by NATALIA HAWK
Think about how much time you’ve spent thinking about your weight or appearance in the last week. Think about how much time you’ve spent obsessing over how much weight you might like to lose from your belly or thighs, or worrying about how many calories you consumed at lunchtime.
Think about that time and give me an estimate. A minute per day? An hour per day? On and off, all day, every single day?
Last week, the Mamamia team headed to a screening of a film called Miss Representation. We’ve seen it before, but one of our lovely commenters was hosting another screening and invited MM’s Managing Editor, Jamila Rizvi to do a Q&A session at the end of the film.
So we all bought popcorn and Maltesers and sat down to watch the film (which is brilliant, by the way – get your paws on a copy if you can). And as we sat, and listened, and took notes on our phones, and tried to remember all the statistics, there were two quotes that really struck a chord with us:
- “If women spent a tenth of the time thinking about how to solve the world’s problems as they think about their weight…we could solve them in a matter of months.” - Katie Couric
- If you and I, every time we pass a mirror, complain about our looks, remember that a girl is watching us and that is what she is learning.” - Gloria Steinem
In my life, I am surrounded by the most amazing, supportive and intelligent women anyone could ever hope to know. These women make up my family, my friends and my colleagues. It’s a pleasure to be in their company on a daily basis.
There are a million things that these women should be proud of themselves for – and they know it. And yet they still find ways to criticise themselves on a daily basis.
“I feel so fat today,” someone will say. “YOU feel fat?” someone else says. “I’ve been detoxing all week and I’ve hardly lost any weight.”
It’s not positive. It’s not productive. And we shouldn’t be saying it. Because, as Gloria Steinam said – what if a girl was watching us and the way we criticise ourselves? Is that what we would want her to be learning?
I completely believe that if you’re not feeling healthy or happy that you should work towards changing it. I know that I go a little bit mental if I don’t exercise for a week, and I know that my body hates me if I consume nothing but cupcakes and M&Ms for an entire day (it’s happened before. The sugar high lasted for what seemed like weeks).
But there are no benefits in constantly beating ourselves up over our appearances – which have nothing wrong with them in the first place.
That’s why the Mamamia office now has The Jar.
Every time we find ourselves making an unnecessarily negative comment about ourselves or about others – we put a gold coin in. At the moment there is already $6 in there – and that’s just from today. Hopefully as time goes on, we’ll be putting less and less coins in. We’ll realise how ridiculous we sound when we say the things that we do. We’ll stop thinking them, too.
(PS. All the money from the jar will go to The Butterfly Foundation.)
Here’s what else has been happening around the office this week:
Tweet from Mia Freedman (@MiaFreedman)
What’s going on with you?