Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be ‘Free to be OK’ with your body?
A little over 12 months ago, I was asked to sit on a panel for LadyFest Manchester. I was more than happy to. As someone who is open about their life – sexuality, fitness and the fact that yes, I am a fat bird and I don’t care what anybody else thinks about it – I was more than happy to. I met some fabulous people that day, who have different experiences but who are too, happy to be who they are.
What I didn’t realise, and I’m pretty sure Lauren, who organised the panel didn’t either, was the impact it would have. The feedback after the meeting was that more of this was needed. More positivity, more acceptance.
Free to Be OK With Me was created. It’s a group of now some 500+ people from all walks of life who work together to engender body acceptance – whatever and whoever you are. We support each other, talk through issues – it’s a place where you can ask awkward questions and get an answer (I mean ask them sensitively, but you can ask them).
It’s a group of people with big ambitions. We’d like Manchester to be a body accepting city. No fat shaming, no judgement of your mental health, sexuality or gender.
A place where you can just be.
As part of this, one of our group, Jen, had an idea. To create a film, something short, sweet, but powerful. With the help of 12 members of the group, and hosts Lock 91 (thanks guys). We did.
I cannot tell you how proud I am of Jen, and our little group. The feeling of support on the day was palpable – despite the trams overhead causing us to stop and start over the afternoon. We were all nervous, but coaxed each other through it.
More importantly, you can’t tell by looking at any of us what our story is, and that’s kind of the point. We all have different battles, different angles, but we are all worthy of respect, of acceptance, of being able to exist without prejudice.
One of the Gintlemen, Adrian also took part and wanted to add:
When you look at it, and honestly appraise oneself, we all have faults, issues, differences , traits that other people (well in our minds) neither understand or even realise we hold. These in turn often affect our body positivity. We end up hiding them, covering them up, often disliking them, sometimes letting them
rule our private and public lives.
Introduced to FTBOWM earlier in the year I met a group of wonderful humans, who come together to support and discuss our differences, there is no judgement. It’s a safe place to be open, and when the mention of a video project came about, I jumped at the opportunity to tell the world I’m free to be ok with my mental health We are ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, nothing to be ashamed of. In fact next week I am having my bum photographed …for body positivity purposes obviously.
If you want to know more, help us make the second video, or just become part of the group, you can find it here.
Be part of the revolution.