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July 7, 2011 / missmarymax

Shameless: Interactive Blog Action 2.1

Were you around MMM last summer when we sprayed the education department at my alma mater with confetti and mad-libs?  When — by so doing — we convinced them to take down a sign made of fat-hating fail?  Yes?  No?  There’s been so much awesome since then that you can’t quite recall?  Well, guess what, kiddos, it’s time for more actionista fun: this time on the Internetz.  And it starts with this oh-so-teaser-ish first step:

I need you to share those topics big and small that you or people you know find “shameful.”  These can be hilarious or heartwrenching.  They can be that Backstreet Boys poster still hanging above your bed or that deep-seated secret that keeps you awake. They can be your vast knowledge of Sweet Valley High canon (snaps for Christine), your sweaty thighs, or your psychiatric file.  What are the things you’re “supposed” to be ashamed of (whether or not you are)?

Please note, for your own well-being, that these do not need to be personal or terribly specific.  (You do not need to open up a vein in the comments.  On account of I tend to like your veins in tact.)  Instead, feel free to stick to generalities, things like “mental health,”  “bodies,” or “cheesy young adult fiction.”  Feel free, also, to flip the question on its head and consider it from this standpoint:

What would you do, what would you ferociously declare, how would you stand up and be awesomesauce — if you were shameless in the best possible way?

Step 2 to follow.  In the meantime, fire away!

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8 Comments

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  1. Ily / Jul 7 2011 10:19 pm

    Hmm, I’m curious! This sounds cool. Anyway, employment issues are #1 for shame. Like: Being unemployed, being employed below your education or experience, not trying “hard enough” to find a job, not being financially independent, not being upwardly mobile enough, having people conflate your job with your sense of worth…the list goes on.

    If I were shameless in a good way, I would tell platonic friends how much I really cared about them, without worrying about sounding needy, weird, or creepy.

  2. Bulimic Anonymous / Jul 8 2011 3:10 am

    Oh yes, employment is a big one. Also, not doing/finishing school “on time” or in the traditional/expected way, Depression and, more so, its effects, like the lethargy that looks like laziness, self-injury and its scars…

    Being a survivor of abuse. Not so much that it is shameful in and of itself, but the feeling that it’s always lurking there beneath the surface, the feeling that you have to warn people about it if they’re going to get close to you…

    Having to ask for help financially. Huuuuge source of shame and embarrassment.

    Being sensitive/emotional. It is weakness… it is dangerous… it is undesirable and unattractive… it’s crazy.

    Having any sort of issue where others seem to be able to just “get over it” and you cannot. Again, depression and survivor status come to mind. Eating disorder… seen as something that is chosen, that shallow ditzy girls do.

    If I were shameless in a good way, I’d just live and be as and who I am, and let go of fear and embarrassment. I’d own my voice and speak and sing out. I’d stop worrying whether or not anyone understood or agreed with me, I’d trust myself and my intelligence and perception. I’d ignore the people who get tired of hearing me talk about the things that are important to me, and trust the importance and validity of my voice. I’d be kind to myself during depressive episodes, and be frank about what is happening, not try to cover up with excuses. And I’d wear whatever the hell I want.

    • Ily / Jul 8 2011 8:52 pm

      Having any sort of issue where others seem to be able to just “get over it” and you cannot.

      Wow, it’s true, this has been a major shame of my life. But I’ve never been able to put it into words very well. This is a good way of putting it.

    • Melody / Jul 12 2011 7:42 pm

      “seen as something that is chosen, that shallow ditzy girls do.”

      Yes! Well said!

  3. Scott / Jul 9 2011 3:52 am

    I guess I am a bit ashamed of my ED. I know I shouldn’t be, but I just am. Part of the illness? I don’t know, but it sucks :/

    I think this is a great topic! you are always amazing Mary 🙂 Even after following you for just this short amount of time! You are wonderfully inspiring ❤

  4. Melody / Jul 12 2011 7:38 pm

    Body image. Food. Obsession with both of the above. The feeling that I am too old to still be dealing with this, that I should just step up and get over it. 

    A shameless me would talk more openly, forgive myself, and live in the moment. Which makes me wonder why I don’t just do those things now. I think I’m waiting for it to get easier, but that only comes with effort and practice.

    On a lighter note, I am not ashamed of being a nerd. 🙂 Harry Potter fans are awesome and Wizard rock is cool. I’m not afraid to say so, even among those who think it’s weird. I’m also too old for some of that, by the way (not the books, but some of fandom), but I’ve decided not to care. 😉

  5. b / Jul 13 2011 3:53 am

    our house was foreclosed on, about a year ago. I have tremendous mixed feelings about it, and I feel (as, over the course of my life, I have over many things) that if I’m not feeling either guilty or worried about it, I’m not ‘doing my job.’ I actually feel like life is much, much better without the house – more fun, less stressful, less work – and we were fortunate to find a friend’s condo to lease for the long term. BUT my happiness is dampened by the fact that I’m really not supposed to be happy, as a bad economic statistic and as a person who failed to honor the terms of an agreement.

    I feel completely shameless about (FINALLY) coming to terms with my mental heath issues – ADD, anxiety disorder and panic, which finally became unmanageable after 45 years of mostly managing/compensating. (You might say I decompensated.)

    I also feel like I should be ashamed about my job situation – my boss finally became convinced, and convinced me, that managing people was not my strong suit, and we changed the terms of my job so that I could work in my strengths and not have to suffer so much with my weaknesses. Sounds great, right? The work is more fun, I’m producing more and better stuff, and my anxiety is lower. AND YET – again – I have this nagging feeling that I should feel bad because I ‘failed’, and because ‘leadership’ is a very high value in my industry. A good leader is the best thing one can be. I’m not. And so I am wrestling with that, daily.

    I am only intermittantly ashamed about body stuff. Which is a huge triumph.

    I am intermittantly hung up about my sex life, since, if that were as fabulous as I make it out to be, my body issues would be completely vindicated.

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