I have a problem with the Body Positive Movement.
Strange statement considering I have run a “Body Positive” Photography Studio for the past several years.
But here is the deal.
For most of the women I meet, body positive feels like an unattainable place.
Especially if they experienced any form of #metoo or body related trauma in their life. Not mention just growing up with 400-600 photoshopped images being thrown at you each day.
Even movies are photoshopped...Did you know that? Actresses as young as 14 are photoshopped frame by frame in movies. I know a guy at Weta digital and he is a digital makeup artist. His day job is adding muscles and getting rid of wrinkles in people who were cast in the role because they were “beautiful” to start with. Even he struggles with it. Check out Scully in any show she is in now. She has fewer lines on her face than she did when she first started in the Xfiles. So unless she really has been abducted by aliens something is up.
There is a trillion dollar industry that benefits when we are challenged by our own esthetics.
Which is why I imagine the lion share of women, read 80%+ in the research, struggle with the way they look.
Our minds are wired to judge ourselves. Marketing is designed to turn our critical voices up.
Then when someone starts railing on about being “Body Positive” the temptation is to completely tune them out because it feels unattainable...just like that photoshopped beauty standard.
Because Body Positive feels like it smacks a bit of “perfection”...which is part of the problem. Just one more way you are failing because you still struggle to love your thighs/belly/arms...wonderful... now you even suck at being body positive...
Enough of the critical voices.
Enough of the unattainable standards.
How about instead we just reach for compassion.
It sounds a bit more like this.
“Dear thighs. Thank you for getting me to and from the places I need to go. I get that you love each other so much that you just can’t stop touching each other...I get it, don’t love it...well because sometimes it chafes, but it is what it is for now...But thank you for being strong enough to get me home after a long day.”
If your legs don’t work well, like my partners, see if you can find that place of gratitude, a bigger picture understanding of the gifts you receive from them.
For today being body compassionate is enough. It is all that is needed. Not body neutral because that smacks of one more way of checking out of our body, not body positive with a fake tense smile, not body critical because that is just mean...but simply body compassionate.
Willing to listen to the wisdom of your body. To understand that our body stores our undealt with emotions. That if a part is bothering you...ask it how it feels as if it were a friend. Apologize for being a jerk if you have spent years telling your body it wasn’t wanted or liked. Just as you would do to a person if you were self-aware enough and you had hurt them.
The BioMachine Gift
I’ll tell you my philosophy on all of this. See your body is not you. You are you. Your spirit, your soul. Your body is just this amazing biomachine we are gifted for our journey on the earth. It is the one that brought you here and it will be the last one you say goodbye to when you leave the planet. It has never left you once no matter how much abuse you have heaped on it. When things get really tough sometimes you have checked out of it and gone up into your floating head and left it to deal with the mess. It has done its best...and will continue to. So cut it some slack. Feel the compassion that it feels for you. I think of our body as the most loyal companion you could hope for. Always with us, taking on our pain and storing it away if it is too much. Tucking it in here, tucking it in there. Holding it until we are ready to look at things.
Our body is our greatest treasure and that trillion dollar industry is trying to convince us otherwise. So until your mind unravels all of that false propaganda...just aim for compassion instead. Think little girl. How would you speak to a little girl about her body. Show yourself as much respect.
3 ways to get help
Mums and Mentors Workshop
Every Body is a Treasure Charitable Trust - Girls Got Grit Forum (For Mums and Mentors) -
You can go on the waiting list for spare tickets. Or you can jump the cue and buy a Girl Power Box for Christmas (it comes with two tickets for you and two tickets for a 10-18 year old girl to the Body BFF course)
The Luscious Order
Push your boundaries and join the Luscious Order of Golden Shield Maidens - Tickets go on sale 18 December.