I love nothing more than being a sweaty betty or feeling like I can barely walk after a tough session. This is my reality. I know my face goes so weird, like almost twitches when I lift a really heavy barbell or when I am power cleaning 60kg. This is my reality.
I want to see a fair representation of realistic bodies for all women so girls and women all over the country can see someone who looks like them and make them feel not only more normal but possibly beautiful as well.
Dropping the word plus won't make a runway dress fit. The change for more plus models in mainstream campaigns and publications can only happen when the way sampling is done changes, actions and sample sizes here in this case will really speak louder than words.
I have strong feminist views simply because I don't understand why, in 2015, when you can do things like print out a spare pair of kidneys, or have your Amazon delivery float through the sky into your lap, women still aren't equal in our society.
I used to say to myself: "When I feel comfortable in my own skin, then I'll be happy"; "When I feel comfortable in my own skin, then I'll get the job I really want." But everything I was doing in my life was sabotaging my goal for ever reaching that place, plus I know now how backwards my thinking was.
The slow shift in perceptions by brands like Dove all help. But it's not enough. We need radical measures to force the industry to change their norms, so they represent normal healthy women in their campaigns and so they are providing positive role models to fragile teens.
Let's be honest. No matter how much we all try to pretend to love hitting the gym, most of us (save a superhuman few) find exercising a complete and utter chore. That's why we're dedicating the entire month of April to fitspiration, where we hope to inspire our readers (and ourselves) to get fit and embrace sport by instilling positivity and realistic goal setting.
When the chips are down or things are not going exactly according to plan that's when you know you are truly living life, for I believe it is life's challenges and obstacles that make us see where we are and where and how we need to move forward.
We have created a self-esteem vicious circle. Schools don't nurture hobbies and passions that make teens feel worthwhile when their natural confidence is plummeting. It is these very activities - and not just hardcore sport, chess, golf, zumba, violin, that construct enduring self-belief. Instead they are ditched for instagram, selfies and thigh gap comparisons.
I am not blaming ANYONE for causing my illness. However, I do think such magazines should be more positive about every body type. Maybe they could talk in terms of nutrition not new 'diet trends', so young people understand what healthy food is doing for them. And just maybe they could help encourage us to love ourselves?
A drive to improve the way one looks is often the precipitating factor that causes one to begin yoga or any kind of new workout regimen. Of course, we can usually see the positive health benefits, too, but oftentimes, outer appearance is what first motivates us to change.
Neon Moon's body-positive, un-photoshopped ads are great. I love them. But we need to stop throwing around the word 'feminist' as some sort of watered-down synonym for 'good-for-women-in-some-way-ish'. And we really need to think before slap it on products.
You can tell people that their appearance isn't the most important thing but if what they're seeing elsewhere in society and in the news, magazines, TV and the internet completely contradicts that, who will they believe?
I am a young mum (29 is still young, right?) but these signs that motherhood has given me makes me feel old. I wonder almost every day why women have to bear the burden of perpetuating life on earth?
All the promises and commitments to giving girls a better future and empowering women to do more are thrown out the window when they are then used as clothes horses. What message does that send to our teen daughters!?
Two days before my daughter's first birthday, my to-do list read like this. 1) Cake. 2) Presents. 3) Dig out sagging pre-pregnancy swimming costume and go for a dip in the local pool, the whole thing filmed in close-up with a strategically positioned bright light highlighting every normally-hidden flaw.