My dream to heal with photography has been taking a break over the holidays.
I’ve been trying to be in the moment with my son and family. But even when I’m not “at work” I still find myself thinking about how to change body image.
I’m trying to decide if I’ll make resolutions this year or do what I normally do and make a check list of short term and long term goals. I’m kind of a freak about checking things off. So satisfying.
If you’re trying to make changes in the New Year you’ll find the most amazing information about learning how to motivate yourself in our fearless leader Catherine’s blog The Secret of Making Your Dreams Come True. I’m doing the exercises myself.
I’m happy even though my life may not be perfect.
And I’m more committed than ever to help girls and women move forward with peace and love towards themselves. We can all work together to change body image. On that note…
I’m super duper stinking excited to announce one of my BIG, GIANT, DREAM goals for 2014. This idea is inspired by Rayne Wolfe and every 8 Women Dream Sister past and present. It’s inspired by the women in the photos. And every woman who has shared her story with me.
I’m going to write a book about how to change body image!
It will be the accounts of many women. We can learn from each those who have made progress. We can learn from the stories that set us back. Imagery will play a strong part though I haven’t decided how.
I want to find women who have overcome things that would hold others back. I want to talk with girls about how they see their mothers, and see if their mothers can hear what their daughters say. I want to interview women here and create a community where we can discuss our fears and diffuse their power. Self-esteem and body image are lifelong journeys and we need to see all the sides so that we can tackle our demons. If you have a story you want to share please comment here with the best way to reach you.
We can do it together. We can lift each other up.
I’ve been blessed with a network of women, friends and family who have all helped me survive a year that almost swallowed me whole. I want to pay that forward.
I’m trying not to over plan this endeavor. I know these things take on lives of their own. I’m eager to learn more about publishing, more about how women see themselves, more about myself.
I would like to end with a wish/hope/dream for you. May we make 2014 the year we change body image.
May you find the little voice that says, “I’m beautiful.” Even when some closed hearted person says you’re not. May you tune out every person that says fat, chubby, or skinny.
Ignore every ugly comment, every unattractive word and every not-good-enough judgement that spews from an ignorant or uncaring mouth. Even if that uncaring mouth is your own. May we retire the degrading language we’re all too quick to poison ourselves with: camel toe, muffin top, giant zit, thunder thighs, disgusting, gross, frumpy and ugly.
May you tell your reflection what you would tell your dearest BFF.
Daughters: when your parents embarrass you by telling you how pretty you are listen because many people will come into your life and make you question yourself. Mothers: when your children tell you how beautiful you are for the love of God listen. If your four year old son sees your bed head and your wrinkled nightgown and says, “Mommy you’re SO bee-yoo-ti-ful” instead of telling him he’s wrong, grab him up in an embrace, bury your face in his neck and thank God for giving you a child who can see your true self.
Parents, don’t put your daughters on shaming diets if they gain a few pounds. Lead by example and teach her how to satiate herself with whole healthy foods. Teach her it’s ok to have a treat now and then. Give her the gift of a healthy relationship with her body. You’ll prevent eating disorders and keep her away from unhealthy relationships that feed on low self-esteem.
If you can be kinder to yourself in this New Year, you’ll be happier and kinder to those around you. I have no doubt that you’ll reach for your dreams and surpass what you’ve hoped. I’ll check in with you this time and place in a year!
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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