I feel so strongly that learning to love our bodies, to accept and appreciate them for what they are, to see their natural beauty is so important for all of us.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve had my own journey with this, from my seeing what I thought was there, rather than what was actually there, or not recognising my own beauty, to a naked photo shoot and and my experiences with public nudity…
So when I saw the picture that today’s Fabulous Friday Female shared of herself online, the movement that she has begun and the responses that she has received…she instantly went to the top of my list of ladies to celebrate.
I could tell you about Taryn, her journey and her mission, but instead I’m going to share with you an excerpt from her blog, that captures the power of the journey she’s on:
I’m sitting on the couch thinking about my impending surgery (boob job and tummy tuck) and I am watching my daughter play on the ground in front of me when, BOOM, I have and epiphany
e·piph·a·ny – “a sudden, powerful, and often spiritual or life-changing realisation that a person experiences in an otherwise ordinary moment.”
- How am I ever going to teach Mikaela to love her body as it is if her Mummy can’t do the same?
- How am I ever going to encourage her to accept and love the parts of her body that she doesn’t like without being a walking contradiction?
- If I go ahead with the surgery am I setting my daughter up for a future of body-hating and self-loathing?
- In 10 years time when she becomes a teenager will she want to be like her Mummy and have beautifully manufactured breasts and a flat stomach?
- Am I setting her up to chase an unrealistic goal of perfection?
- Will she place more value on her looks than what she achieves in life because Mummy has placed so much emphasis on her own ‘beauty’?
I was presented with a fork in the road and I needed to choose which path I was going to take. The decision wasn’t easy. I could go ahead and get the surgery done. I would have the body that I wanted but at what cost to Mikaela’s future? Or I could put Mikaela’s needs before my own and not go ahead with the surgery.
I chose Mikaela.
So where did this leave me? Right back to where I had been, stuck in a body that I didn’t love with no hope of recovery. There was only one place left for me and that was rock bottom. Things got worse than they had ever been. I hated my body more than I ever had.
You are disgusting, fat and ugly. My dark passenger was back, this time with vengeance.
As I sat there in my dark place with my dark passenger keeping me company, a little thought popped into my head. What if…? What if I could live with my body the way it looks now and be happy? Is this even possible?
As I picked myself up off the ground and wiped my tears I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked deep into my eyes and I heard some words of encouragement. It was the old Taz, the Taz that I knew and loved, it was the positive, happy-go-lucky Taz. And she simply said,
” You can do this”.
Then Taryn took it a step further. She shared an amazing before and after photo, one that began to inspire thousands of people to like and share:
With it, was this message:
Here is my non traditional before and after photo. Traditionally when we see a “before” photo, the person is represented as sad, overweight and quite miserable. (sometimes even holding a newspaper!) Miraculously in the “after” photos once they have shed a few pounds they are blissfully happy, confident and self assured.
Have we become conditioned to thinking that we should only love our bodies when it’s in “perfect condition”?
I just wanted to share with you that I loved my body on the stage, prancing around in a bikini as much as I loved my body sitting butt naked in my girlfriends studio.
Our bodies will go through many changes in our life. Our bodies change through ageing, pregnancy, illness, weight loss, weight gain the list goes on. One thing we must learn to do is love our bodies before, during and after….
Be loyal to your body, love your body, it’s the only one you’ve got.
So today I would like to to join me in celebrating Taryn and the very brave and vulnerable work she is doing to help women all over the world to appreciate and love their bodies just the way they are….and I encourage you to like the Body Movement Image Movement Facebook Page, and to check out Taryn’s message on her site.
As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female, then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with 3 simple details:
- Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
- Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do? In what way is she inspiring?)
- A photo or link to a picture of her online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)
So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women who inspire YOU. …and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too! Claire x