my Paine thank you for supporting our Kickstarter Campaign.
1. How have you struggled in the past to appreciate or love your body and how have you overcome that struggle?
I went from performing on stage, walking around campus, under 21 years of age to married, enjoying alcohol, not working out, and living a fairly sedentary lifestyle as a photographer (we spend hours upon hours on the computer). That meant weight gain. Metabolism slowing. Clothes no longer fitting. And the pressure of feeling like I “let myself go” or that I was no longer sexy and beautiful.
I started to hide from the camera and opted out of opportunities because of how I felt about my appearance. If wearing a bathing suit was involved, I didn’t want to go. So, I started a photo project—starting with a selfie shoot—and photographed 100+ women with no makeup, no hair styling, no retouching, and interviewed them about what they love about themselves and the negative things that they have heard said to them, about them, or what they say about themselves. It was so impactful in how I view my own body, and I believe I am more kind to myself as well as to other women. Because we all have our story, insecurities, and struggles. That has been really healing.
2. What do you love most about your body?
I love that my body keeps me alive and allows me to impact the world in a positive way. I walk others through this activity: put your hands on a part of your body that you say the meanest things to. Mine is my stomach. And then, list all of the ways you love (or at least accept) that body part. My core is strong. I can sing, breathe, and laugh with ease. I might have the opportunity to grow another human. This activity reminds me that the good things way outweigh the negative self-talk.
3. What message do you have for other women who struggle to appreciate and love their bodies?
You are incredible. You are a force of nature. You have a purpose. Your body is a miracle. Use your story to empower others. Do not be afraid to talk about what you are struggling with.
Go out and buy new lingerie and a bathing suit that fits the body you are now. Throw out everything that doesn’t fit. Hire a photographer to show you how beautiful and unique you are, because what you see in the mirror is clouded.
And, by showing up, you are enough. Always.
4. Why do you support SMV?
The media we consume (consciously or subconsciously) is constantly telling us what to buy, do, or say in order to be more desirable, beautiful, younger, skinnier... and I am in full support of any media that will inspire women to look inward and find their beauty, strength, sexuality, vulnerability, and power. We need media that will showcase women in all seasons of life and celebrate them. Because that gives us permission to also celebrate and love ourselves.
Thanks for the support, Amy! We love you! --- The SMV Team