Recently I was talking with a client and good friend about body image. She was saying how she couldn’t be like me around the whole body image thing. About how she still wishes she had the ideal body.
I told her about the research I’d uncovered (Alleva, 2018) about how focussing on our bodies’ functionality rather than how they look in the mirror is a good way to redress how we feel about our body image. That is how it happened for me. I didn’t look in the mirror for a year during chemo and really focussed on how my body kept restoring itself. Clever stuff!
We talked about not being happy at any size, about how it just isn’t possible for some of us to have that ideal body image. Then I asked two deep questions:
“Do you like yourself?”
“Ooooh!” She replied she’d like herself more if she were thinner. But then she immediately countered with “But then I have been thinner and I still wasn’t happy”.
Later, and separately I asked: “If you were going to help someone, support and do best by someone, are you more likely to do that for someone you like or someone you don’t?”
This lead to more thinking and I actually think I heard the mindshift happen! Lol!
BodEquality isn’t “Glorifying obesity” or whatever else people say about the current body positive movement that’s occurring. I fear people are struggling to get their heads around it; I know I am, brave new world that it would mean. BodEquality is seeking to “Glorify diversity” and as a means towards health, this could be a better place to approach it, rather than feeling shame, judgement, criticism or the impossibility of reaching an unattainable goal (mental health alert!)
So if anyone is wondering if a BodEquality society would be an unhealthy society, or if you think I’ve switched sides, there are no sides, only acceptance of ourselves and others. I think on balance, quite the opposite, a BodEquality society would be an all-round healthier one.