Surgery, Botox or hairy legs… it’s YOUR choice!

I’m always tempted to start this fortnightly write up with “what a fortnight!” It would seem that every fortnight is as big and  bold as the last, either something really epic has happened or the planning and development of the next BIG idea has begun. There are always balls in motion and lots in the air and to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to be challenged and creating a global movement of positive change is definitely a challenge, but one that I’m up for!

I often get asked the question – ‘Don’t you feel overwhelmed at the enormity of what you are trying to achieve?’ And the answer is always NO.

I say this boldly and with conviction, not because I’m cocky but because I’ve spent years speaking to tens of thousands of people across the world and from the many discussions, stories exchanged and tears shared, I’ve discovered that we all want the same thing. We’re tired of worrying about being too fat, too thin and too old and we don’t want to waste any more of our precious time thinking about losing the last five kilos or defying age. We are ready to reclaim our bodies and push back against the toxic messages that are constantly thrown at us, we are ready to Embrace.

And what probably excites me the most is how powerful our collective energy is, it’s more powerful than most of us realise. I think for a very long time people have felt alone in their battle with their body and now through this movement, Embrace the documentary and the many many inspiring body positive warriors around the world, a new conversation has begun. And this new conversation is one of hope, empowerment and excitement. Hope because everyday women around the world are sharing vulnerable stories about their bodies which makes other women realise they are not alone. Empowerment because by sharing these stories (the good, the bad and the ugly!) it gives women permission to be kinder to themselves, to judge others less and it connects us more deeply to one another. And finally, excitement because the future looks bright when we are all on the same page, the page of love and acceptance, the page that celebrates diversity – not only in bodies but our choices too.

Speaking of choices, today I just kicked off a speaking tour in Australia for Business Chicks and this morning I had the great pleasure of presenting in a very sunny Perth! After my talk a woman came up to me and said “I inject women’s faces with Botox for a living, and I love what you are doing!” We hugged and had a very cool conversation about how even though our opinions of cosmetic surgery are very, very different, we agreed that we can both still be part of this body image movement. It reminded me of my interview on The Doctors that aired just a couple of weeks back. When I was sat next to the cosmetic surgeon I think the producers thought that we might battle it out somehow, but of course we didn’t. I acknowledged that surgery has made a lot of women happy and who am I to judge or question their decision?

This is the big question

Just this week at The Body Image Movement we received a message from a wonderful woman who wrote ‘Hello, I have a question. Why do people who say they embrace or are confident and secure in themselves still alter their natural appearance? Such as dye their hair or wax their eyebrows. It seems contradictory to me. Embracing yourself is embracing you so why are people still changing themselves? I’ve just stumbled upon this obstacle while trying to learn to embrace myself. I would appreciate some thoughts on this. Thank you!’

Our answer…

It really comes down to freedom of choice. If your choices are internally motivated and you are not feeling forced to adhere to others’ expectations then freely do whatever you want! Dye your hair, wear make-up or even have surgery. Your body your rules! You have the freedom to do whatever makes you feel good and what feels right for you.

And when you don’t conform to others’ expectations and when you make up your own rules it is the most liberating feeling EVER! Some days I feel like expressing myself with make up, I love putting on bright lipstick or wearing super thick Amy Winehouse inspired eyeliner and then other days I don’t wear make up at all. Recently I walked the red carpet with not a scrap of make up, simply because I didn’t feel like wearing make up on that particular day. Yesterday I probably took my expression too far when I wore two different pairs of shoes! But alas I don’t care… my body, my life, my rules!

Sometimes the physical choices we make can be misinterpreted as trying to fit into societies’ norms and trends. But if you make free choices to change your body, it doesn’t mean you are not happy with it, it just means you are trying out a different way to express yourself!

Also in response to the question “how can you change yourself and still embrace”…

…remember that for some people the notion of embracing their body is a new concept, and that ones’ capacity to Embrace comes in many forms and many different levels. I consider myself a hard core Embracer loving every inch of who I am and this fabulous body but every month I still dye my hair blonde because I love being blonde and to be honest it’s such a habit – I’ve been doing it for 20 years! I change part of my body and “I have embraced”! Life isn’t black and white, there can be lots of grey, and after all we are human beings – we are very complicated creatures!

It sounds really woo woo but for us to all progress forward together in creating this movement we need to judge less and love more – sounds pretty simple huh? But there’s one thing I know, our desire to want to love and embrace our bodies is so strong and runs so deep that we just need to pivot in the right direction towards making better and kinder choices about how we treat ourselves and value our incredible bodies. The BIM team is working on a project to help you take the next steps to embracing… the ball is in motion… actually it’s high up in the air and I can’t wait to share it with you all. For now I must board my flight back home to my babies (and new puppy!). Until next time – observe your choices with curiosity, and know that you have the freedom to be your own fabulous self!

Love Taryn x

P.S. If you need a gentle yet firm encouraging push in the direction of your goals and dreams, consider the Body Lovin’ Guide e-book. This 40 page guide will help you on the road to body lovin’ covering everything from the basics of understanding body image all the way through to changing the way we think, understanding ourselves and making the changes to lead you on a path to loving your body as a vehicle to your dreams! FIND OUT MORE