Friday, 21 March 2014

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Mary Smith takes a look back at International Women's Week...

Supersize vs Superskinny presenter Emma Woolf began her inspiring talk on positive body image and self-confidence at the Students Union as part of International Women’s Week, with this thought provoking question.

Every day women are surrounded by images of beautiful women in the media and are made to believe we should look and act a certain way. It’s no wonder that with all this pressure, women are constantly obsessing about body image and eating disorders are on the rise.

Emma, who struggled with a decade of anorexia herself, reminded us that we need to give up on perfection (particularly in the physical sense), face our inner fears, challenge ourselves and pursue what truly makes us happy.

Whilst it remains true that women are still subject to misogyny and objectification on a daily basis, we must not let this deter us. We must focus on creating our own successes as many women have before us.

Emma then gave seven strategies of coping with the struggles and barriers that women struggle with on a daily basis, which I found to be particularly useful:

1.       FIND YOUR FLOW- Find something that makes you happy, whether big or small and immerse yourself in it
2.       TRUST YOUR GUT- Your body often knows what to do before you’ve figured it out
3.       PLOUGH YOUR OWN FURROW- Admire your individualism and be authentic
4.       FEEL THE FEAR- Allow yourself to take risks and remember, whatever happens, you’ll be okay.
5.       BAN THE BITCHINESS- Bringing down other women won’t make you any happier
6.       STOP SAYING I’M SORRY- Don’t apologise for your successes
7.       LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM- If there is honestly and value in the criticism then use it and learn from it.

Emma then concluded laying particular emphasis on how we should also celebrate other women and their success and help and support each other whenever we can, rather than feeling like we are all in direct competition.

This speech was just a small snapshot of International Women’s Week, with many more inspirational talks by inspirational women. 

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