Growing Up




Not As Pretty As I Want To Be

7 comments | October 31st, 2012

black explosion chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist, now on OOC rewind)

We're assuming this comes from one of our younger readers.  Any advice from any of you who've been there before?  Here's what she's got to share:

I always felt really sad for not being as pretty as I wanted to be.

Then I had a nose-job and I was sure I would feel better, because it's an expensive plastic surgery that is supposed to make you look better (even if it's not that much) but never worse. It turns out I look worse.

I had this surgery 6 months ago and I've been crying since then. Not only because I still don't feel pretty, but because I actually miss my face. I looked better before. I'm disappointed and now I don't have any hope. I totally regret this surgery. I wish I could go back 6 months and tell myself that I looked just fine. Now I can't even take pictures 'cause my nose looks bent. I try to think "It's just a little imperfection" but that makes me angry, because I wasn't born with it, it ...

#lifestagesThe Politics of Halloween Candy

52 comments | October 30th, 2012


(by Mir)

It was during my childhood that the Fear Police decided that Halloween candy should be checked for razor blades and cyanide. For a few glorious years before whatever triggered the fear that your neighbors were trying to kill your kids, we trick-or-treated unabashed, gorging ourselves on whatever we found in our bags, and discarding the apples and boxed of raisins simply because they weren't candy, not because there was a fear that they might be deadly.

Back in the pre-fear days, it wasn't unusual to get a baggie full of unwrapped candy---the more frugal neighbors simply created smaller portions from a larger bag, rather than buying individually wrapped---and often such bags contained a variety of candy, so that you could pick through a single "serving" and have everything from cordials to pretzels. And while we always tossed the plain, inevitably stale popcorn balls neighborhood grandmas seemed compelled to distribute, the rare caramel apple or caramel (or even, if we were lucky, chocolate-drizzled) popcorn ball was cause for celebration.

But then, of course, came the various edicts: Never eat anything unwrapped. Check wrappers for signs of tampering. Never eat fruit ...

#lifestagesSix and Sexy

2 comments | October 8th, 2012

6 and sexy

(by Kate Gould)

Last Tuesday I decided I'd count the number of times I saw pictures of women doing sexy wherever I happened to see them. Wandering round the supermarket trying to find something for dinner that my pet rats would like, standing at the bus stop, flicking through magazines at the dentist, buying stuff online I don't need with money I don't have, walking to the pet shop to buy rat treats, and sitting in the bath reading the pile of Sunday supplements stacked by the loo, I counted 102 such images, each barely distinguishable from the next but all pouting and posing. Admittedly, waiting over an hour at the dentist and topping up the bath water to stop it going cold for two hours, I spent more time than I usually would looking through magazines in a day, but still, all those women are out there along with the products they're selling.

Despite how many we see in a day, these sexualised and sexist images of women are almost socially invisible. Adverts that depict women as dislocated body parts, corpses, objects, drug addicts, victims of gang ...

#lifestagesHe Lied About Me

4 comments | September 25th, 2012

chestist sad

(by "Breezy", a 21 yo Chestist)

I think we can all agree, sometimes some people suck.  This story is one of those times:

A good friend of mine lied to his friends and the guy I've been dating about sleeping with me. I just want to know why. I don't understand. It really, really hurts me, and it makes me feel sick, used, and betrayed. {end story}

This ever happen to you...where someone, let alone a good friend, made up a story about you...somethingthat was so false and hurtful and left you wondering wny and WTF?  What happened?  How;d you deal with it?  How'd you get past it - or haven't you?

If you haven't, we say let it go.  it's doing nothing good for you.  But either way, share your story here, won't you?


#bodiesWhere’s the Outrage?

10 comments | September 24th, 2012

WTF Burst

(by FMB)

We'll admit we don't get why and where popular media chooses to focus its - and our - attention, sometimes. 

Sometimes we're outraged by the abscence of outrage in our society.  Let's all talk about Lady Gaga's weight, Amy Poehler's divorce, or Amanda Bynes' troubles , but not these #s, and the massive, epidemic crisis of confidence affecting girls.  The status quo just isn't acceptable anymore.

7 out of 10 girls 8-17 believe they aren't good enough or don't measure up in some way (We're wondering good enough for what and measure up to what or whom?)

62% of all girls feel insecure about themselves (this is a massive crisis of confidence that does and will have serious ripple effects)

57% have a mother who criticizes her own looks (hey mom, think what you will - but stop hating on yourself in front of the kids)

What do you think?  Surprised by any?  What can we do to put the focus where it needs to be (and not on Ryan's abs), and why aren't we talking about this more?.




( data from Real Girls Real Pressure, a National Report on the State ...

#bodiesMy Biggest Insecurity

6 comments | September 13th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted by Allie P., a 16 yo Chestist)

Allie may only be 16 but - sadly - nothing about how she's feeling is limited by age.  We'd bet that at least most of us have (and sometimes still do) felt this way.  How do you deal with what she's feeling?  How have you gome from feeling like shit for what you're not to feeling good about what you are?   Remember, if you share your story maybe you can help change hers.

My stomach, my chin, my butt, my thighs, everything about me is horrible. I just feel that everyone else is so much thinner and prettier, and there is no one that will accept who i am. I'm finally understanding myself a little better, but my body is still my biggest worry and insecurity. {end story}

#lifestagesRaising Our Girl Not To Have Low Self~Esteem

comment | August 3rd, 2012

ella f

(by seth/FMB)

Unconditional love’s a funny thing.

It can take your world and toss it upside down. And it can take your view of the world and shake it like a Maraca. It did mine.

The thing is, I never really felt the need to be a father, to have kids, to change a life and a partnership with my wife that was amazing and missing nothing.  I thought maybe we should just get another dog, but wasn’t able to convince her of that.  Then our daughter was born and BANG, everything changed.  She’s now 6 years old and along with her 5-year-old brother, she’s changed the way I look at the world, walk through the world and what I want from the world.  That’s not bad from someone who got out of diapers not all that long ago.

It took us 8 years to have a baby, which was plenty of time for our gestation as parents – even for someone like me who needs remedial help in most other parts of life.  Along the way, we had plenty of time to define what it is we wanted to do and ...

#thecumulativeeffectSix and Sexy?

7 comments | July 16th, 2012

WTF Burst

(via MSNBC)

Are we ~ as a culture ~ ready to admit we've got a problem, are creating a problem, and need to address a whole mess of problems?  From the article below,  Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects."  "Most."  "as young as six".  "Sex objects."  Come on, really?  WTF? 

By Jennifer Abbas LiveScience

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also ...

#bodiesSelf-Loathing, Just Like Mama Taught Me

10 comments | July 12th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted as a comment, by Lana a Chestist, and reposted here, now)

The writer first posted this as a comment to our story on Mothers, and what they teach us about ourselves - for good and ill.  Here's her story:

When I was 14, my mom told me that, for her, 130 lbs was "big." At that time, I weighed about 165 lbs. In that moment, I wanted to kill myself.

She wasn't telling me to lose weight, she was expressing her own dissatisfaction with her body. My mom has a curvy hourglass figure - she's wears a 32DD Bra and size 12 pants. Her waist is tiny but she has our family's hips bodacious booty. My whole life, my mother talked about food, and she still does. She decides to "hate" foods that have "too much fat," like cheesecake, which, I recently found out, she actually loves but told me that she hated it my whole life. She won't even drink a latte because it has "too much milk." She has been on Weight Watchers my entire life and when we went around the table ...

#lifestagesWords and Memories

10 comments | June 25th, 2012


(story submitted by Her Cousin, a Chestist)

We were at my cousin's house.  I'm pretty sure I was 8 or 9. 

My father was sitting with his sister, having a smoke, when I walked up to him and said - not really meaning it and for some reason thinking it would be funny (it wasn't) - "you have to choose.  me or the cigarettes", at which point I turned and walked away.

Hysterical, right?  I remember my father's response just as clearly.  He said (not knowing I was trying to be funny) "I hope that's a choice you won't make me make."  I'm 8 or 9 and I've just unintentionally put an ultimatum in front of my father.   The thing is, I remember having this doubt after he said that where I wasn't sure what choice he'd have made.  That didn't feel good.  * or 9 and I may have lost to a cigarette.

Sometimes now and all these years later, I wonder if that one moment, that one response to a joke that wasn't funny at all, has influenced me negatively.  Why do I remember ...

#lifestagesHow Deep Is It?

10 comments | June 12th, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-02-20 at 12.19.21 PM

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We were 14 or 15 and spending the summer at the beach.  At least in my memory, it was one of those perfect-cliche summer nights, filled with moon, stars, the smell of the ocean.  

There were 4 of us, all school friends.  We rode our bikes over to the bridge in town without really knowing what we were doing or where we were going, just pulled there by something.  We get to the bridge and J says she's going to jump the 15 feet into the water.  Then G says she will and N says she will.  There were few things I wanted to do less than that.  I was scared of the jump but even more scared of not jumping and never hearing the end of it.

J jumps unhesitatingly and straight down.  G is getting ready to follow her when J screams in pain.  None of us had thought to check and the water was only 3 feet deep.  J had hit a rock, broke a tooth and cut her face.  No one ...

#lifestagesGrowing Up Late

6 comments | June 11th, 2012

FLY post

(story submitted by FL, a Chestist)

I'm 26 and I'm refusing to grow-up.  I know, age is just a mind-set, yet all my friends are already settling down with "real jobs" and relationships.  Everyone seems in such a rush and almost burdened by the day by day.

I like uncertainty and being free.  I like chasing excitement and the thrill of not knowing what's coming next.  I like screaming outloud when I'm happy.  I like making ends meet but knowing I can leave at any time.  I have this one friend who says she thinks I'm running away from responsibility.  She's probably right I just like it this way.  {end story}

How old were you when you "grew up" (if you have)?  And what's growing up mean to you, any way?

Your Mother Was a Nightmare!

4 comments | June 7th, 2012


(story submitted by PL, a Chestist)

My BFF's mother died suddenly a few years ago.

When we were growing up, she was mean, drunk, absent, emotionally abusive, I'm talking a seriously terrible mother.  When they had any relationship at all it was a bad one.  Despite all this, BFF glorifies this woman and remembers her as an amazing mother, and an example of the mother she hopes to be.  This post-death version of who her mother was has not even a slight resemblance to reality.  This woman terrorized her.  I want to shake her and scream and wake her from these fantasies of maternal bliss.  I get so angry and even a little bit disgusted. Then I think maybe this is how she's reconciling not being able to reconcile.  If this is how she chooses to remember her mother, does it matter that it's a total fairytale?  Why does it bother me so much that she's forgotten how things actually were for her?  It's not my life. {end story}

We're all capable of reinventing the past to fit our present.  What do you think...should our writer remind ...

#lifestagesI Love Recovery

5 comments | June 4th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

i love being in recovery; life without cutting and my eating disorder is so satisfying. I just want to tell everyone who is struggling how great it is, even though i had to gain weight i feel somewhat confident and my life isn't defined by how many cuts i have or how many pounds i lost. {end story}

We love a story of triumph in progress.  Did you know that 30% of HS girls have eating disorders?  Did you know something like 20+ million girls 8-18 self-harm?  Something crazy is going on when th numbers look like this...but let's never forget to celebrate the individual, lik eour writer, who rises above what's been to create what will be.  You ever been in recovery?  Know anyone who has?

#bodiesEating Disorder

7 comments | May 26th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted Anonymously, by a Chestist, on rewind)

I was never the fat girl, but I was never the thin girl either. I wasn't the ugliest girl, but I was far from attracting the attention and admiration of anyone either. I had flaws, but I wasn't a flaw. And this is how I felt during my years as a teenager.

I went through puberty at a very early age. Nine years old to be exact. I always felt special-- being the tallest, being the biggest. But those feelings changed once I entered middle school and learned thin was in.

I continued to gain weight a grow, and by seventh grade I was 5'3" and 150 lbs. No one ever said to my face that I was fat. I only felt that I was because I was surrounded by prepubescent girls and t.v. shows like America's Next Top Model, that praised and glamorized size 0 bodies. And growing up in a home with a constantly dieting mother and Barbie Dolls to play with, I knew I should have been thinner.

And to be honest, I could have eaten healthier and ...