Saturday 25 July 2020

The Girl In The Before/After Picture - Body Positive Poem

Growing up as a “chubby” girl I was constantly told the root cause of all my pain and problems is my body and the only solution is weight loss. Like many girls & women before me I believed this to be true and made it my life’s mission.
Almost 10 years ago I lost around 22kgs. I finally became the ‘After’ I had grown up seeing in magazines and aspired to be. Most people were happy and praised my ‘achievement’. While others felt I can still lose a few more kilos. Physically, I was my lightest. But emotionally I was a mess. At my almost dream weight I was the worst version of myself. For years I believed that once I lose weight my problems will all go away and I will finally get to live my life. Not only did my problems not go away, I gained a whole lot more of them thanks to my crazy diets and workout routine. I was so obsessed with becoming thin, that in the process I ruined my health - physical and mental. I was almost thin but not at all fit and happy.

I am living proof that ‘Before’ and ‘After’ pictures are fake aspiration that do more harm than good. They capture the end result and not the journey. Worse is, they make you believe that a small thin body is better and more valued than a large big body.

We need stop putting value in Before/After body picture. An image can’t do justice to a person’s journey. The Before/After pictures celebrate physical transformation by making weight loss and thinness its focal point. In an era of body positivity, body acceptance and all bodies are good bodies, celebrating weight loss journey reinforces the inescapable message that thin is better, that health equals thinness, and that body and self love leads to (and maybe even requires) body shrinking.
Weight loss is an individual choice and achievement. We need to stop selling it as a universal goal and a cure to all our problems.
You are so much more than a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ body. - Amena 

Monday 16 March 2020

Home - Body Positive Poem

Home - Body Positive Poem by Amena Azeez

We are constantly seeking a home; a safe place we can call our own. And yet, we are most cruel to the only true abode (home) we will ever have – our body. We find ways to alter it, change it, hate it, abuse it, without realising and often forgetting that our body is the one that carries us through life.
Hating your body won’t make it better or different. You owe it to your body to treat it better and be kinder towards it.
You have only one body. You have to learn to make peace with your body. Instead of fighting, hating, resenting it you need to learn to love, listen, nourish, embrace, nurture, celebrate, cherish and most importantly, respect it - Amena

Friday 13 March 2020

FINDING ME - Body Positive Poem

FINDING ME - Body Positive Poem by Amena Azeez

When I started my self-acceptance and body positive journey, I had no clue how and where it was going to take me. I just knew that I had to get off the vicious self-hate and toxic diet culture cycle that had consumed more than half my life. As I found ways to embrace and accept my body, I felt more liberated and comfortable sharing parts of my life and lived experience. It started with sharing my photos. Next, I found the confidence to voice my feelings and views. And finally, I found the strength and was able to talk about the same with a larger audience. However, one aspect of my body positive journey I never shared with anyone are my poems. I started writing poems to put into words my innermost feelings. Things I could not express in any other way would flow out of me as poems. Some were healing words, while others were my rawest most bitter feelings. Writing poems was the most cathartic experience for me. It gave me the freedom to say things I would have never found the courage to even admit to myself. In doing so I was able to free myself and unlearn thing I had been conditioned to believe for years.

After much contemplation I have finally decided to share my poems. I hope they can help you in your journey just like they helped me in mine - Amena