So let’s chat about something we all deal with, shall we? Body image. Do you love your body? Do you loathe your body? Are you somewhere in between?
On my best days, I feel like a strong, athletic goddess. On my worst, I feel like a squishy pile of lifeless marshmallow fluff. On the average day, I feel like an average person – decently fit, unremarkable, normal-looking. But can I truly say I love my body?
Today I was invited to an empowerment event called Love Your Body, held in L.A. at the Luxe Sunset Hotel. The creators of the event, Karen (of Karen Michelle designs, on Robertson) and Mia, emphasize developing healthy body image, wellness at all sizes, and positive interactions among and between all women (stuff TFB definitely stands for, too, by the way).
The day started with a showcase of amazing products presented by predominantly female entrepreneurs, including the awesome and utilitarian Sash Bags (one of which I am dying to have for my upcoming travels – so functional and cute!), Runway Kids boutique (some of the most fashion-forward yet age-appropriate kidswear I’ve ever seen), and Papa Ben’s Kitchen (the fanciest, tastiest biscotti you’ve ever tried).
From there, we sat down in the forum area to hear from Elise Joan of Red Diamond Yoga (which just so happens to be right by my house -score!) about her struggles with body image, and she shared one of the best quotes I’d heard in a long time about dealing with adversity:
“The barn’s burnt down, but now I can see the moon.”
I have to remember to use that one for particularly frustrating times (like right this second, when my barely two-year old Macbook Air has gone on the fritz – AGAIN – and this time the repair costs are almost as much as a new computer would cost…sigh). But I digress – back to the event!
After Elise, we heard from plus-size model (and real-life food addict, who was so candid and honest about her struggles with 6000+ calorie binges, bulimia, and yo-yo diets) Danika Brysha – and girlfriend was laying it down.
She’s seen/done it all – the anorexic size-zero fashion industry pressure, the binge-drinking coke-snorting party days – and emerged instead as a positive body-image role model and owner of a clean eating delivery service in NYC (Model Meals, check it out) who goes around the nation speaking about nutrition and fuel. Awesome, right?
After the speakers, we sat down (front row, b*tches) for the fashion show – the main event, if you will, showcasing models of all ages, sizes, and body types, in clothing designed and made by women.
Some of my fave looks came from a brand called Cali Free, a California-style fashion emporium with affordable clothes and laid-back vibes (yep, designer stuff that I can actually afford to purchase), although there were tons of cute, new designs
Watching everyone from the sweetest little girls to
the most bodacious and self-confident sassy ladies walk down the runway with flair was definitely the best part of the day. I kept thinking back to when I was a little girl and how excited I would have been to participate in an event like this (and let’s be honest, I would’ve probably asked them if I could do a back flip down the runway). What a truly great opportunity for young girls and women to connect through the universal language of (self) love.
Major thanks to my friend and fellow blogger over at Pugs & Pearls for inviting me (and hooking me up as “press”) to this event – I will definitely be back again next year.
That said, the event got me thinking about my question above: do I really love my body? Do I treat it with respect? Can I remember the compliments and forget the critics? Should I make food choices based on how I want to feel or just how I want to look? These are the tough ones. And these are the reasons that events like this, that help us silence the critical voices in our heads and focus on the positive, need to keep happening.
What motivates you to self-love? What activities/rituals/thoughts help you love your body?