpleasant sex-related ways.  During one fight, he even shouted at me that he didn't care about my sexual satisfaction.

I know that he was manipulative.  I know that he ignored my needs.  And I know that he hurt me.  But I also believe that he loved me.  I know he understands me deeply, and respects me in a lot of ways.  I know I was important to him, and I know I wasn't always the most reasonable partner myself.

Where is the space for me to reconcile these things?

I once wrote a long post about him that got very different ...

#lifestagesFeels Like A Failure

11 comments | November 17th, 2011

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by Liz, a Chestist)

I feel like a failure.

All the time.

Despite the fact that I pull solid As in half my classes and mostly Bs in the others (a few C+s to date). I look at my 4.0 roommate, my friends with jobs and great grades, and I look at myself, struggling to pass some classes and excelling without trying in others. I just see failure.

I can't see that I'm a good person, or that I've known what career I'm made for since I was 11.

I can't see that I help my friends with their struggles. I just see failure. {end story}

Little can hate on your happy more than comparisons that serve no purpose other than, seemingly, to hate on your happy. 

How often do you compare yourself to others? 

When - and why - do you do that?  It's worth taking a look at, so we all have a better sense of what not to do.  Let's #discuss.