Today on my walk/run, I listened to my dear friend Lynn Chen’s The Actor’s Diet podcast from last year, and her guest was actress, Sandra Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame.
As I saw this perfectly imperfect fallen leaf on the ground, I found it to be no accident that Lynn and Sandra’s conversation about body image and the pressure of a preferred body type in Hollywood was playing in my headphones.
Lynn: “Do you believe the pressure to look a certain way exists…for real?”
Sandra: “The pressure exists, and the pressure cannot exist…at the same time. It comes down to ‘What voice am I going to follow?'”
Lynn: “How do you quiet that voice when it is screaming in your head?”
Sandra: “Sometimes, I give my voices a name, ‘OK, just breathe, Pamela. I can hear you, Pamela. I know you’re angry.”
I’ve heard Pamela in my head a few times too, I think.
Girl gets around.
I met Sandra Oh last spring, when we were both invited to a gifting meeting by a fashion designer, & our appointments were double-booked. So, we basically had to shop together, which some actresses of her caliber might not exactly be comfortable with. She was with her mom, who is beyond adorable, and to see them interact was the sweetest thing ever.
As the designer offered to give her everything, I was amazed at how genuinely grateful and gracious Sandra was.
There was no entitlement.
I realized listening to the podcast today, how we really do have the choice of how we want to be.
Are we going to feel entitled and feel disappointed when life is short of our expectations?Are we going to feel let down by people who don’t live up to who we want them to be? Are we going to see billboards with women with less body fat – or a bigger cup size – than us – and then feel like less, or feel hate for our bodies?
I sure hope not.
And, I hope that more conversations like this can occur between all women and girls, so we can learn to calm those vicious voices in our own heads.
I also hope that when Pamela rears her head in Sandra’s head, she hears my voice of gratitude now.
Thank you for leading by example, lady. And, thank you, Lynn Chen & The Actor’s Diet, for giving us a platform on which that dialogue can occur.