I haven’t grown to love my scars. In fact, I loved them from the very first day I had them. I wasn’t ashamed of them. Instead I knew that they had given me life. Similarly, I embraced my bald head whilst going through chemotherapy – I saw a warrior when I looked in the mirror. I never saw a victim. I love my colostomy bag and everything it stands for; advances in medical science and ultimately life-saving surgery.
Yet if I were to believe what society and the media have told me then I would be feeling I very different way. I would view my scars as ugly and hide them from the world. My colostomy bag would be disgusting and I would feel ashamed. When I was bald I would have felt less of a woman.
Eh, hold on a minute. I don’t think so!
I have never felt more wonderful than I do today. I’ve never felt prouder of my body for all of the incredible things it can do and the fact that, most importantly, it is providing me with life. My body is incredible, and so is yours!
So, why does society tell us otherwise? Why do we feel we need to be a certain weight, not to be healthy but to be attractive? Why do we feel less than ourselves unless we look a certain way?
Where are all the role models telling us that our gorgeous ‘imperfections’ make us perfect?
When I was a little girl growing up every female role model looked a certain way. She had her pretty dress and her long perfect hair. She was beautiful and slim. The dolls I played with, the cartoon characters I admired… they were all the same.
Nothing changed when I became a teenager, or even when I became an adult. Everywhere I looked I was told that ‘beauty’ and ‘perfection’ looks a certain way.
Well, today I am wondering where are the cartoon characters with a little (or a lot) of curves on their hips? Where are the dolls rocking a short hairstyle, or no hair at all for that matter? Where are the models with scars? Where are the actors or actresses with colostomy bags?
Ultimately, where are the people teaching the next generation that being a warrior, being ‘different’ and ‘imperfect’ is much sexier than being ‘perfect’.
On my journey with stage four cancer, and now teaching yoga to children and adults, I always aspire to be the person I needed when I was growing up and so today I am wanting to challenge society’s perception of ‘perfect’ and encourage us all to embrace our beautiful bodies.
It took cancer, chemotherapy and MASSIVE surgery before I appreciated my body, and learnt to love it without bashing it every time I looked in the mirror or tried on new clothes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next generation just unashamedly loved themselves for who they are?
I want to see role models that real people can relate to. There needs to be a change and it starts with you the next time you look in the mirror and recognize how incredibly gorgeous, sexy and wonderful you are just as you.
You don’t need to look a certain way or weigh a certain weight. You don’t have to fit into a certain dress size or wear ‘the latest fashion’. You, just as you are, right now, are perfect. That breath you just took, that pulse in your veins, that is your body doing wonderful things to keep you alive. Isn’t that the most beautiful, magical and incredible thing ever? Wow, how lucky we are to have such amazing bodies.
Love and light, Fi xx
This post originally appeared July 7, 2017 on Fi Munro.