New Year is a time for many to refresh, start over or begin something new. A chance for us to put into action and implement the many things that we want to do, see and achieve in our lives. It can also be an incredibly testing and tough time for many, as we transition out of holiday mode, Christmas and New year celebrations, the post festive splurge and often, lots of alcohol and sugary foods which can leave us feeling less than our best. Holiday celebrations and the start of a New Year can leave us feeling depleted, down and even questioning our life choices.
Words By Frou Williams.
I want to talk about body shaming. A massive part of what I do with my clients is exploring body image and self esteem, it's something I've studied in extensive detail and something I believe is absolutely crucial to healing, personal growth and to allow ourselves to be truly open to 'love' whether that's love of oneself and/or others. It's something I'm deeply passionate about.
I want to talk about body shaming. A massive part of what I do with my clients is exploring body image and self esteem, it's something I've studied in extensive detail and something I believe is absolutely crucial to healing, personal growth and to allow ourselves to be truly open to 'love' whether that's love of oneself and/or others. It's something I'm deeply passionate about. It's the very reason I created my company Death By Lycra Collective - From the very core of my being I believe in the empowerment of spirit.
By working together as collective we create the space for individual empowerment. That means helping women to feel more at ease in their own skin, embracing and being proud of the bodies they rock regardless of shape or size. By looking past the exterior. Body image and self esteem are incredibly fragile, it can quite literally make or break another being. It's one of the biggest psychological issues we face in our modern society and it's certainly no laughing matter.
So what is body shaming? The definition of body shaming is the practice of making critical and potentially humiliating comments about a person's body.
We all know that we live in a culture that is finely tuned at telling us we're not good enough, that we need to fix and make better. It's never been this intense or this relentless. It's exhausting. And that's just the messages from the media, that doesn't even take into account the pressures we put on ourselves or that we receive from other people.
It makes me incredibly sad that other people feel the need to comment or judge other people based on their physical appearance alone when they know nothing of that person's inner struggles or demons they may be facing. They know not who that woman is when she is at home surrounded by family, what she contributes to society, what lights her up and fills her soul, what ailments she might have had or even how much courage it may take just to leave the house on any given day. By not looking past her physical appearance you take that away from her.
There's a series of consequences to this way of thinking, eating disorders for one but it can also lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety and social isolation.
And whilst that may be largely as a result of what a lot of the intense media focus has done that does not make it okay. We should be building each other up and encouraging each other, not tearing each other apart.
How we take care of ourselves is our billboard to the world. I'm not just talking about having abs or a tight ass but by being someone who laughs, cries, embraces their flaws, focuses on what they are passionate about, by being a good person, surrounding themselves with people who make them feel good, and by being real. Having a six pack has nothing to do with happiness or self worth.
Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes. And happiness is what looks good on people, celebrating your body for what it can do, by refusing to comment on others’ physical appearances and by not letting other people bring you down. Because surely the best billboard for 'wellbeing' is contentment in self.
We're surrounded by passive aggressive societal guilt trips on a daily basis, jumping out at us from beneath our screens, screaming, ‘hey you, chubs, don’t you know abs are made in the kitchen’, a society that hails us to be better and do better every single day. A society that tells us there's no excuses, plain old black and white - how much do you want it?
Let's face it, life ain't perfect (in fact it's really freaking hard, it's full of twists and turns, ups and downs and not to mention the u-turns and plot twists thrown in just for bants) so I'm calling you on it and asking you to give yourself a compliment.
We're connected more than ever so why is it statistics show increasing rates of depression, loneliness and anxiety especially for those in their 20s and early 30s?
A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Development found that 39% of men and 49% of women reported feeling similar 'crisis' feelings characterised by disappointment, insecurity, anxiety, loneliness and depression. The quarter life crisis as it's been formally dubbed, whilst it may have a slightly different trigger for each individual, is a very real and common experience for 20 somethings in our culture.
Aside from the obvious of a different economy and job market to what our parents may have experienced, social pressures have changed along with a shift in gender roles but a lot of this is to do with technology. And more specifically, social media. FOMO anyone?
Beauty is defined as a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
So what makes us beautiful?
And why do we spend so much time of our goddamn lives striving for an ideology of what society deems ‘beautiful’ and not what we in our hearts and in our minds believe to be beautiful?
We tweeze, we pluck, we colour, we straighten, we curl. We sit, we squat, we run, we hurl. We ditch, we dive, we fast, we cut. Not only that, we wax, we shave and there’s always a but. We stare in the mirror for far too long, wishing and scrutinising ourselves over and over again, ‘but’ I could have…(delete as appropriate) longer legs, a smaller nose, bigger lips, thinner legs, more toned arms…the list goes on.