Category Archives: The Skin Deep Project

To the Skin Deep community…

A message from Lauren

Things have been a little quiet here over the last few months, so I wanted to provide an explanation.

Jane, Jess and Natalie on a body image panel at Women of the World Festival 2013

Jess (centre) with Jane and Natalie on a body image panel at Women of the World Festival (Katherine) 2013

We’ve had some changes to the team and a HUGE thank you goes out to Jess who recently moved on to channel her great energy into other areas. Jess has been a huge influence in the every day activities of the project, a great support, and is going to kill it at whatever she puts her mind to!

In other areas: yesterday I watched this talk by the brilliant Brené Brown (a US researcher) and, like a few other things over this period, it really struck a chord with me. I’ve been living small. I have been stuck in a giant, fiery hole of self doubt and it’s been creating blockages in many areas of my life from this project (which I am intensely passionate about), to my new business, and even to just being motivated to get up and go for a walk.

IT SUCKS.

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After cancer

By Kate Bickford – originally shared internally with ABC employees.
Kate Bickford went to hell and back when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer. But the experience has galvanised her to help others, with a trip to Bhutan the next step in her journey. Why Skin Deep? A number of levels for us. You can’t necessarily judge a person’s health just by looking at them, nor do we always know the stories behind those we encounter each day. On another level, it’s also important that we take steps to look after the different aspects of our health and be thankful for each day.
KateTo look at me you wouldn’t know I’ve been battling cancer. You probably wouldn’t know that I take seven medications daily.
I still see doctors most weeks and I’m fighting back waves of nauseas and other side effects of the medication I take.
To look at me you wouldn’t know that my doctors have told me that if I had left my pap test for another 3 – 5 years my treatment would be very different: they would not be curing my cancer, they would only be prolonging my life.

Having a routine pap test saved my life.

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Turnings on Edges

By Alysha Herrmann

Last month I said I’d talk about the ‘turning point’ for me in learning to love and accept my body. But I actually told a bit of a fib. That’s not *exactly* what I’m going to share. I can’t talk about the turning point, because I didn’t win the war with my body.

My body is not a static, unchanging experience.

My body has grown two children. It has fluctuated in dress size, in fitness, in muscle tone, in appearance. I have new scars, freckles and moles. My dress sense has changed as my life (and confidence) has changed. My hair colour and style is an ongoing party.

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Magnifying Mindfulness

Words by Lauren Moss.

 

The World Health Organisation in 1948 famously defined health like this:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

photo copyThis was more than 60 years ago, and yet we often forget to make a plan for our mental and social wellbeing, not to mention our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. It’s an easy default position to shift to exercising more or changing our diet when we need to boost the way we are feeling about our health (and also our selves), but we need to shift our thinking – this is one component that fits into a much bigger picture.

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Fatty Number Two

Words: Alysha Herrmann

 

My body did nothing to you.

 

Does anyone else remember being weighed in PE class at school? Do they still do that?

 

I’m not sure, but I think this is where one of my high school nicknames began.

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Five things to increase your self gratitude this Easter

1)      Drop the guilt. Easter eggs are yummy. Easter is but once a year. Chocolate bunnies. Hot crossed buns. Chocolate for breakfast?!

2)      Use this time to get together with friends and family, and embrace their awesomeness (and let them feel yours).

3)      Spend some time in the sun. Lots of us are Vitamin D deficient people!! Practice some mindfulness. How good does that lovely sun feel on your face? Thank you sun (Slip, Slop, Slap, Slip and Slide….). If there’s no sun…just soak in some outdoors gorgeousness!

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4)      Write a list of your strengths. Pure, unadulterated, free and honest you time. What makes you, you? What are you great at? What do you have knowledge in? How can you use that to propel yourself forward?

5)      Pass it on. Whether it’s a quote or a beautiful picture shared on your Facebook page for others to share, or simply passing on your words of thanks and love to a friend on the phone, in person or online, pay the love forward. And remember – you are as deserving of that love back.

Happy Easter xx

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Struggles of a skinny girl

Words: Lindsey Diacogiannis

 

“What’s anorexic?” I asked my friends after they jeeringly told me I looked that way, at the age of thirteen. I weighed about xx (number removed by Skin Deep Project to comply with Mind Frame national media standards), had always been thin and never had an eating disorder. I’d been fortunate enough not to have faced eating disorders, but when I was told I “looked anorexic” it was the tone of voice that implied something was ‘wrong’ with the way I looked.

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Skin Deep presents: InsideOut

Warm lights fill the centre of a dark room, where two young mums stand in front of an intimate audience, to talk about the dreams they hold for their children. Self love. Positive male role models. The confidence to shake off the increasing mountain of images of models, photoshopped within an inch of their lives.

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For the Mother I Sometimes Meet

Words: Alysha Herrmann

As long as I can remember, my mother has always been overweight. Hovering usually in an Australian dress size of 22-26, she’s had to shop at plus size stores or generic department stores with their shapeless, blocky and unflattering designs. And it was always clear, without always being spoken, that she hated her body and by extension often herself.  There were many times she’d ask  ‘How can you love me, when I’m so fat and ugly?’ or “Do you think I’m ugly?’ or just state ‘I look horrible. Horrible and fat.’ Questions and statements that came from a deep and hurting place inside of her.

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Beauty: obtaining the unobtainable

Every where you look there are ideals forced upon us. Celebrities getting surgery, non-celebrities getting surgery, firming creams that cost the earth, make up that will get rid of lines and imperfections. Bikini diets, slimming products, fitness plans that will help us to ‘drop 2 dress sizes in a week’.

The problem is that society is trying to turn beauty into something that’s tangible, and the more inward looking we are, the more susceptible we are to the lie.
Why? Because beauty isn’t material. The concept isn’t something we can touch (although often beautiful things are). It’s all around us. It’s in the tough time that we got through, the kindness of a stranger. How your body propels you through the water on an afternoon swim, and the morning sunshine on your face. It is in your slightly crazy hair, and the traits that separate you from the next person. It’s in gratitude for every experience, laughter, and in the first cloud of dragonflies.
Don’t let them lie to you. Beauty is for everyone.
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