I hope everyone had a very happy Christmas and a wonderful weekend, with minimal post-celebration guilt (if you're still struggling, check out these six tips).
Today, I'm happy to present an interview with body image expert Julie Parker of the fabulous blog Beautiful You. Below, we talked about her work, tips for building a healthier body image, myths about eating disorders and more.
1. In your bio, you write that you’ve worked in the body image and eating disorder field for over ten years. Tell us more about your work and yourself.
I started out my career as a counselor and soon noticed many girls and young women coming to me for issues related to self-esteem, body image and eating disorders. I chose to read and study further and quickly found myself incredibly passionate about wanting to be a body image advocate and do more for those who were desperately suffering. This eventually led me to working for The Butterfly Foundation – Australia’s largest charitable foundation that supports people with eating disorders and negative body image. I have also experienced my own body image and self-esteem battles and can very much relate to the wide reaching issues they can create and sustain in someone’s life.
2. What led you to start Beautiful You?
While I am very privileged to have a ‘voice’ in the eating disorder and body image field with work, I wanted to share more of my personal thoughts. I wanted Beautiful You to be a space that was inspirational and life affirming, but also challenged the many insidious and exploitative practices that detract from us having positive body image and self-esteem.
3. What are some of your tips for building a healthier body image?
Love yourself as you are. Stop believing your life will be perfect if you are thin. Don’t weigh yourself. Don’t diet. Seek ways to lead a balanced life. Enjoy food. Find a physical activity you love to do. Never compare your appearance to someone else. Become media savvy and literate. Embrace size, gender, age and cultural diversity. Recognize your absolute uniqueness.