PEI’s Tara MacLean shares deeply personal story
PEI singer-songwriter Tara MacLean took to social media recently to share her deeply personal story about sexual assault, body image issues, and a brief bout with an eating disorder. She reiterated that this is her true story. Her experiences have struck a chord with many women who have shared similar experiences. After courageously telling her story, MacLean wrapped it up by assuring her followers that today, at 46 years of age she’s in a positive place saying her kids “have never once heard me complain about my beautiful body. They know they are perfect.”
She included a black and white picture of herself which goes along with the trending hashtag #ChallengeAccepted which encourages women to post black & white pictures of themselves. The Instagram challenge was originally meant to raise awareness about the high rates of femicide in Turkey, using black and white photos as a way for “women to raise their voice [and] stand in solidarity with the women we have lost.”
A portion of the story was posted on Instagram which you can read below. The full post can be found on Tara MacLean’s Facebook page.
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My True Story I was born beautiful. The result of millions of years of evolutionary perfection. I ran, jumped, climbed, sang. Everything worked. What a miracle to be embodied! The first sexual assault happened at age 6. I guess it’s normal, to be touched, to be desired. At 10 my grandmother came up behind me in the mirror. She said, you are the perfect weight. Don’t gain any more. Men don’t like that. At 13, I went on the pill. My body filled out and got chubby from excess estrogen. My breast grew quickly. The boys noticed. They liked that. At 14, one well meaning boy said, if you were 10 pounds lighter you’d be the prettiest girl in school. I thanked him. At 14, I discovered I could eat anything I wanted, so long as I threw it up later. Then someone told me that would hurt my voice. I never did it again. The story I told myself stayed. The pretty, skinny girls got shipped off to Japan right about now to model. They were chosen. Plucked from every high school. One day they were just gone. Some came back with lots of money. Some tried to throw themselves off rooftops. Some became skeletons and went straight to hospital or the psyche ward. Most had a story of some kind of assault. The chubby girls were a bit jealous though. Nobody chose them. They weren’t perfect enough to be assaulted overseas. At 16, I had to bandage my breasts down in dance class. How could I move like the little ballerinas? I was hired to do a show. They kept calling me, asking me to lose weight, just drink more water and I would be thinner. Eat less. I was tired. My body wouldn’t drop it. They fired me. They said it was because I couldn’t sing. They hired a ballerina. I was angry. I made holes in the tires of that director in the middle of the night. The breasts had to go. I found a doctor who was happy to do it. I was left with bad scars. But at least they were gone. The boys were sad. They liked to be seen with the skinny girls. But they wanted to make love to the soft ones. At 19 another assault. The scars couldn’t protect me. My slashed tires. One moment I was sipping a drink, the next moment I was waking up naked and alone in a trashed hotel room. (Cont.)