Why fighting the stigma is important
- I don’t know why, how or when exactly it happened … but I know that at some point as a child, I became self-conscious of my body – my stomach in particular.
- This picture is me when I was about 13. I was in my tomboy skater-girl phase. I was an outgoing creative teen, BUT I was so self-conscious about my stomach that I went through quite a long phase of holding my t-shirt out from my tummy so it didn’t press against it – which would, in my mind, expose the curves to everyone. I’d roll around the skatepark, holding out my t-shirt.
- I look back at this picture now, and don’t think I look fat. But the thought was a splinter in my mind back then for sure.
- I didn’t grow up with the constant bombardment of the value-creating, image-defining and identity dismantling machine that is social media. Yet, somehow the messaging around acceptable and unacceptable body-types came through.
- The Huffington Post article I shared recently stated that “Forty-five percent of adults say they’re preoccupied with their weight some or all of the time—an 11-point rise since 1990. Nearly half of 3- to 6- year old girls say they worry about being fat”.
- It’s bad enough that adults are conscious of their weight, but 3-6 year old children? This is why we have to change the way we think & TALK about “weight”, “fat” and “food”. Not just for us, but because we are modelling behaviour to our children.
- “It takes a strong sense of self-worth to feel safe in your skin in a world where some bodies are dubbed “good and acceptable” and others are dubbed “bad and unacceptable”. We need to make a world where all bodies are good bodies, where children can feel good about themselves in their own unique and precious bodies in all of their glorious diversity” (Body Respect, 2014, Bacon & Aphramor, p. 34)