I can’t really remember when it all began. All I know is that for as long as I can remember I have felt self conscious in front of the camera and if anyone ever managed to snap a picture of me, I was bound to feel unhappy with the result. It’s kind of the same with receiving compliments, i’ve never been good at that to be honest! I remember at college a friend said I looked nice that day, to which I laughed and scoffed, as if it were some sort of backhanded compliment. He remarked how strange it was that I was unable to accept a well intentioned compliment. Twenty years has gone by, and to be honest, not much has changed.
Living in a digital age, surrounded by images of stereotyped ‘perfection’ and ‘beauty’, makes the struggle to accept yourself even more challenging than ever before. All around us, are messages telling us who to be and what to buy. Sometimes it becomes difficult to know who you are, and what you want.
I want to be me.
I want to be proud of who I am.
I want to not care what other people think.
I want to look back at my photographs and remember precious moments with my family and friends.
This is why I got together with two of my amazing Instagram friends, Jo @TeamWorrall and Sarah @SnowdropsAndRainbows to create the hashtag #BeProudRightNow. We wanted to encourage all the amazing mums we know to get in front of the lens, and be present in their photographs, now and for years to come.
Be Mindful and be Present
Mindfulness can help us gain control and perspective on anxieties and fears. This results in a healthier, happier you and a happier parent. Mindful behaviour can keep your thoughts in a more positive place instead of them travelling in a direction you so not wish them to go. With a little practice, mindfulness can help us live in the moment and be thankful for our everyday and precious moments.
If you want to know some of my top tips for being a more mindful mum you can read about it on my blog post: How to find your pause button.
Be Mindful With Your Language
This is a tough one. It is such a challenge to get a balance with the language we use around peoples appearance. As someone that has struggled with their weight all their life, I have heard a multitude of phrases over the years that don’t sit quite right. When you lose weight, people start to tell you “you look amazing”, “I didn’t even recognise you” or the classic phrases that become synonymous with being overweight “she’s just bubbly, it suits her” or the reverse “she’s not as much fun since she lost weight”. Some people will be reading this and rolling their eyes, wondering what exactly my point is.
The point is that when you are overweight, society treats you in a certain way, and when you loose weight the perception is that you are a more acceptable and attractive person. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ve never been through it. Or perhaps it’s just me. I can tell you from bitter experience that people treat you differently when you lose weight.
I am me.
I am me if I am fat.
I am me if I am thin.
I am who I am, no matter what you think of me.
Be proud right now is to challenge us all to get in front of the camera as often as we can. Don’t just post pics of you kids, or your kids with family and friends. Be present in those pictures and celebrate who you are at this point in time. This is me, right here, right now. If you find yourself picking holes in the picture, take a deep breath, pause and look again at all the beauty and happiness you see.
I am a mum.
I am wife.
I am a nurse.
I am beautiful inside and out.
This is my mantra and I want our amazing community to support each other in knowing how amazing each and every one of us is. Celebrate our small (and big) everyday achievements, and document them in photographs to remember those precious moments for years to come.
I hope you will join us.