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First meeting Whitney, almost 1 year ago

First meeting Whitney, almost 1 year ago

To start, I’m just going to blow right past the fact that I have temporarily abandoned my poor little blog. I’m back and we’re moving on. K? K.

For the past few months I’ve been working with Whitney Thore, star of TLC’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life, on her upcoming memoir.

Whitney is a joy in every sense of the word. As someone to collaborate on a book with, as a writer and just as a human being. She has influenced how I look at myself and think about my appearance and I truly believe she’s changing the world with her No Body Shame campaign. This woman is infectious and empowering.

As fans of her show know, Whitney often refers to other women as “sister.” I’ve always found this cute and endearing, a sweet little southern touch in her personality. But the more I’ve gotten to know her and come to understand the depths of her message, the more I’ve learned what it means to call each other “sister.”

You know how the more time you spend with someone, the more you pick up on their patterns of speech? When I spend time with my Texan friend Lindsey, I find myself dropping a “y’all” here and there, which I wouldn’t ordinarily do. #proudyankee

As I worked more and more with Whitney, who typically starts texts or calls with a friendly “Hey, sister,” I found myself wanting to do the same. I hesitated at first — would she think I was just mirroring or copying the way she spoke? (How’s that for a childish insecurity? I’m not copying you, I swear!) But I quickly got over myself and started calling her “sister” right back. And not just because it’s totally charming.

Whitney’s message goes beyond body positivity. She’s opened my eyes to the extent to which a woman’s societal worth is wrapped up in her appearance. This is not the case for men. Even as children, boys are praised for their strength and skills, whereas one of the first things people will tell a little girl is how pretty she is.

I’m not about to ramble on about the social implications here. I’m just trying to get my blogging legs back, after all! For now, let’s just celebrate the fact that the societal pressures on women open the door for sisterhood. For us to band together and celebrate one another in ways that transcend our bodies and our looks.

Whitney has helped me to see this and to celebrate myself, rather than scrutinize. If that is sisterhood, I’m all in.

So, Whitney, if you read this … thanks, sister.

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