My Mission & Acknowledging Privilege
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the mission of my blog and Instagram. What is it that I hope to achieve? Why do I run these accounts? While there are many reasons, the main is that I hope to help others achieve the means through health and wellness to feel empowered. I try my best to support women and girls who have experienced any form of self-doubt with relation to their bodies, health, etc. And, to be quite honest, this includes myself. Writing these posts and working on my blog is therapeutic for me. Whenever I feel insecure or down, the community cultivated on Instagram helps me realize I will be okay.
But I think it is also really important for me to reflect on what negative outcomes my account may have. While I always try to be incredibly authentic and inclusive, promoting the individuality of health and wellness as opposed to a strict, singular ideal, the images or content may still come across to some as doing just that, or even unattainable.
For this reason, I want to dive deeper. I want to delve into a topic that many people find uncomfortable to speak about, which I believe makes it all the more important. I want to talk about privilege. I wanted to write an Instagram caption about this topic the other day, but I spent so much time writing and rewriting. I kept deleting my words, feeling like people would interpret them as bragging, or as me being high and mighty, or even as me looking for pity. But none of that is true and ultimately this is too important of a topic for me to shy away from or to worry about upsetting someone, and if I do, I am sorry, but so be it.
So yes, today I am going to talk about privilege and the privilege I have in life, particularly the privilege that allows me to run this account and helps me create new content every day.
When you pull up my Instagram page, you will find images of me at the gym, images of me eating at a variety of restaurants, me in bathing suits and sports bras and leggings. From the start, you will see me: a slender, white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed individual who has the time and means to perform all of these activities and more.
But what about the woman who has three kids and cannot make it to the gym every day? What about the college grad paying off student loans who cannot afford to eat out? And what about the woman who isn’t white, the girl who isn’t thin, and the teen who isn’t either?
I work my butt off every single day. I’ve worked hard to overcome an eating disorder and exercise disorder that controlled me for way too long. And I am by no means perfectly recovered. But I would be amiss to not acknowledge how privilege plays into all of this: I had the means to meet with a therapist, a dietitian, personal instructors. I attend a private college that has surrounded me with peers I feel comfortable opening up to in every way. And while I do not always feel comfortable around men, my race has allowed me to work out and visit restaurants with more security than I imagine many women of color may feel.
So when I post photos or write about my experiences, this is why I never will expect my audience to completely identify or stand in solidarity with what I am saying. I never want my followers or readers to try and compare themselves to me- comparison only sets us further from our personal goals and takes away our happiness. That mother who works two jobs and can’t get to the gym? She is strong in so many ways I am not, and I look to her for courage instead of wondering why I cannot work as hard. Health and wellness has a race problem, so the young Latina who runs her Instagram account to shed light on these disparities? I support her with all my might and am inspired by her every day.
I say it all the time, but I truly mean it: we all have different experiences and identities that inform our opinions, goals, and actions. I cannot speak for you, you cannot speak for her, and she cannot speak for me. But with Straight to the Butze, I hope to create a supportive environment for all of us- one where these conversations can take place and ultimately help each other know we aren’t alone.