On 12 September 2016 I along with 300 (or more) other people I went to see the documentary called #Embrace made by Taryn Burmfitt who has created an entire movement based off it called Body Image Movement.
#Embrace was an awesome documentary about women’s relationships with their own bodies and how mostly women’s emotions toward their bodies ranges between dislike and total self loathing. The message of the documentary and the Body Image Movement is to learn to love yourself as you are. You don’t need to be thinner, taller, blonder, bigger bobbed, bigger assed, smaller feet, straight haired, non-glasses wearing or anything else you think is wrong with you, so long as you are fit and healthy you are perfect.
The documentary really does bring home some surprising facts like girls as young as the 5 to 12 age group want to diet because they think they are to fat and they see how obsessive other female relatives are about body weight. That within a short space of time of western TV programs, movies and magazines ending up in cultures that liked bigger bodied women it rapidly changed to thin=attractive. That the message being pushed these days is no longer active=healthy but that thin=health, which is not true you can be a size 22 and be fitter and healthier than someone starving themselves to be a size 10. Most women are in a healthy weight range between size 12 to size 16 but this is now being labelled as PLUS SIZE for models and clothing.
Mia Freedman is scathing about how when she put out an issue of one of the big name magazines she was chief editor for the photographer wouldn’t put his name on the work, the makeup artist made the apprentice do it, no clothing supplier in Australia would supply products because no one wanted their brand associated with a FAT issue of the magazine. The models she was trying to cloth were size 12 and she calls it the fashion industries dirty little secret that they are happy to charge more money for “bigger sizes” but they don’t want those clothes put in a magazine. She goes on to point out that the argument that “women want to only see blond, skinny models” in magazines is crap and can be proven because women are now voting with their wallets and magazine sales are tanking.
However the whole thing did get me thinking about me and my relationship to my body, which at best could be described as “invisible”. I don’t look in mirrors or weigh my self and so long as my clothes fit I don’t mentally punish myself for not being a size 12 with DD cups and a gap between my thighs. Oddly I’m not shy about taking my clothes off in a room full of people (ask my friends and they’ll tell horror stories of changing in a store because the fitting rooms were full or getting kicked out of a bar for stripping while dancing on a table). However put me on a one-on-one intimate relationship setting and suddenly all my insecurities emerge (I’m to fat, my boobs are to small, my ass is to big etc) which might explain why I don’t do one night stand or casual sex I have to trust you before I’m going to get naked with you.
It also got me thinking about other things to do with “Body Image”. The first one is to do with my religious beliefs. For those of you who don’t know I’m a practicing Green Witch and have been well most of my life really. Now considering witch and wicca are mother goddess based belief systems one would think it would be ok to be zaftig (that’s a nice way of saying bigger). Yeah na I am yet to find one wicca or witch based site that has realistic pictures of witches. Every frigging site has the fantasy art or photoshopped sexy seductress witch with teeny tiny waist, big boobs, legs up to her armpits and very little clothing on and it is really starting to piss me off to be honest. You look at any goddess figure from ancient times and she was round and curvaceous and zaftig not some fantasy art Lara Croft doll made up in the imagination of some prepubescent male who’s idea of “woman” = “Barbie”.
The second one is a lot more personal and it hit me today that I’m really really really self conscious about it and goddess love my family but they’ve managed to make me even more self conscious than I used to be about it. I drool in my sleep and I snore, which lets face it isn’t romantic but it is human. I can’t do anything about either of these things they are what they are but I’m now so self conscious about them I’m petrified to fall asleep on things like planes and the thought of staying over some guys house or him staying over mine and discovering this horrid thing about me is absolutely mind numbingly painful. Today while flying down to Sydney from Brisbane I was exhausted and as per normal on a flight I dropped off but the minute I started to really sleep I’d snap awake because I was petrified I’d start snoring. According to my family we’re not talking a dainty little purring snore its kind of more like being roared at by a T-Rex less than an inch from your face. I have no idea how I’m going to come to terms with this bit of me that I loath but I’m going to try.