Friday, 4 December 2015

I will not let you body shame me! #beYOUtiful

On Instagram last night I shared something, not thinking it would gather much interest in the sea of posts with the same #beYOUtiful hashtag, but it did! (81 notes, and 35 comments) So  much so that I feel overwhelmed with the love and support I've been shown and all without a word of nastiness or hate. I want to share it here as well and elaborate a little more on it.
This is my stomach, the photo taken on my iPhone at around 10pm last night to upload onto IG as a part of the beautiful warriors challenge presently going on. We share real and raw facts and images about ourselves based on daily prompts. You can find out more about the challenge by checking out Cuchira.

The prompt for the day was to go nude but I couldn't bring myself to do that, so instead I posted a photo of a very sensitive area of my body.

This is what accompanied it:

"I'm not going to be naked. Not fully because I can't. But what I will share and will share PROUDLY is this. This is my stomach right now, after carrying and giving life to two beautiful babies. What do people see when they look at me? Well of course that I'm fat, and I have ugly crooked teeth, among other things. And if I'm honest that is how I see myself. At least from the outside. What is inside however is a soul who is searching for its purpose in this life, and striving every day to be a better person however I can. I have always been the larger friend in the group, and that person who people keep around to make themselves feel better about their size and looks. I look back on photos of a younger self and want to vomit. At my lightest I was 61kgs, and a size 10 but even then I was curvy and never 'stick thin' or 'ideal'. 
This year I found @anastasiaamour, and she changed everything. I no longer choose to place value on myself, or my abilities as a human, or as a mot
her, on my appearance. I also no longer consider myself an object that must appease to others' senses of beauty. 

Could I be healthier? Yes, I can. But only to FEEL good for myself, and not to LOOK good for you. 
It's not easy seeing all these lovely goddesses post their bodies on Instagram tonight, but it doesn't matter that I think another person is perfect and that they have 
nothing to worry about. That's silly, it's none of my concern. People are always going to have insecurities and it's not my place to judge another's as they might judge me. 

Mums, if you're there... Don't let me be on the only with tiger stripes to show tonight. You've earned yours, and you are a goddess just like me.#selfacceptancestartswithyou#Tigerwhohasearnedherstripes#bodyimageisimportant#weareallfabulous #beyourselfalways"

I received comments such as 
You are fucking awesome💜 
Love this Tash!!! So proud of your stance!! I feel your courage through your words!! Positive thoughts your way....for the rest of the day!!! 

Love this!!! Radical empowerment is what you just showed!!! And yes honey... Earned!!

And this one from my body image idol, Anastasia Amour

"This post is amazing - I'm so so proud of you!"

Anastasia then went on to share my image and my words on her Facebook page (see it here)
I am truly touched by all these words of empowerment! Mummy-tummies are not something to be ashamed of! And we need to stop this idea that the changes our bodies go through when pregnant and after childbirth are  bad changes, or something to be hidden away. They simply aren't. Not everyone gets stretch marks, and of course you don't have to have been pregnant to get stretch marks. I am personally prone to them and have had them since my teens, even at a size 10 I had them! No amount of slathering on shea butter or coconut oil stopped them from appearing. I will repeat over and over and over again for as long and as loud as I need to: YOUR BODY IS YOURS, AND YOURS ALONE. Whatever you do to it, however you treat it, whatever you think of it is all you. Nobody has the right to ever make you feel like you are not entitled to the amazing, beautiful, and perfect you that you are. We only get one skin in the lifetime and it is worth learning to love it! Xx

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