Why I Passed Up 15 Seconds of Fame


Yesterday I passed up 15 seconds of fame. I was invited to participate in a marketing campaign for a very well known brand name company. If I passed the interview, I'd be featured as an "everyday hero." In a 15-second video I'd share my story and about my work in the eating disorder community. That all sounded pretty great--really great! The catch was I had to do it wearing only underwear (remember, this is a marketing campaign, so of course there's a product to be promoted) and demonstrate what it feels like to be comfortable in my skin to express myself.

I spent hours examining myself. I measured the pros and cons of participating. I consulted with trusted friends and colleagues. I considered my husband's feelings, if I would feel proud to show the video to my daughters, if it aligned with my personal recovery values, and most of all, if it would inspire and empower others, especially my clients and the eating disorder community and all women. I also studied my ego in all of it, too. Certainly I was flattered to be asked, and who wouldn't want to have 15 seconds of fame?

In the end, I turned it down. Something in my gut knew this opportunity wasn't right for me. Although I truly do respect the marketing campaign's overarching message, I just didn't feel comfortable putting my body on display. Just 2 weeks ago I had new photographs taken for the banner image of my website because I didn't want the focus to be on my body in a yoga pose. I also insisted with the publisher of my upcoming book that the cover doesn't include bodies on it, because I don't want to promote "ideal" representations of beauty.

If I don't want to display bodies on the cover of my book, then how could it be appropriate for me to display my nearly naked body?

In my work as a yoga therapist, I teach others to relearn how to experience their bodies and find empowerment in the experience. I believe the empowerment is in the experience, not the exterior.

Now, a day later, after much time reflecting, I feel proud that I said no. I feel proud that I am clear with myself about who I want to be in my own recovery and for the people I am committed to serving. I feel proud of my values and integrity. I feel empowered knowing that when challenged, I chose to stay true to sharing my message in ways that align with my values and who I want to be in the world for myself, my daughters, and all on the healing path of eating disorder recovery and body image struggles.

I am thankful for the opportunity and for the gifts and lessons I learned from it being offered to me.