When I saw that Leyah was looking for ambassadors to join her Body Confidence Revolution, I knew it was an opportunity I had to seize. The Body Confidence Revolution is a movement which stands for so many things I feel passionately about; such as promoting positive body image, to challenge what society labels as flaws and challenge the narrow standards of beauty presented to us in the media, amongst many more. It was due to these reasons I knew I had to be a part of this movement. But I also had to be a part of this movement for more personal reasons.
Put it this way, if I were to tell my 16 year old self that I would be championing a movement for positive body image she would laugh in my face. Because to me at the time, the concept of having a positive body image was unimaginable. I grew up thinking that hating my body was normal and I would beat myself up every day for not being skinny, and feeling so ugly and disgusted with myself because I didn’t look like the women in the magazines; the women society deemed as beautiful. I would skip meals and militantly control my calorie content and portion sizes. When I would write in my diary I would write what I had eaten that day and berate myself for eating at all. I was at war with my body. But the problem is that I wasn’t the only one. Nearly all my friends or my classmates would beat themselves up about their bodies – it was normal to us.
This also wasn’t helped by the fact that I was involved with someone who would send me photos of celebrities and urge me to change myself to look that way. He didn’t want to be with me until I was a size 6 (at the time, I was a size 12-14). But I agreed with him. I bought into these narrow standards of beauty and took it out on myself by trying to over exercise and under eat. I look back on it now and think about how damaging this was for me, how awful it was that he had bought into these unachievable standards of beauty and so had I. I was changing myself to achieve something that didn’t exist. These models and actresses were all Photoshopped but that didn’t stop me striving for this unachievable image.
The problem here is that my story is not an anomaly. We all grow up with the message that our bodies are not good enough and neither are we. That we must be skinner, have bigger boobs, have bigger abs, have perfect skin. But the reality is that we are enough. We are all worthy of love, no matter what we look like. It took me so long to realise this, and I am still on my journey toward self love and am trying to love my body every day. I am a Body Confidence Revolution Ambassador, and wanted to become one, because I am determined to spread this message of body positivity. We need to spread this message early on so that we can stop this cycle of perpetual self hate from continuing from generation to generation. It is so damaging, and as an ambassador I hope that together we can help stop the cycle.
It took me so long to realise that I am good enough as I am, my stretch marks, my scars… I now relish in my so called ‘flaws’. And I hope that as an ambassador I can help you feel the same way. We all deserve to be confident in ourselves, no matter what size, gender, race, or sexuality. We are all beautiful in our uniqueness and it is high time society catches up with that idea.
Find out more about #TBCR’s ambassador Kitty here.