Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: #BodyUNAshamed project

Thursday, 7 August 2014

#BodyUNAshamed project

Body shaming.

You hear these words pretty often these days, but do any of us really appreciate just how much of it is going on all around us everyday?

A couple of weeks ago, I saw something on Facebook that really bothered me.

Nothing unusual there....I tend to come across things on Facebook that bother me on an almost daily basis, but this REALLY bothered me.

I follow a fair few magazine's on Facebook....and one of those magazines had put up a link to an article focusing on a young girl who had appeared on morning television to discuss the fact that she had paid rather a lot of money in an attempt to look more like Kim Kardashian.

Ok, I admit....when you first read that headline you may have some pre-conceptions about this girl, rightly or wrongly.

All of us are guilty of judging too quickly whether we admit to it or's human nature. We may make a conscious effort not to allow ourselves to do it, but we all tend to have instant ideas of a person form when we hear a tidbit of information such as this about them.

But once I clicked on to the article and read it, I started to understand why this girl had felt the need to do what she could to look more like a celebrity who inspired her....she discussed how she had suffered horrendous bullying based on her appearance for most of her life and how that has left her with very little confidence and some deep set body image issues.

She explained how she understood that spending money to look like a celebrity was probably not the best approach, but that it was the only thing that has helped her to feel more confident and more able to what's the problem, right?

It's her body, her life, her money and her decision.....who am I to question her? Who is anybody to question her?

I then clicked on to read the comments made on the article.....and that's where the shock came in.

There were 50 + comments....and only ONE was in support of this girl.

The other 49 comments were among the most horrific things I have ever seen said on the internet....and that's saying something.

They were calling this girl every name you can imagine, making assumptions about her level of intelligence, and....what I found the most shocking and upsetting...they were name calling her based on her appearance.

"Oh my god, I'd be asking for my money back love! You look more like Kanye West than Kim K!"

"Eurgh, fat ugly bitch! You wish!"

These were just two of the comments, and the rest were pretty much the same.

And what I found most shocking of all was the people making these comments.

They weren't the kinds of trolls I would expect.....they were all women, all looking to be between 25-45, and all appeared to be respectful family women.....wives, mothers, people you would expect to know better. Not mindless teenage bullies.

I ended up crying after reading the comments.

It made me despair for society.

If these women can read such an article.... read about how bullying remarks and cruelness based on her appearance have driven this girl to be so desperately unhappy with herself that she has resorted to spending thousands of pounds and undergoing drastic surgery in an attempt to reclaim her life....and then see fit to comment with such vile words, ridiculing her appearance, not caring that this sort of behaviour was what caused this problem in the first place....what hope is there?!

A lot of blame is placed on the media for promoting body shaming....and I do agree that a fair amount of blame lays there.

We've all seen the endless stories focusing on how long it's taken celebrities to "lose the baby weight", criticizing stars for "piling on the pounds" or being "too thin".

But the media can't be given all of the blame.

It's us....society....who have the choice of how to respond to this.

Why do any of us think we have the right to make any sort of comment on somebody elses appearance?

Why have we become so cold and so heartless, that some of us feel it's acceptable to attack a complete stranger on the internet based purely on how she looks...even though we've just read how much this behaviour has already damaged her in the past?

Personally, I've had enough.

I'm sick of this attitude, that we can all say whatever the hell we want to without feeling any responsibility or compassion for how our words might affect someone.

I hate the thought of my child growing up in such a heartless world, and I hate the thought that he may ever end up thinking that this is an acceptable way to be.

I decided to join in with the #BodyUNashamed project to do what I can to take a stand against this kind of behaviour.

I believe that each and every one of us holds beauty in our own way. We are all unique and it's our differences that should be celebrated, the things that make us who we are.

To take part in this project, I was teamed up with a blogger who I do not know....asked to take a look at her blog and social media, and list 3 things that I think are great about her.

I loved the idea of this because it just makes such a refreshing look at a stranger and highlight what stands out about them to me in a positive way is almost a completely unheard of thing to do, but imagine how much more positivity there would be in the world if we all did this more.

If, whenever we noticed someone wearing a great outfit, or with a really fantastic haircut, we actually took the time to compliment them on it.

Once or twice it's happened to me, where someone has come up to me in a supermarket and asked where my outfit is from because they liked cheered me up for the day. It made me feel so lifted just to know that somebody I didn't know had noticed me and liked what I had chosen to wear.

Such a simple thing, but so powerful.

Once my mood is lifted, perhaps I then go on to do or say something nice to someone else.....and a positive chain of reaction is put into place.

Worth a go, surely?

The blogger I have been paired with is Jasmin from JustLovelyLittleThings.

When I took my first glance at Jasmin....I knew my challenge wasn't going to be to find 3 positive things to say about her, but to narrow it down to only 3.

Firstly, As you can see..... Jasmin is stunning. A real natural beauty with a warm, welcoming smile. Blessed with flawless skin, pretty eyes and just a very pretty face. Lucky girl!

Secondly, I LOVE her style. 

Reading through her fashion posts has been such fun, like me she is a fan of classic screen icons such as Audrey Hepburn and this is reflected in many of her outfit choices.....she always looks classic but with a twist, and she is one of those people who seems to wear everything well.
She looks stylish and chic, but at the same time effortless.

And lastly, she has a perfectly placed beauty spot! I can't tell you how jealous this makes me as the Marilyn Monroe fan that I am....Jasmin's skin is absolutely stunning and this perfectly placed single freckle just sets everything off perfectly.

 I wasn't sure if it was pencilled on so I tried to scroll through some photos and I could see it in most so I'm pretty sure it's genuine (apologies if it's not!) is fantastic!
One of those things that truly makes a person stand out....that is a defining feature for them, and adds to their unqiueness.
I have one on my chin but the position isn't great (I could write more about my feelings on that but this is supposed to be a body positive post, so I won't!) but Jasmin's is just perfect....I am officially very jealous! ;)

Jasmin's blog is lovely and a great read, so do go over and have a read for yourself!

The second part of this project is harder for me, as it is to point out 3 things that you like about yourself.

I don't like to do this as it's built in to my psyche that people will read it and laugh at me, thinking nasty things....which probably comes from all the years of being bullied at school for being "ugly"....but I'm going to try.

1)I like my hair. I've never been very brave with it because it is possibly the only thing I do like, so I'm nervous of changing's always had lots of positive comments ever since I was a child. It's naturally blonde (which I used to dislike, but now I am grateful for!), and it's always been very long and very straight....which again I like.
Recently I have been dip dying the ends pink and although I go through phases of disliking it....I am mostly enjoying the change and having fun with the look!

2) I like my curves....kind of. This may be cheating a little because overall I am certainly not at ALL happy with my figure, but I don't mind it from a front view....if that makes sense?!
 I have a large chest, my frame goes in at the waist and out at the hips giving me an hourglass appearance when looked at front on.....(it all goes wrong from a side view as my arms and tummy are way too big! but when I look at my reflection front on, I am ok with it). I wouldn't want to not have a curvy appearance.

3)  I am genuinely stuck. I could list something else for the sake of the post but I can't see the point in lying because that's surely not the point of the project.
What I will say is that I recognise that this is a problem and that I need to try harder to be happy with I'll set myself the challenge of coming back to this in 6 months time and hopefully being able to list a third thing.

Having said that, although I can't think of a third physical attribute that I like, I will say that I love that my body is capable of producing such a perfect, beautiful thing as my son. That is pretty amazing!!! Go body!!!

(As part of this project, another blogger wrote about me from a strangers point of view and I was so touched by her take a look please visit her post HERE)

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  1. I'd be the same if I had to find 3 positive things about myself. Even thinking now I'm struggling to think of one, so well done you for finding 3! xx

  2. I would love to get involved in this. How do I go about it?

  3. I would be the same trying to find 3 positive things I like about myself.

  4. I really love your blog Hayley, I think that you are such a strong women that seems to stand up for what you believe :)
    Great post and very thought provoking

    Pam @

  5. I can't believe people say those things about someone else, it is truly horrid x
    Beautyqueenuk xx

  6. Thanks for introducing me to the #bodyUNashamed project - such a great idea,
    Since you can't think of 3, in the spirit of the project I'll suggest some myself: you have beautifully clear skin, you have some great clothes and you look like you're having fun (which is clearly the most important!)

    Hope that helps :-)


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