I have a question: Would you listen to me talk about the importance of accepting your body -- "flaws" and all -- if I looked like a supermodel? Would my message of how important it is to accept and make peace with our bodies so our daughters can learn to do the same for themselves still have value if you felt I'd never struggled with my own body image?
That seems to be the question facing some Australians right now.
Recently, Australia's body image advisory group released a proposed National Body Image Strategy that outlined a variety of initiatives designed to help Australian women and girls accept and embrace their bodies. Already, though, the strategy is being criticized -- not so much for its contents, but for the public faces associated with the campaign.
The problem? Minister Kate Ellis, Mia Freedman and Sarah Murdoch are simply "too beautiful."
Here's the thing: While my body image concerns aren't necessarily the same as theirs, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any woman who hasn't looked around her at some point and wondered if she's good enough...who hasn't felt "less than" in some way...who hasn't felt that she was being judged solely on her appearance -- even if that "judgment" is being called too beautiful to have or express a valid opinion.
De-valuing what a woman has to say because you find her too beautiful is as discriminatory as de-valuing what a woman has to say because you find her unattractive. Take a moment to read what Julie Parker of The Butterfly Foundation has to say on the subject. And tell me what you think...