Redefining health for women – Endangered Bodies Australia

‘Endangered Bodies’ is an international not-for-profit ran by women – for women to counter a culture of body-anxiety and objectification.

Endangered Bodies was initially created by author and psychoanalyst Susie Orbach. She noted that globalisation and consumerism was having a rampant impact on women as it was on many other aspects of the world. She argued that womens natural bodies are becoming endangered, in much the same way as language, culture and species are becoming endangered.

Endangered Bodies Australia is creating a range of media that promotes health and body positivity. Using the work of Susie Orbach as well as writers like Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Here are some examples:

Women spend a third of their life aging, and a third of women’s body is fat. Yet both of these natural facts of womanhood are deemed ‘problems’ that require a ‘fix’. 
The defining features of women are being cosmetically and digitally altered out of existence.Women’s natural bodies are being treated with hatred. And all this harm is being done under the guise of ‘health and beauty’. 

For a woman to reclaim her true self under such conditions is nothing short of a miracle!
True health is not about ‘fixing’, true health is about listening to our body.

True health does not require labels, judgments and harm done to us, done against our body. Instead, true health is listening to our body, noticing our feelings and staying true to our needs.

‘It makes utter sense to stay healthy and strong, to be as nourishing to the body as possible. Yet I would have to agree, there is in many women a ‘hungry’ one inside. But rather than hungry to be a certain size, shape, or height, rather than hungry to fit the stereotype; women are hungry for basic regard from the culture surrounding them. The ‘hungry’ one inside is longing to be treated respectfully, to be accepted and in the very least, to be met without stereotyping’ – C Estes.

Healthy means honouring your body. Not expecting your body to look or perform a certain way, but giving yourself the freedom to be whomever and however you are, nothing more, nothing less. You know you are worthy. Honouring your true self is health.

EB_Beall_happiness

‘I saw a naked woman of about thirty-five; her breasts were emptied out by child bearing, her belly striated from birthing children. I was very young and I remember feeling sorry for the assaults on her fair and thin skin. Someone was playing maracas and drums, and she began to dance, her hair, her breasts, her skin, her limbs all moving in different directions. How beautiful she was, how vital. Her grace was heartbreaking. I had always smiled at the phrase ‘power in her loins’. But that night I saw it. I saw what I had been taught to ignore, the power of a woman’s body when it is animated from the inside. Almost three decades later I can still see her dancing in the night and I am still struck by the power of body.’ – C. Estes

Health starts on the inside.

Scientists try to define health with particular measurements or observations, however we increasingly find health is far more complex than any measurements can grasp. In fact we often know our health better than any other measure. We know our health when we are connected with our body. Health starts inside.

Animated_Beall_EB

If you are interested in seeing more, please join the Endangered Bodies Australia facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/EndangeredBodiesAustralia

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