by Elizabeth Scott
The idea for this campaign came out of a session I had with a new client who cried when I told her it was possible to be free of her body hatred and eating disorder. She told me she had never heard that this was true, even after spending half of her life fighting an eating disorder–including time in two residential treatment centers! I was shocked to hear this. How was it possible to face life everyday without knowing there was even a path to freedom? I told her I knew a lot of people who had suffered terribly with body hatred and eating problems and were now completely free. I told her about The Body Positive and all the things we teach to help people love and treasure their bodies. I told her I would find a way to introduce her to people who were brave and skilled at connecting to their own beauty and worthiness. I wanted to show her what I had discovered, that it was possible for everyone to fully inhabit their own bodies, trust their hungers and desires, and experience beauty as the authentic, openhearted, and vulnerable expression of their lives.
After that session I became preoccupied with all the girls in treatment centers, all the women suffering alone, all of the boys and men ashamed to share the struggles they had with their bodies. I worried about the children and teens who don’t understand that standards of beauty are an invention of culture, and that if the beauty standard presented makes them feel fragmented and crazy–they can change it! I realized that what was missing in all of my focus on the problem of eating disorders was an alternative vision. What was needed was a community of people who were well, and free from the obsession with blaming their bodies for all their troubles. That was when I started thinking about interviewing everyone I knew who was alive and well, and caring for themselves with love and respect. I wanted to collect their stories on video and in writing to share with my clients, and with every isolated person in the world who needs a positive invitation to be free.