When I read this quote it made me cry. Not because it resounded deep inside me and not because it was something I aspired to. I cried because I wished everyone else had a sunny 2pm garden body.

I was lucky that I grew up with good self-confidence. Only recently, in my 20s, did I realise what a true blessing this is. Despite having a body that is far from what the media shows us is the perfect body, I rarely have moments where I am truly unhappy in my skin. But through my teenage years and my 20s I have seen too many of my female friends crushed by body insecurity; the type that never leaves you, never lets you settle or be comfortable in your own skin, never lets you forget what you aren’t and lets you hurt yourself. The type of body insecurity that means no amount of ‘you are beautiful the way you are’ will change that.

I only wish that it didn’t take women decades and decades – and maybe even not then – to finally accept themselves. To finally accept that no amount of dieting or changing their appearance will make them happy. To realise that happiness comes from self love and acceptance, not from the outside world.

I want a different world for my children. A world where 12 years olds aren’t doing exercise videos and dieting because they are worried about their weight. A world where kids can be kids and not worry about their appearance. I want a world where women are not constantly bombarded by the media telling them they will never be good enough. I want a world where there is true diversity in the body types you see on TV. I want a world where men and women realise it is not acceptable to tell someone how they should look. And I want a world where parents and teachers realise that self-confidence is the greatest gift you can give a child and one which will carry them throughout their whole lives.

I know these are big changes, but I will be starting in the most important place – my home. I hope you will all join me.

-Tia Shah
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

Get the LatestJoin our monthly newsletter

Sign up to hear about upcoming exhibits, projects + more!

Pin It on Pinterest