Article by Tamalyn Markwell
“The way we look at our bodies, is closely linked to our self worth, which in turn is linked to our confidence and resilience.”
Our personal and professional successes can be affected by these issues and our ability for happiness, stability and contentment. The pressures that we face, in terms of how we ‘should look’ has, in recent years reached saturation level. We are faced every day by the very successful marketing ploys that are designed to create an insecurity in order to create sales.
What am I going to do about myself? This question is common among everybody, male and female. To look upon advertisements, magazines, billboards and even the side of a bus is to take stock of ourselves and how we ‘look’ and ultimately if we will be ‘acceptable’ to others. Who are the authorities on how we ‘should’ look? Have a look around at advertisements, really look at them. Now that we are coming out of winter and into our more warmer months, count the number of advertisements that aim themselves at the shame of our ‘winter bodies’. Are we bikini ready?! This is just an example of the creation of an insecurity in order to create sales.
In a moment such as this, the moment when you find yourself thinking ‘am I good enough?’ ask yourself this; For what? And good enough for whom?
I am passionate about individuality and I realised at a very young age that individuality wasn’t celebrated, it was and is still looked upon as wrong or unacceptable. Sameness is celebrated and encouraged. The individuality I am talking about is our unique characteristics, skills and traits that we are born with, many people have never been aware of their amazing talents as they have never had the opportunity to find or use them. Our differences make us beautiful and our differences are there for a reason, the reason being our purpose. Knowing our purpose gives us wings. This is how I work with my clients, together, we uncover their innate talents, uniqueness and purpose and celebrate it, as it is so very worthy of it.
I have lofty ambitions, I want to see everybody celebrating their uniqueness, knowing who you really are is a way to find true and lasting success and contentment.
I will take this opportunity to talk about another aspect of my work, eating disorders. They are more common than people realise, and affects people of all ages and genders. Eating disorders can take a serious hold without anyone around them noticing. Of all the prolific myths surrounding these issues, the most worrisome is that it is a ‘girl thing’. Eating disorders can and do affect many Australians, male and female. Disordered eating and eating disorders are two very different situations. It takes specific training to recognise and work with both. I am passionate about this issue as it is something that is surrounded in stereotyping and is not as understood as it ought to be. Eating disorders and disordered eating can be turned around with commitment and space to truly be understood and respected.
“For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticise ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe that we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for one moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love” – Geneen Roth
Article by Kyla Holley from the Australian Centre for Eating Disorders