Friday, July 31, 2015

What Makes Us Different, Makes Us Beautiful

Rachelle Friedman Chapman, 29, who was paralyzed at her bridal shower when she was playfully pushed into a pool, has stripped down for the cameras: Bride who was paralyzed at her bachelorette party strips down to just her lingerie and her catheter for powerful photoshoot she hopes will 'put a different face to disability.' 

What makes this photoshoot even more powerful besides the fact that she stripped down to lingerie is that she also showed her catheter.
I'm hoping it will inspire others to just focus on the things they love about themselves and not be so critical. I'm encouraging everyone to get on social media and mention something they love about themselves with the hashtag #WhatMakesMeSexy.
We all have something we want to hide or have just accepted as what we need to hide in order to appear “normal” in our society.

We all really want to be accepted and loved just as we are. It is totally human nature to want to receive that validation from others.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to accept what we see as our flaws, but we just need to keep working at it. 
I want to put a different face to disability. We all have flaws [and] we all have things going for us, and for the first time I'm not hiding my catheter. I'm not hiding anymore.
 To not have to hide ever again—what a blessing that would be.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Healthy (and Unhealthy) Bodies Come in All Sizes

Lena Dunham is receiving kudos for sharing a paparazzi photo of her running for an episode of Girls on Instagram

She’s makeup free and proudly running. She said:
Not usually one to post a paparazzi shot but this fills me with pride. Basically my whole life I have hated running and run like a wounded baby Pterodactyl. It was embarrassing and honestly I did not trust myself to escape a burning building or even move briskly towards a buffet. @jennikonner is directing the season finale of Girls and decided that as Hannah evolved so would her run, so she got me a training session with Matt Wilpers from Mile High Run Club. Within an hour I had a different relationship to this formerly torturous activity. I felt strong, swift and proud. I'm not about to embrace that triathlon life but it's a true joy to continue getting more connected to my body and its powers. (Extra motivation provided by @manrepeller for @outdoorvoices.) #moveforyourmind
The reason people are praising the shot is because she’s not a waif, but is happily jogging along in exercise wear that proudly displays her body.

Much like the image of plus-size model Erica Schenk that appeared on the August cover of Women’s Running and has been touted for showing that a heavier-set woman can still be fit.

Proudly displaying women of all sizes exercising can go a long way in allowing women who have a myriad of body types feel more comfortable and “allowed” to put on their exercise duds and get out there and moving.

It also goes to show that just because someone is heavier, it doesn’t mean they aren’t healthy.

Of course, the opposite is true. Just because someone is thin, it sure as heck doesn’t mean they could even run for the bus. Take me for instance, I’m relatively thin right now, but seriously out-of-shape.

Perhaps I should post a photo of me in exercise gear huffing and puffing?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

3 Body Positive Tips for Talking to Your Kids

Actress Kate Winslet is a body-positive advocate. In Us Weekly’s Kate Winslet: No Women in My Life Were Positive About Body Image, It Was "Very Damaging," readers learn that she felt she never received positive messages as a child.
When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life…I only heard negatives. That’s very damaging, because then you’re programmed as a young woman to immediately scrutinize yourself and how you look.
Winslet is being careful to only pass on positive body image messages to her children, which is what I try to do.
Here are a few tips on how to speak to your kids about body image from the very start:

1. Don’t be afraid to let your kids see your body naked. If the media keeps showing highly-polished versions of humans for the public’s consumption, we need to make sure kids see what un-photoshopped bodies look like, too, so they grow up with healthy expectations of what different bodies look like.

2. Don’t focus on what your kids look like. Especially with my daughter, I was hyper-vigilant that other people and I didn’t focus on her looks when we complimented her. I still do the same thing, for my boys also. I focus most often on my kids’ personal achievements and positive attributes like intelligence, being a kind person and doing good in the world.

3. Don’t ignore body image issues as they arise. I’m always looking for teachable moments: when my daughter was young and commented on her Wonder Woman figurine’s overly-ample-sized bosom, I talked about how not all women look like that. We talked about how it made her feel and that we need to be aware that what is presented to us as a body “ideal” is not always realistic or attainable.

Always trust your gut when speaking to your kids and try to be as honest as possible while encouraging positive body imagery for your kids.