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Marcia Barhydt Headshot

Body Conflict

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I have a lot of conflict -- inner conflict -- about my body. I write about how so many of us dislike our bodies, or at least dislike parts of our bodies. Because we can all be so negative about ourselves and because we're often our own worst enemy, I think that we need to start accepting and loving our bodies, no matter what their shape. Easier said than done.

There are a couple of notable projects addressing this very topic. One project is The Full Body Project led by Leonard Nimoy. Remember him? Mr. Spock on Star Trek? Well, he's moved on from being a Vulcan to being a photographer of influence and style.

The Full Body Project is a gift to us from Nimoy. A gift that maybe will help us accept our bodies. It's a long overdue celebration of women of size. And they're all naked. Stark naked. They're photographed by Nimoy in an extraordinary collection of poses shouting out how proud they are of their bodies and how beautiful they feel in their bodies in spite of the advertising industry's supposed perfect body of a very young, very airbrushed, very thin woman. Imagine loving your body even if it doesn't fit in to a prepared mold.

To be incredibly honest about this amazing collection, when I first glanced at it, I too was judgmental. How sad is that, especially coming from an advocate of women making their own choices?

So let me redeem myself by directing you to a short viral video done by Dove called "Evolution." You'll see all the work that's done to a model's face before a shoot plus all the Photoshopping that's done on her after the shoot. It's a strong message to all of us who have sometimes buckled trying to look like a poster girl. It seems to take a small posse to turn a naturally pretty girl into a model.

WATCH: 'Evolution'



Finally, a beautiful young woman named Stella Boonshoft has started her own website, The Body Love Blog, that included a photo of her on the homepage wearing a bikini. It was accompanied by the text:

WARNING: Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. Well I'm not going to stand for that. This is my body. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your fucking business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR F..KING BUSINESS.

Brava for you, body lover.

My instinct tells me that not only is change possible, but change is already happening. We need to continue to support all necessary change in order to move ahead as role models spurning skinniness for our daughters and granddaughters.

It's time to make changes. Let's go!

©Marcia Barhydt, 2012