Many of you know I hosted a movie called 'Embrace' at the beginning of the year - the topic was body positivity. From that a lot of amazing things happened, one was a call from "Squirrel Sisters" two powerful young ladies creating yummy snack foods. They asked if they could interview me about how to get some body love for the readers of their website and of course I agreed. It was a fun interview and if you want to know more about how to actually do 'body love' you will enjoy this interview below...
Body loathing… it’s an issue for lot of us in fact 91% of women hate their bodies, which is a shockingly scary statistic! We all know what it’s like to have a bad day, when you look in the mirror and think “urghhhh” but for a lot of us the issue goes way beyond one ‘off’ day. The scary thing is that body loathing has become so normal that a lot of people don’t even realise they have an issue. Some classic signs are; excessive working out, analysing everything you eat, eating too much one day so starving yourself the next, exercising for an extra hour because of that muffin you had for breakfast, feeling guilty if you have some chocolate mid week, avoiding social occasions so you don’t have to eat… the list goes on!
One of the biggest causes of body loathing is the fact that the world has led us to believe that thin=healthy, thin=pretty, thin= happy, thin=good… complete and utter BS! But why is ‘thin’ on a pedestal? Why are some people’s biggest life goals to be ‘thin’? The answer to this is simple… women are exposed to the pressures of ‘thin’ every day; whether it’s reading a magazine with an over photoshopped model, walking past shops and seeing tiny mannequins or posters of barely adolescent girls modelling the clothes grown women are supposed to be wearing… these pressures are everywhere so of course we are going to feel inadequate and bad about ourselves from time to time.
We recently got the chance to go and see the film ‘Embrace’ by body activist Taryn Brumfitt, which was a real eye opener for us and left us feeling deeply moved and saddened but most importantly we left feeling empowered. Women can sometimes be each others worst enemies when it comes to body shaming and loathing, we need to join together and put and end to this, because there is so much more to life than being thin; stop comparing yourself and others to images that aren’t even real, be kind to each other and yourself because women are amazing and all that matters is that you are healthy and happy.
We got in touch with Jacqueline Hurst who has helped promote the film in London to ask some questions about the growing issue of body loathing.
Jacqueline is a trailblazing ‘mind’ expert, knowledgeable public speaker and ground breaking life coach. Her worldwide success is based in her unique approach and coaching methods. Jacqueline works in her private practice helping clients with a wide variety of issues and specialises in emotional eating and body image. She has been featured in leading media titles including The Sunday Times, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Harpers Bazaar, The Oprah Winfrey Network and she regularly talks internationally, for leading brands including Clinique, Eve Lom, Lulu Lemon, Sweaty Betty, Matches Fashion, Space NK and Liberty on issues of the mind. Her online school, ‘The Life Class’ is also paving the way for a new generation of self-development for both people who wish to become life coaches themselves or, for those of us who want to simply learn how to live more optimally for ourselves, by thinking, behaving and acting with a higher degree of emotional intelligence. Jacqueline’s private practice can be found at www.jacquelinehurst.com and her school is www.thelifeclass.com
Q&A with Jacqueline Hurst
1) Why do you think women have such an issue with their bodies? Is it the medias fault?
I don’t think it is just the media’s fault but they are not exactly helping either! I think for years women have been brainwashed by TV, Media, fashion houses, and ultimately, large marketing budgets for huge businesses for gyms, slimming products. etc., Women are taught from an early age that they are ‘not good enough’ and need to be ‘thin’ in order to be worthy or lovable or good enough. It’s a mixed bag of tricks and messages really, that has been subliminally and quite obviously passed onto women.
2) Is the biggest cause of body loathing the fact that women hate their size and just want to be thin?
People hate their bodies because ultimately they have been taught to do so as per the paragraph above. They think their shape/size is the key to happiness. If I am thin I will be happy. It’s a trick and it isn’t true.
3) What kind of extremes are women that have body loathing issues going to?
So many. Exercise addiction, othorexia, anorexia, binge eating, diet pills, gastric banding etc. the list goes on….
4) You said 50% of 6-10 year old girls are on a diet, which is devastating! How is this possible? Have these little girls got this issue from their parents or is it because they have access to media images/social media that’s making them body conscious or is it for another reason?
Exactly, it is from both. Being in a society that is brainwashed into believing thin is good and anything other than that means you are not worthy or lovable or whatever it might be, is the cause. This brainwashing is passed down from generation to generation and then add media, tv, etc on top of it and bang you have the answer.
5) For the parents out there with children that have signs of body loathing, what advice would you give to them to prevent it getting worse and turning into an eating disorder?
its really important to talk to them, be open and honest and help them understand that body loathing is the wrong choice and start to help them see what their body can do (run, jump, play etc.). Its also important for them to get help making sure it is the right help!
6) Would you consider any obsession with food an eating disorder?
7) We’ve spoken about women and little girls having issues with body image but is this issue also relevant for men?
Absolutely and in the last 5 years I have started to see more men in my office for this too. For men its about the six pack and being ‘big’. For women its about being ‘small’. Its fascinating when you get behind the why.
8) For the 91% of women out there that hate their bodies, what advice do you have for them?
Talk to someone about it and to challenge your beliefs. Ultimately body love is a choice and hating your body is always the wrong choice. You do have a choice to step away from the brainwashing once you are able to understand that you have been brainwashed! You have to unlearn a lot and relearn how to treat yourself. I don’t think we were all born just to have a small ass, we are all here for much much much more.
EMBRACE, the movie Synopsis:
Despite being happily married and successfully juggling motherhood while running a thriving photography business, Taryn Brumfitt was privately struggling with crippling body image issues. Close to resorting to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ her post-childbirth body, Taryn decided that what she really needed to change was not in fact her body, but her attitude towards it.
This was the beginning of the Body Image Movement (BIM), a now internationally recognised crusade that was founded on the belief that your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams. BIM believes that everyone has the right to love and embrace their body, regardless of shape, size, ethnicity or ability.
By travelling the globe, headed by founder Taryn Brumfitt, the Body Image Movement is working to put an end to body loathing and spread the message of body loving.
You can see the full interview here and don't foget to keep posted for my next screening of Embrace.