I try really hard to make my home a space free from diet chat and negative body talk. It wasn’t always this way, but the moment my (then) 5 year old asked why I was weighing spinach was a wake-up call.
Although I’d never been to a slimming or weight loss club, I’d spent many years of my adult life dabbling in diets – yo-yoing on and off the restriction bandwagon telling myself I was on a “health kick”, when it was actually about losing weight and changing my shape, nothing to do with my health at all. But that moment with the spinach brought everything into focus and I realised I had no rational response ready for my daughter. And so began the process of self-acceptance and body image education.
That was a few years ago now, and since then I’ve been on national telly in nothing but body-paint, hosted various events around body confidence, launched a hit podcast on body image, made a few popular videos on YouTube on the subject, and used my Instagram daily to spread messages of love and body acceptance. I hate to use such a cliche, but it’s been a “journey”.
During the past couple of years, when I’ve been immersed in interviewing people on this subject, reading research around it, hosting events and listening to other peoples’ experiences, one thing has really struck home: the UK’s body image is at a critical low, with children as young as three years old suffering for not feeling good enough in their skin.[Read More…]