BlogHer Voice of the Week: Audrey of Barking Mad
Pictures say so much, but not all of them say the truth. And the same goes with blogs; we can be authentic and yet still hide parts of our lives from our readers. BlogHer Voice of the Week Audrey of Barking Mad deconstructs the image that she has put forth to her online community, blowing up the pretty pictures and proving to us all that reality can be more beautiful.
In her post "Constructive Destruction - Finding a Phoenix Amongst the Ashes", Audrey reports a breaking point, quite literally: a broken toilet seat.
"...the day I sat on the toilet seat and it broke and ended up breaking open a damn of anger and feelings I have, for too long, buried."
The feelings that have been buried resulted from unfathomable tragedy--the death of her child. The pain was tamped down with food. Only we were none the wiser; Audrey writes:
"Being a photographer, I know how to tilt my head and angle the camera in order to not capture my four bulging chins and my neck encased in so much adipose tissue as to make it barely discernible as neck. I wear enough make-up to put a clown to shame and I spend a lot of time arranging my hair so that it hides as much of my face-fat, as possible. I don't PhotoShop pictures of myself, but I certainly don't put enough out there to show how really big I am."
She shows us the evidence of her deception--beautiful headshots that hid her pain. But in real life it was seeping out:
I've been in abject fear of the reaction and the disgust. It's one of the biggest reasons I became a recluse and refuse to go to any sort of conventions like BlogHer, Blissdom, Mom 2.0 or any of the other ones. It's also the reason I do my grocery shopping as late as possible - so I don't have to deal with the stares of all the people, looking at what the really fat lady put into her shopping cart. I didn't want to see the shocked and horrified expressions on your face when you finally meet me face to face. Until recently I've been so completely consumed by worry over what everyone would think of me.
After her breaking point, Audrey vows to attack her weight problem with the most decisive weapon--truth. She posts a new picture of herself, from the waist up, positioned straight on, not angled flatteringly like the others. She also shares her desire to be on the weight loss TV program "The Biggest Loser"--the ultimate in exposure and accountability.
For Audrey, the cleanest break is the best one. She explains: "I broke myself so that I could mend myself.."
Of course her bravery and honesty has us now embedded in her cheering section, and we hope to see Audrey make it on the show. Though if she doesn't, we've still seen a transformation.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts. Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them coming! If you want to check out all these posts, check out the BlogHer Voice of the Week archive.
For Elisa, Jory, and Lisa, BlogHer Co-founders