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Conversations with my daughter “Am I fat?”

We were at a kid’s disco, she was five years old.

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I was… horrified! Where had this come from? My little bundle of electric energy, my baby, in that one question, the care-free relationship she had with her body shifted and she started to see (and question) what others see. It really bothered me and it was the beginning of a shift for me where I started finding signs and paths that lead me towards more research, more realisations that the society we are living in, feels like madness!

All I really needed to do raise my head and see what she sees and realise how she – we are being so manipulated to doubt ourselves and that it has become so warped but commonplace, we just accept it.

I learnt that the way I talk to myself when I look in the mirror, is the way the majority of women do. I realised I didn’t hate my body on my own terms, that actually I had a lot of respect for it. And I realised it was my job to start conveying that to my girl.

But more than that I’m embarrassed for us. That as modern, thinking women we are putting up with this construct. This utter nonsense, this widespread discontent.

I found that thin-elite views about bodies aren’t just in magazine beauty features and fashion PR, but they’re entrenched in the upper reaches of society. I found that the Codes of Practice for Advertising believe our current dogma is “socially responsible”.

So I submitted a petition to parliament and I thought to myself: this is a no-brainer. I know other care-givers feel the same, I know this will spark a radical shift, I know this will engage the huge body positive community out there to call for change, to shift perceptions, to change our world.

It hasn’t. What I keep hearing is “it won’t change anything”. How inspiring, I am motivated now to, have a little doze. It has reflected the apathy of our society – like sleeping giants in the BFG. Is that it? Is this OK? Did no one tell them we get to choose? That society doesn’t have to be run by branding to make us feel wounded so they can heal us? That we can demand a kinder, inclusive, compassionate landscape.

I’m also told that folks feel “well what can my one vote really do”, to which I’d say fooey! Collect the raindrops and beware the flood! I need more raindrops because I do want a flood. A flood of new body shapes in the world around me, so that my grand-daughter doesn’t measure herself up at the age of five and find herself lacking.

Please sign the petition.

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