Love Your Body Week Promotes Body Diversity

07/09/2015 2:12 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

No matter if you’re hourglass, pear, straight, or triangle -- your body deserves to be celebrated. This is the message of "Love Your Body Week", an initiative from Sportsgirl and The Butterfly Foundation, designed to embrace body diversity.

Kicking off around the country today, Love Your Body Week coincides with Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week and encourages people to embrace their bodies -- regardless of shape or size -- and to realise one’s shape doesn’t define them as a person.

“It’s about celebrating your body for what it can do, not what it looks like, “ Christine Morgan, CEO of The Butterfly Foundation, told The Huffington Post Australia.

“Our body is given to us to live our lives, not to define our self-value. We should celebrate our bodies and be confident in them, and in who we are.”

The Butterfly Foundation has partnered with Sportsgirl on raising awareness surrounding negative body image as early as 2007, after Sportsgirl staff identified the issue as being most important to them and their friends.

“More and more people within our community are suffering from the serious illness of eating disorders, with a contributing factor at times being linked to poor body image,” said Sportsgirl CEO, Colleen Callander. “Therefore Sportsgirl wants to stand with Butterfly and actively change the negative conversation by encouraging people to stop fat talk and body shaming and replace this with the celebration of body diversity.”

Want to get involved? Love Your Body Week invites people to spread the message via social media, by posting a picture of themselves along with a personal pledge -- for example, “I pledge to not compare my body to others” and tagging #LoveYourBodyWeek. You can do this in-store at Sportsgirl where chalkboards for pledges are provided (while you’re there, pick up a piece from their butterfly range) or from your own home.

"By taking the pledge you’re telling the community 'I’m embracing who I am and feel confident in myself," Callander said. "We want people to make a commitment to learning how to love your body every day."

Morgan also stated the campaign was aimed at both men and women of all ages.

"We need to decouple our concept of self worth from our body shape and size," Morgan said. "Yes, I'm referring to young people, but also people in their 40's and 50's. It's right across the spectrum."

"The problem with negative body image is it causes people think to take pretty drastic measures to try and change the way they look."

"It's critical for our general health and well-being that we realise our bodies are meant to help us live our lives -- not define who we are."

Butterfly’s ED HOPE is Australia’s national eating disorders support service, open from 8am-9pm Monday to Friday on 1800 33 4673.

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