Be the Change.

Points to ponder from ‘Embrace’ the documentary

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Be the change.  Last night I watched ‘Embrace’ the documentary – acknowledging body diversity and highlighting the impact of how much less than positive body image affects people, mostly women.

Taryn Brumfitt does a great job – as she describes, she was ‘compelled’ to know more after her ‘not typical before and after’ photos went viral.  They didn’t go viral because she was a smart woman, a loving wife and capable mother of three, but rather because her photos showed that she was at a better point in her life when she was ‘bigger’ rather than when she was at her thinnest.

I won’t say any more, I don’t want to spoil the show, because you should see it, as should every young person, boys included – positive body image isn’t just about the girls in our society.

Taryn, as part of the Body Image Movement is doing lots of amazing stuff, but I believe as the most important component, she has made it her mission to get ‘Embrace’ the documentary into schools.  This is an area we need to help to create positive change in celebrating body diversity and encourage positive body image.

Here’s my top 5 points for you to ponder:

  1. Society is us – you often hear ‘society’ referred to as something that is out of our control, but is it really?  We are the people who shape the lives of those around us – we are society and if we want to see or make a change in ‘society’, it has to start with us!
  2. We need to love our bodies – Taryn words it well – “…our bodies are not ornaments, they are vehicles for our dreams….’  And this takes practice.  How good would it be if we were measured for doing the things that make you happy, being a good role model, creating something that we are proud of or contributing to ‘society’ rather than what we look like.  This is the message we want to send our young people, especially our girls.
  3. Life is too short to compare your body to someone else’s – especially if it’s the excessively photoshopped model you see on the magazine cover.  The unobtainable image is just that, unobtainable.  And you don’t have to look far to realise how fragile life can be – take some time to stop giving yourself a hard time.
  4. Even ‘the perfect girls’ don’t believe they are perfect – what if you did have ‘your perfect body’ and you were miserable?!! Skinny DOES NOT equal happy.
  5. We choose to make either the positive or negative attitudes contagious – Which one will you choose?  Not only choose, but send as a message to our young people?

Our bodies are our friends and our homes – how about you try being as compassionate to ourselves as we are our dear friends, share stories and the message we are all beautiful, just as we are.

#Ihaveembraced

Could you be a Pyjama Angel?

As adults, we have a responsibility to protect our children.  It is like an unwritten rule of adulthood, really, isn’t it?  As is the belief that every child has the right to be loved, cared for and believed in? Nod, if you agree…..  While you are nodding, I want to tell you that:

This Friday is Pyjama Day and it is a fundraiser for the Pyjama Foundation.

Since 2004 the Pyjama Foundation has been all about positively impacting the lives of children in care.  The Foundation largely achieves this through a volunteer staffed, learning based mentoring arrangement, called The Love of Learning Program©.

Here’s what the Pyjama Foundation says about it:

The Love of Learning Program© was developed by The Pyjama Foundation to empower children in foster care with learning, life skills and confidence to change the direction of their lives.

The Love of Learning Program©, sees meticulously screened, trained and matched volunteers (aka Pyjama Angels) visit the same foster child for 1.5 hours each week.  Some of these relationships have spanned many years, bringing that feeling of being cared for and believed in for those children in care all the while, improving their literacy and numeracy! Double win.  This amazing program can only continue with the support of funding – enter Pyjama Day!

If you go to this link, you can see a clip of a young girl who was lucky enough to secure a Pyjama Angel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=3Tw3l7YajH0

Just two other points to note:

  • Foster carers – day after day, they tirelessly give their time and love and care.  The gifts that the carers also bring to children in care are remarkable.  A massive shout-out and thank you to every single foster carer!
  • There are approximately 43000 children in care in Australia (as per Pyjama Foundation’s website) – could you think about donating some time to this vulnerable group to become a Pyjama Angel or some money to make a donation??  If you were interested in finding out more, simply, go to http://www.thepyjamafoundation.com

While most of us take for granted our circle of security, there are so many children in care who need help to learn life skills and gain confidence.

It might be too late to do much advertising for Pyjama Day this Friday, but you could still get involved!!

  1. Go to http://www.thepyjamafoundation.com/nationalpyjamaday/ for all the details of registering your event.  (You can even do it on another day if you prefer to get more people on board!)
  2. Get your workplace to wear their night attire and bring a donation to the cause.
  3. After the day, count up your generous donations and go to https://donation.giveeasy.org/the-pyjama-foundation to put in your details of the donation – every little bit counts to help our children in care.

Thanks!

Challenge accepted??

It seems right that because it is International Women’s Day today, that my topic should somehow be related.  Challenge accepted – it shouldn’t be too hard, I am lucky enough to be currently, and have been in the past, surrounded by many strong women.  Odds are you have been too, perhaps its just that you didn’t know?!!

What does a strong woman look like anyway?

Do they all look the same??

Have you ever asked your female friends about what has made them strong?

Or how they came to be as determined as they are?

Who are the strong women in your life??

I’ve seen a few posts today about strong women, perhaps my favourite ‘…may we be them, may we know them and may we raise them’  I do love this – it simply describes so much about a strong woman.  Not only do strong women need other strong women, but also that we need to show our daughters, nieces, our friends daughters and anyone other young women who look up to you, how to be strong women.

Being strong isn’t just about lifting heavy things.  Being a strong woman living in 2016 and beyond, is about knowing what you are emotionally and physically capable of and putting those capabilities into action.  But it’s contextual – strength most certainly looks different on every single woman.

In my mind, strength is about being relentless and believing in hopes and dreams.  It’s about falling down, but knowing whose hand to ask for and how you need to hold onto it to get back up.  It’s about fully understanding yourself and being aware that you are in control.  And lastly its about firmly keeping a grip of what matters, regardless of what’s going on around you.

Sadly though, regardless of how strong we are , in our society, men and women are not viewed as being as strong as each other.  In fact, the World Economic forum sees true gender equity as something that will not happen in this century???  What the??  I don’t know about you, but that horrifies me and I want to take some definite action!!

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is a ‘Pledge for Parity’.  I’ve taken this pledge and this blog is hereby dedicated to inspiring others to do the same – go to http://www.internationalwomensday.com to do your bit!

So you take the pledge, then what?  I tell you what, here’s what I think – the best way forward from here is to continue to respect and value women, celebrate their successes and have your bestie’s back….challenge accepted??