My favourite part of my body may surprise you.

Triple J are running a campaign this week that I’m quite obsessed with. It’s called #NoBody’sPerfect.

This is genuinely a fist-pump moment.

There is plenty of momentum in the body positive space. Target is leading the body positive conga line by celebrating women of diverse ethnicities and sizes in their recent ad campaign. It is encouraging and inspiring to see women of all different shapes being acknowledged.

Barbie dolls have diversified. Sports Illustrated ran three covers, featuring women with diverse body types. One of the models featured is Ashley Graham, a plus size model and body positive advocate.

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Ashley Graham on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Image via @ashleygraham Instagram.
The Australian Government have recently launched a campaign called “Girls Make Your Move” which is beyond brilliant. This campaign is exactly what I needed in high school. Girls Make Your Move encourages young women to stop spectating and start participating.

When I left primary school I started to suppress my passion for sport. My participation declined until it became nonexistent. I was self-conscious about my gender and my lack of sporting ability so I stayed on the sidelines. I watched on longingly as the boys passed a footy and kicked a soccer ball. I wanted desperately to join in but was held back by the fear of embarrassing myself. It’s only now, as a 19 year old woman, that I’ve started participating again.

When I was growing up these campaigns barely existed. Sport was predominately a male domain. Catwalks had about as much diversity as a Donald Trump rally and body positive role models were few and far between.

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Body positive advocate Laura Wells and yours truly. Can you tell I was excited? Image via @breakingdownbeauty Instagram.
Now Triple J are running the NoBody’sPerfect campaign to bring body image into the spotlight. They’re using social media to champion positive messages about body image and slice through the heavily filtered, highly posed highlight reel that is Instagram.

I started thinking about what my favourite part of my body is. Nothing immediately came to my mind. Do I like my boobs? My arms? My legs? My face?

It hit me pretty quickly that, after all this time, I still struggle to compliment my own body. That’s not my fault. That’s a product of social conditioning. Women in particular are reticent to compliment themselves, particularly their looks, because that is automatically linked to being arrogant or narcissistic.

I’m much better at caring for myself and appreciating what my body can do but I still feel extremely uncomfortable when people praise my looks. I feel like I need to combat their praise with self-deprecation.

When I started thinking about what I like about my body, my brain automatically started reeling off the parts of my body that I couldn’t possibly like. Your boobs? Don’t be ridiculous they’re only a C cup. Your face? Are you joking, your face is covered in sores.

This negative talk was all on my head. Just like that I had forgotten the original purpose of the exercise, which was to discover what I truly like about my body. What I’m proud of.

I asked my partner what his favourite part of my body was. He looked at me incredulously and said, “I’ve told you this before. It’s your smile.”

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It seemed so easy for him. He knew exactly what he loved the most. It flowed out of him so quickly yet I was still stuck trying to figure it out.

I’ve reached a stage where I’m content with my weight. I view my weight like I do my height. My body knows exactly where it wants to be. If it doesn’t want to grow it won’t and if it does it will. I will no longer intervene in my body’s natural processes. It knows what it’s doing.

I finally decided on the part of my body that I’m most proud of. The part that I love the most. Ironically, it’s the part of my body I hated most in my early teens.

My favourite body parts are….my booty and my thighs.

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I entered highschool when social hysteria around the “thigh gap” was at its peak. I don’t have one naturally. And I was deeply, deeply self-conscious about this fact. Why we were all so obsessed about a small amount of space between our legs I’ll never know.

Now, my lack of thigh gap is a sign of my health, strength and development. My legs and booty allow me to lift heavy things. They’re strong and they’re mine and I’m proud of them.

The only way to develop self-confidence in young people is to lead by example. To stop picking apart the things we would change and start loving the shit out of what we have. To stop making excuses about what foods we eat and start enjoying them. To stop down-playing our assets and start embracing them.

What is it that YOU love about your body?

 

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