I Heart My Body 2012

I’ve just eaten a bowl of spaghetti for dinner and Aidan is playing quietly with his iPad. The sun is going down. “Just do it” I whisper my mantra softly to myself, soon I’m bare faced and naked. My hair is exactly how it looked when I woke up this morning. I grab the camera, set up the shot and call Steve quietly. “Just hold the button down, it will take two seconds” and I was right. It was done, they were taken and it was painless. This isn’t a new frontier for me, this naked business. My body in all it’s softness casually roams free in my home where I feel safest. Sharing that online is another thing entirely but it’s not without concern or cause. I photograph women and show them off as the stunning creatures they are, why would I deny myself the same pleasure?

I Heart My Body is a campaign for self love and body awareness. It’s an annual reminder to be kinder to ourselves, to celebrate the parts we love and a chance to reconcile with the parts that cause us grief or frustration. To take part you must take a photo of yourself (you don’t have to be naked), write a blog post and link up to it or share on instagram/twitter using the hashtag #iheartmybody. Here are my three favourite things:

  • My Skin: It’s soft, milky and is also a map. Every little mark, scar and freckle acts as a bookmark in the story of my life. It’s what my husband feels first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. It’s what my son longs to cling to when he’s had a bad dream or when I’ve been away too long. It is the part of me I care for most. It is the part of me that makes me feel most beautiful.
  • My Lips: A cupids cup, soft pillows that kiss my son’s cheek each morning. Lips framing a crooked smile or a cheeky grin. Lips that are my husbands last wish. Lips that part to speak my truth or to sing loudly.
  • My Bum: A shapely curve, an ample share. It has a mind of it’s own. It makes dressing up easy and dancing fun. It’s what my husband grabs in the kitchen and lays next to at night.

 “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – not a truer word could be said. Women are often their own worst enemies and with conflicting pressures of what is considered acceptable socially-identifiable beauty and what isn’t, it’s not surprising that we’ve all grown up with that twisted niggling feeling that whatever we are, isn’t enough. I am enough. I am more. More than my flaws and more than the flaws you think I have. There is something freeing about that don’t you think? It’s not a new idea, it’s probably something you’ve been told before, time and time again. Care for yourself, inside and out. Nourish your mind and be kind to your body. Focus of the parts of your life that make your heart soar. Forget the haters, forget even the notion or the possibility of them.

I am a romantic, I’m sensitive and I’m trusting. My body may not be as strong as my will but that’s changing. My life has changed and my body is slowly catching up with my mindset. A month ago this body couldn’t run. My will is stedfast. It’s telling my body to shift gear, to believe more in itself as we have important things to do than be sedentary. Like chasing kites with my son, travelling overseas and loosing the emotional/physical baggage. I’m inspired and I’m not denouncing an ounce of who I am to reach those goals. This body will adapt to the ride and I’m going to enjoy it.

Comments

  1. 7

    says

    Just another reason why I love you. You are such an inspiration and this just proves it more to me.

    The pictures are beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing. x

  2. 10

    says

    beautiful words and pictures for today! I have loved reading all of the posts today and I so wish when I was growing up I could have read all of these!!! it’s amazing! go you! we all need a bit of courage – I just took a pic with my pj’s on but that’s nothing compared to your pics.

    I have to laugh about your hubby grabbing your butt! when I was dating my now hubby, my sister was staying over and she was in the kitchen and he walked in and grabbed the wrong butt! I have never laughed so hard and am still laughing about it now! lucky she has a sense of humour! butts are good for that!
    Corrie:)

  3. 12

    says

    You go!

    You are definitely more than enough right now. I love the sentiment that our body being the map of the journey that we have traveled so far.

  4. 13

    says

    Those of us that love you & everything you do already know you’re beautiful inside & out. But this piece of writing? It just confirms it and anyone who didn’t know it [or you] before, it awakens them to it.

    x

  5. 14

    Rachael says

    WOW – you are Amazing!!

    It is so hard as a plus size woman to feel comfortable in your body, to tell yourself that you are beautiful when you know how much people are out there saying that you are not.

    But seeing this, and seeing how beautiful you are – just as you are, makes me think that maybe I could be beautiful too …. Thank you.

  6. 15

    kate brady says

    thank you..
    thank you for posting…
    thank you for giving me the courage to do this crazy thing! (also thanks to the large glass of wine i inhaled for it’s help with the courage!)

  7. 21

    says

    Thanks for joining in Dani.

    I love this, “More than my flaws and more than the flaws you think I have.” This was the exact reason I started the ‘I Heart My Body’ campaign, I want women to not focus on their flaws, to look past the negative that they see everyday and focus for just one day, at least, the positives of their bodies.

    xx

  8. 23

    Anthony says

    When I read “I heart my body” its funny but you’re the first person that springs to mind. I think of you as the Patron Saint for teaching all the ladies out there to love what they have, and to dress up and not hide their shape away.
    Once again, You’re Awesome, Good on You!
    Nice Bum!! ;)

  9. 26

    says

    What a lovely post to wake up to and get all teary over. I am so proud of you and Steve. Your body is a beautiful thing and a constant reminder of someone dear.
    The lighting was perfect and your words heartfelt, big hugs.

  10. 28

    says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!! I wish I had confidence to do it myself. A side of myself that always holds me back is my lack of self confidence. :(

  11. 30

    Jodie says

    such a beautiful post, if I was blessed with or ever have a daughter of my own I will make sure she reads this post.

    Brought a tear to my eye as it made me remember all those self hating moments I had as a teen/young woman. Then I smiled because it also made me realise how far I have come as a woman.

    Thanks Dani for sharing something so personal….

  12. 31

    Alyssa says

    Love your honesty and ability to share with us all.

    I love all your posts, but this one is incredibly special.

  13. 35

    says

    OMG Dani… You are simply the most stunning creature! Thank you for being who you are and making me feel like it’s okay to be who I am! THANK YOU!

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