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

In 2017 I kicked off a speaking tour in Australia for Business Chicks and 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. When I was sat next to the cosmetic surgeon, I think the producers thought 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…

Recently at The Body Image Movement (BIM) 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 do whatever you want! Dye your hair, wear makeup 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.

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 makeup; I love putting on a bright lipstick or wearing super thick Amy Winehouse inspired eyeliner but other days I don’t wear makeup at all. Recently I walked the red carpet with not a scrap of makeup, simply because I didn’t feel like wearing it on that particular day. However, I probably took my expression too far when I accidentally 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 society’s norms and trends. 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!

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 one’s 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 greys, and after all, we are human beings – we are very complicated creatures!

What 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. 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 connects us more deeply to one another. 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.

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? There’s one thing I know: our desire 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. My BIM team has created the Embrace You 4-week online program to help you take the next steps to embracing and I am excited to share it with you all. For now, I must board my flight back home to my babies. 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

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