I’m incensed at the recent body shaming incident involving Playboy model Dani Mathers. Dani took a photo of a naked women in a gym bathroom and posted it on social media with the caption "If I can't unsee this then you can't either."
Dani’s joke backfired and she is now rightly being vilified for what she calls “an accident”. Unsurprisingly she now has a life ban from the gym L.A Fitness.
This upsets me on so many levels. Not only was it a breach of privacy but morally it was a disgusting thing to do. It pains me knowing that this happens on a daily basis in particularly to women.
However, the issues surrounding body image are not just skin deep. We place so much of our identity on the way we look - when someone judges your appearance it hits you at your core. Besides, who needs someone else telling us we’re fat and ugly? As women we are perfectly good at criticizing ourselves. In fact, a recent survey by Dove showed that 75% of Australian women do not feel confident about their bodies.
Sadly, I’m not shocked by this statistic. These negative thoughts about our appearance start at a young age: Just last month my daughter Ana celebrated her 12th birthday by having a sleepover party. During the party one little girl told me she didn’t like getting fat. I explained that she wasn’t fat and that her body was preparing for when she would have children. Another then told me how much she hated her freckles. I explained that one day these would fade and that her best asset was her sparkly blue eyes.
It is our responsibility to change the perception of the perfect body. It starts with us. We can change the way we talk about ourselves to our friends, partners and children. Stop complaining and if you don’t like something about yourself, change it. If it can’t be changed, accept it.
Everyone can probably remember being teased at school: I was told I had massive lips, big teeth and pale skin. All of those things were and are still true. However, my lips allow me to kiss my children, my teeth allow me to eat delicious food and my pale skin keeps me looking youthful.
When you say you don’t like your thighs, knees, arms, stomach - change the words to: Thank you legs for helping me walk and thank you arms for allowing me to hug.
I look forward to a time when body shaming will be non-existent. Let’s all love ourselves and each other, warts and all. Start a body positive movement today by talking about the things you like about yourself. #endbodyshaming