On a snowy Sunday afternoon, whilst in the middle of self-timer led photoshoot, I put a post up on Facebook in a local group asking for help. I had decided it was time to change the way swimwear was perceived in the market place. And it was inspired by watching Taryn Brumfitt's documentary, Embrace.
I am tired of what I see in the media, how women generally are portrayed in the media and the idea struck me. Just to be sure this idea wouldn't be a 'fly by night', shoot-from-the-hip reaction, I decided to sleep on it, to see if there were any changes in my mind to put me off doing it.
Simple answer, no.
So I wrote the post asking for help and see if it was of any interest to anyone. In all honesty I was expecting 5 possible responses, so I was stunned that within a few short hours I had 87 women all volunteering themselves to be part of the REAL Women Photoshoot. Now we are over 100. I am stunned.
This had led to fundamental change because there is clearly a need.
Change how you feel about swimwear
Change how you feel about yourself
Change how our bodies are represented in the media
Change how we relate to one another, from judgement to acceptance
Change the social landscape, so the next generation see diversity represented as the norm.
We have to do things differently.
As a mother of two girls, I believe I owe it to them to grow up seeing and knowing that women of all shapes and sizes, ethnicity, background and culture is the norm.
By implementing this fundamental change in the business (and hopefully industry) and working in collaboration with the talented Viktoria Kuti, we celebrate real women (not models and not augmented or air brushed). This means that my girls will know that every one of us is unique with our own gifts to give to the world.
I believe we can change the portrayal of the 'perfect' as it's is a betrayal of who we actually are.
We are not determined by what we look like, but what we can do and everyone is capable of making change.
Will you be part of it?
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