“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”
Can I please have your attention? Your body is flippin remarkable!
You’re covered in this beautiful wrap otherwise known as skin and beneath the surface are hundreds of cells and systems working together to keep you alive. And at the core of your glorious body is your heart; full of mystery, dreams, courage, memories, heartbreak, and happiness.
You are a unique individual, but that in the scheme of things, you are only here for a short time.
One day you will breathe your last breath and your spirit will head into the afterlife. As you get older though, I wonder will you look back and remember how good it was to be skinny or will you instead look back at the good moments you shared with your friends and family?
I get it. Grappling with your image is a tough one.
As a woman, I feel the highs and lows of a monthly cycle and everything that goes along with that. Some days I feel like I am on top of the world, other days I’m sure I’m on the ground crawling through life.
As a journo and a creative who appears in videos and on TV, I’m greeted with my own image doubts and disappointments that show up in the crinkled skin and kick ass cellulite. And my weight can fluctuate across a 15-kilo scale, depending on the drama unfolding in my life.
In my younger days, I was one of the chubbiest kids going around and at the age of 10 I received the adorable nickname ‘fat cow’. Through this and a combination of learned behaviour (emotional eating), my thoughts, society pressures of perfection, I’ve created a very nasty concoction of how I see myself.
Unfortunately, though, I have come to realise, there is no quick fix for this. Instead, it’s just part of my life’s story and something I constantly choose to work at. No diet pills, fat-free regime, night crème, face mask, paleo cookbook, perfect family, dream career can change my image.
I am imperfect and beautiful.
A few years ago, I was binge eating on the couch with a bowl of almonds, rice malt syrup and butter while flicking through my Apple TV. Little did I know I was about to have a divine appointment through the documentary “Embrace”. A story about a South Australian woman on a mission to figure out why we (women) hate our bodies so much and how we can find a new way to appreciate our bodies.
The weight loss industry is making over 60 billion dollars a year convincing people they are not thin enough. I’ve had enough, haven’t you?
I had a little lightbulb moment that day on the couch, where I realised it wasn’t just about me. I felt the whisper to change my view on my own body was in a way a small step for the sisterhood and the future woman across the globe.
I truly believe, how we view ourselves effects all the daughters, grandchildren, nieces, grandmothers, co-workers: all kinwomen on this planet. It’s up to us to change the language and start speaking kindlier to bodies. Even it’s through gritted teeth, we have to fearlessly start saying to ourselves that we are beautiful.
I’ve heard tales of women, avoiding the ocean because of how they feel about their bodies.
One day dear one, you may be too old to get yourself to the ocean, tat tired worn out body of yours may be unable to swim in the salty waves.
You don’t know, what you got until it’s gone.
In the last months of brother’s life during his fight with cancer, he lost the ability to walk and became wheelchair bound from one of the tumours in his hip. As we looked out at man walking across the jetty along the Swan River, he said these words, “What I wouldn’t give to walk again, you just don’t realise how good it is to walk until it’s gone”
I know you might be feeling heavy, but can you still swim, dance, move your beautiful body? Can you still whisper hope into your body?
Can I encourage you to grit your teeth and choose to speak hope over your body?
The true image of who you are is that you are beautiful even with the wobbly bits, scars and Sunny Australian pigmentation. It all tells a story and to the tapestry that forms your unique life.
Take a moment and think of all the good in your life. Write it down.
For me, it’s found in the people and moments.
My best memories in life have nothing to do with being skinny, do yours?
P.S. Check out the Documentary “Embrace”
The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted. […] The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. – Ashley Judd