Recently I’ve been considering who my body image heroes are. I’ve been thinking about who I look up to and I’ve been thinking about why I look up to them.
I was born in 1996. I was a noughties kid. I read Harry Potter and I loved the Saddle Club. I also watched the music video show RAGE on ABC every Saturday morning for most of my childhood.
I wonder how this affected me. RAGE was presumably meant for adults. I was watching RAGE at six of seven.
I think about the messages that I was exposed to that I was too young to process. Who did I see on screen?
I remember seeing alot of 50 cent. His music video for Candy Shop in particular. I remember Christian Aguelira’s “Dirty” music video. I remember the days of Destiny’s Child and when Beyonce went off on her own.
I was exposed to the female body in an overtly sexualised form. That’s not to say that these women should be shamed for their presence in the music videos. They are adults and should be able to make their own decisions about how they present their body.
But I think I was too young. I was hardly past Kindy and I was watching women clad in lingerie grinding on men and on cars (Jessica Simpson comes to mind…)
I saw that women who were “beautiful” and scantily clad got attention from men. That is the truth. All you want as a young girl is to be loved. Perhaps I thought that I needed to look a certain way to BE loved. Particularly by men.
Now that I’m older I can see that I had no body image role models. The young women I surrounded myself with would often vocalise the “flaws” in their body. Smart, capable women would get stuck in the trap of self deprication and body shaming. They would pick apart their bodies as if it were a meal.
I wish I’d had a positive role model. I wish I had a mentor who loved her body for exactly the way it was. I wish I’d had someone tell me that my weight wasn’t my worth and what I looked like didn’t matter.
But I didn’t.
This is why I want to be one. I want to be a postive body image role model. So I started surrounding myself with women who embrace their bodies. I started actively searching for body image heroes.
Over the next few posts, I will be introducing you to some of my body image heroes. People I wish had been in my life many, many years ago.
Here’s a taste of what’s to come