Body Love

Take your broken heart and make it into art

I could’ve put off this photoshoot, waited until I lost 5 kilos or had my hair cut + coloured. But I know if I did lose the 5 kilos I’d be looking to continue with the next five. Never quite reaching the destination

Brené Brown talks about body image being one of womens biggest triggers. "Nearly all women feel ashamed of their bodies at one time or another." I remember dropping out of swimming when I was in my early teens because my body was changing and I felt like I didn’t have the kind of body that should be displayed.

Ive worn jeans when its 40 degrees. Wear shorts! My husband will say, puzzled and exasperated. I don't own any. The reason I don't own any is because my thighs rub together. My moon-tan thighs are whiter than socially acceptable. Its only been recently that Ive started to dismantle these ideas and question where they came from.

I cannot tell you how often I’ve sat across from a woman who says something negative about their body and im flooded with shame, if she thinks she is fat what must she think of me?

Or the woman who proudly details a tiny list of the "clean" foods she has eaten today, excited about her discipline and (silently) corresponding worthiness.

Or the line from Clueless when Cher says "I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M's and like 3 pieces of liquorice." I daren't share the last time I fed my body to distract from feeling an uncomfortable emotion but safe to say that it was worse than cereal and 1/2 a serve of m & ms.

When someone who I saw as having a perfect body asked me whether I could photoshop a little cellulite from her thigh it felt like my heart broke. You see I’d imagined that people who look a certain way were exempt from this pain of always wishing we were a little different. Taller, shorter, slimmer, more athletic, not so athletic, a bigger booty, bigger breasts or smaller breasts.

Im not sure how we got here, but I know it has to stop. So im taking the words of Carrie Fisher as an instruction: "Take your broken heart and make it into art."

If you can't find something to love about your body, can you find something to like?