Black Lives Matter. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

A shitstorm on the horizon

Five years ago I dreaded this time of year. Due to the guilt that came with all the enjoyment and indulgence of the holiday season. Then there were the boxing day sales where I would rarely find something on sale that I would actually fit into and, bonus points if I actually liked it. Then came the week between Christmas and New Years where all my social media feeds were full of sponsored ads for weight loss plans, weight loss subscriptions and weight loss memberships. Turn on the TV and there it is again, ads of thin white women in white bikinis skipping along the beach and living their best life because they are… thin!

My New Years resolutions were always based around my body and that my body needed to change. Drastically.

Five years ago, I was so highly influenced by diet culture. I thought that being thin was the only way to be seen as attractive. To be deemed as worthy and to be perceived as successful.

But something has happened to me in the last five years. It’s been a slow, but steady change that has utterly disrupted these once held beliefs.

I was recently out for dinner with some girlfriends when the topic of negative body image and toxic diet culture came up. I didn’t say much to begin with, I sat back and listened. But then I was asked the question, ‘Lisa, how do you manage to stay positive about your body?’

I had not been asked this question before. I took a few moments (which included inhaling a mouthful of my Rigatoni with Calabrese sauce) and my response, although somewhat hyperbolic, was that…

My rage against diet culture and in turn beauty standards is directed at the fact that it is a system designed to infantilise women.  The constant messaging to shrink yourself, be smaller, look younger and be hairless is so paedophilic it’s abhorrent.

Realising this over the last five years, has been such a game changer because in turn, it makes it easy to hate and rage against.

But it’s not just this realisation that made me start to feel better in my own skin.  I’m also not suggesting for a moment that every single day I wake to feelings of constant self- love and acceptance. I don’t. But those days of hating on my body are getting fewer and far between. These are some of the things I have done to take control:

  • Hiding and blocking all sponsored ads on social media that relate to anything diet culture related. When I hide the ads, I give feedback that it’s ‘irrelevant’ so as to let the algorithm know not to show other posts like this.
  • Unfollowing any, and all social media accounts that have the slightest sniff of diet culture. If an influencer starts talking about weight loss and the number on the scales. Immediate unfollow.
  • Following much more social media accounts and hashtags that promote diverse bodies, ages, genders, ethnicities and sexualities.
  • Listen to podcasts. A great starting point is anything with Aubrey Gordon and/or Jamila Jamil
  • Read or listen to books. Some of the ones I have loved have been from Taryn Brumfitt, Megan Jayne Crabbe, Glennon Doyle, Clementine Ford, Aubrey Gordon and Naomi Wolfe.
  • Buy books for my daughter (Embrace Your Body by Taryn Brumfitt) and have those (age appropriate) conversations with her about diet culture. It starts at home.
  • Refuse to follow, engage with, walk into, buy from and/or support in any way, any brand or retailer that refuses to make clothes that will fit my body. IT IS NOT HARD TO BE SIZE INCLUSIVE. I know this for a fact. So fuck them.
  • I finally realised that I wasted so many years of my life hating my body and I know that this is so cliché but honestly, life is way to short to waste it on such bullshit! LIVE YOUR LIFE!

Please be prepared for the weeks that are about to follow. It’s going to be a shit storm but remember, you are not the problem, and your body is not the problem.

Lisa x

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