A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
Estrogen. Feminine curves. A cold stare that can turn any man to stone. What components truly make up a woman? This year, for Women's History Month, "woman" is exactly what I'm spelling out. With a celiac twist, of course.
Dedicated to all the amazing women in my life!
In all the different flavors. We look at a magazine and want to look like the woman whose digital-enhanced assets don't exist anywhere except on the front cover. We look at the latest news report and want to walk out at night without fearing for our safety - or being blamed if something does happen.
And, as part of the 70% of celiac's who are female, I know first hand the wanting of normalcy. A stomach minus the bloating. A girl's night out eating whatever I please. And the want for answers to why me? Why us - women, in particular? And what can we do besides the diet and doctors?
Owning our faults.
The perfect women is all around us - in images at least. Tall, but not taller than her significant other. Thin, but still with curves. Blonde - though redheads also have quite the reputation. What's a girl to do but learn how to kiss the mirror regardless her reflection?
Marilyn and I!
We aren't photoshopped. Even when greatly underweight, I didn't have the perfect abs. Sometimes, we're over-emotional, chocolate-obsessed Netflix junkies. But Ophrah rules the world with not her body, but her mind. Marilyn Monroe dined on daily sundaes and made jaws drop. So you bet I'm gonna rock this bloat, stretch marks, too-skinny-this and too-fat-that however I please!
Making a difference.
Yes, women manage the household. We raise children, cook dinner and look darn good while doing it. But if history proves anything, it's that women whip up more than a good chicken pot pie. We impact the world - through words, like Malala. Through daring, like Sojourner Truth. Even by sharing our own suffering, as Lizzie Valasquez lives by.
"The World's Ugliest Woman?"
I think not.
I don't like to think of myself as just a young woman, a celiac, or a blogger. They compound one another, and as I share all of them, I hope readers can relate to a part. To the desire to feel beautiful despite health complications. To the awkwardness of dating with food limitations. To wanting to have my voice heard.
It's 2015. Now, we have a day dedicated to women all over the world. And a month that celebrates the woman whose high heels left their mark on history. But, we aren't satisfied. And we won't be until "run like a girl" isn't an insult. Until being a Women's Studies minor triggers man-hatin' jokes.
Or running shoes...
Until I can imagine having children without the risks of passing along my celiac disease. Without imagining their struggle to "fit in" in school when their lunches do not and the doctors' visits - for antibody testing, low weight, infertility, and low bone density - in their future.
Never giving up.
One of the old jokes about women is that we never forget anything - especially comments by our significant other. But I see it differently. Instead, I see women as perseverant. As remembering the past to shape a better future. As accepting the struggles, inequalities and challenges of womanhood by day and shaking our hips in a tight dress that same night.
What a journey!
Especially last year, giving up seemed like the easy way out. Dropping out of college for the semester? Rockin' an NG tube full-time? Stopping all physical activity? Maybe it would've been the easier road to take. But, a year later, I don't regret a single tear or scream of frustration. Because, if celiac has done anything, it's turned me into a woman.
Maybe some equate femininity with hormones and hour-glass curves. But to me, I'm a woman because I know what it means to want and to obsess over my faults. To turn instead to acceptance and sharing my story. And to always keep my eyes on the next step in history.
What are your thoughts on Women's History Month? How do you describe a woman? Comment below!