Mel Rymill from Australia has just become a mother and went to a fitness studio to break her long abstinence from sport and get fit again. It's her experience there however, that led her to post this angry Facebook post, with which she has now attracted world-wide attention:
So I had my first session with a PT today and the first thing she said to me was "Obviously you want to get back to your pre-baby weight". It wasn't a question, it was a statement.
And it pissed. Me. Off.
I corrected her nicely by simply saying "my goal is to regain my core strength and endurance...I'm not worried by how my body looks, only how it functions...it can be pretty badass".
But it got me thinking. Post pregnant women are told they look good if they return to their pre-baby body quickly leading to the assumption that they look bad if the keep the extra weight. Skinny people are envied for their lack of fat or shamed for apparently starving themselves. Voluptuous women are either labelled fat and shamed or they're labelled brave for being comfortable in their own skin. There is always pressure.
No one is comfortable in their own skin 100% of the time. Constantly labelling people and piling expectations associated with these labels on them is harmful to everyone... including those doing the labelling.
What we should be worrying about is if people are ok, not what they look like.
So here I am. I may not be magazine ready, my nana undies and bedtime nursing bra are certainly not going to be rocking a runway anytime soon, my hair is greasy, I have no makeup on, my body is squishy and plentiful, I'm not even sure I'm totally ok.
But I am strong. My body is healthy.
Hell, I am badass as fuck!
Screw what society wants from me. This is what's on offer.
Within just 7 hours this post was shared over 7000 times - even though the photo was removed for a short time, because someone registered it as going against Facebook's nudity guidelines. "Laughable", commented Mel to this, "what I'm wearing here is more than my normal swimwear!" Nevertheless, Facebook users around the world are celebrating Mel for her actions and her words. The Australian has also invited other women to act as an example against the pressure of clothes-size, and to upload similar photos of themselves in underwear! Hundreds of women have answered her call.
Mel Rymill never though that her Facebook rant would go viral, but finds it scarily encouraging, that so many women would publicly display their bodies so proudly, alleged flaws and all. "It's not about whether you are big, small, lumpy, cuddly, boney, shaped like a dodecahedron, a woman, anywhere on the gender scale or anything else you can think of", she wrote. "It's about reclaiming the world that we live in and flooding it with real bodies, no, REAL PEOPLE."
Mel Rymill believes that nobody should let anybody else dictate how they look or what body shape they should have - and to this cause, she took off her clothes. When the strong message from this Australian has impressed you, then share it with all of your friends!