Brave

“Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out…”

Brave by Sara Bareilles has become much more meaningful for me than just another song I can jam to in the car. A few months ago, Dr. Laura brought this song to my attention and noted how relevant it was to REbeL; ever since it has certainly struck a chord with me!

On the night of the oh-so-famous “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” REbeL members were encouraged to post a positive message to counter the multitude of body bashing messages that typically take over social media during that event. So that night I went to Facebook and here’s what I said:

lily-message

I was hopeful this would be enough to make someone smile or even change their mind about watching the show altogether–and from the feedback I received on my status, I think it did. As you can see, I received a many likes and comments connected to the post. But it’s amazing how one negative comment managed to affect me more than all of those positives . . . a close friend of mine brought to my attention a fellow peer’s tweet. This tweet said “Hate when people say s*** like this,” and tweeted my status with my name on it as a picture.

I immediately went to Dr. Laura and my friends in REbeL as I was just hurt by the fact that someone felt the need to do that when it was a risk for me to speak out against “every guy’s favorite night of TV.” But since then I’ve gotten over the negativity and focused much more on all the people my activism might be helping.

I’ve done a lot of “being brave” lately. Through REbeL, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of doing a baggage presentation to middle schoolers and showed them the negative aspects of media, appearance, diets, and food, but also how they can turn those things into positives. And if anyone knows middle schoolers, it’s not an easy task, but I love it!

lily2

Being in REbeL has given me so many opportunities to become a leader, a peer educator, and hopefully a much more positive person all around. I’m often called a “saint” for being in REbeL, which could be worse (I appreciate not being considered a devil!), but also puts on a lot of pressure to be the “perfect person” 24/7, which is ironic because that is the opposite of our message! The whole point of this post is to show that joining the REbeLution, whether being a peer educator, volunteer or just a supporter (all great things to be) takes a lot of courage. But speaking with my two years of experience as a REbeL member, it’s been a risk worth taking.

I encourage whoever may be reading this to compliment themselves right now. Hang body-positive quotes or messages on your mirror. “Post positive” on social media. Join in on #whiteboardwednesday. And finally as Ms. Barallies so boldly states in her song:

“…I wanna see you be brave.”

Join the REbeLution. Be brave.

Guest post by: Lily Bredemeier; REbeL member and Junior at Blue Valley Northwest High School