I stumbled across something wonderful last week and it made me feel so happy to read about that I just had to share it with you guys. The Jubilee Project is a team of volunteers who work together to create short films and documentaries in their spare time to increase awareness and inspire action. Their vision is to produce entertaining content that will empower, enable, and inspire others to do good as well. Three guys started the project following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, when they started busking with hopes of raising $100 for the relief efforts. They fell short so made a video about it, they ended up raising over $700. Now they continue to create meaningful videos that will affect audiences and make them think about wider issues, with the mantra #DoingGoodIsContagious. So their latest video - which you'll find below - is what I wanted to share with you.
It shows the incredible difference between adults and children - culture and society. With 50 adults and children asked the same question - If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be? And without a moment's hesitation, all of the adults launch straight into things they don't like and parts they wanted to change. The children? They seem stumped at first, unable to think of anything to change. But then they launch into superhuman additions they would like to have - mermaid tails (yes please!) and cheetah's legs - because they don't think there is anything wrong with the body they were given. So innocent and pure, they minds are yet unchanged by society and the horrible body shaming and expectations that are thrust upon us over time. Is this not yet more proof that no-one is born hating their body - we are the ones teaching them to?
I know I've written before about body confidence (here and here), but I haven't yet focused on the problem of body shaming in society. The fact that you can be as confident as you like, but advertising and media and even just people on the street are often waiting to tear you back down again. It's so sad to see how the views of these youngsters will change over time as they become more affected by the views of those around them, which in turn have been placed on them by advertising campaigns like the Victoria's Secret one, or even music like the Meghan Trainor song. You can take either of these are you want - and to be honest, the song doesn't really bother me a huge amount as I think it's garbage anyway, but the underwear campaign is a different story. I don't really understand why anyone would have let that campaign be released in the first place when it gives such a clear message that anything other than a Victoria's Secret model is not perfect. What planet are these people on? Do they really think that 99.99999999% of the world's population are the exception instead of the rule?Hearing all of the adults listing several things they would change and clearly feeling very uncomfortable about parts of their bodies was really sad. To think you have these amazing individuals who have had lives, friendships, have loved and had children - and yet they are still unhappy with the way that they look. It really warmed my heart to hear one of the young girls saying she actually really liked her body and wouldn't want to change a thing - I wanted to scream at the screen and say DON'T CHANGE! Don't listen to the media, ignore those billboards and stay happy as you are. She was one of the slightly older ones and you can tell it won't be long until she too is affected by both and becomes insecure about her appearance. The clock is ticking. But then that final clip of the video makes all the difference - the oldest lady in the video says that she is happy with her body, her grey hair and her wrinkles because without those she wouldn't be her. That woman is an inspiration and someone we should all take note of - I know I would much rather be like her than any of the other adults in the video.
It makes me feel quite sad that the majority of people will go through their lives without feeling truly happy with their appearance, despite it making up such a tiny amount of who they are. Why do we have to spend the majority of our lives - from being a child to entering our golden years feeling insecure? We've all got bits and piece that work, legs that get us from A to B, noses that can smell and tongues that can taste... So why, when we have all this on our side, do we have to go full circle before feeling confident again? Well as far as I'm concerned - we don't. We all make our own decision to be happy or to be sad. We choose whether to let the haters bother us, whether to listen to those around us. Whether to feel fat on the beach in a bikini. So it's time we all stopped listening to everything around us and start listening to that voice inside that says "You're fabulous". It's easy to miss because it often gets squashed down by the one that says "You look gross" or "You're fat" - but is far more important to pay attention to. I'm not saying it's the easiest thing in the world, but changing your mindset is the first step to feeling content. The best way to change your mindset? Stop jumping straight to telling yourself about those ugly, fat or wobbly bits when you look in the mirror, make it your business to compliment the bits you like first. Three nice things for every one complaint and you'll soon start thinking and feeling differently.
What part of your body do you love the most and why? How do you feel after watching this video?