I wrote this post in my journal on Monday morning, and have been anxiously awaiting the launch since! Here we go. :)
Sunday's session was a breath of fresh air that came and went so quickly, I barely had time to process. There were ten women and almost all of them arrived at the same time, so the chatter instantly filled the room. The age range had quite a span that day--early 20s to early 40s, with topics of conversation such as kids vs. non-kids, nudity within families, fatkinis, auto-immune disorders, squishy knees, and my legit Snapchat of myself rockin' out to I'm So Fancy by Iggy Azalea. ;) Needless to say, Sunday was fun and seemingly effortless.
I felt an air of acceptance--of each other and themselves. If people were nervous, I couldn't tell. As we sat and discussed our affirmations, a sense of conclusion (despite having a few sessions left) washed over me. These women in front of me discussed their "problem areas" and self-image like they had taken the reins and taken charge of who they are and how they feel. I don't know if this is why these women signed up for one of the last sessions on the schedule, or if they needed all this extra time to ask themselves if they were ready to love themselves and learn to let go, or if they simply benefited from the healing, positive energy of others over the last six or seven months. In any case, it was magical.
All of you kick so much ass and have done an amazing thing for yourself and others. Thank you all for being you--filled with darkness and light, negatives and positives, fatness, skinniness, differently shaped breasts, butts, thighs, and bellies, strong minds, anxious minds, stubborn minds, and calm minds. I love and respect you all.
These images are awesome, and I can't wait to share some of these ladies' stories in future blog posts.
"The Body Project has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and embrace my ever changing body."
"I've learned that there are communities of like-minded women that are frustrated with the status quo, that want to see change in the way we are represented in the media, and want to have positive relationships with themselves and others."
"The Body Project has helped me open up who I am to other people. It's okay to share your insecurities with others!"
"The Body Project has opened my mind to the struggles of my fellow women. It has made me more aware and empathetic to other peoples' struggles. I am surprised by some things other women see as 'flawed' in themselves. It has helped me understand that accepting myself wholly is necessary to live a fuller and more gratifying life."
"This helped me realize that I'm not the only one who has struggled with an eating disorder! Also, I think for the future, seeing women's bodies at different stages will help me accept my body more at different times in my life."
"It's been amazing, inspiring, and eye-opening to watch the blog and see real women!! It's made me realize that I am not only 'normal' but completely okay with who I am and how I look!"
"This has given me the confidence to talk about body issues and has given me awareness of societies views."
"This has been an amazing experience! I'm social phobic, and I was able to strip down to my bikini in front of a group of people. Everyone was encouraging and wonderful. I'm convinced, 100%, that EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL."
"It has been so inspiring to see so many women grow and change. I am so proud to be a part of this project--which has given me the confidence to know--'it's okay to love myself-just the way I am.'"
"This project has helped me progress much quicker on my journey of self-love. It is inspiring to see so many women embrace their bodies in a positive manner."
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