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A couple of months ago my sister, my cousin, and myself sat huddled in front of the TV and watched “Embrace”, a documentary that had been recommended by a wonderful client of mine. It caused me to go into deep reflection over these past few months about my own journey with my body over the last 5 years.

Body image should be so unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but somehow it has had a massive impact on my life, and the lives of many others around me.

On the night we watched the “Embrace” I remember going to bed afterwards and staring at the ceiling, thinking about the groups of women featured in the film. These brave women talk about the shame they have felt in their own bodies, and how they have been influenced by society's unrealistic ideas about beauty. I began to reflect on my own upbringing and thought about my mother, and how she felt and spoke about her body. I wondered if it had influenced how I thought about mine? I pondered if body negativity was a cycle that just keeps trickling down the family line until someone breaks it.

Body dysmorphia and difficulties with self-image can be devastating. I have put my own poor body through hell over the last 5 years battling with an eating disorder. It completely takes over your life and you feel a sickening disgust for yourself constantly. It’s such a sad and awful place to be inside your mind when you think and feel this way.

I'm relieved to say that I have won the battle over my eating habits and have found acceptance and love for my body. It saddens me to think that a very high number of people think and feel this way and for many they live in that darkness for most of their lives.

It angers me that the fashion industry has taken so long and is still resisting designing and marketing the average woman. Thankfully there are more labels now that are supporting a variety of body shapes and sizes but we still have a long way to go.

I'm so pleased that we as a society are having more of these discussions and that we are becoming more aware how we talk about our bodies and our judgments towards others.

I felt compelled to talk about this film and its messages, If you haven't already seen it I urge you give it a watch. I hope we can all help each other stand tall and love ourselves in our own skin.

Ashleigh GrahamComment