My Dream to Change Body Image in 2014

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.
How to change body image: wear confidence like it's makeup

How to change body image: wear confidence like it’s makeup

My dream to heal with photography has been taking a break over the holidays.

I’ve been trying to be in the moment with my son and family. But even when I’m not “at work” I still find myself thinking about how to change body image.  

I’m trying to decide if I’ll make resolutions this year or do what I normally do and make a check list of short term and long term goals. I’m kind of a freak about checking things off. So satisfying.

If you’re trying to make changes in the New Year you’ll find the most amazing information about learning how to motivate yourself in our fearless leader Catherine’s blog The Secret of Making Your Dreams Come True. I’m doing the exercises myself.

I thought this blog might be an ode to 2013 and what I’ve overcome. Divorce. Single motherhood. Lyme disease. A cross-country move. But I don’t want to dwell on the past.

I’m happy even though my life may not be perfect.

You have to work on believing in yourself to change body image.

You have to work on believing in yourself to change body image.

And I’m more committed than ever to help girls and women move forward with peace and love towards themselves. We can all work together to change body image. On that note…

I’m super duper stinking excited to announce one of my BIG, GIANT, DREAM goals for 2014. This idea is inspired by Rayne Wolfe and every 8 Women Dream Sister past and present. It’s inspired by the women in the photos. And every woman who has shared her story with me.

I’m going to write a book about how to change body image!

This book is my way of being my own knight in shining armor. I'll hopefully help others along the way.

This book is my way of being my own knight in shining armor. I’ll hopefully help others along the way.

It will be the accounts of many women. We can learn from each those who have made progress. We can learn from the stories that set us back. Imagery will play a strong part though I haven’t decided how.

I want to find women who have overcome things that would hold others back. I want to talk with girls about how they see their mothers, and see if their mothers can hear what their daughters say. I want to interview women here and create a community where we can discuss our fears and diffuse their power. Self-esteem and body image are lifelong journeys and we need to see all the sides so that we can tackle our demons. If you have a story you want to share please comment here with the best way to reach you.

We can do it together. We can lift each other up.

This is Melanie. She's such an inspiration to me. She's helped MANY women change how they feel about their bodies. Just by going after her own dreams.

This is Melanie. She’s such an inspiration to me. She’s helped MANY women change how they feel about their bodies. Just by going after her own dreams.

I’ve been blessed with a network of women, friends and family who have all helped me survive a year that almost swallowed me whole. I want to pay that forward.

I’m trying not to over plan this endeavor. I know these things take on lives of their own. I’m eager to learn more about publishing, more about how women see themselves, more about myself.

I would like to end with a wish/hope/dream for you. May we make 2014 the year we change body image.

May you find the little voice that says, “I’m beautiful.” Even when some closed hearted person says you’re not. May you tune out every person that says fat, chubby, or skinny.

Ignore every ugly comment, every unattractive word and every not-good-enough judgement that spews from an ignorant or uncaring mouth. Even if that uncaring mouth is your own. May we retire the degrading language we’re all too quick to poison ourselves with: camel toe, muffin top, giant zit, thunder thighs, disgusting, gross, frumpy and ugly.

May you tell your reflection what you would tell your dearest BFF.

Daughters: when your parents embarrass you by telling you how pretty you are listen because many people will come into your life and make you question yourself. Mothers: when your children tell you how beautiful you are for the love of God listen. If your four year old son sees your bed head and your wrinkled nightgown and says, “Mommy you’re SO bee-yoo-ti-ful” instead of telling him he’s wrong, grab him up in an embrace, bury your face in his neck and thank God for giving you a child who can see your true self.

Parents, don’t put your daughters on shaming diets if they gain a few pounds. Lead by example and teach her how to satiate herself with whole healthy foods. Teach her it’s ok to have a treat now and then. Give her the gift of a healthy relationship with her body. You’ll prevent eating disorders and keep her away from unhealthy relationships that feed on low self-esteem.

If you can be kinder to yourself in this New Year, you’ll be happier and kinder to those around you. I have no doubt that you’ll reach for your dreams and surpass what you’ve hoped. I’ll check in with you this time and place in a year!

  • Melanie

    Unfortunately in this culture, as women we are constantly surrounded by voices and images that remind us of all the things that make us indesireable and unworthy. And its not just the media, its not just our male counterparts, its us too. As women, we do it to ourselves and we do it to each other. Its time for change but its going to take an army. Thank you for using your life and influence to lead the way.

  • What a beautiful Post Iman! You really touched me with your words. Yes you had a hectic 2013, but you have shown so much courage. Thank You for showing me that I need to focus on amore positive Body Image in 2014. Happy New year and God Bless you beautiful lady!!
    Love from Sue