We often follow many rules and trends on how to look a certain way and carry ourselves. Trends change every season and sometimes can be hard to keep up with. We tend to stick with certain looks that we feel comfortable with, but do we really consider the impact of all those rules and trends on the way we view ourselves and our bodies? One South African lady decided to challenge this by creating a body image series. Dealing with her own issues with her body, Hulisani decided to dig deeper to understand where the root of her issues began.
EGL: How did the body image start?
Hulisani: The body image series started a few years ago when I invited some friends to see themselves in the mirror. I asked them; who helped you see yourself in that way and what shaped your thoughts about your body? Was it perhaps the media lying to you with its Photoshop and led you to believe that being a size zero is the only acceptable way to live? How about a boyfriend who nagged you about certain parts of your body? How did you feel after the baby?
Although these things pop into our minds, sometimes we rarely sit down and take a moment to reflect on what that is doing. We don’t take into account how much of the world we are internalizing and how it could be to our own detriment.
This was my inspiration. I wanted to share these thoughts of everyday women who were/are struggling with this internalization about the way they see their bodies. Challenging them to really see themselves and how wonderful they actually are.
EGL: How do people get involved?
I send an open invite out where I ask ladies to write a piece about themselves. This can be about their body as a whole or even about a specific body part which they struggle with.
You find a quiet place and assess how you feel about your body? What are my insecurities? How did I get to the point where I was insecure about that specific part of me or when did my confidence take a nosedive with regards to my body? Who was there?
These questions aren’t limited and each person has their own method of reaching the final article that is sent to me.
EGL: When did you discover you were doing the same thing?
Hulisani: Personally, when I sat down and did this for the first time, I realized how much other people’s opinions were influential in my story about my body. That’s when I decided that it needed to change.
EGL: What has been the response from women you’ve asked to participate?
Hulisani: Countless ladies have come back to me after the exercise and said that they are grateful to finally have sat down and reflected about their issues with their bodies. How much of a relief it was to understand why they viewed themselves in a specific manner and how they got there.
EGL: What do you want women to take away from this?
Hulisani: The most important thing here is that you can’t change something if you don’t know that something is that is in fact, wrong. Taking that first step and looking at you in the mirror is such a big step – one that we all need to take.
To find out more on the Body Image Series visit:
Written by: Lungi Moore, Staff Writer, EGL Beauty.