At the beginning of the year, like every other millennial on Instagram, I did some manifesting. Having previously written off the idea of “willing” my future to happen, I was inspired to give it a go (mainly because I fancied having a colouring sesh with some of my daughter’s new Smiggle art materials).
It was a slow rainy morning in that post-Christmas, pre-New Year haze of leftovers, cheese and twinkly lights. I knew I had many plans in the pipeline for the year ahead, and I knew I’d spent the past eight months working hard behind the scenes to make stuff happen. But there was still a huge amount of “what ifs?”. And so I started to manifest – willing the universe to back me. One of the things I manifested was for the successful launch of the podcast I’d been working on. Another was for the positive reception of the TV show I’d filmed the previous summer. And another was for a series of events to help people feel better about their bodies.
Five months on and we’re coming towards the end of the first series of Body Cons, we’ve featured in the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes, featured on the top iTunes charts, gained listeners as far afield as Australia and already started recording on season two with some amazing guests.
We’ve had a great brand partnership with Natracare for the first season and are currently speaking to other brands about the second season showing that, actually, promoting positive body image and making people feel good in their skin (rather than preying on their insecurities) CAN and IS a viable way to do business. It’s brilliant that brands are waking up to the fact that there is another way – we don’t need to make people feel they’re not good enough as they are in order to push them into buying products.
So that’s the podcast.
Onto the TV show and the reception for Naked Beach has been amazing. Three episodes in and I’m getting messages every day from people who’ve watched the show and been moved by it. (If you’re enjoying it be sure to let Channel 4 know!). I’ve been on This Morning, BBC Breakfast, various national newspapers and radio stations, taking that body love message mainstream. And with next week’s Mental Health Awareness Week centred around the subject of body image, it’s a great opportunity to keep the conversation going.
Which leads me to one of the other things on my manifest list for 2019: EVENTS.
This year is proving a bountiful one on the events front. I’ve been invited to speak at various events, chaired panels, hosted my own Confidence Lab back in February with my lovely pal Charlie O’Brien. And now, I’m excited to let you know about another, intimate and very special event I’ve organised with my podwife Lottie Storey in collaboration with our Body Cons podcast for Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Body Love event is taking place in The Forge Bristol, from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 18th May.
It’s a day full of love, with talks, workshops, your own private photo shoot, food and a lovely goodie bag. This event is specifically for mums, although there’ll be others in the future for everyone. We’re donating all ticket profits to the Mental Health Foundation. The price of your ticket will allow you to bring a free plus one, female guest. Although it’s a warm, safe, friendly and intimate setting, we know that turning up to something like this on your own can be daunting, which is why we’re offering a free plus one ticket.
We’re working with acclaimed photographer Eve Hazelton on this, who specialises in photographing mothers at every stage of their journey. As an experienced birth photographer Eve is adept at putting women at ease and photographing them in their most vulnerable and powerful states, which is why we’re so excited to partner with her on this event to celebrate the female form through the female gaze. These images of me are ones that Eve took on our test shoot for the event, to give you an idea of what to expect (oh – and you’ll get to keep your photos – usually worth at least £200 on a regular studio shoot!).
The thing I love about the events side of the work I do is that it gives us a chance to connect face to face, in a way that you don’t get if you’re talking on the radio or on the telly or online. It’s a way to really meet people, have conversations and experience something TOGETHER. And when it comes to such a personal subject as body image, it makes the whole thing even more special.
As well as your session with Eve, we’ll have an opening talk from body image researcher Nadia Craddock, a talk from body positive influencer Hayley McLean, a body image workshop with coach Lisa Beasley, a live podcast with Dinah Gibbons – organiser of the world famous Bodykind Festival, and a meditation and acupressure session with Gemma David from The Quiet Heart.
So there you go. The Body Love event is going to be special. As I’m writing this we still have a couple of tickets left. And I would love to see you there.