After the screening of Embrace in April, a small closed Facebook group was formed so that we could chat to and support each other in the Embrace adventure. This time last week myself and 11 other brave and crazy souls headed to a Embrace-style photo shoot that I truly believe will have a ripple effect in all our lives for some time. We had an amazingly gentle and lovely photographer Ian Carruthers of Ian Carruthers Photography who put us all at ease and who really got into the spirit and fun of the gathering. Momo quite rightly knew from our first discussion who the photographer for us was and I think everyone would agree that we couldn’t have had a better man for the job. Mother nature definitely conspired to make it the most perfect day for photos – blue skies, fluffy clouds and lots of sunshine! There were a lot of nerves but as soon as we got to the beach it was swimmers/bikinis out and as people arrived an air of love, acceptance and excitement at what we were doing. If I had only one word to describe the morning it would be magic but it was so much more than that.
I posted this to the group when it popped up in news feed this week. It is an interesting and valid argument for the Two sides of the BoPo coin but I want to share the opinion I posted to the group here too.
“I thought, especially in light of our recent trip to the beach that this was a very interesting and balanced article. For myself, I believe that the empowerment that comes from anyone finally loving their body after years of not doing so is a beautiful wonderful thing and if they want to document that and show it off that’s a beautiful wonderful thing too! I believe that the appearance of photos of un-photoshopped, wonderful and diverse body types is what sparks many to question and begins conversations that have never been had about body positivity and diversity. (Just look at the impact that one photo of Taryn Brumfitt’s had!)
I was surprised how much the shoot challenged my own feelings and perceptions. It was partly down to the emotions of the last few weeks but I found myself quite reluctant to get in front of the camera on my own for some weird reason. I realised then, that behind what people see is someone who just loves to blend in to the crowd and not be noticed too much. That all stems from my own ego and what I think people think (when in fact really, no one is thinking anything a lot of the time!). It’s an old, worn out, very shabby habit that has been bagged and thrown out for good. These habits lie deep though, and this is only a part of what the whole experience meant to me. The friendship, support, fun and total unadulterated joy of last Sunday will last a life time for me. I’ll call it up when I need a boost or a reminder to stay on this path or have trouble finding my joy. The freedom-to-be-me smiles of every single one of the 11 other women there will be forever etched on my brain and in my heart as one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. How could I possibly say that that is not massively important?!We get to choose every day what we do for ourselves and our bodies. We get to feed and nourish body and mind in whatever way we see fit. We get to show it off or not as the case may be. Every adventure has the power to influence someone else. By being honest and open you have the power to possibly change someone else’s mind too. There are powerful stories to be told and we really can lead by example. Finally, thanks to the conversations taking place about body image we get to do it for our own reasons and no one else’s.
I don’t believe objectification is going to be eradicated by just fighting it and that stretching minds to acceptance and respect and diversity is an incredibly important step along the way.”
Like all things every positive step in the right direction is an important and significant one – whether it be a personal step for one person or a massive group step for a whole movement. There is room for all as long as we are moving in the right direction, holding each other up and cheering each other on.
So what’s next? I have been working on a website for Fabulously Flawsome, as well as a lot of chipping away at possible future screenings (no joy yet!) and hoping to pull together a workshop. Photos will be published on the website and Facebook page once a flawsome meeting is held to ensure everyone is happy and to formulate a plan for the best way to promote Embracing and being Fabulously Flawsome!
On a personal note it’s good to be back writing a blog and planning positives for the future. I never
realised until recently that I was capable of feeling joy and sadness in equal measure and not crumbling under the weight of either but I’m glad I found out I can. It’s new to me and it’s a bit raw, but it’s wonderful at the same time if that makes sense. I’m into week two of the unstoppable program (week three tonight yay!) and feeling it in nearly every aspect of my daily life. It is bringing lots of new “aha” moments and ideas and plans for the way forward are starting to take shape and become real paths forward now. It’s all good, because it’s all growing and making everything that was already good even better, whilst prompting me to review, bin or improve the not so good. It’s exciting and yet another positive ripple from deciding to go see Embrace.
If you are interested in joining us at Fabulously Flawsome check out our Facebook Page and think about joining our Closed Facebook Group if you’d like to also. The website will be posted shortly too along with our pictures from the day.
Lots of love and light your way for an amazing Sunday and wonderful week ahead.