;

I am an advocate.

I am an advocate for all women to be accepted in the bodies they create, desire and maintain.

I am an advocate for LGBTQIA communities.

I am an advocate for mental health being seen as merely health and losing the stigma it carries.

Today, I choose to be an advocate for myself.

Scrolling through social media is an endless stream of pictures idolizing bikini ready bodies, makeup tutorials, contouring and glamour shot filters that blur the subject’s face into an unrecognizable image. I am not immune to cyber bullies who want to rip away my message of survival, optimism, tolerance, acceptance and equality. Casual uses of crazy, bipolar and depression to describe a bad Monday at work or mood swings is a direct affront to the daily struggle to those who suffer from mental illness. Nonchalant mentions of suicide as a joke is a disturbing trend. News articles calling the transgender community disgusting or perverse are the rule & not the exception in the conservative Bible belt as laws are passed that are akin to state endorsed bigotry, hatred and discrimination.

I am not a thin woman and I will embrace every inch of my skin. My arms allow me to hold my child and lift him into the air to hear his laugh. My legs are strong and they support me in standing up and standing tall in my beliefs. My curves tell a story of a girl who once battled anorexia and though the less space I took up, the more she was worth. My curves map the way my body created life. I do not need a magazine informing me how to have a bikini ready figure. I put on my damn bikini and I am ready.

When I upload a picture, I of course use a filter or two. To maintain my authenticity of self, I show my true self to the world, regardless of backlash. My self-worth is not dependent upon thousands of Facebook or Instagram followers. “Likes” are not a measure of my beauty. Makeup is art and my face is a canvas; I find creativity and expression through this medium. I do it for myself.

At times, my bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder pull me into a treacherous place. My bedroom becomes a mausoleum and I will not leave for days. I eventually emerge with the assistance of proper medication and support. It is an hourly fight to win. My father died of his own illness, choosing suicide as his way out of the world. I do not take mental illness awareness lightly. It’s as deadly as cancer. Depression is debilitating. Anxiety will immobilize an individual which is paralyzing in its episode.

Politicians who create their own political crisis to distract from the realness of issues such as domestic violence and crumbling infrastructures, who manipulate the sensibilities of Americans which generates a regional panic over a subject which merely weeks ago was not a thought in the minds of many. It is Rome distracting the masses and history repeating itself. Pink triangles abound with the heaviness of a dangerous idea which has transformed into legal hatred.

These are the latest Rants Of A Virgo.

 

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