Below is a letter that I recently posted on Facebook introducing my body appreciation doodles to my family, friends and colleagues. I thought it might also be good to post here on the blog because felt it expresses my justification for creating these little body characters, some of my own personal struggles in having the confidence to share these publically, and my aspirations going forward.
My dear friends, family and colleagues,
I wanted to share something I’ve been working on for 6 months, and I haven’t really said much about. Ben tells me I must start to put myself out there a bit more (this may be a longish post).
12 months ago I started working in an Eating Disorder treatment centre here in CA. It had a big influence on me as a dietitian. It was a penny drop moment I suppose, where I realised my health communications were potentially causing the triggering for individuals with, and at risk of developing eating disorders, but also contributing to a culture of food preoccupation in our society.
At the same time I was chipping away at my PhD which a large component of is exploring the effect of social media on body image – as you can imagine, the results so far aren’t exactly positive.
I started to develop a plan to introduce different ways that I can contribute safely, to support body image in individuals while here in the USA which moves away from food & body-related images. I was also really homesick at the time too so I started to draw as a way to take my mind off my own stuff going on that focused on a positive outlet.
Anyway, I started creating these doodles (comic style characters) as a way of celebrating the things our body does for us, to support us in life. To humanise our body, its flaws, character traits, unique abilities, and to give them a voice. Something that that is universal to all of us are our organs and body parts. Sometimes they let us down, but through them, I hope to inspire body compassion and kindness.
I’ve added a link to my website (you’re already here 🙂 and would be delighted if you’d check it out. It’d be great to get your thoughts, please let me know if this resonates or not. I also send out a weekly newsletter which shares body image news and research while I’m working through my PhD too.
I really think we can change the world for the better, and this is my contribution.
Thanks for listening,