Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m ly, 36 from Glasgow. I’m a freelance writer and blogger. I have been dealing with PTSD, self harm & depression for most of my adult life. Unfortunately I also have some chronic physical illnesses too (fibro, ibd , pernicious anaemia) which can make life tricky. I’m a strident feminist, vegan & general left wing bleeding heart hippie.
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What does body positivity mean to you?
I suppose it means freedom to enjoy my body. I spent a lot of time hating myself and my body. I yo-yo dieted often in dangerous ways and very rarely felt really pretty/sexy/attractive. I did the classic hiding from life. I was never in photographs (a thing I really regret as I have no record of some special times), I stuck to a few styles of clothing that I thought hid my fat, I missed lots of events because I couldn’t bear to go looking as I did and I put things off until I had lost weight. Since discovering the body positive community my life has changed. I have gradually learnt to embrace my body as it is. I’m fat and I’m sexy and funny and smart and a million other things. I’m finally able to see that all of those things are ok.
Do you think being body positivity is becoming more popular? Why?
I think it is definitely more talked about and is breaking into the mainstream. There is obviously still a very long way to go. A lot of what we see in mainstream media is just lip service, but it is exciting to see some of the real progress. I think the rise of plus size blogger is great and I believe they have played a huge part in the increasing popularity of body positivity.
Are there any body positive people you look up to?
There are so many. One of the first people who made an impact on me is Meghan Tonjes, her booty revolution is wonderful. I love Scottish blogger Amanda Apparel, Perelandra Beedles is also a blogging favourite. Australian fat activist Jen Pitch is so inspiring. She designs her own plus size clothes line, Seraphim, which is awesome.
Why did you start oPeration BoPo?
Body positivity has changed my life. I have become a happier more confident person. I really wanted to spread that. After searching and failing to find a suitable project locally, I decided to bite the bullet and start my own.
Tell us some more about your event?
The first event is a photographic exhibit. We had professional photo shoot with volunteer models of all body types. Those images will be used to create the exhibit. The aim was to start a self love revolution, I want people to be able to love the body they are in. Watching people find confidence they didn’t know they had was inspirational. The feedback from participants was amazing, they all found it a really empowering experience. I myself posed in just my pants and far from being the terrifying experience I thought it would be, I felt a new power and contentedness. With the event I hope that both viewers and participants will find beauty in the images and perhaps reassess their perceptions of what is a ‘good body’.
What’s next for you?
I hope to continue with oPeration BoPo. I would love to continue creating events that inspire and empower. I am particularly interested in working with groups who would really benefit from body positivity, for instance, survivors of domestic abuse.
For more information: www.operationbopo.wordpress.com