Lessons from Miss Piggy
The President called former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, Miss Piggy when she gained weight. One of his staffers called a journalist, April Ryan, Miss Piggy. Tabloids have compared songbirds like Adele, Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera to Hollywood’s most famous swine. And, it happened to me to.
I was part of a group called Fat Fighters in 5th grade. Led by a nutritionist, the group consisted of a bunch of kids who were overweight, like me. This all took place in 1979 when the popular “ Milk, a natural wonder” commercials were all the rage. It was like the “got milk?” campaign of that era.
Anyway, some genius decided to shoot a commercial featuring me and my little Fat Fighters gang making healthy shakes with non-fat milk, ice and fruit. Healthy or not, heavy kids drinking milkshakes is not the story of happy endings, right? Oh, but it gets better. They decided to air the commercial right smack dab in the middle of The Muppet Show.
Nearly all my 5th grade classmates saw my television commercial debut as one of the overweight kids making “healthy” milkshakes. Cue the Miss Piggy jokes. And it didn’t help matters that the first Miss Piggy joke lobbed my way was from a cute guy that had always been nice to me. The whole experience was devastating.
Oh, I hated Miss Piggy at first. She was the bane of my existence for quite some time. But, then I calmed down. I started to notice some really cool things about Miss Piggy—things so cool that I consider them life lessons that helped shape who I am today. And, these are lessons that can empower you too.
Lesson #1—Miss Piggy Defines Herself
Miss Piggy breaks every mold to create one all her own. I mean, how many pigs do you know who have graced the covers of Elle Magazine, Life, People, Saturday Evening Post, New York Magazine and TV Guide. She was even a guest on Chelsea Handler’s show in 2011. Chelsea asked Miss Piggy if she agreed with people who classified her as “plus size.” Her response? “If by plus you mean I have an extra fabulous, gorgeous, give me some of that figure, then yes. If you mean fat, then no.”
Not only is she a television and movie star, not to mention a recording artist, she is an author and entrepreneur. Her book and perfume are both called “Moi”! Oh, and did you know she starred in her own workout album?
Bottom line is that she didn’t let other people define her. If they called her names, she’d show them. She chose to be the victor over her weight, not the victim of it. She chose to define herself, and if I had to define her with one word, it would be confident.
Lesson #2—She’s Got Tenacity.
Miss Piggy grew up on a farm in Iowa. Her father died when she was young and her mother wasn’t very nice to her. She was told she’d never amount to anything. (I’m not kidding … look it up!) But, Miss Piggy had dreams of being a big star and finding love. She kept getting up every time she got kicked down.
You know, in this journey to right-sized living there are many times when you might feel like you keep falling down. If I see the number on the scale edge up, I think what would Miss Piggy do? Would she lie down and give up on her goal? Heck no! She’d get up, brush off her knees and steam roll right over that scale!
Lesson #3—She’s Disciplined.
If you’ve watched The Muppets, then you know Miss Piggy is an expert at martial arts. Hi-yah!
As the wife of a man who practices Jui Jitsui, I have come to understand that martial arts require great discipline and regular practice. The same is true for right-sized living after weight loss surgery … or after any eating or lifestyle change for that matter.
It requires discipline and practice every day, focusing on one habit or technique at a time, if you want to be a black belt in healthy living.
Lesson #4—She Sees Beauty in Others … Even Frogs
Most ladies wouldn’t give a frog a second look, but Miss Piggy recognized that Kermit the frog was her prince. I don’t know if it it’s the result of living life as a pig or being called fat, but Miss Piggy didn’t have on blinders. She saw all the wonderful qualities in Kermit.
As someone who spent most of my life being judged or belittled for being fat, I try to keep this top of mind. If you judge people by looks or stereotypes, you’ll probably end up missing out on some wonderful experiences. And if people judge you negatively for your weight, then it’s their loss!
Lesson #5—She Rocks Her Look
Whoever said you can’t put lipstick on a pig, must not have met Miss Piggy. She rocked the blonde hair, high heels, jewels and fashion, right!
You don’t have to be stick thin to rock your own style. I remember a time when I thought my life was confined to stretch pants and baggy t-shirts. Then I realized, I deserved to feel fabulous, too … no matter what my size.
When you look good, you feel good and perform better. So, find your style and rock it like Miss Piggy.
The Take-Away …
So, the next time some jerk tries to fat shame you or someone else remember that others cannot define you. Only you can define yourself. So, learn some life lessons from Miss Piggy and be inspired. Proudly tout your confidence, tenacity, discipline, the ability to see beauty in others and rock your look. Because like Miss Piggy, you were born to shine!
Until next time … live with purpose, live with courage and live with delight.