Picture by Alkan Emin

I remember the first time…the REAL first time that the size of my form became a tool for acceptance and adulation. It was 1983. I was in my first high school musical…Guys and Dolls to be exact…I was a Hot Box Dancer…and at the audition the choreographer… please remember that I was 13 years old…said, “ladies, please wear nylons (GROSS) to the call backs…we all know that tights hide a multitude of sins…don’t they, Sharron?” There were at least 40 girls onstage and it didn’t occur to me till much later that she was slagging me…because I had never truly been treated like that before in front of people. And sadly, it was not even CLOSE to being the last time…there is a director who is STILL working in Toronto today…who is high lauded…who, back in the early 90’s asked me to take off my sweater to see the size of my chest. Seriously.

I was told that if I wanted to be in Guys and Dolls in grade 9 at Hill Park Secondary School, I had to lose weight.

I was not big. Again, I was 13.

It was the high school musical. So truly began the battle that would use up hundreds of useless hours of my life…worrying…wondering…beating myself up…asking myself if I was “normal” sized. Wait…did guys worry about being “normal” sized?

At the closing night performance of Guys and Dolls I got a flower from the choreographer with this actual card…with my name spelled incorrectly, to add insult to injury.

Yes, this is THE actual card. I have kept it for 34 years. That is how much it influenced my life.

And at the closing night party my director made a big speech about how dedicated I was and how hard I had worked…and how I had lost all this weight (I really hadn’t lost a lot of weight at all, to tell you the truth)…and it was a HUGE deal.

I was 13.

And for the first time I felt how important it was to be celebrated for your size and for that size to be acceptable. It was a bit of a drug…that acceptance…that attention…that adulation.

And here we are…34 years later…and I gnash my teeth at how much time, how many years, how much of my spirit has been wasted on the worrying…the wondering…the killing myself…the denying myself…the trying to be something other than who I was…and I am mad.

The women’s march today was about so much…so many things…but this is one of the challenges that I think many women face…acceptance of self as we are…indeed the CELEBRATION of self as we are.

And we deserve it.

WE fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking deserve it. Every single one of us.

We do not need to be distracted by what media, advertising, society and small minded people think we SHOULD be.

We NEED to focus on our best and most wonderful self that wakes up with us every morning. AND what we can do…what we can create…what we can achieve…what we love…how we love…who we love…and joy…and challenges…but not this. No more of this.

We actually ARE nasty women. And that fact is beautiful…and luscious…and hot…and strong…and pointed…and liberal…and loving…and desirous…and we are perfect in our nastiness.

I am a women who runs her own business and I have walked into gigs with my accompanist and had the presenter or their representative talk to my accompanist…and I have had to remind them that I am the boss. I have been at the ticket counter, the rental counter and had the same experience.

I have been called a bitch…to my face and indeed behind my back…in situations where a man would have never been questioned.

I have been told by another director…when I was in a moment of HEIGHTENED frustration…that women control the world through their tears.

I am a woman.

I am indeed weepy, strong woman. My tears don’t single weakness…they signal spirit and connectedness (not really a word but fuck it)…and frustration…and sadness…and some days I love the tears and some days I hate them.

After walking down the street to the Stratford city hall today with my wonderful husband wondering how many people would show up to the hastily yet well organized march in my town of 35,000,I reminded myself that THAT was exactly why we were showing up…to be part of a group no matter the size..and represent. And what a pleasure to see more and more people arrive. There were about 200 people…men, women…all allies!  Friends and new friends…in my tiny town. It was wonderful…and I cried…because I am weepy. And proud…and strong.


YES! #girlcrush2017

I LOVE this speech that Ashley Judd did…love…give it a listen and feel your oats ladies…we deserve it.

We will be strong…we will be vigilante…and we will be focused…we will NOT be distracted BY BULLSHIT!! So BRING IT!




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