I made a promise to myself that I would always be real with you in these blog posts, so as the title of this session suggests, I will give you honesty. Here's my real talk. I am in a bad place today. I was in a bad place yesterday and thought I could sleep it off. I couldn't. Sometimes, you simply have a few shitty days. I have learned throughout The Body Project to be especially honest with myself at all times and to also share with others when I struggle because without those two things, we only further alienate ourselves from the ones we love and the ones who rally around us who may not be in our immediate environment. Here's what's up. It's summer break in the Wimer household (due to my husband being a teacher) and my positive, self-affirming, peaceful daily routine has been thrown into a whirlwind of different priorities. My sleep schedule is off. My eating habits are off. My journaling is quite low on the totem pole of importance, and I haven't been doing yoga. My skin looks horrible. My lower back aches. My jaw is sore. My hips are filling up with toxins. Tension is everywhere, emotionally and physically, between many people in my life. My focus has shifted to my ever-increasing summer work for katy daixon photography, settling the roommate we have been helping back into her own place, and planning July trips to ensure that we, and I, get at least one vacation this summer. Yes, these are full and rich parts of life, but they also make me ignore myself. The core of me. The me without the external.
Then I remember Sunday and the women who may or may not have uprooted themselves from a funk they were in to "fearlessly bare their bodies and hearts in the name of acceptance," as one woman so eloquently stated in her blurb. I remember the raw honesty that dripped from each woman's lips when they shared their stories--one woman still working on an identity after being the victim of molestation and rape, another almost backing out of the project because she felt like she wouldn't fit in due to her ever-present confidence, a few wanted so badly to bare everything but felt the need to hold back because of what it could do to their jobs, one woman cried because she feels more beautiful looking in a mirror than looking at herself in a photograph, another still struggles with comments others make when she expresses the need to work out even though she's skinny, and a woman who tailored her portrait to reflect a constant struggle with a disease in her family.
This shit is heavy. And these women are REAL. These stories are hard to share, but they shared. And they didn't judge. And they laughed. And we danced.
"Thank you for The Body Project. I fell in love with the mission, and the group quickly became a daily source of uplifting messages supplied by beautifully-minded women. You deserve to be proud of what you created. All women deserve to feel this way."
"As someone who has always felt most at home in the company of other women, I feel privileged to be a part of this community of ladies who have fearlessly bared their bodies and hearts in the name of acceptance."
"I don’t believe that being thin has made me perfect. Taking part in The Body Project was a challenge for me because I don’t believe in settling for what you have. I need to step up and be that person that I want to be. No one should ever again be able to make me feel bad about myself or my body because of their own beliefs in my thinness meaning that I do not have to try to make it better by having a healthy diet and exercising."
"The Body Project has opened my eyes, my ears, and my heart. I'm continually blown away by how many women struggle with body image and self-love. I thought only "fat" girls like me had qualms. I felt like the cheese standing alone my whole life, but throughout this project, I see time and time again that we are strong and united. I truly appreciate the open hearts and arms that the women in this group have. I thought I was confident. I thought I was brave. I didn't think twice about my shoot until I stood in front of the camera in my undies. Vulnerable. This shoot shook my world and my walls fell down around me, but those women were there to catch me on Sunday. I'm so truly grateful for this project and for this support - more than I think I'll ever realize."
"The Body Project via online really has made me start to think about society and body image--where we have been and where we are going, the images in the media, and how we set the standards for our girls."
"It was very freeing to be in a group of empowering women who pushed themselves past their comfort zones to send a message about body image. As the only girl who *didn't* strip down to her skivvies or birthday suit, I have mad respect for everyone who did! It was also great to realize that the women I didn't know beforehand cared about my story and they wanted to know more about it. It was definitely a day of bonding and self-growth!"
"This has given me confidence and passion for myself and my fellow sisters on this planet."
Remind yourselves that when ANY heaviness starts to push you down, you are not alone. You have the inspiration to pull yourself up and out and create the space where you will once again find your center.
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