Firstly, I’d like to say a MASSIVE thank-you to everyone that responded to my last post, it was really lovely to get so many positive responses across such a wide variety of media, social and otherwise!
Yesterday turned out to be an absolute blast – by the time I finally arrived at the venue I was almost giddy with excitement (although not nerves, strangely), and although I knew hardly anyone there, within 5 minutes I felt like I’d known the other ladies all my life and that some of us were best friends!
There was much shrieking and giggling and as the hair and make-up artist (the astonishingly talented, and apparently indefatigable Jean Rhema from Baddesley International Hair & Beauty Academy transformed us all into 60’s style goddesses so we bonded over shoes, jewellery and swapping knickers (clean ones, obviously…)
It was a long day, and our lovely photographer, Belinda McCarthy, handled her nervous, over-excited and unprofessional models with kid gloves so that every single one of us came away from our session in front of the camera saying what great fun it had been and how, despite initial nerves, they wish they been able to bare more!
We did all this for charity so if you want to see the results, you’ll have to buy the calendar when it comes out in mid-late September – details of how to get hold of it will be on here (and everywhere else). We’re planning a Launch Party in early October and tickets (the price will include a copy of the calendar) will be available to anyone that wants one (or 10…)
So, given what I said in my last blog, am I glad I did it? You bet I am! I had a lovely day and made some new friends (and we also managed to do a bit of business networking along the way!) But more importantly, it really brought home to me, emotionally rather than intellectually, just how strongly most women dislike their bodies. There didn’t appear to be a single woman in that room yesterday that didn’t have at least one area of her body that she actively disliked including those that, to me, had stunning figures that I would kill for.
There were, as you can imagine, a number of different conversations about which bits we didn’t like, and why, but the stand-out moment for me was when Lisa, the organiser, very generously lifted up a dressing gown and showed us someone else’s bottom!
“Look at this bottom girls!” she yelled “isn’t it gorgeous!” and indeed it was, an aesthetic and athletic beauty, tanned, toned and taught, just like you see on posters. In between shreaking with laughter at the look on the face of the owner of the bottom, we all joined in with a chorus of praise and comments along the lines of “I wish mine looked like that”.
And do you know what the owner of this delicious bottom said (and bear in mind that the rest of her was, to my eyes, equally tanned, toned and taught)? She said she’s never noticed it because she was always focussing on how wide her hips and thighs were.
Ladies, we MUST stop doing this to ourselves! There is NO SUCH THING as a perfect body and the more we concentrate on the bits of us that we feel are “wrong” the less we celebrate the lovely bits. It’s really difficult to change your own self-image (I know, I’ve tried!) so how about making a pact, for the good of the sisterhood? From now on, whenever you meet up with another woman, whether she’s a complete stranger or a lifelong friend, your mother, your sister or your daughter, pay her a complement about some aspect of her appearance. If you envy her lovely soft skin, tell her. If you wish you had neat little ankles like hers, tell her. If you wish you had womanly curves like hers, tell her. Whatever it is, just tell her. Because even if she knows that there are things about her that are lovely, the chances are that she doesn’t spend much time at all thinking about them – she’ll be too busy obsessing about the bits she doesn’t like.
And gents, make sure you tell your lady on a regular basis which bits of her body you love. (If you can find a way to compliment other ladies without being branded a sleazebag then go right ahead, and teach the others how to do it too!)
We each have so many gifts and talents, and far too many of us hide those talents away because of the insecurities we carry around about our bodies. It’s a shocking waste of happiness, time and talent and it needs to stop.