Body image issues are far from a new thing. Back in the days of Botticelli (and the Early Renaissance period), women with curves were more than tolerated.
They were appreciated, worshipped and sought after. Fast forward to centuries later and these same sultry women are seen as chubby, fat or unattractive.
What happened in the span of 500 or so years? Well, there’s electricity, and running water and of course those very small, teeny tiny computers that we call mobile phones. But, when it comes to our bodies, it seems like women went from real to ideal. With ideal being meaning size 0 runway model skinny.
Roughly 9% of Australians have an eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorder Collaboration. While the ever-present media push for women to look like real-life Barbie dolls isn’t entirely to blame for this stat, it certainly doesn’t help it.
Okay, okay. No one’s skinny shaming those runway models. After all, isn’t that just as bad as fat shaming a woman? But, the mainstream media’s ‘ideal’ figure is now something that women starve themselves for. Literally.
In recognition of this (and the unhealthy body image issues that result) one group of Geraldton women stripped down to next to nothing.
This project, inspired by Adelaide filmmaker Taryn Brumfitt’s documentary Embrace, shows what it means to be a woman. With a range of ages and an array of sizes, these women (in their video) all talk about what it means to live in their own skin. They talk about their body image struggles and how they’re affected by what society expects.
“It’s not a soap opera, it’s the real thing. We’re all doing the best we can,” says one of the women. How true! We’re all real women, and not photoshopped, airbrush versions of what a woman ‘should’ be. And, there’s no shame in that. Whether you’ve got a few extra inches on your hips or a bit of a jiggly post-baby belly, it shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t ever make you feel uncomfortable or like you’re not worth as much as anyone else.
Hopefully this video helps women and girls to better understand that they are special and deserve respect – from everyone, including from themselves!