Our health is widely important but rarely discussed.
About a week ago I was chatting with a best friend of mine when our weekly catch up normally centered on career, pop culture and the doings of our mutual friends turned into a conversation about health. Neither this friend nor I shy away from this matter because about two years ago we lost a dear and great friend to ovarian cancer. Ever since we’ve tried to put health at the forefront of our lives and constantly discuss hypotheticals with everyone around us. Have you checked yourself this month? Did you make your annual appointment yet? Are you sure you’re paying attention to your cycle?
We ran around this subject more times than I can count. Unfortunately, this time our conversation wasn’t just hypothetical. My girlfriend is in the midst of a health scare. During her annual checkup, the doctor found a grouping of cells and stressed the need to explore more. As you can imagine, our discussion wasn’t unicorns and roses. Our topic quickly turned from our personal health concerns to the general concerns affecting women across the world, especially ones they may not be aware of.
I know we don’t have the biggest platform here at Tiff + Coco, but we do have an audience. With our relaunch, our mission is to be as transparent and truthful as we can. We want this space to reflect the real lives of women, and this topic is important to all women. In partnership with Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, here are 4 things we need to talk about.
While we’re taught to do self-exams at about 14, it’s a habit I’ve had troubling keeping until recently. It’s true that 40% of breast cancer is detected by women who feel a lump from self-checking, but I know few women who do it regularly. Nobody likes to talk about the ‘c’ word but it’s a very real disease, best handled the sooner you know.
It’s sad that we spend so much time and money maintaining our cars and buying clothes, but can’t ‘find the time’ to invest in ourselves. Your body will not run forever, and the better you keep care of it, the better chance you have of living a good life. A self-check can be performed laying down, in the shower or in front of a mirror. There’s even Coppafeel, a site dedicated to keeping you aware of your body and sends you reminders when your self-check is due.
The blue sky in the morning, the sounds of birds and the monthly coming-and-going of your period are natural things, although we only feel comfortable to discuss two of things in public. Why don’t we talk about periods? Even as women, we tend to shy away from the gritty details of it all. Periods are tricky little devils that bred a host of problems and concerns. I can’t tell you how many times a girlfriend gave me a ring, completely freaked out by her recent period shenanigans, only to learn it’s completely normal and natural. We as a collective community have the ability to really shed some light on periods; there are missed health opportunities when women are ignorant to their body. Besides, misery loves company so let’s all chat and be miserable together. We need to normalize the conversation because being ashamed is outdated.
This is a plague in our society because we’re constantly trying to change the ‘norm’. Is it normal to be curvy? Skinny? Big breasted? Big ass? What is normal, now? This is something we’ll always be chasing after if we’re not careful. There will never be a standard of beauty because humans are always changing and growing. Instead, we need to promote any and all body types we can. By embracing everyone, we can leave nobody out. It’s up to us as women to reinforce that message to one another. By continuing to send messages of positivity and understanding to our sisters, no matter our personal opinion, we’re helping.
Within the online environment particularly, the amount of hate that women experience is shocking. What’s more shocking is a high volume of this hate comes from women to other women. Why are we spending time tearing each other down, competing for an imaged one-person spotlight when we can all stand in the sun, together? We should uplight and applaud one another because we know how hard it is to be a woman and generally just a person in society. It’s amazing to see retailers such as Lane Bryant and their #ThisIsBody campaign is changing the way mainstream media looks at women’s fashion. It’s starting a conversation – step one.
Every day it seems you can find a story about mental health in America. Sometimes it involves a shooting, sometimes it involves an assault; most times it’s always a sad situation. It’s important that we address, empathize and truly seek to discover the impact mental health has on our society. From OCD to bulimia to anxiety and depression, mental health manifests in several ways with each one being important. The more we neglect this very real disease and its effects on very real people, the more we will see this destruction of society.
We are allowing (some even argue, forcing) people to live with this without a way out or a cure for them; how long can we expect that to remain dormant? Individually, we need to start checking in with ourselves and making sure we’re taking care of #1. We need to applaud celebrities like Selena Gomez and Kid Cudi, who are actively expressing how anxiety, depression and other mental disorders are influencing their lives. Mental health is a slippery slope and can snowball quickly if not tended to.
Let’s start building our community to talk about real, messy and un-pretty things. Is there something you want to talk about on Tiff + Coco? Leave your thoughts below.
Don’t worry cause now I got your back.
Bright Eyes – Bowl Of Oranges