To Write Love on Her Arms.


To Write Love on Her Arms” is a beautiful movement. Beautiful and so desperately needed. It’s beauty is made more intense by the truth that all of us struggle with body image, self-esteem, and confidence at some point. Some of us, most of us, will revisit the same dark thoughts and memories repeatedly through our lives.

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

This letter was on their blog last week, and it gave me chills.

Dear Body,

I’ve always let some imperfection or another stand in the way of me seeing what you truly are, that you are beautiful. You are a divine creation housing the most valuable thing known to the universe, my soul. I’m beginning to realize that a person’s soul has the capacity to radiate light that transcends all the characteristics that I have been conditioned to believe are flaws.

You naturally tell a story. Your blue-green veins are like a map to where your heart has been and where it is going. The curve of your waist and the shape of your cheekbones tell a tale of heritage and ethnicity. There are crayon markings on the wall somewhere that has measured your height throughout the years. Always returning to the same spot to see how you’ve changed.

Your eyes bare resemblance to nature. They are a deep forest green with golden yellow sunflower flecks. Your faded birthmark, once beet red, brought me shame because all I wanted was to conform. It now reminds me of how unique you are and all I want is to be different.

Your body begins as a story but continues with new chapters throughout your life. Some are chapters of sadness and pain, others of joy, and all of growth. Each chapter a blank canvas meant to be painted by our experiences. Photos are memories but so are our bodies in a way that’s more real, no posing and no fakeness.

I’m realizing these things now, but I’m so sorry that I didn’t realize them before. I’ve done everything I could to destroy the canvas and deface and burn the pages of different chapters.

I’ve waged war on you before; used razor blades to feel and drugs to numb. I’ve used caffeine to stay awake and alcohol to sleep. Abusing the side effects of my prescription drugs like loss of appetite, to deliberately starve myself into making you skinnier. I’ve spent far too much time on a scale that merely weighs your effect on gravity, not the depth of your beauty. I wanted you to look like one of those girls in the magazines.

But in the ruins there is still a canvas. There is still beauty in your brokenness. The faded scars show healing reminding me that even though I’ve been in dark places, I’ve survived and learned and become stronger.

Although the war is over, the world still takes its toll. You have calluses on your hands from me writing too much and concentrating too hard. Yet the words are beautiful and the studying is worth it. You have the ache when it rains from broken bones, and stretch marks from growing too fast. You have burns from jobs and scars from falls. But those experiences were worth it.

Dear body, as I grow older I worry about how you will age. Together we gain wisdom and wrinkles, after being young and beautiful and naïve. The wisdom tells us that the beauty doesn’t subside, it only changes, and more of it comes from within. So I won’t worry when my hair doesn’t look just right, or when I do something stupidly funny and emerge with another scar because you are telling a story. And what would I be without my story and my past?

Beauty Friday!

So, I’ve always liked me some products. And I am generally kind of A.D.D. with what I use; for example I NEVER buy the same body wash two times in a row. But lately, since the break up actually, I have started letting myself spend a little more in SOME areas of my beauty routine. Break ups are amazing, suddenly without having someone else to take care of– we realize we haven’t been taking care of ourselves as well as we should! So, here is my list of recommendations, complete with pictures (gotta love the iPhone, no?).

First, lets take a look at the shower. You know, the first place I actually open my eyes in the morning.

  • Organix Shea Butter Shampoo and Condtioner. I am a huge fan because I am allergic to sulfur, which is in MOST shampoos and conditioners and is oh-so-bad for you and your hair. This stuff leaves my fine hair super soft and not weighed down– and it smells FANTASTIC.
  • Olay Body Wash plus Creme Ribbons. So this is actually a repeater, because I loved it so much. I shave my legs every day, and use this for it. Love it.

Alright. So then we hop out of the shower. Feed the cats. Put on my robe and some tunes and start the rest of the process. The first thing I do when I get out of the shower is put on this:

  • Bare Escentuals Skin Rev-er Upper. I will never NOT use this. My skin has vastly improved since I started using it. Honestly. It has loads of awesome stuff in it for your face, including some glycolic and salicylic acids. The weekend after Ryan and I broke up, I went with a friend and bought all new Bare Escentuals make-up. I basically recommend everything that is in that store. But this one SO much.
  • I use Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser twice a day. And I am SURE that it is part of the reason I am not breaking out nearly as much as I used to…. and I use Apricot Scrub once a week.
  • I use my awesome electric toothbrush that I got on Valentine’s Day, but didn’t let Ryan take (so there). And I love the Listerine Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse. And as a side note, what the hell is with the non-minty mouth washes. I don’t want my mouthwash to taste like oranges, I want it to burn a little!! Stupid kid stuff. The burn tells me its working.
  • I have two deodorants… cause I can’t make up my mind. I really like the Secret Clinical Strength Sport, and I like Secret way better than the other types of “really strong clinical strength stuff”.

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  • Ok, so then I spray some of that their Pantene Pro-V Protecting spray on my hair so my hair doesn’t shrivel up and die from the heat of my blow dryer and straitening iron. It’s really light weight, which is important for my hair.
  • Then, when my hair is still wet, I put some of the AMAZING Bed Head After Party. Between this and the spray, it’s why my stylist always says my hair is just SO healthy!
  • For day face lotion I use: Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. Works great because my face is prone to being all red.
  • My day body lotion is Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion with Suncreen
  • At night time: I use Hope in a Jar and Eye Hope. These are more recent acquisitions, but I have heard nothing but great things about them, so I decided to give them a try- and I love them!!!! Especially with a certain boy living 350 miles away, the Eye Hope makes it so I don’t look like I was up too late talking to him on the phone.
  • Oh, and finally, I love my fragrances. I either use Tokyomilk Perfumarie Song in D Minor from Anthropologie (I’ve had people stop me on the street and tell me I smelled great) or Satin Rose Mist from Victoria Secret.
  • And finally. It is of VITAL importance that you have a kitty fashion consultant.
You look great, now freaking pet me WOMAN.

What products can YOU not live without?! What are your favorite blogs for beauty recommendations?

Have a great weekend everyone!