My body is on my mind this week.
Three separate events have transpired that have culminated in a loud, clear, unwavering question “am I loving my body?”
We all witnessed the body shaming incident on Married At First Sight this week, where Jess plucked up the courage to wear a swimsuit on camera and reveal her curves to Dave. Despite being the average size of most Aussie women, Jess disclosed that she felt very exposed and insecure wearing a bikini, especially in front of her new man. Now, Dave is a man who has lost over 30kg and should understand how body vulnerability feels. But rather than showing empathy, he responded with a detached, cool, intolerant approach asking her when she was going to get over it.
Get over it.
Then, last night I had the privilege of watching Taryn Brumfitt’s docu-movie, Embrace, an exploration and celebration of body diversity and love. Sitting in the cinema, surrounded by 100 other women, each on their own body journey, I couldn’t help but wish Jess was there, sitting next to me. Brumfitt’s intelligent and insightful piece highlights the joy of embracing our imperfections and seeing the beauty in our differences, and loving ourselves. Exactly as we are today.
I’ve had a complex relationship with food and my body for as long as I can remember. To this day, my Mum still weighs herself every day and I grew up watching her sample every new fad diet on the market. In the past few years, two things have changed in my life that have created a new level of complexity in my relationship with my body.
I’ve had a baby and entered the world of television.
As Brumfitt eloquently illustrates in Embrace, pregnancy and motherhood take us out of the bodies we know and trust, and thrust us into an unknown, foreign sometimes scary shell that is at best, hard to recognise and at worst, downright devastating. Whilst experiencing the new body landscape of pregnancy and motherhood, I simultaneously stepped into the media spotlight. During my pregnancy I did 6 appearances on TV and had the surreal experience of seeing myself on screen with an unfamiliar face and shape.
This week, as I prepare for another exciting TV project, I signed up for a meal delivery service.
Tonight, as I microwave my lo-cal meal, I’m anticipating some inner conflict. As I reflect on Jess’ experience on Married At First Sight and all the stories of the women in Embrace, I wonder … am I loving my body?