The Hills, Self-Acceptance and Why Erykah Badu is my personal hero

If you were following my Tweets last week (if not, what are you waiting for? follow me! We’ll get to know each other) you know that last Monday I went to The Hills Premiere & After-show taping. Melissa and I got tickets thanks to Casie Stewart who has a totally dreamy job at MTV Canada (go blogger connections!). As you probably have figured out by now, I have a not-so-secret love affair with MTV reality shows. Before I became enamored with the kids of Jersey Shore I loved The Hills. When I went to the show on Monday, I was fully planning on coming home, taking out my lap top & writing a FUN FUN FUN HAPPY HAPPY blog post about how much fun it was to go see the show (because it was pretty cool) and how awesome it was to sit in the “VIP” section (Thanks Casie!!!) and how we got to see Kristin Cavallari up close and personal BUT…here is the big BUT: I actually came home from the show feeling kind of bummed out.

I blame my case of the sads on HEIDI’S NEW FACE.

If you’re not familiar with The Hills, one of the main characters recently had massive body altering plastic surgery. It’s left her face looking (in the words of her stepfather) “like its Frozen”. If the photo above is any indication she now looks like a wax figurine version of her former self. As an FYI, Wax Museums kind of give me the heebie jeevies. When I realized, that I was looking at a photo of an actual human, I got double chills. I’ve never taken The Hills very seriously. I mostly just watch the show to laugh at some of the ridiculous one-liners (“I think it used to be a a gerbil…now its like a guinea pig” -you get the idea) and check out the clothes. However, when one of the main characters starts looking like a reject from Madame Tussaud‘s (shiver) that’s when The Hills stops being fun for me. It was hard to watch Heidi break down in tears in front of her mother and see that her facial surgeries have left her with the inability to cry properly. During that scene, the 30-rock fan in me kept hoping “Oh, please give me some comic relief. Please let her start crying out of her mouth Liz Lemon style!”. But THAT didn’t happen. Only Liz Lemon can make weird crying funny. Watching a real person cry weird is just…well, sad. When I heard Heidi say,

“I needed to fix these things on the outside before I can work on the inside”

My heart broke a tiny bit.

When are people ever going to learn that this outside-in form of thinking is a recipe for disaster?

I’ve never really had that many issues with my appearence. But, there have been points in my life where I have prescribed to this kind of thinking. A few years ago, when I was hating my job and everything in my life felt wrong, I developed a bit of a shopping problem. I thought that if I bought the perfect wardrobe, that somehow my life would change (without me actually putting effort into changing it). I SHOPPED until my closet was bursting but nothing changed. I still felt completely unhappy. When I finally quit this job and decided to start making some changes in my life, one of the first things I did was clear out my closet. Most of the stuff from that era just reminded me that I had been hiding under mountains of things. I sold some stuff. I gave stuff to friends. I gave stuff to charity. I felt a lot better.

With my shopping, nothing was ever enough. I was trying to fill a void. I ALWAYS wanted more.
I feel like this is often the case with plastic surgery. Take Michael Jackson for example (RIP): you can continually chip away at whatever you don’t like about yourself on the outside but eventually whatever pain, or insecurities you are trying to hide will be revealed. Its almost like its inevitable. Looking at the photo of Heidi, clutching her “Heidi” mug & puppy while vacantly staring into the camera, I see a girl who looks very sad and fragile.

One of my favorite things to do at the grocery store is read tabloid magazines while I stand in the check-out line (I wish I was one of those people that read the New Yorker while at the grocery store, but I’m just not. I prefer trashy smut. Sue me). I was perusing a copy of US magazine and read that Heidi is only 23. TWENTY THREE! This made me feel even more sad. Being 23 was such a great year for me. I was just finishing university, I was having fun with my friends, I looked great….note, EVERYONE looks great at 23. You’re YOUNG! You have nice skin! Good hair! ENJOY IT! Now as someone who is almost 30 I am going to great lengths to stay healthy & take care of myself so that I can continue to look & feel good. I can’t help but wonder that by doing all this crap to her body, she is really missing out on the best years of her life.

Sure there are things that at certain points in my life I’ve wanted to change about my appearance. When I was a kid I used to hate how my eyes looked puffy when I smiled. Now, I find it charming. I used to wish I had straight hair when I was a kid, but now I’ve grown to love it. Sadly, part of me still thinks that my nose is kind of big. My dad used to always tell me that my nose was very “dignified” -a cringe worthy statement that all large nosed Dad’s tell their insecure teenage daughters. Big nose or little nose, what I have concluded is this: I could spend hours worrying about this stuff but you know what? I don’t want to. I’d rather spend that time enjoying life, laughing with my friends, staying healthy, going dancing, writing funny blog posts for you guys & cultivating my inner confidence. All these things make me happy & happy, healthy, confident women are sexy. Self-acceptance isn’t always easy. Sometimes its straight up hard, especially on days where you look in the mirror and see that your new skin-care regime has made you look like a Pizza Face (that’s me today by the way) or on those other days, where you beat yourself up about mistakes you’ve made & things you can’t change (something that I’m still guilty of doing sometimes). On those days its harder to look in the mirror and say “I love you”. But, I still try to do it. And I smile. And I feel better. And I promise to keep working through all my personal shit so that I can continue to tell myself “I love you”, in hopes that those “hard days” will become few & far between. Being able to look at yourself and say “I accept you & love you”, big nose, puffy eyes, dumb mistakes, fears, bruised heart, big dreams & all, is a very satisfying feeling. So, I’m just going to keep things as is.

Just as healthy, happy, confident women are sexy….imperfect women are funny. If I straightened my hair & got a nose job, I might actually lose some of my sense of humor. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of my favorite funny women:


None of these women are Barbie Dolls, but all of them are talented, funny & beautiful in their own right.

So, my suggestion is this:

Turn off the Hills soundtrack (“Reaching for something in the distance…so close I can almost feel it“), GET REAL and do what I do, blast Erykah Badu’s “Cleva” and belt out the chorus at the top of your lungs:

I’M ALRIGHT… WITH ME

(and even do some crazy dance moves like she does in this video!)

Way cheaper & more enjoyable than plastic surgery. Guaranteed.

What do you guys think?

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