An Open Letter to Lady Gaga's Belly Roll
Dearest Lady Gaga’s Belly Roll, You are causing quite the stir in the social media stratosphere after Sunday’s spectacular Super Bowl Performance. But, if I’m being honest here, I didn’t notice you. I’m so sorry.
I completely overlooked your big debut because I was entranced by the performance. To my shock and dismay, Monday’s news headlines were not about the overall extraordinary Halftime show, but your appearance. Seems odd, right? Especially, when everyone I know has a belly roll. So what makes you so different?
I mean, don’t get me wrong. You are beautiful! You’re a great looking belly roll. But we all have belly rolls, some smaller, some bigger, some with stretch marks. You get the idea. My belly rolls have actually become my favorite part of my body.
I used to despise my belly rolls. Like, really, really hate them. I would lie on the floor in agony, pulling at my rolls wishing to rip them off my body. I would tear and scratch and my belly, taking all my mental anguish out on it. I thought if my belly rolls would disappear so would the monster in my brain.
Turns out, no surgery, diet pill or diet would heal the war in my mind. Thankfully, after years of hard work in recovery, I have made peace with my beautiful belly.
My belly helps me stand tall and it carried my two precious babies. I love my belly rolls more than I ever thought possible. Last week, I went on my first vacation with my husband to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary.
As I laid on the beach, I looked down at my belly rolls and smiled. There is such peace when you no longer have to hide or hate your body. I snapped pictures liberally, without fear. I took a selfie from below and immediately thought, ‘Oh, gosh, this is going to be bad. Such a horrible angle.”
I clicked on the photo app to see what I knew was going to be a ‘bad’ picture, and laughed. I loved it. I suddenly realized, I no longer had a bad angle. My belly and belly rolls are beautiful from EVERY single angle. I put my phone down and continued to bask in the sun.
Maybe it was because I just had this experience, I didn’t notice you. I’m sorry for the hurtful things people have said to you. I pray they can look at their own bellies one day and love their rolls.
These people don’t understand the impact they have when they body shame others. The damaging ripple effect runs far and wide. When I was in my eating disorder, if I read the things people wrote about you, I would look down and question my own belly, “If they think that about Lady Gaga’s belly, what would they say about mine?” Thus, catapulting me further into self-hate and self-destructive behaviors.
None of us are the same – not our skin, our beliefs and definitely not our bellies. Why can’t we all just raise our shirts and love our bellies? And ourselves for that matter?
For what it is worth, I think you are beautiful and I am so thankful you were brave enough to show up and be seen on Sunday. You and Lady Gaga rocked that performance!
Give Lady Gaga my best.
With love and warm [belly] hugs,
About the Author
McCall Dempsey, founder of Southern Smash, is an eating disorder survivor and passionate recovery advocate. After a 15-year battle, McCall sought treatment at the Carolina House in December 2010. Since then she has made eating disorder awareness and prevention her life
’s work and passion.
McCall travels the country, sharing her story of hope and healing with audiences everywhere. From
high school auditoriums to treatment centers to corporate meetings, her message of authenticity and embracing your inner-uniqueness transcends all ages.
McCall also writes the popular blog, Loving Imperfection. Her writing has been featured in various national print and online publications, including Women’s Health Online. She has also appeared on HuffPostLive.com multiple times.
McCall resides in Saint Simon’s Island, Georgia, with her husband, Jordan, and is the proud mother of two precious children, Manning (5) and Marjorie (2).