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She Was Tired Of Feeling Ashamed Of Her Body, So She Got Undressed And Went Outside

Because loving yourself shouldn't be a hard thing to do.

She Was Tired Of Feeling Ashamed Of Her Body, So She Got Undressed And Went Outside

That's the all-too-common thought that Kat Lazo wants to challenge.


So many of us spend crazy amounts of time in front of mirrors...

...wishing we looked more like the unrealistic, no, unreal images of beauty foisted upon us by product advertisers.

Some become so convinced that they're not pretty enough, skinny enough, or lovable enough that they're not just saying, "I hate my body" — they actually believe it.

Advertisements that promote a processed ideal of beauty can be harmful to people's mental and emotional well being.

Almost 70% of girls in 5th to 12th grades say that magazine images affect their idea of a "perfect" body type. And teens who perceive themselves at the extreme ends of a weight spectrum — whether they really are or not — are more likely to consider or even attempt suicide.

But at the end of the day, the advertisers' core concern is to generate profit.

And to that end, they'll shamelessly bash us over the heads with all sorts of ridiculous shit.

Kat wants more people to start embracing their unique (and Photoshop-free) beauty.

So she took to the street, armed with nothing but sunglasses and her natural beauty...

...to spread a simple message:

And she had a friend there to record the whole thing for your self-loving entertainment:

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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