By TARYN BRUMFITT
You’ve got wrinkles? Suck it up.
Cellulite? Suck it up.
Your nose is bigger than you’d like it to be? Suck it up.
Is your left boob bigger than your right? Suck it up.
Does your junk in your trunk wobble more than you’d like it to? Suck it up.
That’s right, folks, we’ve gotten away with behaving like self-indulgent spoilt brats for too long and I’m calling it – enough is enough.
I invite you to come on a journey with me. We are going to hover above the earth and I’m going to show you why it’s time to pull our heads in and start to live our lives with some perspective and gratitude.
Hovering is a technique I use to teach women to learn to love their bodies. Hovering is when you take some quiet time to reflect on how others live in the world. Pretend you are hovering above the earth and looking down at different countries and different cultures, in particular, look at how other women are living their lives.
This is what I see when I hover…
I see a mother in Ethiopia holding her dead child; her child just took its last breath because the family had no food or water.
I see the eyes of a nine-year-old girl on her wedding day, with tears streaming down her face. She has heard the stories of what will happen on her wedding night; she is terrified and helpless and can do nothing but take the hand of her 40 year-old husband-to-be and do exactly what he tells her to do.
I see the face of the child who has inhaled the fumes of a chemical attack and is lying on the floor suffocating, resembling a fish washed up on shore, trying to breathe.
I see a young girl who was kidnapped and sold to a brothel. Not so long ago she was an innocent girl who looked at the world with a set of optimistic eyes. Now she is addicted to drugs, lives in filthy conditions, is penetrated by several men a day and treated like an animal.
I see women treated like second-class citizens, I see abuse, I see unsafe and unhygienic living conditions and I see desperation and heartache. I see a life that I would never want to live.
Meanwhile back in the Western world we are carrying on like a bunch of pork chops whinging about fine lines, wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks.
“I wish I didn’t have…” “I want more….” “She’s so lucky she’s got….” “I hate my…”
There is something very wrong with this picture.
If we look at how we live from a global perspective I think it’s fair to say that we’ve been acting rather foolishly, perhaps a little selfishly and quite frankly, like spoilt brats.
But it’s not all our fault. We have been taken advantage of too, our insecurities have been preyed upon and we’ve been railroaded into feeling a certain way about ourselves. Everywhere we turn we see messages that tell us we are not good enough, that we should be thinner, smoother, lighter and younger. There are very few female role models in the world who claim to love their body.
Not so long ago I was a spoilt brat too. I loathed my body and almost had surgery to ‘fix’ the impact three pregnancies in 3.5 years had on my body. I spent hours crying on the bathroom floor, I spent hours looking in the mirror telling myself how disgusting I was, I spent so much of my wonderful life being incredibly concerned with how I looked.
I wish someone had come along sooner to snap me out of my self-indulgent state. It could’ve saved me a lot of heartache. I had to hit rock bottom before I decided to make a choice, I could carry on the way I was (self-hating, poor me attitude) or I could chose to suck it up and get on with life. I chose the latter and I can’t tell you how incredibly rich life has become since making that decision.
Once you’ve hovered and tapped into that place of heartache, it’s almost impossible to act in the same way as you did before. All of your body ‘issues’ seem to become so insignificant – and truly on the grand scale of things, they really are. We just need to be reminded of that.
What would the world look like if Western women were self-assured, not hung up on their looks but rather, focused on making a difference to the lives of women who really need their help? The thought exhilarates me; it excites me. A world of focused, unstoppable women – imagine what we could achieve…
Having said all this, I know there are people out there with significant depression and body image issues. I realise for those people, it’s not a case of being able to suck it up. But for the rest of you pork chops (wink, wink), in honour of those women and girls who suffer every day across the world, we owe it to them, to suck it up, to live life with purpose by having perspective and appreciating all the amazing things we have.
Remember, your body is not an ornament; it is the vehicle to your dreams…
Taryn Brumfitt is the Founder of Body Image Movement, a global movement which teaches women to “suck it up” and love their bodies. “My role is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism, I’d like to think of myself as a loveable activist!”.
You can find her speaking at Corporate events, promoting her ebook “Body Lovin’ Guide“, wearing dinner plates or in the kitchen feeding her tribe of 3 under 7. She plans to take over the world, one fridge at a time with her positive and cheerful magnets!
Is there any vices you have against your body that you need to put into perspective?