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On Becoming Dr. Virago Honey Pot Centerfold Dr. Jan Roberts

It was a time of focusing on women becoming invisible as we age. I have accomplished and overcome much in life. But I still experience feelings of discomfort and inadequacy and it is difficult for me to accept praise.

On Becoming Dr. Virago Honey Pot Centerfold Dr. Jan Roberts

Dr. Jan Roberts, LCSW @theweedlady. Photos © Sam C. Long.

Honey Pot chose Dr. Jan Roberts, LCSW, as our centerfold model. Here she shares about the photoshoot with Sam C. Long. Honeysuckle and Honey Pot photographer Long pays homage to Douglas Kirkland’s iconic photoshoot with Marilyn Monroe. Long’s friend Christopher Saunders facilitates Long’s opportunity to use a 1959 Hasselblad 500c. The camera model is the same type of Hasselblad that Kirkland uses for his long ago Monroe session. To better understand our title of “Becoming Dr. Virago,” here’s a bit of help via Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition.

Dr. Jan Roberts. Photo © Sam C. Long.

Virago

noun

vi·ra·go | \ və-ˈrä-(ˌ)gō  , -ˈrā-  ; ˈvir-ə-ˌgō \

plural viragoes or viragos

1: an overbearing or nagging woman TERMAGANT

2: a woman of great stature, strength, and courage.

See also: #iamvirago: Dr. Jan Roberts on Cannabis and Women’s Health

Words From a Centerfold Model

Bongs, Feathers, Sheets & Sensuality. Dr. Roberts shares about her Honey Pot centerfold photoshoot with Honeysuckle photographer Sam C. Long:

When Ronit Pinto, Honeysuckle magazine’s founder, asked me to be Honey Pot’s centerfold model, I was thrilled. The idea for this centerfold developed out of a conversation that Ronit and I were having on New Hemp Times. It was a time of focusing on women becoming invisible as we age. I have accomplished and overcome much in life. But I still experience feelings of discomfort and inadequacy and it’s difficult for me to accept praise.

Doctor with Bong
Dr. Jan Roberts. Photo © Sam C. Long.

Psychotherapist Centerfold Talks Inner Critics

As a psychotherapist, I know that I’m not alone. Many people struggle with this kind of thinking. I am keenly aware of how the inner critic is my worst enemy. In fact, it holds me back more than anything else. As a “woman of a certain age,” I want to explore the sense of vulnerability, especially as it relates to my body and sexuality. I wanted to start a conversation around every woman’s power, something she has no matter her age, body type, or general wear and tear from birthing and feeding children.  But  I didn’t realize  just how much the choice to pose for the centerfold would impact me.

Roberts and Virago Help Other Women

I am grateful to be a 51-year-old woman who has worked through trauma, abuse, harassment, and personal and professional devastation. Eventually, I transcended all of those issues and I now have the honor of using my position to help other women.

Cannabis & Mental Health

My work is about empowering people to be the best version of themselves. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I dedicate a significant amount of my work to showing how cannabis, when used properly, can relieve certain mental health symptoms. To me, doing this centerfold was about owning all of my power, including my sexuality. And, reminding readers that women are vibrant and worthy of so much more than ageism.

Hair, Makeup, Bong, Feather

Despite my excitement to break the mold, I wasn’t expecting to meet my own demons. The day of the shoot was an exciting time. It was thrilling to sit as others style my hair and makeup. It is a special way to feel pretty, like a dream for my teenage self. I’ve always struggled with my insecurities and my body especially. But nothing could prepare me for the onslaught of my inner critic. As a clinician, I know that cannabis can lower one’s defense mechanisms. But, I didn’t realize that I was supposed to smoke and keep doing so gleefully until my anxiety and that inner critic is screaming her words of destruction.

Even a Centerfold Has Critics

“You’re fat.”

“Your cellulite is showing.”

“They will see my stretchmarks.”

The inner critic can permeate through my intoxicated brain. Thus, it is winning this game of self-hatred. I struggle with this voice almost my entire life. So I know the destruction it causes if I let it. This voice comes from past trauma, fear, uncertainty, pain. Also, it’s about the need for survival. That day of the centerfold photoshoot, I begin to feel the panic of being vulnerable. I am exposed. Fearing the judgment of others, I think, ‘What will people think when they see me in this magazine?’

Cannabis and Psychotherapy

Fortunately, because of my work with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), my own personal growth, and my friends’ feedback, I am able to address and reframe those negative thoughts. An inner critic is never helpful. It only causes problems. Realizing that destructive pattern, I am able to avert the damage and move forward. I fill my head with helpful thoughts.

It’s easy to reconnect to the purpose of my decision. The result is a feeling of relief from the old anguish spread by that inner voice.