Why I’m going to #PledgetobeReal, fancy getting on the band waggon??
I really wanted to write a positive post about my body image in line with Dove’s support of the Be Real Body Image Pledge, detailing how I would like to make a difference. Dove were one of the sponsors at Mumsnet Blogfest 2016 and launched their campaign to support the Be Real movement here, asking bloggers to post detailing how they can support this campaign.
I wanted to be that woman celebrating her body. But as most of the women questioned in The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, published earlier this year, I suffer from low body-esteem so it’s a tall order to turn that way of thinking on its head.
The stats don’t make for heart warming reading;
- 4 in 10 (42%) UK women feel worse about themselves after looking at beautiful women in magazines
- 9 in 10 (89%) UK women and girls (85%) with low body-esteem report opting out of important activities outside the house, and trying out for a team or club when they don’t feel good about the way they look.
- 6 in 10 (57%) of British women and 8 in 10 (76%) girls with low body-esteem will not be assertive in their opinion or stick to their decisions when they don’t feel good about the way they look – this includes skipping a job interview, missing work or asking for help when they need it
- Almost all women (90%) and girls (88%) with low body-esteem in the UK have stopped themselves from eating or otherwise put their health at risk (e.g. not seeing a doctor), because they don’t feel good about the way they look
The Be Real campaign wants (amongst other brilliant things) the media, businesses and advertisers to positively reflect what we really look like. They’re calling for businesses, publishers, editors and advertisers to act responsibly by positively promoting different body shapes and sizes, people with and without disabilities, and all ages, genders and ethnicities.
I would love to see more realistic portrayals of the human form in the media. The fact I’ve attempted to be on a diet constantly since the age of 13/14 is not because I woke up one day and thought ‘ohh diets look fun!’, but because from most media outlets the tall slim models are portrayed as holy grail of womanhood. And I can’t make myself grow, but I can be smaller – and the diets commence…
Let’s be frank the aspirations suggested for young girls still need some shaking up too. Look pretty, find a husband, have babies, have a clean house, regular sex and neatly turned out kids is a bit dated? You would have thought but its worryingly still top of the agenda for many. But not the issue I’m tackling, not in the post at least.
I’m the queen of self-depreciation, yes its fab my body made two humans, but my brain tells me that’s no biggy, skinny people manage that too. And their lies the problem, I’ve been given the mind set over years and years of exposure to a fake reality that to be perfect one must be model esq. The way in which models are portrayed in the media as something akin to gods, to be worshiped and adored. This means I cannot give my body credit for doing something a models body can do in my eyes better than me. You can tell me till you’re blue in the face they’re photo-shopped but that doesn’t make much difference to me, I need to be able to do something a slim person can’t to justify my size to the world. Screwed up huh??!!?
As a mother I want so much more for my daughter. I want my daughter to love herself and this I feel is where a I fall down. If I want her to love the body she has and all of its capabilities, she needs to see me doing the same. Not pitched against unattainable ideals, but pitched against her own notion of what she can achieve, if she wants to.
Therefore I #PledgetoBeReal. In that I hope I can begin to accept I may never be a size 8, the feeling my life would somehow be better if I was thin is something I’m desperate to leave behind. My achievements have nothing to do with the size of my body, what I am capable of has more to do with the size of my brain power, and on this front big is indeed beautiful.
I pledge to shake it up and be real for my daughter, I would like for her and my son to view the world differently to me, so I pledge to:
- Teach them beauty is about so much more than the way you look.
- Tell them often, you can never be too kind.
- Show them what they see in magazines and on the TV is just an adult version of Disney film, is fiction, an exaggerated snapshot of reality.
- Teach them that we are all humans, and we all count.
- And lastly I will not depreciate my physical form in front of them, and I will never ever pick fault in theirs. They are perfect, and I will tell them that every day.
Fancy joining the movement? Make your pledge and post on any social media channel with #PledgetoBeReal
I created this post as a competition entry in support of Dove and the Be Real Body Image Pledge