This week’s podcast guest is a genuine inspiration.
As a child burns survivor, she has very visible scars on her back. She has encountered a lot of ignorance in other people around this. People who think it is ok to video her without her permission. To educate their kids publicly about burns in her earshot without involving her in the conversation. Telling her she should not be uncovered in public.
Being aware of these judgements, it is no wonder that she began to assume that anyone she saw looking at her, people laughing or even just talking near her, were saying unkind things about her.
After a long struggle, feeling upset and hiding away, one day her response just changed.
It was a definite case of ‘fake it until you make it’ as she certainly didn’t feel confident, letting her sarong drop as she stood, hands on hips, in her swimsuit on the beach. But one act of courage led to another, and soon she was swimming 21 lengths in 21 pools in 21 bikinis, promoting the message that it is ok to be yourself.
She has since gone on to challenge what diversity in fashion and body positivity mean. That this isn’t just about plus size models but those with scars and skin conditions as well.
Her message to us is that we need to learn to embrace what we have and be our own beautiful selves.
The wild swimming community is well known for being non judgemental and accepting. One of the biggest barriers for beginners can just be the act of being seen in public in a swimsuit.
For anyone who hasn’t quite reached the nirvana of embracing the body you have, this episode is for you.
Things we talk about
Vicky’s episode, Great North Swim and Great East Swim ambassador, Love Disfigure, Professor Greg Whyte, Sharron Davies, Bosphorus swim, Changing Faces, Norseman, Victoria’s Secret protest with Nunude, The Real Catwalk, Point of Light award, Anna Wardley