The real revolution where we all can eat cake...
Fallon, you would be more beautiful if you lost some weight.
You have such a pretty face, it is such a shame.
You are the type of woman, men just want as a friend.
I don’t think we have those in your size, they are all a small make. Insert eyes glazing over.
In these moments where I have been judged based on my beauty, I don’t wish they never happened, sure at the time I wanted the ground to swallow me. But these moments defined me, they made me resilient, they allowed me to not be defined by what I looked like, instead made me determined that somehow in the future, I will help start a revolution - where everyone can eat cake.
Our bodies are caught between the messages of perfection, unattainable images, unreal expectations of beauty.
We are constantly monitoring our bodies and what we look like, afraid of judgement not just from the outside, but from ourselves. Have you ever been somewhere and you a constantly pulling at your outfit or you are conscious about how much your thighs love each while trying to concentrate on having a conversation?
As women we feel the pressures to be perfect, to be more than we are.
Now is the time to disrupt to start the Real Revolution.
Time to redefine beauty, by not looking at our bodies but asking how does your body feel?
Our bodies are not decorations they are machines that are strong and powerful.
In a world where we spend more on beauty than education, now is the time to call out on the manipulation, perfect illusions, Facetune, photoshop and filter.
Covering up is not how we fix the problem, education is. Self-love and care is vital to changing the mindset and stereotypes ingrained in our culture.
Now it the time to be real. And by real I mean being you, what you feel deep within your skin- your truth, your purpose, your passion.
Forget the labels with the numbers on them the only label you need to love is the one called “MY SIZE.”
When I asked the Real Body Runway role models in my body confidence survey what word best describes you, here is what they had to say:
Complicated ,Honest ,Determined, Feisty, Imaginative, Quirky, Resilient, Warrior, Bold, Fun loving
Happy and Loyal
Not one of those words had to do with their appearance, but rather how they feel about who they are.
The Real Body Runway, came after two years of working on my two previous exhibitions Fabulous Faces and Figures were I collaborated with 6 Mackay photographers, 1 artist, 4 sponsors and more than a 100 women to break down unreal expectations of beauty and to show the beauty of real –every day women.
During the past two years of surveys, interviews and casual chats I collected some interesting statistics from the women involved in JSP’s fabulous projects.
48% of women were happy with the way they looked
83% said there was pressure to look a certain way
54% had never told themselves they were beautiful
68% would never consider plastic surgery
53% of women compared their bodies to others.
60% of women said media, television, magazines and music videos negatively influenced how they felt about themselves
I started thinking about the deep seeded ideals and perceptions society has when it comes to beauty. Don’t get me wrong we are starting to see more diversity on the pages of magazines when it comes to different races and ethnic backgrounds, but for some reason, we are still waiting to see women of all shapes and sizes on billboards, magazines and on television.
It is through the media makers and advertising gurus don’t think we can handle a real woman. Well I have news for them bloody oath we can. Most women of the world are real. They have real jobs, feelings, stories, dreams, fears, faces and bodies and are sick of the unrealistic images of women. More women would say they are beautiful if we changed the landscape of how women are represented in mainstream media. How do we change this? Start using role models that all women can relate to when it comes to all media platforms. Give women and young girls something tangible they can relate to, women they can see themselves in. Role models that will help build a healthy society where women are not seen as pretty objects, but women with guts and guile. If we start to change the way women are seen and portrayed, maybe all women will have the confidence to say to their face that they are beautiful.
Why should we give power to the fashion labels, the media, bloggers, trolls, celebrities, who project images of perfection and create the ideal that perfect is better than real? We believe morphing ourselves into what is fashionable will make us happier and more successful? And we do because for many of us myself included we have been at war with our bodies, hundreds of tiny battles believing the nasty words we tell ourselves or the ones that have been thrown at us. We think life would be easier if we were 15 kilograms lighter or if we had bigger boobs, that we would be more accepted, respected and loved. And it makes me so very sad that women feel they have to morph and change, in order to feel better about themselves.
There are so many pressures for women when it comes to their bodies. We have to be fit and look good in active wear; eat clean, raw, but also be able to make a naked cake drizzled in raw chocolate. We have to lose the baby weight a month after birth, make sure you breastfeed your child, because heaven forbid you can’t and you are judged for it, Shave your armpits, legs and keep your eyebrows under control. Cover up those wrinkles, blemishes, with make-up, brush your hair and don’t bite your fingernails.
The list could literally go on forever, because the quest for female perfection is endless, there is no finish line, which means there is no prize waiting for you at the end.
THIS is why we need a real revolution now is the generation for body diversity to find validation from within and rock the shapes that are our own.
We need to see more of who we are, not just the reflection in the mirror. We need to use those mirrors to our advantage. Lately I have looked in the mirror, with the lights on and instead of pointing out my flaws, I LOOK at my tiger stripes, my stretch marks from my two babes and tell myself how freaking awesome it is. I look at my legs and think how strong they are for helping me stand when I feel like I am going to fall. Yes I look at my man eyebrows and think maybe it’s time to book an appointment, but I am learning to see me in the mirror not my flaws.
We need to see more and start with listening to our bodies, our hearts, and our minds. We need to speak from our souls turn off social media notifications that tells us who we need to be and take time to just be our imperfectly perfect selves.