WIL workshops for women – a real eye opener!


Attending the Women in Livingness (WIL) “Un-locking Our Obsession with Body Image” workshop for women, was a confirming and eye opening experience for me. My own journey on how I view and feel about my body has come a full circle. Like many women, I desired it to be different. I would have liked to be smaller in size, for my breasts to be firmer and my nose less roman in shape.

What I didn’t realise, was that I was actually fixated on the parts that I thought didn’t measure up to what society deemed was the ideal female body image.

Unfortunately, this was being fueled by the media in magazine images and on television. I carried this rubbish around with me, the idea that I needed to be fixed, for most of my adult life.

It was only after a brain injury that I started to understand and accept that I actually had the most amazing, strong, capable and reliable body and that true beauty is known within. I achieved this by caring for myself, by supporting my body with my daily choices and by deeply appreciating the form that I had. This has transformed the way I now feel about myself and my body.

This is what was confirmed for me at the Women in Livingness event. It was highlighted that as we work on truly accepting and re-learning to love and care for ourselves, we can change how we feel about our bodies and can then take this deeply felt understanding with us wherever we go.

The eye-opening topic that spoke to me on the day is the fact that the world is full of horrendous acts against women, many in the name of the female body image. The one that was highlighted to us was the cultural act of female genital mutilation, preformed on women in various countries in the world still to this very day.

Although we as women say this is barbaric and it must be stopped, it was suggested that actually, how can we stop that practice in another country when we as an assumed civilized country like Australia, aren’t up in arms about the practice of female genital piecing and the current explosion of female vaginoplasty and labiaplasty procedures. The latter are known as designer vaginas, or vaginal rejuvenation.

This is all part of our body image, and how we accept and feel about our female form.

It was shared that it is about us, ’clearing up our own backyards first, before rushing out and fixing someone else’s’, and this means working on ourselves first. For myself it's been the journey of listening to the body first, as it is the true marker of where I am at. I learnt that by reducing my size, I actually reduced the load on my body. This I did not to match an image in a magazine, but to gain a healthier stronger body.

Thus, by attending this WIL workshop for women, I deepened my understanding of the fact that by continuing to look at my own body image with more truth and honesty, I am part of the collective power of women that starts the change on what is deemed the ideal female body image and to know that true beauty begins with us knowing it is already inside of us.

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© 2016 by Natalie Benhayon