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.