12 Jul Body Image Movement Turns 5
And in the blink of an eye… Body Image Movement turns 5! How did that happen? Well, I don’t have a clue! I don’t even know how I’m turning 40 later this year. Life just goes so incredibly fast, doesn’t it?
Just the other day I was standing in front of 200 students, talking about how I felt when I was interviewing Ricki Lake in Embrace the documentary. I was explaining to the students how bizarre it was for me to be interviewing Ricki and how in my head all I could hear were the words, “go Ricki, go Ricki”. I let out a little chuckle, but the room of students was silent; “tough crowd”, I thought, and then it dawned on me – no one in the room knew who Ricki Lake was!
And in the blink of an eye…
I am the older woman presenting to a room full of high school students! It felt like only yesterday I was tearing up the dance floor at the high school disco and now I’m a wife, mother of three, and almost 40!
I have similar feelings about Body Image Movement, I will never forget the first post I wrote on social media. It is so cringe-worthy, but in the interest of demonstrating growth and celebrating how far we’ve come, I will share it with you.
The post read:
“Hey, all welcome! It’s the humble beginnings of the Body Image Campaign…!! I set up this page so friends and friends of friends could use this space to share information/thoughts/opinions/links etc. on body image… Once there is a bit more content (and I have publicised my mission statement etc.) I will ask you to share this page with others, but for now, I just appreciate you “Liking” a page that isn’t much chop…chops are coming! (they’ve been on the barbie for nearly 2 years so I hope you like them well done!)”
Just saying: WTAF was I thinking?! The post got 14 likes and one share and from that, the Body Image Movement was off and running! We’ve come a very long way since then; today we have over half a million people in our community and it’s growing rapidly.
This month we are celebrating our birthday and we are going ‘behind the scenes’ to share some of the good times and the bad, starting below with a list of my highlights and lowlights from the past five years.
- Working two jobs in 2013 to fund the Body Image Movement and almost breaking myself in the process!
- Embrace being rejected by Toronto Film Festival, L.A Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival!
- Experiencing anxiety for the first time alone in a hotel room in New York City.
- Being away from my children when I travel.
- Having Ellen DeGeneres’ peeps ring me and pre-interview me, but not follow up – oh c’mon already! It feels like I’ve been asked out on a date but not taken out!
- Interviewing Harnaam Kaur for Embrace and listening to how much her brother meant to her, on the anniversary of my own brother’s death. It took all my strength to not lose my sh*t in that interview.
- Flying. Flying. Flying. Flying. Flying. Flying.
- Crowdfunding $331,000 through Kickstarter and making Embrace come to life.
- Being invited to the Sydney Film Festival and the New Zealand International Film Festival, and recently Canne – boom shakalaka.
- Dancing with Rick Astley and singing Never Gonna Give you Up backstage at Good Morning America!
- Hitting No. 1 at the German box office, beating Guardians of the Galaxy and King Arthur’s opening night in Germany!
- Getting thousands of women across Australia to ‘conga’ with me on my speaking tour with Business Chicks!
- Visiting Goondiwindi in outback Australia and seeing the entire town ‘Embrace’!
- Raising $78,000 (and counting) through our clothing and Embracelet collaboration with Birdsnest (100% of funds going towards our educational and social outreach program).
- Bumping into Olivia Newton-John on the red carpet in L.A and having her express how much she loved Embrace.
- Having Olivia Newton-John send a special, personalised video message to my parentals (who absolutely ADORE her!) #daughterbrowniepoints!
- Travelling across the U.S handing out thousands of $10 notes to people in the ‘Race to Embrace’.
- The Ellen dance-a-day (I’m going to bring this one back soon, I miss my daily dance!).
- Receiving a message from someone who was planning to commit suicide but didn’t because she watched Embrace and it gave her hope that she wasn’t alone.
- The thousands of hugs I get in supermarket aisles, the streets, and basically anywhere and everywhere I go!
- YOU! This community is my daily highlight. I am forever grateful for being surrounded by such glorious souls, I really mean it when I say I love you all!
- And of course, The Body Image Movement team (Mat, Kate, Prue, Bec, Michaela, Tamara and the 1000+ ambassadors (BIMGA’S) around the world). What a team and what a delight!
Happy days all! x
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