Sydney's Story...

[caption id="attachment_824" align="alignleft" width="300"] Sydney's Mom[/caption] I'm heading out on my journey to Paris today.  While I hope to blog about my fabulous trip, I may not get that done while I am there.  So I invited Sydney Stone to do a guest blog post today for you all!  Sydney is the creator of Stylaphile.  I found her site and loved that our messages have a lot of connectivity!  Her site says "Women come in all shapes and sizes. For far too long, the fashion industry has promoted impossible standards of beauty and unhealthy body images. Stylaphile celebrates those in the fashion industry who seek to challenge the status quo and encourage women to be healthy as well as fashionable.  When fashion becomes more appealing to all types of women, everyone wins."  After reading that I knew I had to reach out!  Here is Sydney's post - enjoy! - Mary I Need to Lay Off the Meat & Potatoes: How One Thoughtless Comment 25 Years Ago Still Affects the Way I See Myself Today Growing up in the very small town of Gadsden, Alabama, I had one big dream as a kid: I wanted to be an Emma Sansom High School majorette. My mother was a majorette at the same high school back in the 50’s. When my older sister was in high school, a few of her best friends were majorettes. I wanted to be them. I loved going to the football games to watch the marching band perform during half-time. I was mesmerized by the beautiful girls out front twirling batons in sparkly uniforms with big smiles on their faces. It was a big deal to be a majorette at Emma Sansom High School. So, at about the age of seven, I started learning to twirl. It became my obsession. I trained like an Olympic athlete every single day with one goal in mind – becoming an ESH majorette. I even endured that awful one-year period where you had play a musical instrument in the band and wear less than flattering band uniforms. [caption id="attachment_825" align="alignleft" width="180"] Syndy as a kid with her first baton![/caption] My sophomore year, I tried-out for majorette, and I got it! My dream had come true. I’d done it! I was one of the “chosen” ones. My high school popularity was sealed! I was living my dream. Then, something happened that would affect me every single day for the rest of my life. A new band director was hired – “Mr. P” as we unaffectionately referred to him. He didn’t like the majorettes. He thought we took away from the performance of the band because no matter what fascinating formations the band was doing, nobody was paying any attention because the whole crowd was watching us. One day during band practice, Mr. P was “addressing” the majorettes about what we were doing wrong (there was always something). He looked at me, and in front of the whole band said, “You need to lay off the meat and potatoes.” [caption id="attachment_826" align="alignright" width="124"] Sydney's high school majorette photo - considered "fat" by her band director.[/caption] Even as I write this blog post, I can still feel the utter humiliation that I felt that day. From that very moment, I have always thought of myself as overweight. I’m not, and I wasn’t back then (I was a size 8 at the time). I’ve never been a skinny girl. I inherited my mother’s hourglass figure and I’ve always had curvy legs. Mr. P actually took it a step further and instituted a weight requirement and weigh-in prior to the next year’s majorette try-outs. This is when my eating disorder started. I learned to stick my finger down my throat and purge anything that might keep me from being a majorette the following year. I passed the weigh in that year, but something else was happening. My self-image had changed. No longer was I out front twirling and happy, but I was constantly thinking to myself during half-time performances, “all of these people are looking at me and thinking I’m fat.” The joy of achieving my childhood dream was gone. One comment by one man had taken that away from me. I quit the band at the end of my junior year. Mr. P was changing the majorette line to a “dance line” and I really had no desire to be a part of it. But two really good things happened to me that year. I joined the tennis team and got really interested in health and fitness and I stopped sticking my finger down my throat.  One day during my senior year, I passed Mr. P in the hallway and he told me that I looked great and that I should come back to the band. I told him to “F” off. Now, in my adult life, I’m actually a size 6 and a lot thinner than I was even in high school. I work out every day and I take very good care of myself. But I still weigh myself every single morning and regardless of what the scale says, I still hear Mr. P saying “you need to lay off the meat and potatoes” and – 25 years later - I still feel fat. [caption id="attachment_827" align="alignleft" width="173"] Syndey now - gorgeous and glamorous![/caption] Sydney Stone lives in New York and writes the style blog “Stylaphile” at
 I hear stories like this all of the time.  A careless comment can change the way a person thinks about themselves.  That is part of the reason I started the Body Fab-YOU-lous Line - to help inspire women to find peace in their bodies right now, today.  It starts with noticing your own negative thoughts, and ends with you practicing new ones that lead you towards peace!  If you would like to receive a daily (Mon-Fri) Body Fab-YOU-lous Love Note, helping you along your journey towards comfort in your own skin, then click  here to subscribe!
Au Revoir!  - Just Mary
October 06, 2012 by 1
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Sydney said:

Thank you Norma Anne. I’m sorry you had to go through the same thing and I’m sorry that, like me, those words still haunt you to this day. But hopefully by sharing our experiences now, it will help in the healing process for all of us! : )

The May fashion magazines: How do they score on the Stylaphile Body Positivity Scale? | Stylaphile - real women - real bodies - real budgets

The May fashion magazines: How do they score on the Stylaphile Body Positivity Scale? | Stylaphile - real women - real bodies - real budgets said:

[…] reading “Not Your Daughter’s Eating Disorder” by Michelle Konstantinovsky. Having had an eating disorder myself in high school that still affects my body image today, I can totally […]


Sammye said:

I graduated high school with Sydney’s mom and we were in band together. She played clarinet and was a majorette. I played clarinet and bass clarinet. I also went to college with “Mr. P”. He should have his tongue torn out for saying such a thing to a young girl. I know that Shelba is very proud of Sydney and well she should be.


justmarydesigns said:

What a small world!!! I am sure Sydney’s mama is very proud – she is amazing!!!

I ended my relationship…with the scale | Stylaphile - realistic standards of beauty

I ended my relationship…with the scale | Stylaphile - realistic standards of beauty said:

[…] I’m devastated. How could this be? I have literally been mopping up my own sweat from the floor every night. How could I not have lost a single pound? Are you f’n kidding me? Immediately my mood has changed. I feel exactly the same way I did as a teenager when my band director told me (in front of all my peers) that I needed to lay off the meat and potatoes. (If you haven’t heard this story about my eating disorder and how my obsession with the scale started, here it is in a guest post on Just Mary Designs.) […]


justmarydesigns said:

What a wonderful and awesome comment Sarah! Thanks!!!


Sydney said:

Thanks so much Sarah. And thanks Mary for giving me my first “official” guest blog post! xoxo


Janet said:

Sydney, oh my gosh, Thanks so much for sharing your story~~ It’s woman like you and Mary who are willing to talk out loud about your life experiences that help make a difference in other woman’s lives. I can relate on many levels and still struggle today. Blessings to you both and glad I got connected here with ya all. Mary, Thank You for giving us the opportunity to have a guest blog what a wonderful idea.


justmarydesigns said:

You are most welcome Sydney – it was a fab-YOU-lous post!!


justmarydesigns said:

Thanks Janet – it is so wonderful to know that these stories make a difference!!! So glad you are here!

Obsession: Just Mary Designs « Stylaphile

Obsession: Just Mary Designs « Stylaphile said:

[…] Check out my guest blog post on Just Mary Designs – I wrote about my own battle with an eating… Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]


Connie said:

Wow, Sydney! Thank you so much for sharing my story — a story that all too common among we women.

Norma Anne

Norma Anne said:

Thank you so much for sharing with us Sydney. I have tears reading this. I know a lot of people tell you they can relate, but I had such a similar experience in my junior year of high school— that is eerie. I’m 51 now and I can still hear those hurtful words from a band director. Working through the 12 steps of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron was a huge release for me. My former band director resides in my personal hall of imfamy now…


Sarah said:

Wow, Sydney… what a powerful piece. You are such a beautiful woman and a great inspiration, and I’m glad you’re doing so much to try to change the way our society views women’s bodies moving forward. I’m sorry you had to come to it this way (but then… didn’t we all. Yich. I’ve got a list of Mr. P’s of my own.) As always, I’m proud to call you a friend.

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