Loving and accepting yourself, especially as a woman, is not always as easy as it sounds. In fact, for most of us it feels nearly impossible.
We spend a huge amount of our lives obsessed by our bodies and by the numbers we allow to control our worth in society. Like the numbers on the scales... those damn scales never get it right, do they? The numbers on our clothes which dictate our 'size' and categorise us into petite, average, plus-size. Numbers 'scientifically' extracted from foods and then labelled as calories -- good calories, bad calories -- don't eat that, do eat that. Success. Failure.
It's like a never-ending rollercoaster ride that you never wanted to get on in the first place.
But I want to get off. Yes, I know, you've also been begging for this for years.
These numbers consume us and torture us. Yet they really mean nothing. They are just numbers. They hold no power. We give them power and then we compound those numbers by surrounding ourselves with images of what we 'should' look like.
Reading articles about other womens' bodies. Being financially and emotionally invested in the toxic magazines that decide if someone is too fat or too skinny. Constantly our bodies, the bodies of all women, are picked apart. Judged. Treated like ornaments. But why do we allow women's bodies to be up for discussion? Why do we enrol ourselves in this way of living? And why the f**k do we become our worst critics when we should be protecting and nurturing the only body we have?
For decades I had decided my freckles were ugly. My nose was too big, my legs too chunky and my tummy... OMG my tummy was f**king hideous. All these things combined made me disgusting. Gross. Unlovable and unable to succeed at anything. Everything bad that happened to me was always because of these physical things. I decided from a very young age that only the pretty girls were successful and I was never going to be one of them. My life was a hate-fest -- directed purely at myself.
Today, I see myself differently. Today I know a lot of women and young girls are also seeing themselves differently.
Why do they? How could this happen? Where's the magic pill?
There is no pill. You do not need to put anything in your body or take anything out of it to make it loveable. To make it worthy. To make it beautiful.
It already is.
So how can you believe this to be true? How can this happen?
If you want to love your body you need to see the film Embrace by Taryn Brumfitt. You need to see it. Your mother needs to see it. Your daughter needs to see it. In fact, your son needs to see it, too. I saw it last week and I witnessed the transformation of so many women. The break throughs. The acceptance. The tears. The conversations. Oh my god, the conversations. It absolutely breaks your heart to hear so many women have suffered the same thoughts and feelings for so long. So many have suffered in silence with nobody to talk to. When I saw it the flood gates opened. Body love and acceptance became a topic of conversation.
The film is uniquely delivered by women of every size, shape and skin colour. The message is that we waste so much of our time, so much of our lives, thinking about our bodies. Critising them, wishing they were different, punishing them for being the way they are. Yet we should shift our focus to our psychological health, because self acceptance has nothing to do with how we look. Self acceptance starts and finishes with our mind. Acceptance of where you are right now. Acceptance of your body as is.
Body love and acceptance starts with us.
We are blessed to be able to teach our daughters to love their bodies any which way they come. We are so lucky to be the generation in history that starts this movement, to educate girls that their bodies are not items up for discussion and that they shouldn't compare themselves to anybody else. We are the privileged generation that gets to teach them that gossip magazines and social-media sites do not represent all the unique and fabulous body shapes the world has to offer and that photoshopping is wrong on so many levels and that realness is right.
The body image movement and body loving starts with us. Right now.
Watch the film. Take action. And one day, in years to come, our kids kids will be wondering what the hell this body image movement was all about because body loathing just won't exist any more. Imagine that.
Seriously. Imagine that.