Last year, around this time, I was a panelist on the BBC's World Service Newshour on their medical obesity "special." And boy, I was both honored and terrified. I spend countless hours researching the larger issue of bodies, talking to medical professionals, and getting my statistics straight. And the beautiful thing that came out of it was a clear understanding that body love was a global necessity. It became apparent that body love was much bigger than warm fuzzies, learning to take a compliment or looking in the mirror.
Body love is a lifestyle. A movement. A complete cultural paradigm shift. And body love is a critical revolution that both men and women need to improve their lives.
THIS YEAR, around this time... I was presenting my first TED talk at a Tucson salon. I was again... honored and terrified. I spent countless hours organizing and reorganizing my thoughts. Talking to speaking coaches, and getting my statistics straight. There is something stressful about having such a large message to share... and needing it to be clear, concise, engaging, and, yeah. Under 18 minutes or else it doesn't count. OH, and it's going to be recorded, so you better not fuck it up either!
But several beautiful things came out of this experience: an opportunity to share a short message with the world. The clarity that this is what I should be doing. And the outline for my upcoming book.
Is it a perfect talk? No, definitely not.
It's flawed, because I am flawed, and that's called real life. BUT, I'm thrilled to have been able to offer this amount of information in a video format. I'm thrilled to have this be one more stepping stone along my journey of body advocacy.
I'm just thrilled.
Wanna dig deeper?
For more about the Body Love Conference check out the website.
Ten years of self portraits, and why it's important to love yourself now can be found here.
To learn more about the history behind why we've learned to hate ourselves, read this.
I talk about mental health here.
Wanna diversify your media feed? Try starting here.
Thoughts about body shaming all shapes can be found here.
More about that famous photographer? Meet Substantia.
AND, if you want to bring me to you so I can share the full 50-90 minute presentation (complete with Q&A and hugs!), click here!
Here is the truth: body love is for everyone. Men, women and everyone in between. It's for every size, shape and shade. It's for all ages. It's for every human on this planet and it's needed oh so much.
Somehow the concept that every person is worthy of self-love is still controversial, but I'm here to tell you that self-love doesn't have to be exclusionary. You do not have to compete for self-adoration by changing yourself into what Society deems as "acceptable." Body love does not have to be earned. You have the right and opportunity to fall in love with yourself totally and completely. As you are. Right now.
Wanna know how I know? Because this is what I do for a living. Because this is what I've studied. Because this is what I've seen as a mental health professional. Because this is what I have personally experienced.
Body love is a lifestyle. A movement. A complete cultural paradigm shift. A critical revolution. And it's a journey that no one else can stop you from taking. So give the media and the haters the finger and move forward like the body warrior you are, y'hear?
I've always got your back.
NOW GET IT!