I am a grown woman and I've been on this planet for a few decades. I have seen a lot of trends come and go, I've worn things in my teens that my mother wore in her teens -- among my friends I was the queen of vintage -- a photograph of my mother and daddy on a date looks a lot like a photograph my brothers and i took on the beach in the South Coast, the only difference being our ages. The most enduring trend however has been thin. That thin is better and more beautiful. I can remember as far back as lower primary where most of my peers and I were still chubby and one little girl called another little girl fat on the playground.
A part of me still cared about being thin when I went to Uni, or at least my version of thin. I have to thank my parents though for helping me avoid the eating disorders I saw a lot of my peers suffer from during my late teens and early 20s. I really had no choice but to love and enjoy food with the parents I had. Not until my first heartbreak had I ever thought I could self-medicate on food and I don't regret it. Nothing quite like a few spoons of ice cream to help me unwind or a nice salad for lunch to help me feel good.
As much as self-love begins at a young age, the same goes for self-hate and body hate. For the past 20 years this generation of young people have only been receiving one message: thin. From young Hollywood starlets to models -- all of whom are people young women, teen and children even younger than that look up to. I hope things like thinspo are banned from public sites whose consumers are young
My mother has been the epitome of beauty and womanhood for me with her natural curves accentuated and nurtured. Our motto is me eat well and workout well. Nothing is an extreme, unless it's ice cream during a long weekend. Not everybody is as lucky as I have been with the role model as I've had.
Next to my mother there is only one other woman who has been a face of beauty for me and that's Sophia Loren
When I finally have a daughter I hope I'm as good a self-love inspiration as my mother has been to me. We need to expand the ideals of beauty and the definition of what beauty is. Media, such as the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants that showcases all kinds of bodies is what needs to be a regular part of mainstream media.