When I wrote a blog post recently about Real Beauty, I received many of emails in response to it. One of those emails, from Gillian Byers of Mindfully Active, included the ‘Imagine’ video above. I was so moved by what Emma Thompson said I just had to share it.
Endangered Species Women is an international summit, launched in March of this year with the aim of saving future generations of girls from the misery that turns women against their own bodies. By making people understand how and why this is an emergency and showing them how they can do something about it, they hope to inspire society to embrace change. This will hopefully fundamentally change the culture that causes so many of us to abuse our bodies and souls in the pursuit of an unrealistic version of beauty and lead to a day when more and more women are comfortable in their own skin.
Going so far as to suggest that “Constantly worrying about your reflection and criticising your body, shape and size is an act of violence against yourself”, Endangered Species Women, maintain that women are physically and mentally endangered by our current culture, and I honestly have to agree.
How many women do you know who are genuinely comfortable with their bodies? Are you? Or do you, like so many of us, constantly compare yourself with others and think negatively of yourself? It’s no wonder so many of us do this – we are bombarded with images of women we cannot hope to emulate – women whose images have been so profoundly photographically altered that they are barely even real anymore.
Don’t get me wrong here – I firmly believe eating well and exercising are important, but I don’t think beauty comes in one size. I also love clothes and makeup, and I believe very strongly in making the most of me. However, I don’t believe in a culture that makes women feel they are not good enough if they don’t fit into an intrinsically flawed, unrealistic mould.
How many women do you know who suffer or have suffered from eating disorders…and how many do you know who you suspect may be walking that frightening and dangerous path? How many women do you know who are constantly ‘on a diet’?
My mother was on a diet virtually her whole life, and I went on my first diet with her aged about seven. Not a naturally thin body type, I battled with my weight my whole childhood, and developed anorexia by the age of 16. It wasn’t my Mom’s fault; she had been programmed to believe that thin meant healthy, happy and beautiful. Thankfully I recovered, and have maintained a healthy weight for some time. I don’t think my Mom was so lucky. It breaks my heart, but I am certain she was anorexic, and quite possibly bulimic, for much of her life.
However, despite my experience of that and also everything I know and write about, like so many women, I still struggle daily with body image issues.
I want my generation to be the last one that does that.
That’s why I write about body image, and why I am determined to encourage women to love themselves as they are, celebrating their own unique beauty. I’m so excited to learn more about Endangered Species Women, and I encourage you to visit their website to find out more.