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Why Mary Lambert’s Post About "Body Love" Is So Important

Why Mary Lambert’s Post About "Body Love" Is So Important

Why Mary Lambert’s Post About "Body Love" Is So Important

Earlier this week the incomparable and wildly talented Mary Lambert made a post on Facebook remembering times when she was at her lowest. She wrote about the self-harm and suicidal thoughts she struggled with nearly eight years ago.

She also wrote about how in one of those moments of darkness she wrote "Body Love," one of her most impactful and powerful works of art to date.

She then proudly shared that she has been "self-harm free for seven years," (Go Mary!)

And after letting us in on a bit of her own journey of self-acceptance, she shared some words of wisdom to her fans:

"Loving yourself is revolutionary," she wrote. "Loving yourself is hard fucking work. It begins by re-training mental patterns, as well as the ability to recognize and re-wire your self talk. When I say 'Body Love', it is not some plastic rainbow version of confidence tied in a bow. It is dirty and bloody and kind. It is learning how to be a mother to yourself."

Here is why those six sentences are so damn important (because they are).

Unlike so many others, Lambert is not afraid to talk about how hard it is to love yourself in this world. She doesn't pretend like lasting self-love and acceptance is as easy as writing some positive mantras on sticky notes adhered to your bathroom mirror. She doesn't pretend that a simple affirmation here and there is going to solve everything.

She knows that it's hard work; she knows that it's a process.

I've experienced a few self-confidence workshops in my day. In each one there was a day or two when we focused on self-love, body positivity and acceptance. Each time the instructor would tell us how we've been trained to hate ourselves by the society we live in. They would tell us about harmful images in advertising, point out the number of weight loss shows there are on TV, and talk about how capitalism and patriarchy counts on us hating ourselves and buying products to make us feel and look better.

Then they'd tell us to stop feeling bad -- to think about why we have confidence issues, know that we are worth more than we think we are, and write down a few things we like about our appearance -- basically they'd feed us what Mary so perfectly describes as a "plastic rainbow version of confidence tied in a bow." And then they'd send us off into the real world again. 

Let me tell you, after a couple times, that shit gets old real fast. It's an hour of people telling you to simply stop -- to stop hating yourself because it's a waste of time and energy, and if you hate yourself the patriarchy wins.

Here's the thing, though. For a lot of people, it's not that easy. You can't just pretend like the arduous journey towards self-love is one that can be made simple by ignoring subliminal messages in society and telling yourself some kind thoughts.

That might work for some people, and I sincerely hope it does.

The sad truth, however, is that it doesn't work for a lot of people. In the end, some of us would leave workshop feeling worse than when we walked in.

Or maybe it all worked for a few short minutes before we got out of the room, went to the grocery store, and had 15 magazines with weight loss tips and makeup ideas shoved in our faces.

So, yes, Mary Lambert is important. She's important because she knows that it's a hard road. She knows that "body love" is not something that is accomplished overnight. And she's important because she's not afraid to tell you that.

But she's also important because she will tell you how worth it it is to get to that point. She'll tell you tale after tale about the difficult struggle of learning to love yourself, but end those tales by explaining how gorgeous life is on the other side.

She's important because she'll acknowledge that the work is never done. We all have insecurities (that's not likely to change); but we can work to quiet them.

Mary Lambert knows all of that, and she's important because she'll share it all with you in the most elegant, stunning, and powerful language she can. Hell, that quote above was six sentences on Facebook, and it helped me more than any of my workshops ever did. 

Mary ended the post by thanking her fans, but I'd like to turn it around on her for a second.

Thank you, Mary. Thank you for your words, for your art, and for consistently proving just why your work is so damn important.

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Mckenna Ferguson

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll